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MasterPhotography Vol 13 No 5 • JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2017

Cover: by Greg Moment AMPA . An outoor setting, not indoor, lit by the warm Dedolight location lighting he prefers. See article inside.

Master Photography JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2017 • £7.95

4 Editorial 6 News 9

Awards 2016/17 – Event Photographs


Fujifilm Sponsored: Stuart Wood FMPA, Homage to D-Day Heroes


Equipment heads-up: using the Godox LP-800X battery inverter power source with Elinchrom D-Lite 4RX heads


Two Top Portrait Lenses: Nikon 105mm ƒ1.4 and Sigma new ART 85mm ƒ1.4 By David Kilpatrick with portrait tests by Graeme Webb LMPA


Lens Test: IRIX Blackstone 15mm ƒ2.4


Fujifilm Sponsored: Shot Up North 28 show


Richard Bradbury’s RECIPROCITY column: Planning for 2017


Pics of the Crop: New Licentiates Gemma Walker Neil Withers Ian Boichat Philip Barrett Rachel Gillieswerd


Associateship: Stephanie Ann Thornton


Associateship: Greg Moment


Software: Lightroom Mobile


Licentiateship: Sandra Ramp


Wizard Stuff! Magic Bean’s new Business in a Box


Newborn Safety: advice from Melanie East AMPA




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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. ┬й2016 Icon Publications Ltd. E&OE.

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MPA to hold EGM

January 11th-15th 2017 The Societies Convention Admission by ticket to a wide range of seminars January 13th-15th 2017 The Societies Trade Show (free) Hilton London Metropole Edgware Road London W2 1JU The major annual event organised by the blanket body formed by the Society of Wedding and Portrait Photographers, and its associated multiple societies. The largest professional and semi-pro photomeet of its kind in the UK calendar. See:

The Master Photographers Association board of directors, under interim chairman Steven Ramsden LMPA, resolved in December to hold a board meeting in early January 2017 to give notice (21 days) of an Extraordinary General Meeting of the Association, likely to be held in late January. Members will receive full information on the purpose of the EGM directly.

January – date to be announced EGM of the Master Photographers Association 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: February 5th-9th 2017 Wedding & Portrait Photographers International Conference February 7th-9th 2017 WPPI Expo Trade Show. Las Vegas Convention Center PHOTO+ membership ($150 US/$200 International) when registering includes FREE WPPI Full Platform Pass ($220 value). See:

March 18th-21st 2017 The Photography Show 2017 National Exhibition Centre Birmingham/Coventry UK’s major annual photo trade show. Tickets: £13.95 (concession £10.95). Pro and trade passes: FREE if approved). Student Day Tuesday, March 21st FREE with student ID. See:

TPS 2017

MORE PRODUCT lines are to join the Cullmann range in January. The Mundo tripod (£179.99) comes in black, silver, orange or blue and features an integrated Monopod. Three models of Neomax mini travel tripods offer fast operation, high stability and light weight, with an aluminium ball head, quick release system, robust feet and a tripod case at £59.99 to £79.99. Stockholm bags include a daypack and four shoulder bags with a Scandinavian minimalist look in a cool grey water and scuff resistant polyester, from £44.99 to £89.99. Five new CUlight LED video lights, three daylight and two bicolour lights (£49.99 to £249.99) join a wireless RF Cullmann flashgun, the £249.99 CUlight FR60 (GN60, TTL C/N/S, 20-200mm zoom, USB firmware updates). RF remote works up to 100 meters. All prices are SRP inc VAT.

WORLD OF ZEISS ZEISS and the World Photography Organisation have announced the second year of the ZEISS Photography Award. The competition gives photographers the chance to showcase their skills to an international audience. The theme of the competition will be Seeing Beyond – Meaningful Places. Participants are invited to submit their photo series for free by 7th February 2017. In addition to lenses to the value of €12,000, the winning photographer will also receive €3,000 towards a photography trip of their choice. The winner and a shortlist will be announced in March 2017, and an award presented to the winner in April 2017. Photographers should submit a series of 5 to 10 images they think capture the ‘Meaningful Places’ theme, no later than the 7th February 201, through:


SIMON MASON, former sales manager for Tiffany and Co in Beverley Hills, is the new manager at Calumet Photographic’s Drummond Street, London, store. Simon, 42, has moved back to the UK with his family after three years with the jewellery brand. Before moving to Los Angeles he handled training and retail outlets for Selfridges and M&S. Andy Johnson, who has been with Calumet for 32 years has moved into a new role as a High End Imaging Sales Specialist. Calumet Photographic is a leading photography equipment retailer supporting amateurs and professionals. It also provides rentals, runs workshops, offers a student membership scheme, and has studio spaces available to hire for shoots. See:

EUROPE’S biggest photography event of 2017 will return to the NEC, Birmingham from 18-21 March. All-new feature areas have been confirmed for The Photography Show 2017 including a dedicated video section, 360° and VR, plus an enhanced Drone Zone, offering visitors the opportunity to delve into new imaging technology as part of their show experience. Further details on these new areas will be revealed in full over the coming weeks. Leading brands already confirmed to appear at The Photography Show 2017 include Fujifilm, Hasselblad, Nikon, Olympus and Sony – the Adobe Theatre will also return for 2017. This year’s event will also see the arrival of new exhibitors including, Billingham, Paterson Photographic, video production company Unitary Studios, Martin Newman Photography (and many more). The Super Stage (previously graced by the likes of David Bailey, Don McCullin, Steve McCurry and Rankin), Behind the Lens Theatre, Adobe Theatre and Live Stage, plus the Video Theatre and the Mobile & Social Stage, will all feature with more extensive programmes than in 2016. Tickets to The Photography Show 2017 are now on sale. For more information, please visit

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:

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pho t o gra p h ys h ow.c om MASTER PHOTOGRAPHY JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2017 • 7



The International Master Photographer of the Year 2016/17 is Erich Caparas FMPA, who flew in from the USA to collect several awards culminating in the Gold. A delighted Erich shows off his trophy and certificates in front of the big screen at the Jurys Inn Hinckley Hotel. Below, the dinner and awards attended by a worldwide gathering of photographers and industry figures.


Top left, the dramatic atrium of the hotel is more like a cruise liner and lent itself again to the superbly printed hanging banners and display panels from The Print Foundry. Top right; Paul Wilkinson FMPA talks in the atrium space. Above left, Jon Grayston of Fujfilm discusses cameras with Mike Ward AMPA; above right, guest Clive Arrowsmith discusses his books and work; below left, Johnson Wee talked about influences on his work; right, James Musselwhite gave an emotional and inspiring presentation.


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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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Stuart’s photo-homage to F D-Day heroes or those born after the Second World War it’s difficult to imagine the horrors that confronted a previous generation. While young men and women these days have all the everyday worries that come with modern living, such as landing a job, making ends meet and getting on the housing ladder, those who were their age seventy years ago were facing a far sterner test, an ultimate battle for freedom. They faced supreme sacrifice to liberate Europe. Those who survived the storming of the beaches of Normandy and all the other activities that supported it all those years ago are old men and women now, most well into their nineties, but their experiences can never fail to inspire. Stuart Wood considers them to be his ultimate heroes, and, as such, he was determined to do his personal

Over 70 years on, stories of those who took part in D-Day continue to inspire. Stuart Wood FMPA was determined to play his part in honouring this heroic but now dwindling band of survivors. bit to ensure that this diminishing band would never be forgotten. “I thought my contribution would be a selection of portraits of D-Day veterans,” he says, “that would include both men and women and representatives from all of the armed forces. My aim was to produce around 20 or so images and pull them together in an exhibition and

Photographs from Stuart’s documentary essay on D-Day veterans – above, Nanza Hughes; right, Ernest Turner. 12 • MASTER PHOTOGRAPHY JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2017

a book that would raise funds for the National Memorial Arboretum. I wasn’t looking to make any money out of the project, not even expenses, because, to me, that would have felt wrong. Instead my reward would be the chance to meet some of these remarkable people face to face and to spend some time listening to their recollections.”

Stuart’s regular lab is One Vision, and they were only too happy to get involved from the outset, agreeing to produce the necessary exhibition prints, which will all be output on Fujifilm’s iconic Crystal Archive DP II professional paper. “We use this media for virtually everything we print,” confirms One Vision’s product and marketing manager Adam Scorey. “As a pro lab it’s crucial we offer top quality and consistent results, and that’s what Fujifilm paper gives us: beautiful colours and deep contrast. “Exhibition printing is nothing new for us and we’re regularly involved in some really big shows, such as the Comedy Wildlife Awards and the Pink Lady Food Photography competition. “We can’t wait to see Stuart’s amazing imagery printed and framed when the venue’s been finalised.”


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 have been put in the press spotlight by Fujifilm.

e The lie of th ENT ADVERTISEM


Looking for leads “This worked out spectacularly in the case of Ernie, an ex-artilleryman I’d sourced through my local paper. I went to his house in my usual way and was scanning every room to see if there was something I could use, when he suddenly invited me outside to see his air raid shelter. I didn’t know what to expect, but there was indeed a shelter there, now requisitioned for gardening uses, and I knew immediately this would work perfectly as a setting.” For Stuart the real joy of the project was meeting a wide variety of people who had amazing experiences to share and he listened enthralled as one lady, found through the blind veterans’ association, described how she was an air operating officer for flight control during the Battle of Britain. “She was actually in the room when Churchill famously asked how many reserves we had and was told there were none,” Stuart says in awe. “Someone who witnessed history in the making and here they were, sitting in front of my camera.” With his project now complete Stuart is proud to have played his own small part in honouring the heroes of D-Day, and the body of work that’s resulted will ensure that the extraordinary stories they had to tell will live on. More information:


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 impor of the Sistine Chape tantly, 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 dimensions as -based Nick provid quite lightweight d. It was also 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 Hunter produ of adhesive was in the bar area. ct manager Peter Erfurt Mav ready The idea was to create Hayward sugge mixed paste one complete this and sted the RIP mounting of to CC Imagin artwork that software, design the 24 prints g that would becom ed specifically large and wide was 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 p Nick: www.inside-o ation see: CC Imaging: www.c m 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

One Vision Imaging, Stuart’s choice for printing and framing his Fujifilm DP II Pro prints. See:

It wasn’t the easiest of projects to get moving because Stuart had no personal connections with veterans and was struggling to find his first subject. Eventually, however, through his local branch of the Armed Forces charity SSAFA, he came across Charlie, an old soldier who lived near him in Derby. A meeting was set up and then Stuart had to explain his idea and persuade Charlie to be part of it. “I just told him that I wanted to do him justice in his picture and that was enough,” says Stuart. With the project finally underway Stuart trawled the internet for leads and got in touch with regiments to see if they could help in his search. What finally opened things up for him was a meeting with George Batts, the chairman of the Normandy Veterans Association, who was not only the subject of a portrait but a man with a treasure trove of contacts. “I had to win him over and convince him that I was genuine,” recalls Stuart, “but once I did he simply asked me to give him a shopping list of the people I was looking for and he put me in touch with them. Things really started moving after this.” From the outset Stuart’s plan was to photograph everyone as an individual and to arrive for his sitting with a deliberately blank canvas, so that he could react in realtime to what he found. “In my job I often have to work like that,” he says, “and it’s a just a case of being able to think on your feet.


antly graphers const reative photo ce thought strive to produ and expose it to provoking work possible – and audience as st in as wide an a key cataly often prove exhibitions n. Life’ that missio y of Modern ry The ‘Topograph n’s 71a Galle ited at Londo the show exhib June showcased ers in ditch graph in Shore ion of photo 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 ed proce to


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 us a prestige venue ry was an obvio Galle 71a to it, and the big enough 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 More “I was oder only smallhyofm agreed to becom thing at first-th ursdays .topoagrap the time,” www she 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: For more informsample print pleascomme ‘Oh my prints emerging – your st a ging@fuji.c oima chubby from the system or to reque !’g/photographic-paper/legs look so by Louise Rayner 8, email phot at

‘Being In-betw


nishin 57213 on 01234 ucts/photofi .eu/uk/prod www.fujifilm


‘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 or visit


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 nothing. The truth for, and at this point Steve 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 incorporated into ‘soundscape’, created 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, right (photo Photographs © life, and to mount 2015; right, Eve, Carolyn Mende graph them unframed April 1st 2015. lsohn – see www.c to Dibond (alumin arolynmendelso ium), which made them 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 personal project subject best ng she says, s,” , which has now “and I give so grateful to have in the work. I’m 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. 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.”

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 that Alastair won the 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 can easily creep in: awards and do look out for owned busin fathe grand .uk prizes his that and silver halide are a great reassurance, 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!






he Flash Centre doesn’t sell brands which rival their own Elinchrom kit, and there can be doubt that Godox is making inroads into studio flash with a combination of cheap entry-level Amazon-fodder and clever portable li-ion heads with wireless and TTL. But there is one Godox product TFC does stock, and also includes in its hire department – the Leadpower LP800X portable li-ion battery pack and inverter which can run up to three conventional studio flash heads (250W) via regular 13 amp mains cables. The power sockets of the LP-800X with their flexible dust covers are a neat design able to accept almost any international plug type, and the unit outputs 230V AC. A mode switch moves the output between these, and three USB charging sockets with powers from 500mA to 2A, 5V. But you can’t use these together, which is a pity. What you can do is run a laptop from one socket alongside two flash heads, although there is a special mode on the inverter which enables it to cope with either continuous demand (tungsten lights, computer) or surge demand (flash recycling). You can run modelling lights at full power in monobloc heads, but this will be best with one or two heads not three. Elinchrom has one particular head which is perfect with this pack – the D-Lite 4RX. It comes in a two-head kit which we have reviewed in the past, and was used for the hi-sync test last year where John Parris shot portraits at ƒ1.4 in the studio. John had previously tested the Quadra ELB 400 for action-stopping outdoor synchro sun at high shutter speeds. The D-Lite 4RX kit and LP800X gives twice the power of a Quadra ELB though it’s obviously not as environmentally sealed (the inverter has open cooling grilles and a fan). It’s not as compact or light either, but not far


off. You can see the size compared to a regular small DSLR. The D-Lite heads are fully controllable via the various Skyport triggers, and with the latest Skyport Plus HS, they are the only Elinchrom heads of this type which allow Hi-Sync, with shutter speeds up to 1/8000s. The two-head, two softbox (square and octa) D-Lite 4RX kit with stands sells for around £725. The Godox LP-800X is £659. So that’s a total of £1,384 for a portable location kit offering 800Ws and fully independently controlled heads. It can fire two 400Ws heads at full power about 500 times before needing a 3-hour recharge, and additional batteries cost under £200. Compare this to around £1,800 for a similarly dressed up Quadra ELB 400 and you’ll see that this is a very good option. Although the D-Lite 4RX heads are lightweight and intended for amateur or semi-pro workloads, they are actually very reliable and

many newborn photographers use their baby brother, the D-Lite One, because of its low power (wide apertures) and light weight (safe in the studio). We have not done any test work with this kit, except to check it out in the studio, but hope to follow up. It can all be hired from TFC too. Lights for the studio – and lights for location, and even power for your tethered shooting!



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TWO TOP PORTRAIT LENSES In the hierarchy of optics, some lenses are definitely upper glass. Sigma shows off its new pedigree with the 85mm ƒ1.4 DG ART design – but Nikon asserts the strength of the old aristocracy with the unique AF-S Nikkor 105mm ƒ1.4 E ED. Portrait test shoot by Graeme Webb LMPA – report by David Kilpatrick.


hen threatened by revolution, the old order sometimes ends up going to the guillotine – and sometimes fights back. It can not been easy for the big names in camera optics to see how far the advances made by independent Sigma have taken the performance and reputation of their ambitious lenses in the last three years. The revolution has inspired others and it’s fair to say photographers have never had access to a wider choice of outstanding lenses across the whole range from eBay Shanghai specials to venerable Zeiss. We were therefore interested to note Nikon’s tactics which in some ways echo Sigma’s rivalry from the past. Camera brands tended to make a set of very similar designs, so Sigma created alternatives which had no equivalent from Canon or Nikon. Their 12-24mm ƒ4.55.6 was a notable example back in 2002. At a more subtle level, when the choice of 85mm lenses from Canon was either a high level ƒ1.2 or a budget ƒ1.8, Sigma offered the missing ƒ1.4 as the best of both worlds. With the introduction of the Art, Contemporary and Sports ranges benefiting from a radical new MTF assurance from 2014 it became less important to fill the missing gaps and Sigma effectively concentrated on the staple lenses for the professional such as ƒ1.4 primes (now from 20mm to 85mm) and the 24-70mm and 70-200mm ƒ2.8 zooms. We still await their offering in the faster 1635mm or similar range. Nikon’s conservatism, with decades of established focal length of aperture combintaions behind them, helped

Above and left – the Nikon 105mm ƒ1.4 and the Sigma 85mm ƒ1.4, left and right, show how the expected size (and weight) difference is reversed.

Mounted on the Nikon D810, both lenses are well balanced and when outdoors in the rain, the Sigma had a useful tendency to hang nose-down.


establish these standards. There has not been a new mainstream professional lens type for many years (the 14-24mm ƒ2.8 Nikkor was one such innovation). Then without warning we have one. Nikon now makes a mainstream 105mm ƒ1.4E – an AF-S ED lens in a focal length and aperture combination you can’t find back in

the history of Nikkor designs. It can not be found anywhere in the history of any SLR lens design. It’s the world’s first 105mm ƒ1.4 and that alone is worth writing about. With three extra-low dispersion elements, an electromagnetic (E) aperture mechanism, silent wave focus motor, internal focusing and Nano-Crystal coating it uses an unexpectedly complex 14-element 9-group design. While it is easy enough to make a 105mm ƒ1.4 by simply scaling up a regular 8-element double Gauss, such a lens has a considerable weight to shift during focusing. Operate the manual focus ring of traditional designs like Samyang’s 85mm ƒ1.4 and 135mm ƒ2 or even the Zeiss Milvus 135mm ƒ2 – the resistance will tell you that no fast-acting autofocus motor could handle them. The internal focus and related focus distance compensation of the Nikkor use low weight, low inertia assemblies that the AF-S can shift effortlessly. Most internal focus methods cause focus breath-

Sandra – photographed with the AF-S Nikkor 105mm ƒ1.4E ED in the studio by Graeme Webb LMPA

ing, reducing the apparent focal length of the lens as you move in. This design achieves 0.13X at 1m focus, 10cm further away than the closest comparable AF Nikkor, the smooth bokeh 105mm ƒ2 DC-Nikkor D. It’s even a match for the traditional manual focus original 105mm ƒ2.5 Nikkor. So, it’s not just the first lens of this specification, it is also an advanced design which overcomes in-lens motor autofocus barriers without sacrificing its close focus range or reproduction scale. Given 14 elements, you might expect the largest and heaviest possible lens. But it’s not. We tested the Nikkor alongside Sigma’s new DG ART 85mm ƒ1.4 and were surprised to find that the 105mm is smaller (106mm long taking 82mm filters, versus 126mm long with 86mm filters) and weighs only 985g, compared to 1130g. Against this you might want to set the Nikon 85mm ƒ1.4 G – 84mm long, 77mm filters, and only 595g. The Sigma is clearly built to deliver corrections and resolution out of the reach of the old smaller 10-element Nikkor and so, for that matter, is the new Nikon 105mm. As for pricing, the 105mm Nikkor is around £2,000 and the 85mm Sigma around £1,200, which in turn is a


little less than the 85mm Nikkor. For comparison a Zeiss Otus manual focus 85mm ƒ1.4 is around £2,600 and generally considered to be a benchmark lens. Although the Sigma 85mm uses one anomalous dispersion element (an indicator of apochromatic correction) it is not described as apo, unlike the Zeiss. Nor is the Nikon. So, how do these lenses fare?


Above and left – ƒ2 outdoor perspective, flare resistance and bokeh from the 105mm Nikon lens. Note the very smooth out of focus rendering and slightly neutral colour. Photos by Graeme Webb.

Below and right – the depth of field of the Sigma 85mm at ƒ1.4 gives a slightly more wiry look than the Nikon at ƒ2, there’s touch of into the light flare, but the overall image is a little warmer.


On the Nikon D810, the most obvious difference was the autofocus action. The Nikon 105mm is very quiet and you can’t detect much happening when you hold it. It seems fast enough but the action is smooth, as you might wish for video. The Sigma seems much faster to focus and does have a special high torque AF motor. It is louder and you can feel the mass of the lens moving. For the portrait tests, Graeme Webb set up both indoor and outdoor shots and used the movable focus point of the D810 array to pinpoint AF on one eye, as confirmed by focus point display in Lightroom. When this was done, the Nikon 105mm was dead accurate but the Sigma front focused, a visible error at ƒ1.4. I found the same using the lens in Edinburgh’s Christmas market at night. Sigma sent out a USB dock (these are under £40) and with their free software the lens was fine-tuned to the Nikon D810 body to get a pixel-sharp 36 megapixels at ƒ1.4 and all distances. Both lenses in full aperture tests proved to have exemplary flat field and minimal distortion, with the Nikon showing more vignetting than the Sigma despite its longer focal length. This fall-off to the corners at wider apertures gives images a slightly vintage look, though the colour is neutral compared to Sigma’s warm cast. The Nikon NanoCrystal coating proved much better at suppressing into-thelight flare even when both lenses were tested without

their supplied lens hoods. The slight flare from the Sigma may be liked for portrait work but the Nikon is technically superior. It also comes with a much deeper lens hood and when this is fitted it’s possible to work aiming right into spotlights or the sun. While the Sigma has incisive sharpness even wide open, ƒ1.4 on the Nikon has just a hint of softness and glow which is very flattering to face tones, without actually losing any visible detail. As for the bokeh quality which you buy these for, Graeme’s outdoor tests show that the difference between 85mm and 105mm does matter. He also found that the 105mm used at ƒ2 produces a stronger differential focus than the 85mm wide open, with a more liquid quality. The smoothness of the defocused image from the Nikon glass can’t be faulted. Both lenses show a trace of longitudinal colour causing just a hint of magenta-green shift from foreground to background, but to date we have not found ANY ƒ1.4 lens which is completely free from this. The Nikon is better than the Sigma in this respect. The overall impression has to be that the Nikon 105mm ƒ1.4 is a real tour-de-force and well worth £2,000-plus if you shoot Nikon and portraits (or fashion, or weddings, or some sports and stage events). The Sigma may be a little more nimble and an easier field of view for candid or action shots, and it’s certainly better for the bank balance. You can also move it between camera systems, it can be switched from Canon mount to Nikon or vice-versa by Sigma service. The USB Dock for AF calibration is an essential and I’d suggest you do not buy this particular lens without the dock – it took me over two hours to shoot the repeated tests at four distances to ensure the Sigma 85mm focused as perfectly as the Nikon 105mm did ‘out of the box’.


Night shot tests by David Kilpatrick There’s no doubt that in any busy situation, as encountered in streets and markets in December, the 85mm focal length is easier to work with than 105mm. My first venture into Edinburgh proved of no use with the uncalibrated 85mm, nothing was correctly focused. With the Nikon (top example, ISO 3600 cropped shot of buskers at ƒ1.4) the focus was always perfect regardless of light level, light colour or the selected focus point. After calibration, the Sigma proved to have higher full aperture resolution and the ƒ1.4 ISO 320 winter fair shot despite being hand-held with support at 1/50s shows a high level of fine detail and no aberrations from the small points of light. MASTER PHOTOGRAPHY JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2017 • 19

IRIX BLACKSTONE 15mm ƒ2.4 With Swiss engineering and design, and Korean premium optical manufacture, the full-frame fast ultra-wide lens for Nikon and Canon DSLR mounts has a performance to match the best German or Japanese glass.


rom the build quality, electronic interface and sheer excellence of the optics you would expect the IRIX 15mm ƒ2.4 full frame ultra-wide to be a £1,500 lens. It’s a match any day for the Zeiss Milvus 15mm ƒ2.8 which I have also used recently, and that is well north of £2k. But even in the superior magnesium alloy Blackstone version, it is a mere £609 and that includes VAT – the lighter weight consumer level Firefly model is just £419. The Blackstone is the professional choice, with its 95mm filter-slightly-unfriendly front thread and soft matt lens shade (complete with filter adjustment window). It also has an infinity/focus scale adjustment, unique in manual focus DSLR wideangles which most often get sent back to base for shimming instead. And the focus scale goes past infinity with a soft click-stop, and has hyperfocal markings. With the ƒ2.4 maximum aperture, accurate focus really is needed despite the depth of field at 15mm; fortunately the test lens proved correctly set up for the Nikon D810 used for testing. It has a super-smooth focus action which feels longer in throw than it is, electronic aperture setting and full EXIF recording (but needs a Nikon G compatible body for full

Hyperfocal scale and ‘past infinity’

Nikon G mount and circular iris

Focus can be locked at any point

Mounted on Nikon D810; below, box, tin, case… looks worth much more!

Filter rotation window

Left, at ƒ2.4 upper, ƒ4 lower, showing vignetting. Below, ƒ2.4 (150dpi clip)

functions. The geometry of the lens is impeccable, perfect straight lines, and sharpness is corner to corner wide open. I took many night shots at ƒ2.4 using focus confirmation MF and the tiny points of LED light show no aberration at all – as good as lab point source lens testing. There is also no ghosting or 20 • MASTER PHOTOGRAPHY JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2017

Access for focus calibration

flare from the light sources. Why bother, if you have a 16-35mm ƒ2.8 or a 14-24mm ƒ2.8? Filters, of course, and pure sharpness. No zoom comes close. – David Kilpatrick Email Charles Woods at or see for info.




SUN shines brighter than ever ‘Shot Up North’ has evolved into an unmissable calendar event, and CC Imaging has been printing this popular annual exhibition on Fujifilm paper for the past eleven years.


ow in its 28th year, the SUN Awards is one of the most popular and prestigious competitions for professional photographers in the country. – a true celebration of outstanding northern photo talent. Originally set up as an exhibition by the Association of Photographers in their AFAEP days, it was taken over as an independent event in 2005 by two northern photographers, Doug Currie based in Leeds and Ed Horwich working out of Manchester. "When the AoP could no longer support the event we felt passionately that this powerful showcase should not be lost”, says Doug. “It has always been hugely popular. So when we took it over we opened it up to all professional photographers, not just Association members.” “That was 11 years ago,” adds Ed “and it’s still going strong because photographers really believe in it. It serves as a showcase so that clients can discover new work and it’s a reminder of the considerable talent that can be found outside London.” Photographers can enter work that could be very commercial in nature or an off-the-wall personal project. In this respect it’s a golden opportunity to show images that might never be seen anywhere else, and there are regularly 250 or so entries, which then have to be whittled down to the 50 prints that will ultimately make it onto the walls. Previously the selection has been decided by a panel of judges, but last year the move was made to have a single selector – acclaimed photographer Brian Griffin. This year that role was performed by international portfolio reviewer, Louise Clements.

By Andy Hook (Best Image)

The SUN programme gets a facelift JOHN WELDON, joint owner of CC Imaging (right), is proud of his lab’s association with the awards and is a huge supporter of SUN ambitions. “There are some brilliant photographers in this part of the world,” he says, “and as a proud Yorkshireman I’m delighted that the lab is helping to spread the word. “Having used their media for the past 35 years, we have a very strong relationship with Fujifilm, and their strong and unwavering support for the SUN event has been key. Currently we’re printing up all of the exhibition prints on Fujifilm Velvet paper, which, thanks to its exceptional fine art qualities, has proved itself very well suited to the job. It’s been really well received by photographers, and the work on the walls looks truly stunning.” The look of the SUN exhibition panels, website and awards book is crucial to promoting the ethos of the show, and the latest event has benefitted from a complete redesign on all these fronts by the Leeds-based Brass Agency. One of those closely involved was designer Scott Oxley: “We first started to look at refreshing the identity of the event around eighteen months ago,” he says, “and our brief was to ensure that it was appealing to a modern audience, in particular creatives who would be more susceptible to a strong design. The awards book, in particular, has been given a new look, and the use of different page sizes has created a clear distinction between the different elements of the show. It’s helped to bring everything bang up to date and to ensure that it’s more relevant than ever to its audience.”


Categories include Best Image, Best Use of an Image and Best Promotion of a Photographer, but the main prize for all of those selected is the chance to gallery their work to a highly influential audience. The loyalty of those who have got behind SUN has been an outstanding feature of this event. Pro lab CC Imaging, also based in Leeds, has printed up every exhibition for the past twenty years, while Fujifilm has supplied the media for all of that time. Doug notes: “We couldn’t have done it without this vital corporate support. SUN is a not-for-profit event that just about breaks even each year. The money from entry fees is used to produce a catalogue that’s given away to creatives who are looking to book photographers outside of the London area. Without the help we get to put the pictures on the walls we couldn’t continue doing this.”


More information:


Top left by Ed Horwich; top right, Glyn Davies; next row left, Sean Knott, right Phil Greenwood; third row left, Jon Shard, right David Short; bottom, Greg Morris.

“Fujifilm Velvet paper, thanks to its exceptional fine art qualities, has proved itself very well suited to the job. It’s been really well received by photographers, and the work on the walls looks truly stunning.” – John Weldon, CC Imaging



anuary is a golden time. Christmas is over and the old year seems like it’s… well, a year ago. Its important to take a little time to prepare yourself and your business for the year ahead and there is no better time to do this. We all have different businesses and different priorities but personally I have never worked during the period between Christmas and New Year. It gives me time to unwind and calmly consider the good things and the bad things about my business over the past twelve months. At this time I start to formulate my plan and in January it is time to implement it. During the rest of the year you should be constantly looking to develop and refine your ideas but it really pays to have a solid plan to give direction to your business from day one. So how do we begin? There are two fundamental areas of importance, people issues and equipment issues. Equipment issues are to a large degree fairly straight forward as they are concerned with the repair and replacement of the property and other items that makes your business tick. This should include everything from your car to your camera and its important to get them right. People issues are concerned with the interactions that you and your staff have with each other and your clients. They are the invisible strands that bind your business together and should result in a happy, motivated environment run efficiently and profitably. I’m going to deal with equipment first.

PLANNING FOR 2017 In this regular column award winning photographer Richard Bradbury FMPA seeks to answer a big question – How should you prepare for the year ahead?

trolled, aspherical, boom arm, camera mount that you simply must have. The correct gearing for your studio is a vital aspect of your on going business plan. It is very essential to allow time to consider major new purchases as well as the repair and servicing of your existing kit. The important concept here is ensuring that everything you buy has a purpose and is best suited to make your business work for you. The larger items are obviously going to have a greater impact on your financial position and as such need special consideration but it is surprising how the little things can really make your business tick so think

about the details and how they effect you, your staff and your clients. If you ask the average person what is the most expensive item they will buy in their lifetime they will almost always say their house. This is a misconception. A house is an investment and on a small overcrowded island like ours it is a solid gold investment that is guaranteed to flourish in the medium to long term. Putting aside yachts and Lear Jets etc, which of course we all will consider on a yearly basis (jokes), the most expensive item that most of us will ever purchase is our car. No one is a bigger car and motor-

cycle fan than I am but I can assure you that it is a dead loss from the day we purchase it! New or second hand it is almost impossible not to lose a lot of money on your car so think very carefully about what you buy and how you buy it. There are many purchase schemes available now so talk to your accountant, be sure to consider the tax implications and make sure you are spending your money wisely. Try to ensure that as much of the purchase as possible can be legitimately claimed as a business expense rather than an asset (all be it a depreciating one). This is increasingly tough as the tax man is determined to clamp down on drivers but look for the deal that works best for you financially with cash flow and taxation at the top of your search list. Lighting and cameras are a very personal thing for photographers so I am not going to say one is good and another is bad. The important thing is to be sure that the equipment you have is fit for purpose… your purpose! Upgrade your kit when you need to and don’t wait until it is broken before you fix it. It’s a false economy to wait until your Mk3 fails on the job before you upgrade

Equipment From year to year there will be pieces of equipment within your office and studio that need to be changed or upgraded enabling you to offer the very best service to your clients. Most photographers are gadget freaks so take care when spending your hard earned cash on that sat-nav, remote con-

Maybe 2017 is the year you update your location flash for hypersync, TTL and monobloc power and performance…


MASTER PHOTOGRAPHY JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2017 • 25 email: Units 2-3 Stewartfield industrial estate Edinburgh EH6 5RQ

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If your premises look the part, you can charge accordingly – here’s a Park Lane Hotel interior to inspire your next studio makeover…

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to the new Mk4. Its also a good idea to sometimes think about selling your old equipment before the new model comes out. When the new model arrives its clear that the older version drops dramatically in value. We are normally given plenty of notice before the launch of a major upgrade so, when possible, try to sell before the launch to maximize the margins you can achieve. Take care with this strategy as it can leave you in a difficult position but if you have enough back up to make it possible it can be an effective purchasing strategy. Consider the equipment that you don’t necessarily need all the time and look at renting. If the price of a piece of kit is not redeemable within a normal two year period then I would suggest that you should be renting it on a job by job basis. I use rentals all the time because it enables me to have the best kit available for the job without huge up front investments. It will also make you much more aware of how much a job is

costing you when you price it up as people often forget that purchased equipment is a real cost on every job you do.

Looking the part Take some time to clean and repair equipment. Wipe clean all your lighting cables, use a safe solvent to remove gaffer tape marks from your light shapers and take some time to re paint white flats so they ready for the new year. A general new years clean up and lick of paint is a very important thing as its surprisingly easy to get to a point where you just don’t see the mess. Your clients will see it when they arrive at your studio and you can never change that first impression. In my marketing seminars I do a very simple experiment that never fails to hit home. I call it ‘The Environment Effect’ and is part of my ‘Silent Marketing’ strategy. Its based around the idea that a client will naturally spend more money if the environment they are in suggests

Don’t let your staff burn up on the job – even if they are not aiming for Guinness World Records performance.

that it is expected of them. The example I have researched is simple but very compelling. The average price of a pint of beer in a UK pub is £3.10 but if you go to Claridges you will pay £12.12 for the same pint of beer. It is the exact same brand and is not different in any way, its even served in the same glasses (I know because I insisted on researching this one myself!). No one ever complains because they are in Claridges so the expectation of purchase price changes with the environment. You can use this principle in your studio. Make your viewing room a place where purchase expectations are high and I guarantee you that people will spend more money. If you stuff them into a cupboard or clear away and area at the back of your messy studio to show them their images you are telling them that their pictures are not worthy of special treatment so they will naturally not be prepared to make the big print


purchases that we all want. If they are in a bargain environment they will have a bargain mind set.

Protect and survive Finally, don’t forget security. The security of your work is a ticking time bomb if you don’t have an effective storage system. There are many software solutions to help with this but it’s absolutely imperative that you have a system that is easy to work with and bullet proof. Ask yourself a couple of key questions. What would happen if my computer went BANG! right now, today, this minute. What would I lose and how

would that impact on my business? Then ask yourself what would happen if whilst I was at home asleep my studio burnt down. Your equipment would probably be insured but your images are irreplaceable. It is essential to have a solid, secure workflow system that includes a facility for off-site storage. The issue of image security is rather complicated and is something that I would like to address in a future article in full. You will never be able to be 100% safe 100% of the time but good file management from the camera to the cloud can enable you to be 99% safe 100% of the time.

You can change the profitability of your photographic business tomorrow without spending a single penny on premises or equipment! How compelling is that statement? It’s completely true, you just need to look at the way you interact with your staff and your clients. You are the boss so your actions impact on every aspect of your business. This is an area that can always be improved upon. In 30 years of managing my own and other peoples businesses I have literally never found a single business owner, including myself, that cannot improve their personal management skill set. It is important to take time to look at how you are perceived by other people in a very analytical and honest manner. What are the negative factors of your personality that can be improved? Many traits come together to make you a successful businessman and if you are making a good living then


its likely that your traits are mostly good so don’t beat yourself up too much. However it is possible that some things are working in spite of you and not always because of you. Talk to your staff, talk to your partner, talk to your friends. You might be surprised by what you hear. Dealing with staff can be the bane of your life but you need to be sure the relationships you have are working well. It is unlikely that you can run every aspect of your business without help from others so make those other people feel valued within the business and you will benefit. Over time you can get set into a certain pattern of expectation and it’s good to re-assess that from time to time. It’s interesting how many ‘useless’ assistants have left your business to become successful photographers with someone else. This is not because you are necessarily in the wrong its just that the expectation of that person has changed so they flourish. Speak to your staff and listen to what they have to say. They will have ideas that can add and enhance your business just like you will and remember you are all working for the same goals. Just to be clear this does not mean you have to agree with everything. You are entitled to say no if you know it’s the right thing to say. Be prepared to be proved wrong and praise those that achieve their goals. Whether it’s a £10,000 print sale or just doing the washing up without being asked you should cherish loyalty, commitment and enthusiasm above all other contributions. Take a look at your workflow. I wrote a long and extensive article on workflow last year and it was extremely therapeutic for me. It made me realise how I could improve my own business in many areas. The difference it has made to the efficient running of the studio is remarkable. Workflow

starts from the first piece of marketing to last client contact and should include your marketing, shooting, re-touching, printing, filing, client contact and delivery of the finished images. It should be seamless and most of all efficient. It should be a work in progress and once again is something that all of us should be looking to at the beginning of a new business year and then changing as we go on. A good workflow will save you an incalculable amount of work time enabling you to be free to do the creative stuff that you need to do with a clear head knowing that your clients are being well served.

Marketing I want to talk about one of my favourite subjects. Marketing. Marketing strikes fear into the hearts of most photographers as they think of it as the most evil of necessary evils. I have always found this rather strange as we spend our entire lives creatively moulding and enhancing other people’s images but we so often find it hard to shape our own. Without a marketing plan you are drifting in an ocean that’s increasingly full of sharks. It is essential…say it again ESSENTIAL to have a fully thought-out marketing plan before you begin your business year. I have held hundreds of workshops about the best way to market your business and after literally decades of analysis have come up with what I believe is a guaranteed plan for the success of any photographic business. It is my experience that the reason most photographers don’t like marketing is because they don’t do it very well. This leads to a lot of hard work, doing something you don’t enjoy, with few, real results. No one in their right mind enjoys that degree of failure. My strategy revolves around four main pillars; Research, Organisation, Action and


Response. R.O.A.R. It’s quite snappy that isn’t it? Once these principles are engrained you will never need to fear marketing again. Again, the details behind these concepts can be quite a lot to take in and it is something that is better dealt with at length in a future article. But here it is fundamentally: You research your market to ensure you really know who you are selling to and how they will best be made to respond. Organise your media using your research to guide you. Action your campaign in the knowledge that you are sending the correct message in the right way to the right people. Respond appropriately and professionally to the host of new potential clients that will flood through your door. Built into the response mechanism is a requirement to assess your successes and failures so it then becomes the beginning of your next round of research and then off you go again. Wow! I have never described R.O.A.R. so succinctly! If you want to know the full version then please come along to The Societies of Photographers Convention at Hilton London Metropole, Edgware Road, on Friday January 13th where I’ll be holding a twohour Masterclass. It’s a great start to your marketing plan if you don’t have one already and great way to re-assess your current plan if you do. Don’t forget to enjoy yourself. We did not become photographers because we like slaving away all day. We chose it because we love it so make sure you take time out to remember that.

‘Life-work balance’ is much talked about but rarely perfected. Do the hard work at the start of the year so you have time to enjoy the rest of it. The very best of luck to you for the year to come. I think its going to be another great one. Take optimist and pessimist, the difference is droll… The optimist sees the doughnut, the pessimist sees the hole. Happy New Year!


Richard is appearing at The Societies of Photographers Convention 2017 at London Hilton Metropole Hotel, Edgware Road, London Friday January 13th 13.00 to 15.00 Masterclass in Marketing Your Photographic Business Sunday January 15th 10.00 to 12.00 Masterclass in The Business of Photographing Children He will also be interviewed live on stage at The Photographers Show – NEC Birmingham on Sunday 20th March 13.00 to 13.40 Behind the Lens – Extraordinary Images of Extraordinary People, Shooting for the Guinness World Records.

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:


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PICS OF THE CROP New Licentiates were admitted to full membership of the MPA as 2016 drew to a close – at the annual awards day, and in autumn and winter judgings. Here are some of our favourite pictures from their panels.

Gemma Walker LMPA APPEARING in order in her Licentiateship panel, these two characters have even more impact when they are matched size big prints! Gemma included another neat pairing of doggie and human portraits too, giving the judges a rare smile and proving that the sum is greater than the parts when it comes to laying out your 20 selected images.


IN A photographic era where top honours often go to the most dark and miserable portraits Neil Withers becomes a Licentiate with a panel offering us smiles, sunshine and glowing colours. His clients look as if they have a great time during the shoot and we bet they never stop smiling whenever they see the images they keep for life.

Neil Withers LMPA – spreading the joy MASTER PHOTOGRAPHY JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2017 • 31

Ian Boichat LMPA


IAN BOICHAT’s black and white work, whether of younger or older subjects, reveals a photographer who truly loves the human face with all its emotions and expressions. Whether it’s the imagination of young subjects or the dignity and humour of a senior generation, his whole Licentiateship panel displays an irrepressible delight in life and the people he meets.

Philip Barrett LMPA

ACHIEVING Licentiateship as a Wedding specialist, Philip Barrett combines many spontaneous moments with compositional set-pieces. These two wideangle views are our favourites at Master Photography magazine, reminiscent of 1960s British photojournalism and 1970s US Hollywood style.


Rachel Gillies LMPA


WITH a clearly theatrical eye, Rachel Gillies becomes a Licentiate in Wedding Photography, making great use of beautiful brides, distinctive Scottish settings and photogenic light from bright noon to moonless night.

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MAKING THE A-LIST One of the most popular speakers and demonstrators at events and regions over the last year, Stephanie has gained her Associateship with works of imagination. Stephen Power talked to her about the meaning of her AMPA panel.


tephanie Ann Thornton, originally from Leighon-Sea in Essex, and now based in Leeds, has been a full-time photographer all her working life, and then some. And she’s only 25… “I’ve never had another job” she explains. “I started by helping out in photography studios when I was 14 and absolutely loved it. When I was 17, I found work at another studio and even bunked off college to be there, sometimes.” Two years later, when she was 19, Stephanie’s studio boss was retiring and she and her father bought the business. “I thought I’d better put these two in touch”, she says with a giggle. Stephanie ran the business successfully for the next few years and her father owns it to this day. Stephanie came to the stage where her own work with theatre companies, designers and other ‘creatives’ was increasing, and she eventually left the Leigh-onSea studio to branch out in a new direction. “I got to the point where I needed more space and creativity in my work and to move away from the day-to-day shoots of ‘The Terrible Twos’ and all that”, she explains. She started working on her own, developing her own career path but found it scary. “When I left the studio a couple of years ago, it happened so suddenly that I even shocked myself. I didn’t even have a camera of my own to use, as that belonged to the business. I started completely afresh.” Shortly after branching out on her own, Stephanie met photographer Steve Howdle, based in Leeds, and


Photographs from Stephanie’s Associateship: facing page, ‘Limbo’. Above: ‘Danger in my Dreams’. MASTER PHOTOGRAPHY JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2017 • 37



they are now partners both in business and life. Stephanie’s Associateship panel has as its unifying theme her personal battle with Bipolar Disorder. This is an illness that can be typified by extremely disparate mood swings, which can take the individual from feelings of exhilaration to the depths of despair. “I often suffer with depression and anxiety and

at other times I feel just the opposite – I am carefree and I feel indestructible”, she explains. “The last year or two has been a huge challenge for me, and sharing my feelings about this is not something that comes naturally.” After going through a wide range of difficult personal experiences and coming out the other side a happier and most importantly healthier


individual, Stephanie felt that it was the right time to explore her illness in a creative way, via her panel project. “All of the images in the panel came from some kind of personal feeling”, Stephanie explains. “For example, the image of the girl with the spikes is about me being vulnerable and exposed (she is nude) and putting up a defence (she has spikes on her

back) so that I can’t get hurt. “The floating girl image was about the middle phase of Bipolar Disorder. You’re not feeling anything, you’re just stuck. Not flying, not on the ground, you’re just inbetween; at that blank period of the illness before you’re feeling normal again.” While Stephanie believes some of the concepts depicted are “self-explanatory; such

as the girl in the jar, which is about feeling trapped”, she is happy that the viewer will put their own interpretations on the images. Stephanie’s personal favourite image from her panel in the image of the girl in the hoop, ‘The Show Must Go On’. “Everything worked for me in that shot”, she says. “The concepts were about feeling trapped (she can’t get down from the hoop) but also about putting on show. That’s why I gave it a circus feel, but also why she looks sad. She’s just accepting that everyone is staring at her.” “Photographically, it’s my favourite due to the colours and lighting. I loved creating the circus feel to it, with a zoom spot to create the spotlight effect on the background and coloured gels to replicate circus lighting. I also like the idea that it’s a beautiful, but at the same time, quite creepy image.” Although Stephanie had used Canon gear for many years, she shot her panel images on a Pentax 645Z medium format camera. “I use the Canon 6D even now

Facing page: top left, ‘Dreamer’; top right, ‘Marionette’. Bottom left, ‘Lost’; bottom right, ‘Self Reflection’. Above: ‘The Sleep’. Below: ‘Flown’.

for my day-to-day work, such as family portraiture, but the Pentax is more suited to fine art photography. I can take a full body shot, and zoom into the face and still have every little detail of the makeup visible. It’s perfect for what I like to do; there is a lot of fine detail in the shadows or in the clothing that I like to see, for example. “My work is being used in bigger and bigger platforms in the last few year, and having a file that can stretch to that comfortably is helpful. My images were used for the MPA at The Photography Show 2015, and reproduced very large on the main stage and it was very nice to see that the detailing hadn’t been lost”. Her lighting techniques have evolved from her own experience with using the equipment and have their basis in nothing more than how she likes to see her subjects lit; the result comes first, the development of her technique is a means to that end. She has always used Elinchrom flash units and now works with Quadra packs on location. “I’m a control freak with



Facing page: top left, ‘Escaping My Roots’; Top right, ‘The Looking’. Facing page bottom, ‘Defence’. Above, ‘Pick Your Poison’. Below left, ‘Through the Keyhole’; below right, ‘Trapped’.


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my lighting”, says Stephanie. “I know exactly how I want the scene to be lit, so I may need to use flash outdoors to do that”. Stephanie tries to avoid her studio work looking as though it was done in a studio. “It’s all sets”, she says. “Everything is built to look the want it to look. In my head, everything is a studio, because the studio is just where I take my lights.” She is very ‘hands on’ when it comes to building her sets, too. “Pretty much everything you can see through the shot, I will have created or put together. I seem to have gained a reputation for styling, but I’m not sure how that happened, as I definitely wouldn’t call myself fashionable”, she adds modestly. So, what does the future hold for this thoughtful, talented young photographer? One avenue for her to explore is to expand the project, with aim of getting it into galleries, to help increase public awareness of Bipolar Disorder. “It’s an illness that is not spoken about enough or properly understood”, she says. “A lot of people think that Bipolar Disorder means you’re moody; they don’t realise what goes on behind it.” Stephanie took three months off from her business to shoot the panel and so another immediate goal is to re-build her diary. “I’m kind of seeing where the future takes me”, she says with a smile in her voice, “it’s all quite exciting”. She is also doing more teaching, much to her own surprise. “It’s quite bizarre to

think that not so many years ago, I was a student listening in awe to well-known photographers, and now people are coming to listen to me.” If she were speaking to Simon Cowell, he could easily

reply with his catch phrase; ‘What I like about you, is that you don’t know how good you are’.


Top, ‘The Fall’. Above, ‘I’ll Be Your Clown’. Below left, ‘Claimed’. Below right, ‘The Long Walk’.





GREG MOMENT Newly qualified as an Associate of the Master Photographers Association, Grzegorz Płaczek is one of Poland’s leading lights under his international pseudonym. Light is his primary photographic tool.


ive years ago a young Polish professional photographer became an ambassador for a brand which dominated wedding photography and video in the before the arrival of digital capture – Dedolight. In Britain, the original continuous-spectrum halogen source had been championed by John Henshall, the former BIPP president with a notable background as a TV lighting cameraman. He helped introduce it to still photographers and wedding specialists in particular. This type of lighting remains a standard for location TV and movie work, but the technology has moved on and from being a very small direct source it now also offers LED and gives a range of effects from a mini focusing spotlight to soft panels and traditional light shapers. Greg Moment, using the updated Dedolight range to tackle weddings which often required international travel, also became part of Nikon’s programme and has since added the increasingly popular Phottix flash system to his endorsements. “For several years as an Ambassador of Dedolight in Poland, I have been supporting other wedding photographers and their development through comprehensive photography workshops. I have provided many workshops for photographers, working for The School of Image, European Academy of Photography, and Nikon Academy. “Being also an Ambassador of Eizo, Wacom, Phase One, reporterStrap, Phottix and now a member of the Phottix Pro Team I have an access to the best.” Greg has achieved this

Above and right: controlled light from portable sources, like the Dedolight kit shown here.


through his tireless promotional and publishing activities. He submits photographs to as many leading wedding magazines as possible, to reach potential clients, writes articles and e-books aimed at fellow photographers, and he’s regularly invited to appear on Polish morning TV shows. Greg generally prefers to work with prime lenses on his Nikon bodies, with the exception of the 14-24mm Nikkor ƒ2.8 zoom which he considers absolutely vital for wedding work. His primes are actually all very sensible and relatively lightweight; the 28mm ƒ1.8, 50mm ƒ1.4, 85mm ƒ1.8 and 105mm ƒ2.8 Micro Nikkors. Like the Dedolight, IceLight and iLight he carries along with assorted LEDs they don’t add weight or bulk when travelling to wedding destinations like Malaysia, Mozambique, Mauritius or the Maldives. With most of central Europe and the Mediterranean as his main market, he counts Ireland as a favourite discovery despite the more exotic venues. By using the Phottix flash system alongside his regular Nikon SB-900 speedlights, he has added a li-ion monobloc with TTL and wireless, the Indra, as well as extra wireless remote battery flashguns. We reckon that in contrast to his fairly spartan two-body Nikon kit he has at least seven types of portable lighting to choose from! And this is what his style is all about. The cover photograph for this issue, for example, may look like an interior but actually it is posed and lit outdoors. Using so many light sources might seem to cause potential problems in match-



Greg uses high-end calibrated displays to edit his images. As a result, whether the original has been taken in Croatia (above left) or Kusala Lumpur, by existing room lights or using his own added lighting (often both) his skin tones and lighting colour ‘looks’ are consistent.


Examples of controlled light and colour. Above, this treatment is what Greg calls ‘brownish’, commenting that this type of colour palette is very popular with brides right now. It is a muted, soft look.


ing for an album, a presentation or indeed for a qualifications panel. Greg controls the brightness, colour palette and dynamic range of images to ensure a good match. The three photographs on this page, for example, all have very few colours present. If you were to paint them in watercolour or oils, just a few tints would be needed and these would be based on the chosen skin tones. He achieves this by mixing light – not pure flash, not pure

tungsten, or LED, or existing lighting. “I really love the connection of flash, Dedolight, iLight and ambient light”, he says. “Lighting effects offer wonderful and charming colours. The light offered by Dedolight can not be compared with any other sources of light.” Greg needs to cover parts of the wedding where light can not be used, and has sound advice from Poland which seems unique – that


the photographer should do a training course with the curia (diocese) and obtain a licence authorising them to shoot in churches. Now there’s an interesting thought for wedding professionals elsewhere – if the state won’t regulate photographers (anyone can claim to be one) perhaps churches, mosques, temples and registrars would welcome an invitation to train and certify? Greg Moment might have more to teach us than lighting! – DK



“Shooting in the evening causes many problems to wedding photographers. Fortunately, any challenge can be overcome. Playing with light often brings interesting shots” – Greg Moment. See: to view more of Greg’s work and read about his international awards, e-books and training.



Richard Kilpatrick looks at the latest updates to the potential for processing on the move


ith the release of the iPad Air 2 and an expanded presence for Creative Cloud, Adobe turned their attention to the mobile iOS platform seriously, introducing the now heavilydiscounted Slide and Ink stylus tools for use with Illustrator’s mobile counterparts. Apple may have rendered the hardware irrelevant with the iPad Pro and Apple Pencil (if you want, though, the heavy and well engineered Adobe stylus and ruler are just £25 on Amazon, compatible with iPad 4 onwards), but Adobe have pressed on with evolving their suite of iOS tools, upgrading, replacing and discontinuing apps on a surprisingly rapid cycle. Lightroom Mobile has made significant advances since the early catalogue/rating addon appeared in April 2014; early in 2016 support for direct raw DNG capture was added for some Android smartphones.


Apple users were given access to this ability recently, supporting the 12Mp models (6S, SE and 7, plus iPad Pro 9.7”). Lightroom desktop also supports raw files from these devices, allowing a full workflow for iPhone photographers. The Pro camera mode allows the maximum amount of realistic control – there’s no attempt to fake depth of field on the iPhone 7 Plus for example, but you can select which camera you’re using from the wide or tele options. Compared to the pro mode on, say, the Huawei P9 (which can capture DNG directly) there’s still work to do on both the interface and the responsiveness, but it is possible to choose exposures up to 1/4s, appropriate ISO ratings (apparently down to 25) and most useful of all, select white balance. The DNG capture allows the expected curve and shadow/highlight recovery as needed.

Parisian nights on iPhone 7 Plus – selecting a DNG original raw file, left, entering your copyright and caption metadata centre, and going into the Edit pane for ‘Light’ to access the exposure, contrast, highlight, shadow and related image tone adjustments. Bottom of facing page – working with older catalogues created in desktop versions of Lightroom, new raw processing routines and their associated controls are offered as a choice. Click upgrade, to pull the original edit into the new environment.

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You can read ƒ2 Freelance Photographer incorporating Cameracraft on your mobile device or Mac/PC Visit: Master Photography is available as a PDF edition. Visit:


Lightroom Mobile offers most of the same controls as the desktop program. From the Smart Preview screen, the Edit panel is selected (right). New Clarity and Dehaze need using with care to avoid grain and artefacts.

Editing has gained clarity, dehaze, selective adjustments, presets (including the ability to shoot raw files with preset filters applied nondestructively) and captioning, though keywording remains absent from the mobile application. Unlike their desktop CC suite, the developers for iOS/mobile are very hands on and receptive to suggestions from serious users, and demand will undoubtedly result in good keywording features being implemented. Copyright information can be added automatically, and naturally the iPad and iPhone are fully equipped for geotagging. Further expanding the ability of this pocket solution, Apple introduced new displays on the iPhone 7 and iPad Pro 9.7” with a wider colour gamut supporting DCIP3 – a 25% increase on the sRGB space. Under the hood this development marked a more significant change, as the contemporary version of iOS introduced ColorSync to the mobile platform. The

iPad Pro also offers True Tone white point adjustment – not really beneficial for colour critical work, but an interesting pointer to Apple’s focus on making the iPad range a powerful tool for creative professionals as the range of Android tablets races for the bottom. If any illustration of this gulf were needed, you can pick up a well made Huawei 10” tablet for about the same price as the pencil accessory for the iPad. Lightroom’s raw support follows that of the desktop application; using the £29 Lightning to SD-card adaptor from Apple, files can be transferred as you would on any other computer, and synchronised with your Creative Cloud shared library. Preliminary editing will also be transferred, so any adjustments made in the presence of a client or art director will, non-destructively, be present on your desktop/laptop catalogue too. With WiFi or an appropriate cellular package, this can provide a reasonable degree of backup on location,


though sync speeds suggest that this may take some time with current high-end cameras. For more versatile transfer, Apple also offers a USB 3 adaptor which includes a Lightning pass through for charging the iPad and powering USB devices – in both cases, the adaptors work at USB 3 speeds only on the iPad Pro 12.9”, the smaller models support USB 2. The limitations of storage remain a problem for iPadcentric workflows, with even the top of the range stopping at 256GB; relying on cloud storage can be frustrating. Several external WiFi drives are available, however, with the LaCie Fuel 1TB offering the greatest appeal for photographers. This USB 3.0 ruggedised drive also offers wireless connection, allowing a card import to be backed up to the HD and only the

images required immediately retained on the iPad itself for editing. Remarkably Adobe have made Lightroom Mobile free, and wholly functional – the Creative Cloud subscription is needed to synchronise files, yes, but for iOS and Android the raw editing and local catalogue are available to download and use without subscription. As tablet devices become more powerful – and Apple continue with moves like wide gamut and colour managed displays – Lightroom’s abilities will expand further. Even now, with the exception of output sharpening and noise control, you’ve got more sophisticated control than you would have enjoyed in say, Lightroom 2 or 3 as digital photography became the mainstream.



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Sandra Ramp – Portrait Licentiateship

IN NOVEMBER last year Sandra Ramp gained her LMPA in Portrait Photography reflecting her business specialisation of newborn sessions. The MPA website shows her entire panel with full size image files – to see these go to this link: Warning: you’ll need to scroll round. These are superb, and very large, images. More pictures on page 62. 60 • MASTER PHOTOGRAPHY JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2017

Newborn Photography is now a specialist field and MPA offers training, mentoring and qualifications to help mums and a dads find safe, top quality photography and an enjoyable experience. In future, a qualification in Newborn Photography is being offered which also involves health and safety compliance. See Melanie East’s article on Newborn Safety, page 64.


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Photographs from the successful Portrait Licentiateship achieved by Sandra Ramp LMPA . Sandra is based in Coalville, Leicestershire, and her website is showing her dedicated specialisation in Newborn portraits.



Mark Bushkes of Magic Bean has really put magic into the hands of kids…

“This is brand new Busision shot list to follow while WE CAME across the amazness in a Box built from the an ex-BBC presenter narrates ing and very marketable ground up”, said Mark. “It the story… complete with Wizard studio set from Magic includes a two-sided set, wizard music and dragon Bean and loved the photos. featuring hand made jail breathing sound effects. Mark Bushkes pointed us to door and castle stone wall, “A set of hand made and with a wooden effect floor, costumes and many items are emailed us a soundtrack clip hand-made covered table that included for the set dressing, that was – well, pure magic. folds flat, wizard throne that from the straw on the floor to With music and a narrated flat packs into sections and a real crystal ball. A full set of story it lets the photograa hand made lectern that post-production digital assets pher shoot while the young also breaks down, all for easy also comes with the package, subject follows intstructions, transportation and storage. making light work of the editoutadvert the wizardry (or 109995 acting 132x180 2016 dates.qxp_Layout 1 03/03/2016 09:57 Page 1 ing with simple drag’n’drop “A storyline has been crewitchcraft) with the supplied ated which comes with a ses(should that be dragon drop?) alchemy set and props.

library elements, such as the candle flames and magical mist. As with our BIAB Fairy set, only one studio per designated post code territory, meaning a safe trading zone and full set up and training provided.” At the time of writing the website didn’t have the sound sample up but Mark will let you hear it – call him on 01279 304755 or email


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Melanie East is a specialist newborn photographer with over 10 years experience. She also trains newborn photographers in the art and business of newborn photography. For further information about newborn photography training please contact


ith more and more photographers undertaking newborn photography it is shocking how many are still taking risks with the safety of the baby in their care during a newborn photography session. In a lot of cases, the photographer puts achieving “the shot” they have in mind, above the safety of the baby. Some photographers still prefer to leave a baby unsupported in a tub, with a spotter nearby, rather than have the head supported as it should be, either because they do not know better, or because they do not wish to take the additional time in post production removing the spotter’s hands. In my studio, and as should be the case in all studios where newborn photography is carried out, no risks whatsoever are taken with a newborn baby. Does my career as a previous lawyer make me paranoid about health and safety? Absolutely. Is that a bad thing? Absolutely not. At the forefront of my mind during every session is the safety of the baby. I check room temperature, colour of baby, circulation, and when wrapping a baby I take extra care to ensure that I can run a little finger under the wrap around baby’s neck so that the wrap is not too tight. When photographing a baby in a tub or bucket (as in the photo example here) baby’s head is supported at all times, and a weight is put into the bottom and then padded to ensure it can not tip. The rim of the bucket is hugely padded to ensure that baby is very comfortable. Particular attention is paid to the posing of the baby to ensure that hands do not turn purple.

Newborns are precious beings, miracles, and a parent’s utmost joy. They are fragile, and in most cases during a newborn session, less than two weeks old. The utmost respect should be given to both the baby and the parents during the session. They are, after all, entrusting to you, their little bundle. By taking even the smallest risks, the photographer is not only jeopardising the health and safety of the newborn and risking a law case should something untoward happen, they are also showing complete disrespect to the baby and family. Furthermore, if


baby startles and falls and suffers injury in your studio while within your care then you are liable, and not only that, but you can probably say goodbye to your business – because the parents will tell everybody they know what happened. There is a video on Facebook currently doing the rounds, which is of a photographer (not based in the UK), carrying out the froggy pose. Baby is totally unsupported while the photographer takes the shot. Baby is balancing on its elbows. It made very, very uncomfortable viewing – so much so that I couldn’t watch

it to the end. The froggy pose does not form part of my workflow, but for those who do carry it out – this must be done as a composite, with baby supported at all times. The MPA, together with my input and advice, have produced a new newborn qualification with newborn safety as a priority. We are the first organisation to have a specific qualification within the specialist genre that is newborn photography. As well as providing a set of images to be judged, the candidate must also show within their working profile submitted evidence of safe working practices together with before and after images. For further information or to apply for the newborn photography qualification please contact Amanda at Head Office, This is a plea to all newborn photographers. Please do not risk baby safety.


Melanie East will form part of the judging panel for the Newborn Photography qualification being introduced by MPA.

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Master Photography January/February 2017  

With an atmospheric and artfully lit wedding portfolio from Greg Moment, this issue also contains Stephanie Ann Thornton's associateship exp...

Master Photography January/February 2017  

With an atmospheric and artfully lit wedding portfolio from Greg Moment, this issue also contains Stephanie Ann Thornton's associateship exp...