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PHOTOGRAPH BY PANIKOS HAJISTILLY AMPA


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MasterPhotography Vol 13 No 1 • May/June 2016 4

From the Chair with Paul Wilkinson

FMPA

Cover: by Panikos Hajistilly, who has gained his Associateship of the MPA – judged at The Photography Show in March. Panikos was one of the licentiates we tipped as a ‘surely must’ in our last issue. See feature, page 26. Now how about those other hot tip names?

Master Photography MAY/JUNE 2016 • £7.95

6 News with Richard Kilpatrick 10

Annie Leibovitz: the Royal family group Reproduced full size from the Press Association.

13

The Photography Show – Report by Clare Louise FMPA

16

Lighting: Style on the Spot Steve Howdle and Stephanie Thornton staged this great shot live at The Photography Show.

18

Lenses: Sharp and Smooth – Today’s Prime Portrait Lens Choices David Kilpatrick rounds up what’s out there if you want an 85mm or equivalent (with MPA member images).

PHOTOGRAPH BY PANIKOS HAJISTILLY AMPA

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26

Associateship: Panikos Hajistilly A man who knows both sides – or even many sides – of the training and learning business and even knows his cameras inside out. A new Portrait Associate.

32

SIGNATURE INKJET MEDIA Licentiateship: Jay Watson Judged at The Photography Show, Jay’s panel was a strong pass on a day when every applicant made the grade.

41

No! Jiwei Han – from Newport to China As a student at the UK’s top documentary photojournalism degree college, Jiwei encountered our magazine – now we encounter Jiwei’s negative subjects.

48

Lens Review: Fujinon XF 100-400mm ƒ4.5-5.6 R L OIS The X-system’s big stabilised 150-600mm equivalent tried out by Richard Kilpatrick and Rob Gray.

52

Lens Review: Voigtländer 10mm ƒ5.6 Hyper Wide-Heliar David Kilpatrick had a brief spin with the widest angle lens currently made for full frame sensors (Leica or Sony only).

photographers can only

54

MPA partnership profile: Loxley Colour Clare Louise visited the big lab with the big outlook.

seen in the form

58

Events: Reports and News Kelly Brown full day seminar report, The Newborn Photography Show preview, Northern Region Gary Walsh G F Smith seminar report.

64

Regional News

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You just can’t win…

CEO Clare Louise FMPA Tel: 01325 356555 e-mail: clare@thempa.com President Steve Walton FMPA Tel: 0116 2994901 e-mail: stevewaltonphotography.info Management Team Paul Wilkinson FMPA (MPA Chairman 2015/16) Tel: 01844 290054 e-mail: paul@paulwilkinsonphotography.co.uk Steve Ramsden LMPA Tel: 01904 479063 e-mail: info@steveramsdenstudio.co.uk Ray Lowe Hon.FMPA Tel: 01992 636152 e-mail: ray@raylowe.co.uk Directors John Parris FMPA Tel: 01450 370523 e-mail: info@parrisphotography.co.uk Paul Cooper FMPA (Qualifications) Tel: 01904 416 684 e-mail: info@baileycooper.co.uk Dave Thexton LMPA Tel: 01229 835035 e-mail: smile@tjphoto.co.uk Collin Davies LMPA Tel: 01792 883274 e-mail: sales@highsocietyphotography.co.uk Paul Inskip LMPA Tel: 01243 861634 e-mail: studio@paulinskipstudios.co.uk Head Office Contacts MPA, Jubilee House, 1 Chancery Lane, Darlington DL1 5QP Tel: 01325 356555 Fax: 01325 357813 Website: www.masterphotographersassociation.co.uk Membership: Amanda Buckle – membership@thempa.com Cherubs: cherubs@mpauk.com Cherubs Direct line: 01325 952259

MASTER PHOTOGRAPHY MAY/JUNE 2016

ISSN 2042-0234 Vol 13 #1 published for the membership of The Master Photographers Association six times each year Icon Publications Limited Maxwell Place, Maxwell Lane, Kelso, Scottish Borders TD5 7BB www.iconpublications.com Publisher/Editor in Chief: David Kilpatrick Hon. FMPA Tel: 01573 226032 Mobile: 07971 250786 email: editor@iconpublications.com Ad Sales: Diane Henderson Tel: 01573 223508 email: diane@iconpublications.com News and Press Functions: Richard Kilpatrick Mobile: 07979 691965 email: richard@rtkmedia.co.uk Icon Publications Ltd can accept no responsibility for loss of or damage to photographs and manuscripts submitted, however caused. Responsibility for insurance and return carriage of equipment submitted for review or test rests with the owner. Views expressed in this magazine are those of the individual contributors and do not necessarily represent the views and policies of The Master Photographers Association, Icon Publications Ltd or its advertisers. All technical data and pricing information contained in news and feature articles is printed in good faith. While all advertising copy is accepted in good faith, neither Icon Publications Ltd or the Master Photographers Association can accept any legal responsibility for unjustified claims or the quality of goods or services arising from advertising in this publication. All contents including advertising artwork created by Icon Publications Ltd are copyright and cannot be reproduced by any means without prior permission. ©2016 Icon Publications Ltd. E&OE.

4 • MASTER PHOTOGRAPHY MAY/JUNE 2016

WELL, it comes around quickly doesn’t it? Spring is firmly upon us, though you might not know it from the April frosts, and it’s time to start putting together your images for the MPA Awards. Yes, the award event is in the autumn, but we will soon be open for entries and the more time you give yourself, the better chance you have. Finding the time to enter competitions is not easy: we are seemingly always either flat out working or flat out working generating work. Running a photography business is one of the toughest things you can do and it can feel relentless. So competitions are a very welcome moment to take stock (figuratively not literally) and do the very thing you probably came into the industry for: be creative! I love the process of entering images for awards as it starts right back at the shoot – the very moment you’re constructing the image: think about it, saying to a client that you’re creating images with a view to entering national awards is never going to do you any harm, and gives you an opportunity to try things out, experiment, maybe even surprise yourself. My experience is that clients love to hear that what you’re doing with them is of a standard that could, at least in your opinion, win awards. With these images you then earmark for entering, you then get to spend some quality time really engaging with every little defect (many that could probably have been avoided – particularly in my case where I am running on adrenalin!), the colour, the edit, the treatment and, finally, the printing. I love the whole process. Each and every time I go through it, the photography that emerges is better than the last time. And it’s the only moment where I really do have a year-to-year benchmark, giving me a sense of progression, of development, of reward. And on top of that, even with images that don’t get any sort of award – let’s remember there can be just a few winners from the thousands of entries – these are now the images that are the most highly finished I produce and so we use them as a bank of photography that we know will look great on a wall or in our coffee-table books. That way, whatever the result, we’re using this process to attract new customers and drive our business forward. And if you win something? Well, that is simply an added (and very welcome) bonus! So keep your eyes out for the entry details and why not enter your very best work from the past year? The MPA Awards are coveted by the whole industry and you never know, it might just be up on that stage in October! – Paul Wilkinson FMPA, Chairman

…if you don’t enter!

Á


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NEWS

send your news releases & events to richard@rtkmedia.co.uk

Leica returns to basics – the Leica M-D

EVENTS DIARY May 17th-18th 2016 Newborn Photography Show Windmill Village Hotel, Allesley, Coventry CV5 9AL. MPA will be present with a Licentiate pre-submission assessment and speakers. See pages 60-61. May 27th 2016 Online Qualifications Judging Licentiateship June 22nd 2016 Licentiate Qualifications Day MPA Darlington July 29th 2016 Online Qualifications Judging Licentiateship

C

reating a user experience close to film has featured in Leica’s ambitions before the limited edition M Edition 60 of 2014 packaged the M240 internals in a stainless steel body with only an ISO setting dial where the LCD would be, and a matched 35mm Summilux ƒ1.4. There are still examples of this package available for around £10,000, not unreasonable for a limited model and the stunning lens. However, 2016’s release of the M-D takes away the concept of paying more, for less, and preserving that feeling of

anticipation and uncertainty that honed photographers’ skills in the era of film. Priced at £4650, the M-D is based on the M262 24Mp rangefinder body, with a quiet shutter and subtle improvements from the older M240 body. 2 or 3fps modes are offered, and the rangefinder is 0.68x with manual frame selector and illuminated brightlines. Much of the look matches the M-P/M9-P for a timeless Leica shape without prominent red dot, but internally the buffer is 1GB and obviously there’s no upgrade to the LCD glass. The ISO selector dial on the rear

offers 200-6400, with the only additional control the wheel for exposure compensation. Naturally the M-D lacks the video and live view features of the M Typ 240. Sales begin in May from Leica Store Mayfair and other authorised resellers, and if there’s ever a Leica digital that will hold value, this is it - without the obvious wear point and “dating” of the LCD screen, the M-D has little to render it obsolete. Leica M-D body only, £4650 SRP Tel 020 7629 1351 www.leica-storemayfair.co.uk

Hasselblad launches the H6D

July 31st 2016 Awards Online Entry deadline August 8th-12th 2016 Master Photography Awards International Online Judging

On-line training offer

August 26th 2016 Awards Print Entry deadline to HQ September 6th 2016 Photovision Roadshow Dublin MPA involvement TBA September 8th 2016 Open Print Judging Darlington September 9th 2016 A&F Judging Darlington September 20th-25th 2016 Photokina Cologne, Germany September 30th 2016 Online Qualifications Judging Licentiateship October 16th 2016 Meet the Masters Open Day Hinckley Island Hotel Awards Dinner & Presentations November 19th 2016 Photovision Roadshow Epsom MPA will be present at this event with their own stand November 25th 2016 Online Qualifications Judging Licentiateship

O

ne of the most significant updates since the launch of the H-system, the 6th generation H6D pushes Hasselblad to the forefront of medium format imaging with a choice of 50Mp or 100Mp CMOS sensors and a thoroughly revised body. In 100Mp form, the H6D now incorporates 4K video recording, and a completely new electronic platform introduces dual card slots, USB C 3.0 connectivity, WiFi and touchscreen. Offering CFast and SD storage, the H6D can be used for a quick and convenient workflow or high-speed shooting, including a striking 2.5fps frame rate. Upgrades for the H-system extend to the lenses, which now feature 1/2000s leaf shutters (able to synch with flash at that speed). The H6D-50c captures video in 2K

6 • MASTER PHOTOGRAPHY MAY/JUNE 2016

format, in H.264 or Hasselblad raw for conversion to Apple ProRes, and both models feature HDMI output. Hasselblad claim a 14 stop dynamic range for the 50c and 15 stop for the 100Mp 100c, and ISO ranges are comparable to CMOS DSLRs - a league ahead of CCD medium format. Phocus software has also been updated, and to make it easier for existing Hasselblad owners to upgrade (and competing system owners to migrate), a generous program of trade in deals will be running until September 2016, allowing between £5,000 for a 30Mp third party, to £8,750 for recent H5D models. The H6D is available now for £17,900-22,600 Tel 020 8731 3250 www.hasselbladukstore.co.uk/

THE MPA has a new online education offer for new and existing members, in partnership with Engage Live (eLearning Provider of the Year 2015). Ranging from one-hour to three days in duration, Engage Live classes are recorded and 21 classes are currently available to view. Now Engage Live is making its archive of educational videos, and all upcoming online classes, available to MPA members to watch on demand for £19 per month, or £199 per year – an annual saving of £30. Topics include fashion, food, newborn, portrait and wedding photography, editing tutorials using Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop, and business workshops with a focus on online marketing. Engage Live subscribers also gain discounts from selected suppliers including The Design Space, Queensberry Albums and 3XM Solution. On the Engage Live website, choose your preferred subscription and enter code MPA-E2016. www.engagelive.co


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NEWS Sigma offers

S

igma’s latest offers have been announced, and two are particularly interesting. Existing Sigma owners can delve into the unique Quattro compact cameras and benefit from a £125 cashback, bringing the cost of a typical camera below £600 from reputable UK sellers (grey imports are not covered). The best deal seems to be via Clifton cameras, where any of the dp Quattro family can be purchased with the unusual – but very effective – LVF viewfinder for £699, making it £574 for even the groundbreaking 21mm equivalent dp0. All models feature the unique quattro Direct Image Sensor with additive colour process, rather than the interpolated technique used by Bayer/CFA sensors. Sigma have also released a new version of Sigma Photo Pro for faster and more stable processing of images.

DSLR owners can expand the abilities of the already versatile 18-300mm ƒ3.5-5.6 DC Macro OS HSM with a free AML72-01 close up lens worth £49. Cashback claims apply for purchases between 18th March and 20th June 2016 and must be submitted by 27th June 2016. Close-up lens qualifying purchases run from 1st April to 31st May 2016 and must be claimed by 1st July 2016. Full details of Sigma’s offers are on the UK website and Sigma Lounge. Canon & Nikon owners with the 150-600 lens in either Sports or Contemporary form will want to update their Sigma Optimisation Pro software and get the latest firmware for enhanced AF performance, as Sigma continues to develop and improve their algorithms. Tel 01707 329999 www.sigma-imaging-uk.com

The Cullmann Titan is an old favourite – here in a new version. This very heavy tripod is superbly engineered (that centre column is a waterproof tube which is also a pressure valve released pneumatic damped support). It can stand in 2ft of water.

Intro 2020 kindly let us see the ball head with Arca Swiss mount designed for the Titan 935. It may be a special order item.

Cullmann for UK

I

ntro 2020 – distributor of major brands including Tamron, Tamrac, Samyang and Velbon – has been appointed sole UK distributor of Cullmann products. With a 40-year history, all Cullmann’s ten tripods and nine camera bags are designed in Germany. The new Sydney Maxima 425+ Pro bag is a general purpose professional bag, also suited as a business bag as it features a detachable camera insert and space for tablets with a size of up to 13.3 inches. The Amsterdam Gladstone bag features an opening that runs along the entire length of the top of the bag for rapid access to all camera equipment. The camera inserts inside the bag can be removed to transform the bag into a practical leisure / overnight bag. Cullmann tripods include a range of flexipods available in three sizes and three colours, plus mini tripods, full size tripods and the top of the range Titan 935 tripod, which can support 21kg and has a reversed telescopic leg design with shoulder-located adjust and lock to allow use in 2ft/60cm of water. It comes with a 20 year guarantee. Tripod prices start from £13.99 and rise to £399.00 SRP for the Titan 936 model. Cullman bags start from £35.99 SRP. www.intro2020.co.uk

Light Blue upgrade

L

ight Blue 6.1 is available now as a free update for all subscribers, and it builds upon and refines key features such as online forms andcontract signing, online invoice payments, and text messaging. Light Blue 6.1 will allow you to integrate your Light Blue account with ShootProof online galleries and sales tools. Anyone who subscribes to online services can have notifications of new ShootProof orders automatically sent through. Other new features include being able to ask your clients for a schedule for their shoot (e.g. locations and timings for a wedding) and more flexible and powerful ways of asking for their contact details (including optionally making phone numbers and addresses required fields) and a German translation for forms and invoices in version 6.1. www.lightbluesoftware.com

8 • MASTER PHOTOGRAPHY MAY/JUNE 2016

Sony Pro support

S

ony has announced the expansion of its Imaging PRO Support programme to include the UK from September 2016. This upport offers advice, a dedicated telephone help desk, a free collection and return service for units requiring repairs, plus a free backup loan unit. Members can benefit from a free twice-yearly image sensor cleaning service with filter glass replacement if necessary and firmware check-up to keep their cameras in top condition. There’s no membership fee for the service that’s offered to professional photographers* who own at least two Sony α camera bodies and three Sony α lenses from the qualifying list detailed beneath. Qualifying Cameras and Lenses SLT-A99(V), SLT-A77(V), ILCA-77M2, ILCE-7R, ILCE-7RM2, ILCE-7S, ILCE7SM2, DSC-RX1, DSC-RX1R, DSCRX1RM2, ILCE-7, ILCE-7M2, NEX-7. Qualifying lenses: SAL 100M28, SAL 135F18Z, SAL 135F28, SAL 1635Z, SAL 1635Z2, SAL 1680Z, SAL 16F28, SAL 2470Z, SAL 2470Z2, SAL 24F20Z, SAL 300F28G, SAL 300F28G2, SAL 35F14G, SAL 500F40G, SAL 50F14Z, SAL 70200G, SAL 70200G2, SAL 70300G, SAL 70300G2, SAL 70400G, SAL 70400G2, SAL 85F14Z SEL 1670Z, SEL 2470Z, SEL 24F18Z, SEL 35F28Z, SEL 55F18Z, SEL 70200G, SELP 18105G, SEL 1635Z, SELP 28135G, SEL 35F14Z, SEL 90F28G, SEL 85F14GM, SEL 2470GM, SEL 70200GM, SEL 70300G. *Applicants will need to provide proof of their revenue stream generated from their photography work. Sony reserves the right to judge individual cases on their merits. www.sony.co.uk


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ANNIE LEIBOVITZ REDEEMS

10 • MASTER PHOTOGRAPHY MAY/JUNE 2016


THE ROYAL PHOTO RECORD E

very time a new family photograph is released by Buckingham Palace, professional photographers throughout the country tear their hair out, wail, gnash teeth, rend their garments and generally despair. But for the Queen’s 90th Birthday last month, the Palace gave the Press Association an image to distribute which immediately gained praise. Out of complete and varied shoot by Annie Leibovitz this one classical group portrait has gained almost universal praise. Versions on some websites seem to have been de-saturated; the version we reproduce is the official Press Association 3500 pixel wide JPEG, without adjustment. It looks as if retouching has been used to compose the group. We have cropped the left hand side. For many on-line uses the picture was cropped even more square. This led to questions as to how it was lit. The full picture (bottom of column) shows the edge of the huge window which is just out of view; this setting is the window alcove or bay to the left, a small part of the Green Drawing Room (1847 engraving © The Royal Collection, above) flooded by natural light and a favourite spot for the Queen to use for photographs and also for television interviews. – DK

The press info

Á

This official photograph, released by Buckingham Palace to mark her 90th birthday, shows Queen Elizabeth II with her five great-grandchildren and her two youngest grandchildren in the Green Drawing Room, part of Windsor Castle's semi-State apartments. The children are: James, Viscount Severn (left), 8, and Lady Louise (second left), 12, the children of The Earl and Countess of Wessex; Mia Tindall (holding The Queen's handbag), the two year-old-daughter of Zara and Mike Tindall; Savannah (third right), 5, and Isla Phillips (right), 3, daughters of The Queen's eldest grandson Peter Phillips and his wife Autumn; Prince George (second right), 2, and in The Queen's arms and in the tradition of Royal portraiture, the youngest great-grandchild, Princess Charlotte (11 months), children of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. © PA/Press Association Images/Annie Leibovitz

MASTER PHOTOGRAPHY MAY/JUNE 2016 • 11


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W

hat an amazing four days we had at The Photography Show! I don’t think we stopped from the minute the doors opened until we left the show. The sore feet, tired eyes and loss of voice were all worth it! I love attending the shows, being a part of the electric atmosphere that is generated at them, meeting new faces and getting together with familiar faces of members and trade alike. This year was definitely our best year yet. We have signed up more new members than ever with a lot of prospects to follow up on too. We are certainly going to be extra busy these next few weeks and can’t wait to start helping our new members on their MPA journey. The atmosphere on the stand was amazing and I want to thank each and every member who came along to our stand and contributed to the positivity that flowed effortlessly through every day of the show. That atmosphere is without a doubt down to the energy, attitude and dedication of the members, directors and staff who gave everything they’d got to the time they had to gift us – and it was a gift. You brought with you a sense of community that our Association can be proud of and that sense of belonging that is so important, not just to the Association, but to all of the professional photographers out there who are looking meet like-minded people to learn from and grow with. Thank you! We need to give special thanks to Marian & Daniella Sterea, Adam Alex, Iain Burton-Legge, Paul Inskip LMPA, Steve Howdle FMPA, Stephanie Thornton LMPA, Steve Walton FMPA , Alexandra Lord AMPA , Jules Hunter LMPA, Ray Lowe Hon FMPA , Henk Van Kooten Hon FMPA , Hossain Mahdavi FMPA , Desi Fontaine Hon FMPA , Paul Cooper Hon FMPA, Kate Cooper FMPA, Mike Ward AMPA , Lisa Visser FMPA , Jason Banbury LMPA, Lorna Banbury, Phil Paine LMPA, Frazer Visser LMPA and Gary Orgles

MPA CEO Clare Louise reports on the Association’s part in the UK’s biggest annual photographic trade, professional and public event – The Photography Show at the NEC in March

STAND H22

who all helped man the stand over four days. The stand itself looked magnificent. Our display prints and beautiful new brochures were produced by The Print Foundry, and echoed the sense of professionalism, credibility and craftsmanship

of the Association and its values, thank you. Graphistudio’s showcased more of our members’ work in their latest products, and we were excited to see the newly launched GoBook filled with MPA images. But most of all it was your

work, your talent, and your imagery that inspired our stand and allowed us all to stand there with such pride as photographers stopped in awe at the creative mastery that we have within our Association. Thank you to each and every one of you who take the journey to continually push yourself to explore your creativity, developing you, your skills and your photography to produce world class imagery, and of course, for sharing that imagery with us. We stand together, taller than ever before. Qualifications were a huge success, with a 100% pass rate (see overleaf). Thank you to all the mentors who attended the show to share their knowledge with attendees as they seek guidance to improve. The standard of work we see coming through gets higher and higher as we grow. The time and knowledge you share freely with our members is greatly appreciated …Thank You. Cherubs directors Ray Lowe Hon FMPA and Paul Inskip LMPA manned the stand, true to form with passion, dedication and their constant desire to help members grow their businesses. They were joined on the stand by Cherubs Partners Frazer Visser LMPA and Gary Orgles all sharing their passion for something they believe in, making a difference to photographers, Cherubs Partners and the Association. The sense of community that has been built within Cherubs is something to be rivalled. This is all down to the Cherubs Partners and Directors who work relentlessly to provide positive support for one another, thank you for bringing that with you to the show, we look forward to welcoming some new Cherubs Partners to the fold soon. The Association was busy this year with speakers at the show, all representing the MPA, and what an amazing crew we had – kicking off at full throttle at 5am with President Steve Walton FMPA

MASTER PHOTOGRAPHY MAY/JUNE 2016 • 13


taking 40 photographers out to shoot ‘Dawn over Pedigo Lake’ – there’s dedication for you ! Steve Howdle FMPA and Stephanie Thornton LPMA were the first of our members on the wedding and portrait stage, talking on creative portraiture and how to move your work from ordinary to extraordinary. They were greeted by an amazing turn out, and as always shared knowledge, insight and inspiration. Richard Bradbury FMPA followed – if ever we are to learn and admire someone for thinking big this was it. Richard and his team set up and shot live (excuse the pun) one very ambitious session. Three balloons, an air rifle and lots of water, Richard demonstrated what can only be described as pure genius live on stage as he captured a number of images as an air rifle was fired at the water filled balloons. Marian Sterea made his way over from Romania to speak on weddings, demonstrating to photographers how to be creative in any environment, when you look at what he produced using the service doors of the NEC hall you can see why it was standing room only during his slot. Melanie East AMPA true to form shared and inspired so many with that amazing talent she has in the art of newborn photography, using the new stand in baby to demonstrate and share some hints and tips of safely posing newborn babies, lighting, and prop use, supplied by Click Props to produce stunning imagery, You can see a video clip here. I even got a chance to speak on creativity, a personal passion of mine and it felt great to be out there joining you all as a creative again. Thank you to every member who stopped by to share their views with us, to encourage us, to say hello to us, to share their news with us… it’s so exciting to hear the amazing things everyone is getting up to. See our website and the CEO’s Blog for more photographs and news.

Steve Howdle and Stephanie Thornton on the Wedding & Portrait Stage with a great audience.

Qualifications AT THE Photography Show we saw eleven new Licentiates and one new Associate leave with well-deserved achievements and new certificates to hang proudly on their walls. Congratulations must go to our newly qualified members: Nathan Williams LMPA – Commercial Sian Perry LMPA – Pet Portraits Grahame Smith LMPA – Wedding Vanessa Worswick LMPA – Portrait Jay Watson* LMPA – Portrait Valerie Thompson LMPA – Portrait Fiona Mills LMPA – Wedding Darren Irwin LMPA – Wedding Christa Evans LMPA – Portrait Anne-Marie Walker LMPA – Portrait Charlotte Hill LMPA – Portrait And to Panikos Hajistilly* AMPA who upgrade from his Licentiateship to become an Associate in Portrait Photography. *Profiled in this magazine issue. Thank you to our dedicated qualifications team under the Chair of Associate & Fellowship Paul Cooper Hon FMPA , Chair of Licentiate Qualifications Eric Jenkins Hon FMPA , and examiners Kate Cooper FMPA, Hossain Mahdavi FMPA, Steve Walton FMPA , Desi Fontaine FMPA , and Lisa Visser FMPA . Thanks

14 • MASTER PHOTOGRAPHY MAY/JUNE 2016

Following the launch earlier in the year, Permajet’s stand majored on their new fine art media. They also featured the FB Gold Silk 315gsm paper,

also to Collin Davies LMPA who stepped in last minute to manage the administration side of qualifications due to Amanda being too ill to attend, and to Phil Paine LMPA who gave his time to meet, greet and sit with members. Special thanks to our mentors who helped our candidates through this qualifications submissions, including those who attendied the show to help

new talent coming foward: Mike Ward AMPA Alexandra Lord AMPA Peter Ellis FMPA Carol Taylor AMPA David Wadley AMPA The standard of work we see coming through gets higher and higher as we grow. The time and knowledge the mentors share freely with our members is greatly appreciated.

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And here, for Fotospeed, the incomparable Trevor and Faye Yerbury with Faye’s selection of ‘who is on the bench today?’ street shot prints.


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If only Michelangelo could have used Fujifilm Wallpaper on the Sistine Chapel… WHEN A NEW restaurant commissioned a motorthemed display for its bar area photographer Nick Turley turned to CC Imaging and Fujifilm’s Wallpaper Media for help. Michelangelo may have established the trend for ceiling art with his celebrated treatment of the Sistine Chapel, but the principle of creating rich visual entertainment above the heads of visitors is still going strong some five hundred years later - albeit in a 21st century format. While the newly-opened Waterwheel restaurant in Howden, Yorkshire might not share the same sweeping dimensions as the Vatican, this upmarket new venue nonetheless boasts a sumptuous interior that’s the setting for a remarkable overhead artwork, designed and created by photographer Nick Turley. “There’s a motoring theme running throughout the whole restaurant,” says Nick, “and we were briefed by our client to look at putting together a selection of photographs that tapped into this and which would be displayed on the ceiling/wall in the bar area. The idea was to create one complete artwork that would become an integral part of the decoration.” The spaces to fill on the ceiling came in a range of different sizes and Nick needed to find a pro lab that could understand the unusual

nature of the job and who might suggest a suitable media to print on. “The first step was to measure all the bays very carefully,” says Nick, “and then to produce scale drawings. Then I had to produce a visual design and make any changes they asked for. At this stage I could go ahead and produce the finished artwork files, all at the correct sizes.” “I chose to work with CC Imaging in Leeds because it was a lab I knew well and I was aware of their reputation for high quality printing and attention to detail. They advised that Fujifilm Wallpaper would be the perfect media to use.” Halifax-based Nick provided comprehensive printing instructions and sizes to CC Imaging. Mark Senior, the company’s joint MD says, “This was a first for us but we knew we had the facilities to cope and we felt confident that Fujifilm’s Wallpaper media would be up to the job.

Mark Senior of CC Imaging with output on Fujifilm’s Wallpaper Media “In fact, the only issues we faced were ensuring we got the measurements spot on and also of handling the non-standard sizes and overlaps. “The images were created in

Fujifilm ImageHunter Software Fujifilm’s ImageHunter product manager Peter Hayward suggested to CC Imaging that this RIP software, designed specifically for use with large and wide format printers, might be perfect for this particular printing job. Senior product specialist Mark Wade then guided the lab through the set up. ImageHunter delivers easy resizing, tiling and cropping with an accurate preview and also offers the ability to divide an image into borderless strips - perfect for a project of this kind. Download a trial version at: http://www.fujifilm.eu/esp

Fujifilm ImageHunter software and printed on an Epson Stylus Pro 11880 64" inkjet printer. The whole process was really straightforward. The ink went down really well, with no smudging or banding, and, importantly, the colours from roll to roll also matched perfectly.” Great care was taken to ensure that the colours would be resistant to fading. “We did some tests where we coated the paper with a cellulose spray,” says Mark, “but it quickly became apparent that the media was actually really durable and it wasn’t required. It was also quite lightweight despite coming in rolls that were 42 inches wide, and our fear that it might be difficult to hang was unfounded. In short, Fujifilm has got the product exactly right.” Mark also appreciated the fact that, like genuine wallpaper, the Fujifilm product had the right smell when it was wet (“a little fishy”), and it was pasted up at the restaurant by two professional paper hangers working off a scaffold. For the record the choice of adhesive was Erfurt Mav ready mixed paste and the mounting of the 24 prints was achieved in just two days. “The result is breathtaking,” comments Nick. “Photographs of the ceiling look amazing, but they don’t do justice to the actual ‘wow’ effect.” For more information see: Nick: www.inside-outbranding.com CC Imaging: www.ccimaging.co.uk

MASTER PHOTOGRAPHY MAY/JUNE 2016 • 15


STYLE ON THE SPOT Stephanie Thornton and Steve Howdle created a portrait with model Sian on stage at The Photography Show which has a unique look – very much a trademark combination of colour, contrast and accessorising. Many of you will have seen it in the making, here is the result.

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o give my portraits a more styled individual appearance I often use props suiting our chosen theme (writes Steve Howdle). This shot was designed to have a very natural and earthy feeling so Stephanie chose clothes and props to suit. We stayed away from over tailored high-fashion clothes as these would have looked unrealistic. “I chose to put my model in a cream coloured bandoo and wrap-around scarf to fit the brief. I also had a one-of-a-kind head piece made specially for the look, this both added a new level to the look and secured the shot as being individual which would not have been the case with a commonly-seen prop”, says Stephanie. “Sian, our model, was placed facing the left and we posed her to create maximum depth in cheek bones and keep all details in the head-piece. By getting her to lean back on her leg further away from the cameras her body moved in a complementary way, shifting her weight away and reducing the bare skin on show – this made her head and face the main focal point.” To light the final shot we used three lights, a backdrop and a small reflector. The background in this example is a paper Colorama ‘Leaf’ for a more earthy feel. Sian was lit using three Elinchrom ELB Quadra heads each with its own control pack. For the key light we used the Rotalux 70cm Deep Octa fitted with a LightTools 40˚ Grid to provide good modelling and contouring to her face. The grid focuses the light while retaining the softness, and prevents spill on to the background. This helped direct the light toward her face keeping the contouring shadows without affecting the rest of the image. Either side of Sian we placed two Rotalux 90cm x 30cm strip boxes set high to either side and angled downwards towards her, positioned to allow some light to spill onto the background, and each fitted with a gel – one blue and one purple. Lastly we added a reflector below her face to reduce harsh shadows hitting under the eyes and nose. Between all the colours this created an interesting selection of deep tones between the purples, blues of the background and the deep greens on her head-piece. All the deep tones allowed the face to become the highlight and therefore draw your eye naturally to the main focus of the images, Creating this image on stage for The Photography Show (seen right with a lighter background paper, on The Flash Centre stand) helped us demonstrate to people how quickly you can take your standard portrait to another level with a few easy moves. It is something ‘wow!’ you can do for your client at the end of your session. Such looks are easy to achieve with a bit of forward planning. Creating these images with real clients also enables you produce examples that will help to generate more in this genre, setting your work apart from the everyday photographer.

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Steve and Stephanie worked throughout The Photography Show on Elinchrom’s stand, in addition to stage spots and a regular presence on the MPA stand. The unpleasant hall lighting and colours at the NEC make it difficult for visitors to visualise the results, so Stephanie shot with a tethered Canon 1DX and 24-70mm ƒ2.8 L lens displaying the results on a large screen over the set while Steve provided the live commentary. Both shots shown were taken on the Sunday of the show. Steve and Steph will be doing a workshop on this theme at their studio in Pontefract on the 18th May for £75 per person, lunch included. For more information, contact www.thorntonhowdle.com


MASTER PHOTOGRAPHY MAY/JUNE 2016 • 17


SHARP AND SMOOTH TODAY’S PRIME PORTRAIT LENS CHOICES David Kilpatrick looks at the renaissance of the fast short tele portrait lens, the classic 85mm and its close cousins in all formats.

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ith many sensor formats now used by professionals, we still understand that ‘85mm’ means a lens ideal for portraiture when working on 35mm (24 x 36mm). For the Olympus system user, it’s actually a 42.5mm or 45mm; for the APS-C user, anything from 50mm to 60mm; for the medium format digital user, something between 120mm and 150mm. There are many reasons why the 85mm equivalent, with its field of view around 28°, works so well for portraits from three-quarter to full face. The lens considered to be similar to the perceived angle of view of the human eye is about half this focal length, around 40 to 45mm. Though photographers don’t often think about, when you use a lens in this range you must position your camera a little further from the subject than its largest dimension. If the composition is going to cover one metre wide, you need to be around 1.3m away allowing for your own presence and the physical size of the camera and lens. Since a typical portrait – even a couple shot – will be a composition in a ‘window’ around this size the 85mm lens pushes the photographer back to a more comfortable distance between 2 and 3 metres. It’s not just a slightly more flattering distance, it is comfortable socially and also allows room for lighting or reflectors, without demanding a huge space. Typical domestic interiors allow you to have 2-3m clear, it’s also the kind of distance people like to leave between their seating and television, or the space required for a family dining table or a sofa. On the whole,

A truly classic male portrait by Steve Howdle FMPA using the Canon 85mm ƒ1.2 L USM II lens, set to ƒ1.8, on a 5D MkIII at ISO 100, with 1/60s exposure by mixed light – focus exactly on the right eye.

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you’re going to be able to work from this distance in almost any home or workplace. However, you will not be able to shoot groups or full length in such spaces without a relatively wide-angle lens. Even a 50mm lens on full frame is pushed to get a simple line of four into frame, waist up landscape composition, unless you have over 3m working space. To frame a single person of average height for a full length picture, with good compositional clearance at head and foot, requires over 6m working distance. To have some space for the photographer to move, and a reasonable gap between the subject and the wall behind them, needs 8 to 10m. A bride with any height on the veil and an arranged dress train will need an interior with 10-12m clear to use prime 85mm lens. Working experience quickly teaches photographers what lenses they must carry to cope with typical conditions but few do the basic research needed to make precise judgments. Take time to study the angle of view of your lenses if you are considering a switch to fixed focal lengths (prime) replacing a trio of zooms. The advantage of the typical kit including a 14-24mm or 1635mm, a 24-70mm and a 70200mm is that the 24-70mm will cover most of your shots and it will be pretty obvious when a wider or longer view is needed. The current trend is to add 35mm ƒ1.4, 50mm ƒ1.4

Left: a typical Nikon 85mm ƒ1.4 wide open ‘bokeh shot’ from Brett Florens taken from his new book on low light wedding and portrait shooting ‘Shot in the Dark’, Amherst Media Inc (April 2016, ISBN-13 978-1-68203-008-0).

58mm filters, this is a very popular lens to adapt for use on mirrorless bodies. It’s a classic Sonnar-type lens and if anything can outperform the 1.2 in commercial applications.

Nikon

and 85mm ƒ1.4 lenses to the trio of zooms. In the Fujifilm X system 23mm ƒ1.4, 35mm ƒ1.4 and 56mm ƒ1.2 primes are the equivalents; for MicroFourThirds, 18mm ƒ2, 25mm ƒ1.4 and 42.5mm ƒ1.4 though Olympus’s 45mm ƒ1.8 is so widely sold with kit bundles that this is the most popular portrait lens. Here, we’re looking only at this category – the 85mm equivalent portrait lens, typically between ƒ1.2 and ƒ1.8. There has never been such a wide choice available and this indicates its popularity. We are not covering some very close matches, mainly 90mm equivalent macro lenses, which can double as slightly slower (usually ƒ2.8) portrait lenses. When buying a lens in this class, it’s a good idea to check the minimum focus distance. An easy rule is that any full-frame lens should focus to ten times its focal length or closer. So, for an 85mm look for 85cm. Most modern designs achieve this and one advantage of using smaller sensor formats is that the equivalent lens may go even closer.

Canon The classic Canon professional 85mm is the ƒ1.2 EF L USM, with improved performance in its version II. As it’s also one of the fastest lenses in this group, it’s large, without having all that much barrel round the substantial glass and with a surprisingly modest 72mm filter thread. It used to be almost impossible to focus this type of lens using a conventional focusing screen, but perfect results are obtained with calibration on the latest professional AF bodies. It costs around £1,400 and has relatively slow but positive live-view video compatible USM down to 90cm. Because of this lens many overlook the neat, compact 85mm ƒ1.8 EF USM (maybe because it does not say L in the name?). There’s slightly more chromatic aberration especially if you compare the two lenses at ƒ2, but raw processing corrections can remove this automatically. The USM is positive and fast, and the lens focuses to 85cm. At under £300 (recently below £200 with a cashback offer) and taking very manageable

With no 85mm ƒ1.2 in the line-up, Nikon offers a choice between ƒ1.4 and ƒ1.8 – with the lesser lens once again very light and small, and surprisingly affordable. The ƒ1.4 G is however a legendary choice for the quality of its out of focus backgrounds, and its speed of AF-S focusing now aided by bodied like the new D5 with exceptional low light AF sensitivity. It’s not noted for a flat field. It takes 77mm filters and focuses to 85cm, costing around £900. The ƒ1.8 85mm AF-S G takes 67mm filters, so it’s not tiny, but focuses right down to 80cm (5cm better than the earlier mechanically driven AF-D, an unusual improvement as most ultrasonic motor lenses have less focus range than earlier bodydriven versions). It’s usually under £400 retail.

Sony Now the third player in the pro market – though with mirrorless rather than DSLR type bodies – Sony has only just introduced its own 85mm. For the legacy SLR/ DSLT A-mount, users could find 85mm ƒ1.4 Minolta AF lenses from 1985 on, newer Minolta G AF-D versions, and the current Carl Zeiss Planar T* ZA which sells for around £1,100. All these are body-driven AF, focusing to 85cm, and are classic Planar-type designs which are ‘softly sharp’ wide open and improve dramatically when stopped down.

MASTER PHOTOGRAPHY MAY/JUNE 2016 • 19


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The new Sony G-Master 85mm ƒ1.4 FE won’t fit the DSLR mount, only mirrorless bodies, and has enhanced aspherical elements. It’s a Planar derivative but bitingly sharp even at full aperture. However, for this you pay £1,500 and accept an untested new AF drive motor which is not totally silent for video. There is a third Sony 85mm, selling generally for under £200, the A-mount SAL 85mm ƒ2.8 SAM (Smooth Autofocus Motor). As a classic Sonnar copy, it’s got CA which needs a profile to correct, but high sharpness wide open and good correction over a wider than normal focus range down to 60cm (0.20X image scale). It’s plastic from mount to 55mm filter rim and the focus motor is a not as smooth as the name implies, but as a working tool it’s a bargain.

seeing if flare is intruding. For this, you need a perfect lens – a new one. Here’s what Ivan Finch, who took the bridal study on the left hand page, says: “Four years ago I switched from a Nikon system to Leica M9-P with four lenses, one of them being the APO Summicron 90mm ASPH. I was getting tired of the weight and size of DSLRs with huge zoom lenses and was really impressed with the image quality I was seeing from the M9 with its tiny lenses. I grew up with a 1936 Leica IIIb in my family and it seemed like a natural progression! “The image quality of the 90mm at any aperture or distance is sublime, corner to corner. I would say using it at ƒ2 at head and shoulder portrait distances is risky, being manual focus and with a depth of field of about an inch, even breathing in or out can throw the eyes out.”

Leica There’s a long history of portrait lenses from ƒ4 to ƒ1.4 in Leica’s rangefinder and SLR heritage, from 75mm to 105mm. In the end, the 90mm focal length has been the Leica classic, and there are two to choose from now in the M-mount – the 90mm ƒ2 APO Summicron ASPH, and the 90mm ƒ2.5 Summarit. Both focus to 1m only, because that’s how Leica rangefinder bodies expect the range to be limited. The ƒ2 apochromatic design is simply one of the best lenses ever made, and costs around £2,500. The everyday ƒ2.5 is around £1,000. Most users of mirrorless systems (notably Sony FE) hunt round for older 90mm Leitz lenses because they want the character, rather than the perfection of these new designs. Leica owners, particularly those with the new M-D Typ 262 which has the traditional rangefinder, a 24 megapixel sensor and no rear viewing screen at all… well, they may like the new lenses best. No chimping, no live view, and film-like reliance on the accuracy of the telemetric focusing, no way of

Fujifilm X

Facing page – Leica 90mm APO Summicron at ƒ2.5 (no EXIF data) by Ivan Finch LMPA . Above, two pictures from Venice by Trevor Yerbury FMPA showing the versatility of the Fujinon 56mm ƒ1.2 – both on X-Pro2, doorway pose at ƒ10, red hat close-up at ƒ2.

It’s natural to let Fuji follow Leica, because the X-Pro1 and 2 rangefinder style bodies are the closest thing you’ll ever use to a 21st century rework of the classic 1950s designs. In their lens line-up, they also followed the classical spacing of rangefinder framing – 18mm (28mmish), 23mm (35mm), 35mm (50mm) and 60mm (90mm). Then, by surprise, they introduced the Fujinon XF 56mm R ƒ1.2 – an almost perfect 85mm match, with the speed needed to satisfy wedding photographers and the shallow depth of field needed for portraiture and fashion. This lens quickly gained a great reputation, with 11 elements in 8 groups and advanced glass types with aspherical surfaces as well, all ensuring very high sharpness from full aperture. It focuses to 0.7m and costs under £700. Compared to a ‘real’ 85mm ƒ1.2 it’s compact, taking 62mm filters and weighing 405g. Fuji then surpassed expectations by adding an apodisation element, which gives

MASTER PHOTOGRAPHY MAY/JUNE 2016 • 21


the lens a centre-filter type graduated iris when used at its widest apertures. Unlike Minolta’s STF design which has a negative element made from tinted glass, the Fujifilm design adds a centre filter to the standard design, placed centrally. It loses a stop wide open in light transmission but keeps the ƒ1.2 bokeh with a smoother transition than normal. It costs around £150 more than the standard version.

Pentax Though Pentax has not been a professional market player for some years, the new K-1 promises to change that as it’s a classic compact full frame 36 megapixel DSLR with weatherproofing, GPS, electronically adjustable antialiasing, pixel shift high resolution (true RGB not Bayer) and countless other benefits for around £1,500. But there’s no 85mm!

Instead, Pentax adopters have a tiny and perfect handassembled premium quality lens (at almost £1,000 SRP) in the form of the 77mm ƒ1.8 FA. Weighing only 270g and taking 49mm filters, this autofocus lens (above) with manual/auto mechanical aperture control is best described as exquisite. It focuses down to 70cm with a fixed rear group providing progressive correction. Many Pentax users raid the used equipment lists for older 85mms, which do indeed exist, from the earliest K-mounts onwards.

the Panasonic 42.5mm F1.2 ASPH Leica DG Nocticron OIS meets that demand for £1,200. This is one of the best performing lenses for the format (bottom of last column). If you are willing to forgo lens coupling, there’s another 42.5mm out there, in the amazing Voigtländer Nokton ƒ0.95 Aspherical (£778).

Olympus & Panasonic

Independent lenses

The MicroFourThirds system has almost divided into two camps, with Olympus grabbing the still photography and professional users, Panasonic the 4K video and amateur enthusiasts. Both take the same lenses and many Olympus users buy the highend Panasonic lenses made in association with Leica. When Olympus marketed the original OM-D E-M5 outfit, they bundled a 45mm ƒ1.8 M Zuiko Digital ED portrait lens (above). It’s a sub-£200 street price bargain, compact and light, but its good performance means that very few of these have ended up sold when pro users upgraded to the E-M1 or even to the new PEN-F – the lens looks perfect on the new smaller body. It has a trace of CA but generally performs well. However, for depth of field, it’s like using a 90mm ƒ3.5. Panasonic has a lens which looks almost identical but is a 42.5mm ƒ1.7.

And this neatly brings me round to third-party lenses, with Voigtländer just one of many choices. For APS-C systems, the Nokton 58mm ƒ1.4 SLII offers some degree of manual focus camera coupling for Nikon mount, and is a perfect 85mm match on 1.5X sensors (£418). Leica mount and adapted mirrorless bodies can use the 75mm ƒ1.8 Heliar (£586). Since these lenses are based on updated classic designs, they have distinctive drawing and bokeh. Competing with Cosinamade Voigtländer are some Zeiss lenses, such as the 85mm ƒ4 Tele-Tessar in Leica M mount (£587). Remember the 1m close focus limit when you consider adapted M-mount choices. But it’s in the competing-with-everyone field that Carl Zeiss really excels. The range of 85mm lenses now on offer actually needs study to find out which you might buy.

For better bokeh and subject separation, an even faster lens is needed and

photovalue.com 22 • MASTER PHOTOGRAPHY MAY/JUNE 2016

The 85mm ƒ1.8 Batis (foot of previous column) is an optically stabilised autofocus Sonnar-type design for Sony full frame E-mount, focusing to 85cm. It’s a fairly lightweight lens, with a crisp full aperture image and easily corrected CA, selling for under £1,000. This design has not been introduced for any other camera system.

The 85mm ƒ1.4 Planar design (above) appears in all forms from traditional old manual focus double Gauss to the latest reworked autofocus with aspherical elements. The traditional Carl Zeiss ZF (Nikon) and ZE (Canon) T* Planar can still be found for around £840 but they’re on the way out. The new manual focus range for SLR-body mounts is called Milvus, and the restyled lens with basically similar optics will cost you £400 more. Then there’s an ultra-high resolution range called Otus, where size is not considered, only total optical correction – a 1200g, 86mm filter thread barrel houses an 11-element Apo-Planar focusing to 80cm. It’s manual Nikon or Canon focus, and costs over £3,000. All the Voigtländer and Zeiss lenses are available from Robert White and their website robertwhite.co.uk provides a full listing of these confusing choices. There are two major rival independent makes offering autofocus 85mm lenses for Canon, Nikon and some other mounts. The Sigma 85mm

LO CALL 0800 0845 750 sales@photovalue.com


Jamess Musselwhite FMPA works with the MicroFoiurThirds format Olympus OM-D E-M10 and the little 45mm ƒ1.8 lens is one of his favourites. Here’s a father and son taken by studio flash, at ƒ9 and ISO 100.

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Sigma’s 85mm ƒ1.4 is not yet upgraded to an ART lens though the latest DG styling is similar. Here it was used on a Commlite adaptor.

ƒ1.4 EX DG HSM now dates back five years, but remains one of the sharpest such lenses at full aperture, and they have left this as the very last fast prime to be upgraded to their new ART specification. This must come soon, so expect some bargains; the regular price is around £620 and mounts available include Sony and Pentax as well as the expected Canon and Nikon. It uses 77mm filters and focuses down to 90cm. Tamron, meanwhile, has introduced a new 85mm in their ƒ1.8 prime series (the 35mm and 45mm are already highly regarded). The latest Tamron SP 85mm ƒ1.8 VC is optically stabilised, which makes it a unique choice for Canon or Nikon systems, and weighs only 700g while taking 67mm filters – all told, it’s a compact and easily handled lens. It has very quiet fast ultrasonic drive focusing down to 80cm. Full aperture sharpness is clean, with no need to stop down except to change depth of field. It has very good longitudinal colour (neutral bokeh edge effects) and overall, it may be the standard to which other 85mms are designed and judged. It costs around £750. The best-known alternative 85mm full frame lens comes

from Korean maker Samyang. Their 85mm ƒ1.4 ASPH (bottom) was introduced in 2008, and lacking focus confirmation chip connections, initial use on DSLRs was always limited by the inaccuracy of their visual focus screens. Even so selling at around £250 it’s been a popular choice, and the new UMC (improved coating) version and its related Ciné T1.5 (£20 premium) and handmade Xeen Ciné (£1,600) versions step up performance. The internal focusing and compact size, weighing just over 500g with 72mm filters, have a poor close focus at 1m as a trade-off. You may see other 85mm lenses on offer such as the Opteka ƒ1.8, but be warned – this example is APS-C only, it’s just not very clear when advertised.

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Timeline Events set a staged shot up at The Photography Show with WWII models and props from Click Props. We used the Tamron 85mm VC kindly loaned from Intro2020’s stand and took the ƒ1.8 study above, together with examples closer up at ƒ2 (upper) and ƒ14 (lower) seen below. No lights, no tripod – just a good fast stabilised 85mm.


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X-100T X-T10 BLACK/ BLACK/SILVER £794.00 SILVER BODY

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EF 50mm F1.4 USM EF 50mm F1.8 STM EF-S 60mm F2.8 USM Macro EF 85mm F1.2L II USM EF 100mm F2.8L IS USM Macro EF 8-15mm F4.0L USM Fisheye EF 16-35mm F2.8L USM II EF 17-40mm F4.0L USM EF 24-70mm F4L IS EF 24-70mm F2.8L II USM EF 24-105mm F4.0L IS USM EF 24-105mm F3.5-5.6 IS STM EF 70-200mm F2.8L IS USM II EF 70-200mm F4.0L IS USM EF 70-300mm F4.0-5.6 IS USM EF 70-300mm F4.0-5.6L IS USM EF 100-400mm F4.5-5.6L IS USM II

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All prices include VAT at 20%. Prices correct at time of going to press. E&OE. *T&Cs apply.PHOTOGRAPHY 0876-0615 MASTER MAY/JUNE 2016 • 25


ALL TRAINED UP!

E

ven if his regional professional friends know him for his skill with a barbecue, Panikos Hajistilly turns out to have serious under-the-bonnet skills in camera work. Just don’t ask him for an on the spot sensor clean! Now he’s MPA’s latest associate. “I spent 25 years in the

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As a former trainer, Panikos Hajistilly AMPA knows the value of learning – and the rewards of accomplishment

service side of the industry”, he explains. “I worked for Canon, Olympus and Nikon during that time, being workshop supervisor for over ten years with Nikon. I was responsible for training in house technicians on new cameras, lenses and other products as well as the subcontractors around the UK and Ireland, and was involved in the early stages of the digital revolution and the birth of digital SLRs as well as some of the greatest 35mm film cameras that preceded them. “However it was my love for and understanding of photography that enabled me to get on with and understand the requirements of the photographers whose equipment I was servicing. I got on particularly well with most of the sports and press photographers of the 1990s and early 2000s. They would regularly come and ask specifically for me to maintain their gear. “Eventually though I felt frustrated at not being able to do what I loved to do as much as I’d wished, which was to be a photographer. “I came to the realisation that small is beautiful, and it has been since 2009 that I have managed to get fulfilment from a photographic perspective. I now deal directly with my clients, I communicate clearly with them so that I understand what they want, provide them with a high standard of work with excellent customer service. At the same time I have managed to improve the standard of my work to the point where I have won numerous regional and National Awards in a variety of disciplines.” Panikos brings a marriage of his technical knowhow and the artistic side of photography, and his images always have a distinctive impact. For his Associateship, he chose to keep to black and white and we have selected some of the total of 20 images


MASTER PHOTOGRAPHY MAY/JUNE 2016 • 27


All images selected from Panikos Hajistilly’s Associateship of the Master Photographers Association. See: www.panikosphoto.com

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MASTER PHOTOGRAPHY MAY/JUNE 2016 • 29


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here for the way they work as sets or pairs on our pages. Like many photographers, Panikos has gathered his training on the road – from his Barnet College photography A-level, to management courses and countless workshops, seminars and events. He singles out a week-long A to Z of Photography and Business course with Aspire Photographic Training as one of the most valuable, but also gives special mention to the influence and teaching of Trevor & Faye Yerbury, Damien Lovegrove, Mark Cleghorn, Kevin Wilson, Ray Lowe, Gordon McGowan, and Gerry Ghionis. In 2012 and 2014 he joined one-week Landscape Photography Workshops in the USA with Alain Briot in The Eastern Sierras and Arizona.

Ventured and gained In the early days of his photographic career, Panikos opted to work as a Venture studio in Palmers Green, though Panikos Photography Ltd was established in July 2002 and

took over as his business from 2009. Before this, he’d done some weddings and portraits while working for the big camera names. “I travelled regularly to the major sporting events like the Football World Cup, European Cup, The Olympics, British Open Golf, Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships“, he says, “supporting professional photographers and sports agencies including Reuters, PA, AP, News International and most leading newspapers. “During that time I was actively taking photos of my own including weddings and portraits and it was in the late 1990s that I qualified with a Licentiate in Portraiture with the MPA. When I opened my Venture studio, we managed an annual turnover of £600k, building that to £865k in five years, by which time I had managed to repay all bank loans relating to Venture. The team I managed rose to 18 members of both full and part time staff. “Now I have a beautiful home studio based in Winchmore Hill, and business

is split into four areas – Cherubs, Studio Portraits including model portfolios, Commercial work and Photographic Training. Our target market is maternity shoots, new-borns, babies, families, commercial work and model portfolios. “My studio is free from wires and cables, as I use ceiling tracking which carries six Profoto B-1 heads with Profoto and Elinchrom light modifiers. These are wireless dedicated monoblocs with built-in battery supplies, and I keep two spare batteries for recharging between shoots. “I do enjoy using the best kit I can afford, and I also believe in using the best quality lenses too. I use a Canon 5DS R with a 5D MkIII as backup, and own the latest Canon 24-70mm ƒ2.8, 70-200mm IS ƒ2.8, 16-35mm ƒ2.8, 100mm ƒ2.8 IS Macro as well as 85mm and 50mmƒ1.2 lenses. For location flash I use three Canon 600RT speedlights and an STE3 RT wireless commander.” As for the experience of moving from Licentiate to Associate status, it’s something

Panikos has enjoyed. “Putting the images together for this Associate Panel, has been a very challenging, yet enjoyable journey. I have learned to pay much, much more attention to detail and to take ‘micro’ control of almost every aspect of the images created, especially regarding posing, the models, their expressions and lighting. “I have come into contact with some truly inspirational photographers and educators who have given me the motivation to push on to bigger and better things. I have been forced to think more deeply about what I’m creating and what I am trying to say with the works I create. This has proved truly challenging. “I would like to explore more themed and carefully styled shoots, containing more of a storytelling aspect, prompting the viewer of my images to think more about the content of the images and what thoughts, emotions and even which memories they trigger within them.” –DK

Á

MASTER PHOTOGRAPHY MAY/JUNE 2016 • 31


JAY WATSON PROFILE OF A NEW MPA LICENTIATE

J

ust in time before departing to climb Mount Fuji as a landmark birthday celebration, Jay Watson will have a full Licentiate membership card. It’s always a useful thing when travelling, to show to prove your professional status or hide to prove you’re not working, just travelling. Jay runs a busy two-studio social and commercial business in the heart of Hereford,

and her career before photography gave her a head start when everything went digital. She turned a natural artistic ability into her first job working as an interior designer in London’s most designed enclave of Kensington, went on to become a cel painting artist and camera operator working for Disney and Steven Speilberg, and moved into publishing design with Dorling Kindersley before

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becoming a freelance photographer in London. Moving to Hereford at the turn of the millennium, Jay worked in tourism marketing and for regional newspapers as a photographer and picture editor before establishing her present business in 2006. With the help of her father, she converted a former solicitor's document store into a light, spacious studio, relying on the many contacts

made during her previous work as a local press photographer to kick-start the business. She began as part time whilst her daughter was very young, and continued to build the studio’s services and reputation before becoming full time in the Autumn of 2008. The studio has always offered a range of services: family and child portraits, weddings and commercial


work, which has meant continued success throughout the difficult time of the recession. Located in the centre of Hereford, the studio is close to the cathedral and amenities. With a client base drawn from one of the most rural counties in England, these are important factors in attracting business from the outlying area as clients are able combine a visit to her studio with shopping and other appointments. Jay Watson Photography is the only city-centre-based studio remaining in Hereford. They have recently expanded into offices next door, and Jay is now able to offer a comfortable and

spacious client area for her planned in-person sales, and dedicated blacked-out product shooting room for regular commercial clients. “My inspirations are constantly changing, but currently the Old Masters (Vermeer, Rembrandt and so on) are very much at the forefront, with a return to classic lighting techniques and a ‘painterly’ finish to the final images. “Kirsty Mitchell’s Wonderland has had a huge impact – I am excited by her attention to detail, theatrical styling, and epic story-telling. I recently bought the book: an immense work of art that I am sure will always be a

personal treasure of mine! And suspect it will have a great influence. “I feel that for my studio to continue to grow, it is time to step away from overly bright, high-key pictures, to a more subdued, elegant style that better suits the idea of images as heirlooms. With the increasing popularity of cameraphones and compact cameras it is easy for all of us to capture every day moments in our family’s lives. Hence my gradual change in direction which began about three years ago. One of the most satisfying things is that my clients have been willing to embrace this change, giving me the

opportunity to create images closer to all our hearts. “I’ve always loved variety, so having a ‘general practice’ studio gives me great scope to practice lots of different skills every day: a long, hot, newborn session can be followed the next day by a technical product shoot. It’s very satisfying knowing that I can turn my hand to almost any brief.”

Á

See: www.jaywatson.photography

MASTER PHOTOGRAPHY MAY/JUNE 2016 • 33


Images from the qualification portfolio of Jay Watson LMPA

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NO!

Confronting strangers in Beijing with an unwavering lens, Jiwei Han chose to record their negative reactions. The result for the documentary photographer, a graduate of the world-leading MA course at Newport, has been a powerful black and white series.

MASTER PHOTOGRAPHY MAY/JUNE 2016 • 41


Photographed in Beijing by Jiwei Han

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You scared me! You have OU! Y no right! K C ! U s You are o F t crazy! thers? pho o t c e p s e r No ow to h w o n k u Do yo What are you doing?

! O N

T

he above words are what I heard when I was walking on streets in Beijing photographing people for this series. For this work, my mind feels some confusion and it’s hard to explain why I would do what I did – the pictures are about the moments of people saying “NO” clearly to me and trying to stop my photography. Forcibly taking photos against people's wishes, like a thief, when I first did it I felt very perverse – but at the same time, I had an evil sense of satisfaction like a thief who has got away with it. “To photograph people is to violate them – possession of a camera does not license intrusion, as it does in this society whether people like it or not” – Susan Sontag Clearly, my behaviour was rude because without strangers’ prior permission, I chose a sudden, aggressive way to jump in front of them and start shooting. Normally, I am a gentle person, used to ask people’s permission before taking photos. In my experience, at few years before, it was quite easy to get strangers’ photo permission if I asked on streets. However, a feeling but can not explain why I felt in recent years, the attitude of being photographed have been changing in China’s society. I asked more – I got more ruthless denial.

Jiwei Han, born 1980, is a Chinese documentary photographer based in Beijing, China. He graduated from the University of Wales, Newport, UK with a master’s degree in Documentary Photography three years ago. “I knew and read Master Photography magazine when I was studying in the UK”, he says. “I studied in Newport from 2011 to 2013 as a fulltime student, at that time, the MA program leader was

Dr Ian Walker. I still miss being at Newport. For me, the Documentary Photography course was a good choice, perhaps that relates to my history and ambitions. “I have a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and Technology, and had worked as a software engineer for seven years. Finally I decided to give up my IT job and to study photography in 2011 for no other reason than my infinite love of photography –

I feel photography gives me a unique way to let me understand the world in which I live. “I was thinking perhaps I need a place to guide me understanding photographic history, theory and so on and also a way to think about photography, rather than learn techniques. Newport provides a complete set of theoretical and practical courses and through the college I learned a lot. “Making a living with photography is not easy, especially in China. My photographic styles tend towards street, news and documentary and with these interests it’s are extremely hard to make a living in China – certainly hard to find a full-time job. “In commercial photography it’s much easier to find jobs especially with the growth of on-line shopping in China (and for export) because large volumes of products need to be photographed and shown online. Sometimes I consider turning to commercial photography although I hate it… but only if I could not earn enough from work related to my documentary interest. “For now, I have few contracts with several photo agencies in China and abroad to take different styles of photo; I also collaborate with NGOs and some news websites in order to get assignments or sell photo stories. But these are still not enough for living, so I have to accept some commercial work such like corporate events, conferences, or even weddings. I am still trying to find a staff job related to documentary photography!”.

Á

www.jiweihan.com

MASTER PHOTOGRAPHY MAY/JUNE 2016 • 43


Photographed in Beijing by Jiwei Han

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MASTER PHOTOGRAPHY MAY/JUNE 2016 • 45


All photographs from the ‘No!’ project © Jiwei Han

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FUJINON XF 100-400mm ƒ4.5-5.6 R LM OIS Richard Kilpatrick has been trying out Fujfilm’s powerful telephoto zoom for the X-system – with help from sports and news freelance Rob Gray

M

atching the X-T1’s SLR style and meeting the expectations set by fast focus and motordrive, Fuji’s new zoom brings the X-System to the attention of sports, action and wildlife photographers. Although the X-system launched with some great consumer XC zooms and a wide range of wide and standard primes and zooms, the light weight and fast AF of the X-T1 and X-E2 revealed the untapped potential of the cameras for those who like to be a little further from their subjects. Eight frames per second with AF is good going in a camera that weighs under 500g and costs as little as the X-E2 often does in bundles, and the upsurge in professionals taking to the Fuji would make the good – but built to suit a budget-focused market – XC series inadequate for the needs of all users. Alongside the X-Pro2, which significantly upgraded the capabilities of Fuji’s flagship hybrid viewfinder model, the long-awaited 100400mm super telephoto made its debut. Playing to all the strengths of the compact system, the 150-600mm equivalent ƒ4.5 to 5.6 lens weighs just 1.4Kg – half the weight of a comparable focal length full frame zoom and a little faster too. Like the X-T1, the 100-400 is fully weather-sealed, and has some nice design touches like the positive-locking lens hook with rotating filter access, and a cost-saving 77mm filter thread. As with all XFseries lenses, aperture control is via a control collar with a switch for auto, and it also features 5-stop stabilisation and a focus limiter. Marketed

although this appeals as a sports/action lens primarily, it’s incredibly versatile. It’s fully compatible with Fuji’s 1.4x teleconverter, too, displaying little change in performance. The firmware of the camera and lens take into account the teleconverter for EXIF and internal processing/ calculations, so it becomes a truly integrated system rather than merely adding an extra lens.

In practical use Fitted to the X-T1 body with grip, the 100-400mm still looks in reasonable proportion despite being a 150-600mm equivalent.

The 100-400mm provides an interestingly compressed perspective for small product photography, such as the model cars Richard Kilpatrick photographs for a magazine client. At 375mm this is equal to using a 560mm lens on full frame, or 750mm lens on a typical medium format digital back; at ƒ16 there’s just the right loss of sharpness to the rear of the model to give a sense of scale.

for handheld use, the tripod collar cannot be removed but the shoe mount can, an unusual design that opens up the possibility for accessory grips perhaps from third party designers. Internally, it’s a complex, 21 element/14 group design that reflects Fuji’s clean-sheet approach with the X-system. Five ED and one Super ED lens are included; regardless of branding the use of low dispersion and extra low dispersion glass in modern

48 • MASTER PHOTOGRAPHY MAY/JUNE 2016

lenses is becoming standard, contributing significantly to the generally high performance of new designs. The lightweight groups contribute significantly to the focusing speeds available, though the benefits of that performance will only be apparent on X-Trans II or III sensors with on-chip phase detection. It offers surprisingly close focus of 1.5m and demonstrates astonishing sharpness at the 400mm end even at minimum focus. As such,

Although the style of the lens – and the bodies – makes for a natural pairing with the X-T1 and grip where the handling is utterly natural and well balanced, the X-Pro2 really shows what the lens is capable of in terms of resolution and performance. Its 24 megapixel sensor shows the biting sharp clarity at 400mm even wide open, and the faster processing yields better tracking from the vastly increased number of AF points. At 100mm, if you’re tracking critical subjects working with the optical finder and keeping things very central is also an option, but for the most part the upgraded EVF in the X-Pro2 is the best way of working, with its 85fps refresh rate. Even the rear LCD has surprisingly little lag. There’s also the small matter of the buffer – if you’re the kind of photographer this lens is really aimed at, the larger buffer and dual card slots of the latest body will also be very compelling. The combination handles pretty well. I found it easiest to adjust the rotating collar and hold the tripod mount for horizontal panning/tracking shots, which is where the idea


To introduce products due for announcement later this year, and allow journalists to try a range of lenses with the 100-400mm as the focus of interest, Fujifilm held an event at Silverstone. Richard reports back that editing some 2,500 motordrive-speed images was not easy – mirrorless systems today have no problem matching the shooting rates of DSLRs. The electronic viewfinder proved stable and sufficiently lag and flicker free to allow well framed fast panning after some practice. The background (bottom image) can show distortions due to the progressive capture, similar to rolling effects in video. High speed (up to 1/4000s) for more direct angles, as above, is matched by surprisingly fast tracking AF even at 400mm, as the 100% 300dpi clip from the frame shows. SRP £1,599 including VAT (street price around £1,399). Photographs © Richard Kilpatrick.

MASTER PHOTOGRAPHY MAY/JUNE 2016 • 49


that a dedicated grip for this purpose could be designed. Not a cheap lens by any means, the 100-400 is extremely good, particularly when the overall package and size is taken into consideration. A 16 megapixel pro body and the equivalent angle of view range will be pushing 4Kg in full frame, particularly with appropriately weathersealed equipment. Fujifilm has really excelled across the XF lens range, and this bold step into professional telephoto territory has landed on solid ground. Performance on the X-Pro2 suggests that this lens will have a lot more to give as the rest of the family continues to evolve, as an SLR-style model using the X-Trans III seems less like a rumour, and more like a logical inevitability. I have been using the lens for general work and also at a Fujifilm press event at Silverstone, appropriate given my other hat as a classic car magazine journalist and photographer. For a different angle, we asked Rob Gray, a familiar caller to our Scot-

Top: Kings of the Sevens at Melrose, at 400mm, wide open at ƒ5.6, ISO 640, 1/1250s. Below, a farm 1.5 miles from the camera photographed with the 1.4X extender (560mm at ƒ8). The image is bitingly sharp, but the 100% section above reveals unexpected HEAT haze in April! © Rob Gray

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tish Borders office. We’ve followed Rob’s switch from a seriously expensive Nikon kit (D4 and 400mm, and much more) to a lighter Fujifilm X system. As a paramedic, and a regular press photographer at rugger matches, Rob is only too aware of the danger of injuries – including those incurred over years of lugging heavy photo gear around. Rob’s Rugby Sevens shots showed a reasonable consistency of sharp AF even at 400mm wide open, comparable to his tests for our magazines with an independent 150-600mm on full frame DSLR. His landscape tests across the full range of focal lengths showed that the lens is good at 100-200mm, but truly excellent at 200mm400mm unlike most zooms which are weaker at the long end. The 1.4X tele converter appeared to maintain resolution beyond expectations. He’s now watching the horizon for Fujifilm’s next advances in the X-system.

Á

See: www.fujifilm.eu/uk www.robgrayphotographer.co.uk


“THIS NEW X-PRO2 CAMERA BRINGS THE ORIGINAL X-SERIES CONCEPT BANG UP TO DATE, AND I’M IMPRESSED” DAMIEN LOVEGROVE, X-PHOTOGRAPHER CAMERA: X-PRO2 LENS: XF90mm EXPOSURE: 1/125SEC AT F2.0, ISO 400

#XPRO2 #5YEARSOFXSERIES WWW.FUJIFILM.EU/UK/X-PRO2 MASTER PHOTOGRAPHY MAY/JUNE 2016 • 51


10mm, 130° – WIDEST EVER LENS FOR FULL FRAME A s we go to press, I’m a week or two away – fingers crossed – from delivery of one of the first Voigtländer Hyper WideHeliar 10mm ƒ5.6 lenses. For someone who baulks at the price of most fast zooms and popular glass, the £839 including VAT price is higher than any other lens I’ve bought since moving on to the Sony A7 full frame mirrorless system in late 2014. That includes the 24-240mm and 16-35mm Sony FE lenses, because I have always waited until a combination of sudden spot sale price drop plus a Sony cashback almost halved the outlay. In fact these are in the same real cost bracket. This is a manual focus, fixed focal length lens restricted to its maximum aperture of ƒ5.6. Why on earth would I ever want to acquire it? The answer is easy. Although I’m not doing the construction, industrial and architectural commissions I once handled as a Midlandsbased studio owner simply having on hand the widest angle lens made for any current digital format is a potential selling point. Maybe it’s not as much of one as a commercial drone licence or a 3D 360° virtual reality rig, but I have no plans to enter a completely new field of business. I started out in the 1970s by purchasing the highest quality wide-angles I could, using lenses like the 17mm ƒ4 Rokkor and the 15mm ƒ3.5 Pentax SMC Takumar and converting a monorail to use a Mamiya Press 50mm ƒ6.3 on as much of 5 x 4" as it would cover (far more than the 6 x 9cm it was made for). The signature style of 17mm shots in strong black and white, often Grade 4 printing, won clients like The Sunday Times and Built Environment magazine, while

The fixed petal lens hood accepts a deep push-on cap but is not filter

the less emotive use of the lenses let me provide specifications in written tenders for contracts with clients like Taylor Woodrow and the CEGB. The pitch was that I could guarantee to show an angle of 90° horizontal view, something which engineers immediately understand. Later on, moving more into travel and stock photography, always having the widest available angle of lens enabled me to produce images which the clients had not seen before. It’s not just a matter of ‘getting more in’. The wider angle allowed a greater choice of camera positions, and relatively minor furnishings or ornamental plants could be moved with precision to create foregrounds while often hiding unwanted details. This was in

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the days before D-I-Y retouching. It’s a skill I have never lost. I can move my camera and my feet just a few inches so a drainpipe or an aircon box will no longer be seen. The 10mm Hyper WideHeliar has a wider view than two Hasselblad SWC frames side by side plus loads more top and bottom. I plan to use this lens on the Sony A7RII, 42 megapixels and supposedly hampered by a thick sensor cover glass which streaks edge detail in ultrawide rangefinder-type lens images. We tested the 10mm in both Leica M (on the 240) and Sony E versions and there didn’t seem to be any issue with sharpness across the frame corner to corner, even wide open. On the Sony, full EXIF data is transmitted from the manual de-clickable aperture setting

friendly until a holder appears. E-mount version left, Leica mount centre, and the cameras seen fitted with 10mm Hyper WideHeliars and a new 15mm Super Wide-Heliar in the centre. This lens also has quite stunning optical performance. Photos: the NEC sign from about a yard away (it’s 10ft tall!); Pendigo Lake at the NEC with Resorts World, at ƒ8 (the gravel shows how the lens draws); and NEC foyer wide open.

and also the focus which activates magnified focusing when turned, along with a graphic focus point display in the finder. Unlike Sony lenses this is a hard infinity stop helical action, so infinity has some room to cope with Sony’s strikingly imprecise true register (one which depends normally on its closedloop autofocus). The E-mount 10mm also focuses down to 30cm, more useful than the 50cm of the Leica model. Using the lens quickly showed that accurate focus pays off despite the huge depth of field. Though it’s very sharp at ƒ5.6, vignetting is the most you’ll ever see; stopping down to ƒ11 gives an optimal result, and the built-in lens profile helps the viewfinder avoid extreme tunnel vision. Geometry is nearperfect. The full frame can be extreme but the benefit of 42 megapixels is that it can be cropped, either to moderate to a normal 15mm-ish view or shift the crop position to make a virtual shift lens. Yes, the Canon 11-24mm comes very close and 130° is not so much more than Sigma’s 12-24mm with 122°. But this tiny lens weighs only 375g and packs in my travel kit easily. It’s the widest ‘straight’ angle you can get and for any professional used to tight corners it’s a must. – David Kilpatrick See: www.flaghead.co.uk

Á


MASTER PHOTOGRAPHY MAY/JUNE 2016 • 53


LOXLEY COLOUR MPA CEO Clare Louise visits the association’s trade partner and awards sponsor Loxley Colour in Scotland, continuing her series of profiles of the businesses which underpin the UK’s professional photographic community

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here is little room for doubt about Loxley Colour’s presence as you approach their impressive 52,000 sq.ft headquarters located just 15 minutes from Glasgow’s city centre. The immaculate glass fronted building stands proud, with the Campsie Fells as a backdrop and the dramatic Scottish sky reflected in its exterior, serving to build anticipation as you approach. The impression left by the exterior isn’t betrayed by the sprawling interior, either. From the first floor mezzanine, you get a bird’s eye view of the entire production area. Comprehending the size and scope of what’s going on below takes a few minutes. But what strikes you more is the precision and ordered functionality of the factory floor. It’s serenely calm and spotlessly clean, each department working in sync with the others to produce the vast array of products this industry stalwart has developed over time.

transmitted images for news and media photographers before social photographers also began to realise the benefits of digital. From there the company has grown, moving premises five times in 18 years to the facilities they have today; 52,000 sq.ft of production and assembly with a further 20,000 sq.ft of production preparation.

Lead by passion, driven by technology

What’s in a name? The man who started it all, Ian Loxley, MD, still sits at his desk, on the production floor, every day. Continually working with his team to develop more products, improve on others and increase the effectiveness and efficiency of the production processes, Ian is very much a hands on MD, and what’s most apparent is that he still has the passion and the drive for the industry that he started off with. Ian’s entire working life has been immersed in the photographic industry, from collecting and processing 35mm film as part of his

Loxley’s superlab at Cumbernauld is impressive from the outside and inside alike. It is the fifth location the business has occupied.

father’s business to the evolution of such a prominent name in the photographic industry, Loxley Colour. Loxley’s started its journey

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in a 500 sq.ft basement in the city centre of Glasgow. As film and digital collided, Ian and his small team of four developed and scanned, then

Seeing the precision and efficiency of the lab is a must for anyone who cares about how their images are transformed into physical works of art. It’s no surprise to find out Ian is hugely driven by technology and process. From his first purchase of a Kodak LED printer from none other than Calum Thomson (who has since become his Head of Sales and Business Partnerships), Ian has tirelessly reinvested in the company, making sure they’re always working with the latest technology and software systems so clients can have what they want, when they need it. The company has a strict Continuous Improvement Strategy and tolerance for mistakes is low. This is reflected in the 0.6% complaint rate, a remarkable figure when you consider the hundreds of orders that go out the door every. Their passion for their customers is clear when you learn that complaints reports are reviewed every day, and the ‘customer is always right’ approach means that any issues are dealt with straight away and they work on what went wrong without question.


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Growing together

One where they can learn from customers, understand what they need and support their businesses by offering them creative products to be proud of.

Despite the impressive growth of the company, from four employees to almost 100 today, Ian hasn’t lost the sense of family and community upon which the company was founded. He takes a personal interest in all of his staff, knows everyone by name and treats them as an extension of his own family. Families are employed here, and strong friendships have been forged among the staff. He promotes from within as much as he can and develops his team as part of the overall development of the business. Most of the Senior Management Team that manage the day to day running of the business, leaving Ian to get involved on the ground, where he’s happiest, have been with him for many years.

Wise words

The customer is always key Loxley’s key focus in all they do is the customer experience. They’ve invested heavily in the development of software and interfaces that make ordering easier for customers. The in-house development team work round the clock on the bespoke ordering system to make sure it moves with the times. Six full-time experienced Customer Service Representatives offer support on the phone and by email to the hundreds of Loxley photographers ordering every day. They provide technical support, product information, order updates and are always upbeat and happy to chat to, and help customers. The dedicated product development team develop and create new products and improve on existing ranges to make sure their customer, the photographer, can offer their clients something new, exciting and innovative. All of this is for the customer and it’s clear that values of perfection and customer satisfaction are at the forefront of everything they do.

Loxley’s striking stand at the 2016 Photography Show, top, and Ian Loxley centre of his team of 11 staff – “four days, 176 speakers across 16 theatres, stages and classes and an incredible 27,000 visitors”. Below, the iconic new Harris Tweed® albums and album tote bags launched at the show.

More than just an industry Driven by their clear longterm goals, Loxley know where they stand in the industry and where they want to be. They care passionately about their photographers and want to continue to in-

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novate, educate and grow. Engaging with their customer base and those that haven’t yet boarded the good ship Loxley, is important to them. The team heads out on the road as much as possible to connect with the industry, but they see it more as a community than an industry.

When asked what one piece of advice he would offer new photographers entering the industry, Head of Sales and Business Partnerships, Calum Thomson said “Don’t do it alone. Embrace the community, meet people, speak face to face, learn in person and share.” He added “this will help you grow and ultimately, it’ll help you survive as a business and keep that spark for your passion lit.” Calum has seen vast changes in how photographers run their business. I asked him to tell us the one thing he wishes he could do for photographers he replied “in the twenty-five years I’ve been around professional photographers, the underlying trend I’ve seen is that many photographers have very little confidence to sell themselves and their products. “They put too low a value on who they are and what they can bring a client. If I could do one thing, it would be to get those photographers to believe in themselves.” There were many things I took away from my visit to Loxley Colour. Ian and his team aren’t afraid to think big and invest in their ideas. They care. They value others, the skills that make great products and their personal growth. They are supportive, believe in each other and are proud of what they have achieved and where they’re going. And whilst clearly a very humble man, Ian Loxley’s passion for the photographic industry burns stronger than ever. Using the products and services he provides communicates this, in volumes, to the industry he loves. www.loxleycolour.com

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K E L L Y BROW N TRAINING DAY TRIUMPH FOR MPA

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few weeks ago I attended the Kelly Brown seminar run for Cherubs Partners by the MPA, writes Cherubs Ambassador Nick Bayley. I finally got to meet and spend the whole day with one of my photography heroes. She has been an absolute inspiration to me since I first watched her on Creative Live doing a talk on newborn photography. I have admired her amazing award-winning images from afar and so naturally jumped at this exclusive chance to meet her in person and benefit from her expertise while she was briefly in the UK. The night before the seminar Kelly joined a group of us, stayed and chatted for a hour or more. I have never been in a group of photographers that listened without interruption to every word of one person. At the seminar the next day Kelly was an inspiration – not only was she extremely generous with her business knowledge gained over ten years as a newborn photographer, she also explained that it was important for her and her family to have some “me time”. We went through Baby Safety, posing and studio setups as well as running a profitable studio. So much information, and I know we could have spent many hours listening to her. After a very long day I came out feeling energised and will be implementing many of the ideas and practices I picked up dur-

HERE’S WHAT THE DELEGATES SAID

Kelly Brown (left) with Ray Lowe (centre, though really referee…) and delegates at the seminar, as discussions went on into the night. Right: Cherubs Ambassador Nick Bayley who provided this report along with Ray, and Kelly. Below: everyone needs a nap after the gig! Photograph by Nick Bayley.

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ing the day to make sure that ‘Rosiepics’ and my clients will see my photography evolve as a result of this awesome lady and what she has done for our industry. But most importantly I want to make sure I deliver amazing images and a unique service for my clients. I even took my first selfie. I know I look shattered but it had been a fantastic day and I can’t thank Ray Lowe, Paul Inskip and Claire Louise enough for organising this event. You may or may not know that I have been asked to be one of the Cherub Ambassadors. I am based in the South of England, Hampshire and want to help anyone who wants help with their Cherub business. We need to work together to bring the standard of Photography and the service we deliver above the average. We can only do this by putting our heads together and working to help each other. I have picked up many new ideas over the last few years and although I have only been in this industry for five years, I have run my own businesses since 1997 and I have to say this is the hardest industry I've worked in ( I used to run hotels and restaurants and then went into IT and Telecoms). It’s a tough nut to crack and one thing I know is it’s no good to copy or look at what some other photographers are doing in your area, you have to be you. Sell you, and the service you offer, don’t cheapen you, by


offering lower prices than the person down the road. “You have no idea what their business is, and it’s none of your business” – Kelly Brown quote. You have no idea what their costs are or their end goal, or their business plan. If they are doing everything on a disk for £20 let them they will get so busy that after a few months they will be knackered and broke. There is a wealth of knowledge in our group so let us share it to further all our businesses – share freely and be helpful. Its the only way forward.

Ray Lowe’s take Kelly Brown has contacted me on arriving back in Oz and said how much she enjoyed the Cherubs day, and how much she noticed how Cherub Partners shared with each other, something that does not happen amongst all photographers. How on earth do I sum up what a fantastic two days the Kelly Brown conference really was? It was everything I had hoped for when I started arranging it, and a hell of a lot more, mainly because of the Partners who attended, writes MPA Cherubs Director Ray Lowe. We were lucky enough to have a delightful meal the evening before the talk with Kelly because of the generosity of Ronan Ryle of 3XM – a huge thank you to him. As you can imagine the talk with her over dinner was stimulating to say the least. Around twenty five Cherub Partners who stayed at the hotel sat for many hours discussing Cherubs. What came out of that frank and deep discussion was very enlightening which WILL have consequences for the future of Cherubs. The thoughts and views from the discussion group were very strong and forthright. Kelly's all day talk was only in a small part about newborn photography. She showed a few brilliant videos of her at work, actually shooting a newborn baby and she

was doing the voice over live which was a great way of explaining. But her talk was so much more, Business, success, motivation, life, this excellent talk had absolutely everything. What was lovely to see at the end of the day, was so many partners staying behind and chatting away for ages. To be honest nobody wanted it to end. One of the things that came out of the evening meeting and was very strongly felt, was the standard of photography in Cherubs generally around the UK. This is the main reason that every Cherubs Partner must be qualified to Licentiateship level. Each and every one of us must be of the highest standard possible as the whole of the Cherub Brand rests on all of our Shoulders. The next Licentiateship panel judging takes place in Darlington on June 22nd. If you have been in Cherubs for longer than two years and you are not yet a licentiate your contract will not be renewed. Get it sorted now!

advice to improve all aspects of our business. • A great day. Well worth making a space in my calendar for and a real help in term of continuing to develop my work. • This was by far the best seminar I have attended through out my photography journey. Kelly Brown is an amazing speaker she is inspirational and motivational. She is immensely generous with the information she shares. An amazing day! • Well-organised seminar with the amazingly talented but also very giving Kelly Brown. A major coup by our own Cherubs/MPA and it was a privilege to be there. • This is what Cherubs is all about… learning together to achieve a high standard. • This has to be without doubt a massive triumph for the MPA and Cherubs, to be able to provide a world-class speaker for members. The day with Kelly Briwn was awesome. • Wow – what a fantastic day and what an amazing photographer and speaker

Photograph by Nick Bayley

MPA CREATED a feedback page where delegates at last month’s Kelly Brown newborn and baby seminar could leave their comments. And here’s what they said. • Kelly is a great speaker, warm and generous with information. Highly recommended. • Incredible seminar with a world class speaker. I have so many new ideas, tips and

Kelly Brown is. I’m inspired to the max. Thank you Kelly. • Awesome: one of the best evenings and days I have spent so far in my photography career. If anything it was too short and went too quickly • Brilliant MPA Cherubs day with world class baby photographer Kelly Brown. A class act. • Fantastic day, fantastic

speaker, love being a part of Cherubs, I have learnt so much and my photography has improved so much, thanks to the MPA and Cherubs and all the ongoing learning and help that is on offer, I don’t know what I’d do without you. • Inspirational and useful full day seminar with Kelly Brown. Got lots to implement now. Thanks. • Always gets your brain turning, allowing me to grow and develop with every new client. • Excellent seminar. Look forward to attending the next one. • Good to be reminded why I love photographing babies, and to be inspired to keep moving forward. • A great opportunity to meet like minded professionals all wishing to make our baby businesses the best in the UK. • Wow! What an amazing lady, so talented and inspirational. I’m all geared up to push my newborn business to the next level, thank you for a fantastic seminar and an insight into your business and personal life. • What a fantastic day, so many ideas and new directions – thank you Ray Lowe, Paul Inskip and Clare Louise for organising one of the best Cherub days ever. If you missed this one you should be kicking yourself BIG TIME! • I knew it was going to be great! But never realised just how great! So glad I never passed on it, not only great value for money but a fab day away meeting everyone Thank you so much everyone involved. • After watching Kelly Brown on Creative Live, I jumped at the chance to see her speak in person and I wasn’t disappointed! A great value day packed with information and inspiration.

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MASTER PHOTOGRAPHY MAY/JUNE 2016 • 59


NEWBORN SHOW www.thenewbornphotographyshow.co.uk

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PA is taking part in the third Newborn Photography Show, which takes place on May 17th and 18th at the Windmill Village Hotel, Allesley, Coventry CV5 9AL. The show was started by Melanie East, Sarah Wilkes and Tracey Willis – all three brilliant photographers, and was a great success from the first year. Tracey and Sarah are putting all their efforts into a great show this year (Melanie has pulled out because she is too busy). “I urge each and everyone one of you to go along and see how big this Newborn business really is”, said MPA Cherubs Director Ray Lowe, who is also the opening speaker for the event. “I'm lecturing on building the perfect portrait business – this will probably be my last talk, therefore my best! I will be there on the MPA stand for two days so why not come along and say a big hi, and do not forget the hog roast dinner on the 17th as well. “You can also bring along your laptop with images for our assessment, to see if you are ready for your Licentiateship – remember we are there to help, and we are also now requiring all Cherubs partners to qualify as Licentiates. The next LMPA judging will be on June 22nd in Darlington.” Here’s a look at the open programme and the available (paid) special seminars. Please note that this is a ‘last call’ reminder for the show, which has been promoted for some time including The Photography Show in March, and places may not be available at all seminar sessions. Tuesday May 17th 12.00 noon – 1.00pm Ray Lowe FMPA FBIPP FRPS Building a Successful Baby Portrait Business No matter how good your

the imagination and in doing so tapping into what makes us unique. She explores how looking beyond our fears and limiting beliefs will release our creativity and the value of personal projects for self growth.

It’s not all about babies – Clare Louise talks about Creating Creativity and the value of personal projects photography is, you need customers to survive and then grow. In fact portrait photography is relatively easy to master, but marketing takes a lot more work. Two out of three new photographic businesses fail in the first two years, through lack of customers. Without a flow of customers you have no business. We will show you a step by step guide of how to succeed in the business of baby photography; it’s called the chain of success, by using our experience in the art of running a successful photographic studio. Tuesday May 17th 3.00pm – 4.00pm Clare Louise FMPA - Shooting For Success CEO of the Master Photographers Association, fine art photographer, multi award

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winner, international competitions and qualifications judge Clare will explore the values of why we should see entering awards as an investment, including the simple must-do steps when entering. She will give an insight into the judging environment and evaluate how an image creates impact. Wednesday May 18th 12.00 noon – 1.00pm on Creating Creativity • What blocks our inspiration, and how to overcome a creative block • The Power of What If, and our Limiting Beliefs • The Value of Personal Projects and Self Growth Clare Louise will tap into how we have our best tool for success already available to us – our imagination. She shares hints and tips on expanding

THERE ARE also some amazing Newborn Photographers lined up with seminar classes, some of which are fully booked already. Kellie Wilson will be along teaching Newborn Art, but her class sold out within the first few hours of going live. Jade Gao from Sydney Australia is also sold out, as is Gary Hill with Child Fine Art Portraiture. But don’t worry it may not be too late to book one of these other classes: Elli Cassidy on Maternity and Lighting Training – £125. 9am – 12pm, 15 per class. Elli is a highly regarded specialist Newborn and Maternity photographer. She has been awarded Newborn Photographer of the year by the IPPN on several occasions and was the first in the UK to achieve an Associateship in Newborn and Maternity photography. In this maternity class Elli will demonstrate how to carefully pose and light mums-tobe to achieve beautiful and elegant pregnancy portraits. Elli will show you how to refine maternity posing with a pregnant client to enhance their bump and flatter their new shape and will also cover lighting, including her signature low key portraits and classic silhouettes. Tracy Willis on Composite Art Training – £125, 9am12pm, 15 per class. Tracy is one of the leading Newborn photographers in the UK and one of the show organisers. Her composite artwork is creating a bit of a buzz in the industry at present.


She produces unique images created from elements all photographed by herself (no stock images used). At this class Tracy will be taking you through the various methods she uses to create seamless composite artwork, helping you to free your mind and produce unique work that cannot be recreated by your competition. You’ll learn how to cut out elements cleanly and simply, how to add realistic shadows, how to create ‘mist’, how to turn grass to snow and much more. In this four-hour class Tracy will be using Lightroom and Photoshop CC and you will be given a PDF of the basic steps to take home and practice along with a USB with the basic elements for a composite so you are able to begin experimenting straight away. You may bring a laptop if you wish to try while Tracy is teaching however you may find it more useful to make notes so you are able to keep up with the steps. Tracy’s work can be viewed at www.tracywillis.co.uk

Elizabeth Griffiths Black & White Fine Art – £125, 10am-1pm, 15 per class. Originally a fine art portrait painter, is best known for her black and white children’s fine art portraiture. Her classical, mainly single-lit, portraits often show meaningful and sensitive images of children. Due to the popularity of her style she is a preferred photographer for several well known children’s modelling/ acting agencies, creating their members’ portfolios. At her Hertfordshire home based studio, Elizabeth creates her signature styling both with light and posing, creating timeless portraits that are beautifully tender and emotive. At her class, she will be showing you how she prepares and consults with her clients prior to their sessions, a practical session on how she uses studio lighting, showing you how she poses her subjects and how she styles the final portrait. Elizabeth will also be presenting some of her editing processes, which

is often very minimal due to work put in setting up her shots. She will also offer the opportunity for you to pose your questions and help you to answer them. Elizabeth’s work can be viewed at www.elizabethg.co.uk Lisa McCormick covers Outdoor Children Training – £195, 1pm-6pm, 12 per class. Lisa McCormick is a busy mum of three boys. For Lisa photography is more than her job, it is her way of life, she lives and breathes it and this certainly shows through her work. In this class Lisa is going to guide you through all the aspects of creating stunning and natural images of children, from the preparation right up to her final touches in post-production. Lisa is a new talent that the organisers have discovered. There are also some Mini Classes at £20 per class. These include Gary Hill doing Intro to Lighting on Tuesday and Wednesday in the Halifax Suite, 10.30am-12pm. Scared of speedlights, frightened of

studio heads, modifiers and the dreaded light meter? This introduction to the use of additional lighting will give you a basic grounding of how they work and how to apply them. No longer stuck when the weather is dour and ISO 3200 is the only solution, add some artificial light and produce quality lighting, simply! Baby and Child First Aid Course – this vital training can be found both Tuesday and Wednesday in the Lancaster Suite. How to deal with an unconscious baby and child; Recovery positions; What to do if a baby, child or Adult stops breathing; how to do CPR. Head injuries; Shock; Choking; Anaphylaxis; Poisons; Meningitis; Fractures; Burns and Bleeding; Febrile seizures; Your role and responsibilities in first aid and emergency situations; First aid kits. You will receive a certificate of attendance on completing this class to display in your studio.

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MASTER PHOTOGRAPHY MAY/JUNE 2016 • 61


A STAR AT FIVE YEARS OLD Gary Walsh does tend to push the envelope, but for his seminar at G F Smith he did the impossible – three hours of demonstration with a five-year-old subject! As Steve Ramsden reports, young Coco did fine, and so did Gary.

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nyone wondering what to do with their leap day this year could have done far worse than attending the superb Gary Walsh day at G F Smith’s Hull factory, very graciously hosted and sponsored by Tim Berry of G F Smith. Gary is a very successful and long established wedding and portrait photographer based in Norton, Stockton on Tees, and has developed a firm reputation for high quality children’s photography. He’s also a prominent award winner with a cover of this magazine to his credit. It was a thrill to entice him to just outside Yorkshire (North Humberside is near enough but not quite holy ground!) for a demonstration of his style and methods, and an evening chat about his studio, work and philosophy. Five-year-old Coco was our model for the day, travelling from Huddersfield with her mum and aunty. Whilst Coco was understandably shy at first, surrounded by numerous (I’ll choose my words carefully and say elder rather than old) delegates, Gary was able to effectively employ his warm Northern charm and wit to encourage smiles, giggles and some great poses from her. To be fair, for one so young, she worked extremely

A paper plant and album manufacturing centre might not be promising as a setting for child portraits. Gary used the meeting room (top), a photomural of woodlands, a corner with a soft below left, and more grungy industrial outdoor light. He also found the grass verge and orange perspex, facing page, which made the most natural and striking shots.

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hard. I know many a young subject would have faltered, yet Coco cheerily worked with Gary through six full photo sets over around three hours. First was a simple set, with Coco sat on a sideboard against a wall in the training room; second, she lay back on a corner sofa with a strong window backlight; third was the clever use of an outdoor wooded-scene mural in the G F Smith canteen area, utilised to look as if Coco had been photographed outdoors; fourth was an ingenious use of some orange Perspex in the kitchen area; fifth was some classic outdoor shallowdepth-of-field-against-longgrass portraiture, and finally, we saw some classic ’street’ photography with a car repair yard as the backdrop. That’s exhausting enough to read, let alone deliver, and it was a pleasure to observe Gary’s obviously well honed skill in keeping Coco involved and interested throughout the afternoon. A tour of the factory followed, and of the massive warehouse area storing tonnes upon tonnes of papers from all over the world. I hadn’t realised just how big an international operation G F Smith have at their Hull headquarters, and that the wedding and portrait products they


produce and supply are just a small part of a much broader sphere of activity. Coco left us in the evening, after the whole group had been treated to an impressive buffet courtesy of G F Smith. Gary stayed on to chat to everyone about his business in more detail. All in all, a thoroughly interesting and rewarding day. After the event, Gary forwarded his photographs to Tim Berry at G F Smith, who arranged for Coco to receive a wonderful souvenir of her day – a G F Smith A4 Expressions album with a complete collection of photographs from the day by Gary Walsh. Coco is seen with her album right, and below are details of the lay-flat opening for a full spread – and the textured tissue wrap with G F

Smith signature seal. My thanks go to the Northern Region committee – Paul Eddom, Keith Meadley and Phill Andrew, who helped to organise this event, but especially to John Woods, whose determined efforts ensured we all had a fabulous day. Our grateful thanks also go to G F Smith for hosting this event for us, and being such wonderful sponsors. John invited Coco to his studio a couple of weeks later to receive her completed album, a perfect way to thank her for being so brilliant a model for us. Our thanks also go to Gary Walsh for an extremely informative day, and some amazing photography. – SR

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www.gfsmithphotographic.com

MASTER PHOTOGRAPHY MAY/JUNE 2016 • 63


REGIONS CENTRAL REGION

MIDLANDS REGION

May 11th 2016 – Steve Walton, the MPA President, will be coming down to for a joint meeting with London and Essex – something we’ve done for the past few years very successfully – and it’s the turn of Brentwood to be the location. Really looking forward to both welcoming Steve and seeing some of his stunning photography!

May 17th-18th 2016 – Newborn Photography Show

June 21st 2016 – Annual Print Competition, Pin Wei restaurant in Abbotts Langley (6:30 for food and chat, 8pm for critique and awards). Images will need to be submitted to Paul Wilkinson Photography by June 13th – watch out for category announcements and print details. This year our own CEO, award-winning photographer and international judge, Clare Louise FMPA , will be judging so this is a brilliant opportunity to get your images critiqued and be able to ask questions about the National Awards. And you never know, you might just win a trophy!

NORTHERN REGION June 7th 2016 – afternoon and evening seminar - Lightroom workflow training day with Adobe Accredited Lightroom Trainer Amit Ghelani. To be hosted at the Mercure Wetherby Hotel by MPA Northern Region, details TBA.

SCOTTISH REGION May 16th 2016 – Social Media for Photographers, with Jenny Johnston of Photovalue/3XM Solutions. Registration 9am, half day seminar. See: www.3xmsolution.com During this half day session you’ll learn how to: Set up your business page for success Create content that's relevant to your target audience Get started with Facebook advertising Build custom audience lists for advertising Create and target lookalike audiences

Use Facebook advertising to generate enquiries and increase bookings See also how you can use 3XM galleries in your business! June 12th 2016 – Scottish Regional Awards. This year’s awards and AGM will be held (Sunday) at The Royal Hotel Dunkeld Perthshire PH8 0AR, tel 01350 727322. Tickets for the full day and dinner are £35 per person, and can be paid by cheque payable to MPA Scotland and sent to Sandra Parris,13 Hislop Gardens Hawick, Roxburghshire TD9 8PQ or contact Sandra for BACS details. This year’s judge and speaker is David P MacDonald FMPA . David will be talking about his Portrait Photography and how he has marketed his business to become one of the most successful Portrait Studios in the UK. Also speaking for the region about Facebook marketing is 3XM’s Jenny Johnson. Rooms at the hotel are £75 double room B&B & £52.50 for single room B&B, please book directly with the hotel quoting MPA Scotland.

WELSH REGION May 15th 2016 (Sunday) – Puzzlewood (to be confirmed, weather dependent) Social Day Out. Meet at Puzzlewood near Monmouth: www.puzzlewood.net take some photographs, then off to a nearby pub for sustenance. This is an amazing place which has featured in a lot of TV and

feature films, most notably the latest Star Wars film. This is a purely a social day out, not a seminar or formal meeting. We will only need to have an idea of numbers attending in order to book tables for a meal at the pub, and everyone pays their own way. June 27th 2016 – Annual Welsh Region Competition. Following previous year's formats, the judge this year will be Steve Walton FMPA , the current MPA president, and will be held at our regular venue, The Grove Golf Club. Judging will take place in the afternoon, and the evening session will be a presentation by Steve on his own work and experiences. September 12th 2016 – Model Photo Shoot at Glynhir House (to be confirmed) Glynhir House is at Llandybie, near Ammanford in Carmarthenshire and offers great opportunities for both indoor and outdoor photography. We will organise the location and the model, and we will ensure that there is a wide range of equipment and techniques available to try out which perhaps you would not normally have access to. The rest will be up to you! This is not a formal seminar, but an 'experience and development' day where we teach to and learn from each other. There will be a charge for this, purely to cover the venue and model hire costs, and numbers attending will be limited!

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FINDING YOUR REGION ON FACEBOOK REGIONAL news, discussion and updates can be found on Facebook. To find the main MPA page, type ‘Master Photographers Association’. For regions, type ‘The MPA’; for special groups including China, Malaysia, Cherubs, Qualifications, type ‘MPA’ – in each case you’ll get a list of options. Here are the full URLs of active regional UK Facebook pages: https://www.facebook.com/MPA.Central.Region https://www.facebook.com/The-MPA-London-Essex-Region https://www.facebook.com/MPANorthernRegion https://www.facebook.com/The-MPA-Welsh-Region https://www.facebook.com/The-MPA-West-Midlands-Region https://www.facebook.com/The-MPA-Scottish-Region https://www.facebook.com/The-MPA-South-East-Region https://www.facebook.com/The-MPA-South-West-Region

Online Qualifications Judging The Master Photographers Association 01325 356555 Qualifications www.masterphotographersassociation.co.uk/qualification-dates-2016/ May 27th July 29th September 30th November 25th 64 • MASTER PHOTOGRAPHY MAY/JUNE 2016


BUSINESS ‘No answer’ is no www.amimage.co.uk answer to lost calls _imaging email: info@amimage.co.uk

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hether you are chasing work or putting yourself in the picture for new clients, the last thing you need is to be left incommunicado. Photographers get unwanted calls on a regular basis. This interruption to business can be very damaging. If you are unable to pick up other important calls and confirm times and dates with people, it could cost you more than just money. And while technology can lend a hand, answer machines and text messaging does not make the same impression on potential clients as talking to a helpful, courteous and friendly human. Maxine Park, Co-Director at call-answering service provider based individuals with years of InTouchNow, explains why the experience. personal touch is invaluable. “Using these services also “In the current economic has the added advantage of climate where productivity providing a greater sense of scale and efficiency are central to to smaller outfits, as it can make a successful business, having businesses appear larger than someone to not only answer calls they really are. It also marks the but deal with them in a manner business out as one that is run which projects a professional efficiently and recognises the image, is absolutely crucial,” she importance of all incoming calls. said. “When you outsource your “There is a growing needs to a professional reception appreciation of just how team that has worked hard important dealing with phone to understand your business, calls in a professional manner they can handle customer really is. Freelance photographers service enquiries, working with work in a rather zealous information you have provided, market where the next client to help answer simple questions is potentially just one phone or even progress sales calls. call away. Given the effort now “These teams understand that being made by all and sundry they are an extension of your to appear on the first page of business, concerned with your Google, the way in which you success and are not just there to answer your phone is integral to Atech is the UK’s leadingtake supplier of photo-book messages. If that is all do your success, or indeed, failure. manufacturing and national sales and of however, the details “It is alarming that even systems, require service agent for Chromira photo printers. calls can be emailed or texted with all the options available to to you, so you can take the people, many still cling to the Atech offers its customers a 24 hour, 7 day a week appropriate action; when you are belief that if they cannot answer after sales service, together with service contracts ready. their phone then diverting a call to cover its whole range of “Advanced photographic, digital services will to voicemail is good enough. printing equipment and also finishing machines. All include an online portal, However, surveys indicate that spare parts and consumables – such as laminates, showing the call history and around 70 per cent of people inks, paper, films and slide mounts – are carried in actions undertaken, which can calling people or businesses they stock for same or next day delivery. be viewed in real time. The do not know will NOT leave a client can step in at any time message. We keep the photo labs YOU use for your vital to return important calls or add “Many professionals are under orders up and running to meet your deadlines information to help the reception pressure to deliver a first without compromising quality. team deal with calls more class service which competes efficiently. with their Contact larger rivals. Forfind your nearest us to lab offering “Following any calls received, photographers, the answer is to Chromira prints or bound photo books and will not have theand concentrate on whatorthey albums, findare out moreyou about ourjust products numbers to call back, but all the getting paid to do and outsource services. details necessary to return calls everything else. effectively, with time to prepare “The best providers Callservice 01707 373738 or email And of course, you will offer aenquiries@atech.co.uk full suite of reception •if needed. www.atech.co.uk also have the opportunity to filter and secretarial services; from handling customer service ATECH LTD out the calls that do not matter. “Depending your call1EW 31 enquiries to support, 15 marketing Little Mundells • Welwyn Garden City • on Herts AL7 volume and the services you all delivered by professional, UK-

“For photographers the decision to outsource provides complete flexibility. You can concentrate on the job in hand and, when you are busy, you simply leave calls to be answered professionally, by humans. You buy the services you need when you need them and turn them on and off at the swipe of an app. “It is senseless to risk losing out on work opportunities and suffering a knock to your reputation when there is a simple, accessible solution to the familiar ‘answer, don’t answer’ dilemma.”

Units 2-3 Stewartfield industrial estate Edinburgh EH6 5RQ

t:0131 553 3548

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• Coffee table/story books require, outsourcing your call • Canvas prints answering and reception services will range anywhere from • E6, B&W, C41 processing between five per cent to 50 per • Finishing services on MDF, PVC, foam board cent of what it would cost to etc employ an individual to handle your calls. “If you simply want your calls screened, announced and connected in real-time your costs will be lower than if you want diary management, appointment scheduling and more time intensive processes.

10% discount for MPA members

About the author: Maxine Park is a solicitor and co-founder of InTouchNow, the call answering and reception service provider, formed in response to demand from existing digital dictation and transcription service clients wanting additional outsourced support. She writes regularly in the media on a range of topics, covering a wide variety of sectors. Maxine’s writing focuses on the issues and challenges faced by businesses of all shapes, sizes and complexity, offering valuable advice, shaped by experience.

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MASTER PHOTOGRAPHY MAY/JUNE 2016 • 65 DavidBryce3pp.indd 31

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MASTER PHOTOGRAPHY MAY/JUNE 2016 • 67


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Master Photography May/June 2016  

With a cover and portfolio from Panikos Hajistilly, this issue features the remarkable confrontational street shooting of Jiwei Han, our por...

Master Photography May/June 2016  

With a cover and portfolio from Panikos Hajistilly, this issue features the remarkable confrontational street shooting of Jiwei Han, our por...