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47 MINUTeS Of VIDeO The definitive guide to SLR photography

Make 2017 your best year ever ...

MASTER YOUR CAMERA NOW! Your complete guide to the basics

free! With this issue

2017 planner & COMpeTITIOnS lISTInGS phOTOShOp ebOOk & Gear GuIde


FeBrUarY 2017 186

everYthing YoU neeD to know aBoUt photographY!

Cover storY

Master your caMera Your complete guide to the basics

43

James Abbott reveals all you need to know about your SLR so you can take your best shots ever in 2017! Exposure, aperture, ISO…it’s all here

68

reader shootout street photography

A couple both passionate about the street photography genre go head to head in the Big Smoke, and snap portraits during the day and night to take the street title! www.digitalcameraworld.com

26

photography coMpetitions enter to win in 2017 We’ve condensed the best photography competitions of 2017 so you can be fully prepared to enter each one, and know what prizes are up for grabs

112

Manual lenses priMes on test

In this month’s group test we take seven mighty manual-focus prime lenses and find out what advantages they offer over regular autofocus-equipped models FEBRUARY 2017

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Welcome to the February 2017 issue of Digital Camera

this Month’s star contriButors…

88

H

appy new year! To kickstart 2017, we’ve put together a crash course on the basics. So, whether you’re new to photography or simply need a bit of a refresher, we’ll get you up to speed from the get go. Turn to page 43 for more. We’ve also compiled a comprehensive list of some of the world’s best photo competitions. These are a great way to flex your creative muscles and hone your skills – and who knows? You might win too. There are some amazing prizes up for grabs, not to mention the kudos and the world-wide recognition. To ensure you don’t miss any of the crucial deadlines, you’ll notice we’ve also created a free wall planner for you. There’s bags of inspiration to get your creative juices flowing too, from the Wildlife Photographer of the Year images to Trevor Leighton’s stunning portraits. Good luck with your shooting – and be sure to let us know which competitions you win!

the Big interView

treVor leighton

This renowned celebrity portrait photographer shares his experiences

96

work eXperience daMien loVegroVe

The popular beauty and portrait photographer reveals all

76

Question Master andrew JaMes

Got a query? Need advice? Want your picture rated? Just ask Andrew

Ben Brain Editor, Digital Camera

62

analysis BeniaMino pisati

We analyse this travel photographer’s snowy scene

74

portFolio Jatenipat ketpradit

This travel photographer shares his adventure stories with us

128

lightrooM Maestro sean MccorMack Sean shows you show to add tilt-and-shift to your portraits

about the cover photograph “After spending at least an hour on dirt roads in a 4x4, I arrived at this gem of a location in the remote back country of Vermilion Cliffs National Monument, USA,” says Marc Adamus. “I then walked another hour or so, marvelling at the multitude of stripes, textures, colours and patterns present across the landscape.”

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Around 30 minutes before sunset, says Marc, the light began to transform the land. “I shot the image near the ground, making three exposures to utilise the maximum amount of focus-stacking at f/22 to keep the details in the scene sharp. Exposures were 1/40 second each at ISO 400.” www.marcadamus.com

www.digitalcameraworld.com


Free giFts everY issUe we Bring YoU more FreeBies than anY other photo magazine!

DouBLe-sIDeD Poster

watch Video

2017 wall planner plus competition listings guide

To tie in with our special 2017 photography competition feature, we’re giving away a wall planner so you can plot your photographic year! Download the PDF now via www.bit.ly/dc186planner and use your colour printer to output your own copy.

47 Minutes oF Video Follow along with all our regular Photoshop and Lightroom pros so you can master your editing skills. You’ll find all the videos on a private YouTube playlist via www.bit.ly/dc186video www.digitalcameraworld.com

www.bit.ly/ dc186video

download the Video www.bit.ly/ dc186bonus

oVer £150,000 to be won in photography competitions in 2017!

Whenever you see these logos on a page in the magazine, you can find related content online

162-page gear Buyer’s guide

take control oF colour

If you’re after new kit then a peak inside our Camera Shopper guide is a must. This issue of Camera Shopper is provided as a PDF ebook: download it to your computer via www.bit.ly/shopper15

Learn seven different ways to master and manipulate colour in Photoshop, with a bonus on colour profiles. You can download this ebook as a PDF via www.bit.ly/dc186ebook FEBRUARY 2017

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Contents

36,188

Print 30,608 Digital 5,580 Jan–Dec 2015 A member of the Audit Bureau of Circulations

another BUmper issUe FUll oF photo FUn

Future Publishing, Quay House, The Ambury, Bath BA1 1UA Editorial +44 (0)1225 442244 • www.digitalcameraworld.com Subscriptions and Customer Services +44 (0)1604 251 045

eXPert Pro aDVIce

10 hotshots

Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2016 winners showcased

76 photo answers

Andrew James rates your pictures and solves your problems

18 in Focus

84 assignment

26

88

All the latest news delivered in bite-sized chunks for you to digest

photo competitions

We’ve rounded up the best photo competitions of 2017

43 master your camera

Read our camera crash course to get to grips with the basics

58 Back to Basics

Everything you need to know about 360 imaging and VR

62 image analysis

Under analysis we take a close look at a snowy street scene

68

shootout

Let’s take it back to the concrete streets for this shootout!

74

portfolio

Meet the travel photographer who really goes to extremes

All the leaves are brown as we judge our autumn competition

Get all the goss from celebrity photographer Trevor Leighton

96 experience

Damien Lovegrove shares his experiences on the portraiture genre

100 Bluffer’s notes

Sebastião Salgado, master of the black-and-white medium

127 Digital Darkroom

Improve your editing skills with our resident pros

146

Back issues

148

Desert island D-slr

Catch up on your reading with recent issues and special deals

Doug Allan shares more than we bargained for!

Latest caMeras aND Gear

Canon eos sony 50mm instant 102 110 120 1300D vs cameras nikon D3400 Let the battle of the beginner models commence!

106

pentax k-70

A mid-range rugged SLR from Pentax gets our test-drive

108

gopro hero5

For the adventurous, action-packed type!

An f/1.4 prime lens on a budget for Micro Four Thirds and Sony

group test: 112 manualfocus lenses Seven mighty manual lenses put to the test

SUBSCRiBE AnD gEt gREAt giFtS PAgE 24 6

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Retro instant cameras quickly rounded up!

111 sigma 30mm 123

FEBRUARY 2017

Technique editor Claire Gillo claire.gillo@futurenet.com Contributing editor Marcus Hawkins marcus.hawkins@futurenet.com Art editor Roddy Llewellyn richard.llewellyn@futurenet.com Operations editor Richard Hill richard.hill@futurenet.com Graduate writer Lauren Scott lauren.scott@futurenet.com

interview

Capture macro results with this lens for Sony’s mirrorless systems

Editorial Editor Ben Brain ben.brain@futurenet.com

gloves

Find out the best mitts this winter for outdoor photographers

Camera 124 phones

The best optic for mobile shooters on the go

Online editor Phil Hall phil.hall@futurenet.com Head of testing Rod Lawton rod.lawton@futurenet.com Imaging labs manager Ben Andrews ben.andrews@futurenet.com Cover image Marc Adamus Editorial contributors James Abbott, David Clark, Charlie Coles, Andrew James, Alastair Jennings, Sean McCormack, Jeff Meyer, James Paterson, Matthew Richards, Rob Speed

Advertising Senior advertising sales manager Amanda Burns amanda.burns@futurenet.com Account director Matt Bailey matt.bailey@futurenet.com Marketing Marketing director Sascha Kimmel Circulation Campaign manager Charlotte Lloyd-Williams Production Production co-ordinator Vivienne Calvert Licensing Senior licensing and syndication manager Matt Ellis matt.ellis@futurenet.com +44 (0)1225 442244 Management Creative director Aaron Asadi Editorial director Matthew Pierce Group editor-in-chief Chris George Group art director Rodney Dive Subscriptions & back issues Order line & enquiries: +44 (0)1604 251045

Future is an award-winning international media group and leading digital business. We reach more than 57 million international consumers a month, and create world-class content and advertising for passionate consumers online, on tablet and smartphone, and in print.

Future plc is a public company quoted on the London Stock Exchange (symbol: FUTR). www.futureplc.com

Chief executive Zillah Byng-Thorne Non-executive chairman Peter Allen Chief financial officer Penny Ladkin-Brand Tel +44 (0)1225 442244

All contents copyright © 2016 Future Publishing Limited or published under licence. All rights reserved. No part of this magazine may be reproduced, stored, transmitted or used in any way without the prior written permission of the publisher. Future Publishing Limited (company number 2008885) is registered in England and Wales. Registered office: Quay House, The Ambury, Bath, BA1 1UA. All information contained in this publication is for information only and is, as far as we are aware, correct at the time of going to press. Future cannot accept any responsibility for errors or inaccuracies in such information. You are advised to contact manufacturers and retailers directly with regard to the price and other details of products or services referred to in this publication. Apps and websites mentioned in this publication are not under our control. We are not responsible for their contents or any changes or updates to them. If you submit unsolicited material to us, you automatically grant Future a licence to publish your submission in whole or in part in all editions of the magazine, including licensed editions worldwide and in any physical or digital format throughout the world. Any material you submit is sent at your risk and, although every care is taken, neither Future nor its employees, agents or subcontractors shall be liable for loss or damage. We are committed to only using magazine paper which is derived from well managed, certified forestry and chlorine-free manufacture. Future Publishing and its paper suppliers have been independently certified in accordance with the rules of the FSC (Forest Stewardship Council).

www.digitalcameraworld.com


186

viDeos

Wat C h t h e s e v i D e o s v i a w w w. b i t . l y / d c 1 8 6 v i d e o

PhotoshoP guiDe

TA k E c o m p l E T E c o n T Ro l o F   c o lo U R

Understanding colour: Discover how Photoshop profiles can help you reproduce colours accurately in print or on the web See page 9 of your ebook 8

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www.digitalcameraworld.com


FeBruarY 2017 186

viDeos

Wat C h t h e s e v i D e o s v i a w w w. b i t . l y / d c 1 8 6 v i d e o

Image-editing guides for Photoshop and Lightroom: see page 127 for contents

Lightroom Skills: You don’t have to limit tilt-shift effects to landscape shots

Tool School: Learn how to merge a set of raw exposures in Camera Raw (1)

Tool School: Learn how to merge a set of raw exposures in Camera Raw (2)

Artist Insight: Recreate light leaks, one of the accidental but cool effects of film

Creative Spotlight: Control mood and atmosphere with Camera Raw tweaks

Read the tutorial on page 130

Read the tutorial on page 132 www.digitalcameraworld.com

Read the tutorial on page 128

Read the tutorial on page 130

Read the tutorial on page 136 FEBRUARY 2017

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hotshots Winning images from Wildlife PhotograPher of the Year 52

Wildlife Photographer of the Year 52 Wildlife Photographer of the Year calls on photographers worldwide to put nature in the frame. www.nhm.ac.uk/ visit/wpy.html

the alleY cat NayaN KhaNolKar Winner, Urban at night in the aarey Milk Colony in a suburb of Mumbai, leopards slip ghost-like through the maze of alleys, looking for food (especially stray dogs). The Warli people living in the area respect the big cats. Despite close encounters and occasional attacks, the cats are an accepted part of their lives. The leopard is not only the most versatile of the world’s big cats but possibly the most persecuted. With growing human-leopard conflicts elsewhere grabbing the headlines, Nayan was determined to use his pictures to show how things can be different with tolerance and planning. Positioning his flashes to mimic the alley’s usual lighting and his camera so that a passing cat would not dominate the frame, he finally – after four months – got the shot he wanted. Kit Nikon D7000 with 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6 lens at 21mm, plus three Nikon flashes and Trailmaster infrared triggers Exposure 1/20 sec at f/7.1


hotshots

SEND US YOUR SHOTS

Your photograph could appear here! Send your best recent shot to digitalcamera @futurenet.com (subject line: Hotshots)


hhoottsshhoottss

Wild West stand-off

Charlie haMilToN JaMeS Finalist, Mammals a grizzly bear charges at ravens trying to grab a piece of the feast. The bison is a road-kill that rangers have moved to a spot they use for carrion, to avoid contact between predators and tourists. The location is Grand Teton National Park. “approaching a bear’s lunch is a dangerous thing to do,” says Charlie. So there were strict protocols for getting out of his vehicle every time he went to check his camera trap. over nearly five months, he had thousands of images of ravens and vultures, but only a few of wolves or bears, and none were up to the high standards he set himself – until this one. Kit Nikon D7100 with 10-24mm lens at 24mm plus Trailmaster TM550 passive infra-red monitor Exposure 1/2,500 sec at f/5.6, ISO 1,600

PlaYing Pangolin

laNCe vaN De vyver Finalist, Black & White lance had tracked the pride for several hours before they stopped to rest by a waterhole, but their attention was not on drinking. The lions (in South africa’s Tswalu Kalahari Private Game reserve) had discovered a Temminck’s ground pangolin. This armour-plated mammal curls up into an almost-impregnable ball when threatened. Pangolins usually escape unscathed from big cats (though not from humans). But these lions just wouldn’t give up. “They rolled it around like a soccer ball,” says lance. Kit Canon EOS 5DS R with 500mm f/4 lens Exposure 1/1,600 sec at f/4, ISO 1,600

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hotshots

eviction attemPt

GaNeSh h ShaNKar Winner, Birds These indian rose-ringed parakeets were not happy. They had returned to their nesting hole in india’s Keoladeo National Park (also known as Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary) to find that a Bengal monitor lizard had taken up residence. The birds set about trying to evict the squatter. They bit the monitor lizard’s tail, hanging on for a couple of seconds at a time, until it retreated into the hole. They would then harass it when it tried to come out to bask. This went on for two days. But the action only lasted a couple of seconds at a time and was fast-moving. The branch was also high up, and Ganesh had to shoot against the light. eventually the parakeets gave up and left, presumably to find another place to rear their young. Kit Nikon D810 with 200mm f/2 lens plus Gitzo 5540LS tripod and Sachtler 0707 FSB-8 head Exposure 1/500 sec at f/5, ISO 400

www.digitalcameraworld.com

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hotshots


the moon and the croW

GiDeoN KNiGhT Winner, young Wildlife Photographer of the year 2016 a crow in a tree in a park: a common enough scene. it was one that Gideon had seen many times near his home in london’s valentines Park. But as the blue light of dusk crept in and the full moon rose, the scene transformed. The spindly twigs of the sycamore tree silhouetted against the sky “made it feel almost supernatural, like something out of a fairy tale,” says Gideon. Positioning himself on a slope opposite, he tried to capture the perfect composition – but the crow kept moving along the branch and turning its head away. Just as the light was about to fade beyond the point that photography was possible, his wish came true. Kit Canon EOS 7D with 400mm f/5.6 lens Exposure 1/250 sec at f/6.3, ISO 500


snaPPer PartY

ToNy WU Winner, Underwater For several days each month (in tandem with the full moon), thousands of two-spot red snappers gather to spawn around Palau in the western Pacific ocean. The action is intense as the fish fill the water with sperm and eggs, and predators arrive to take advantage of the bounty. Tony has tried since 2012 to capture the event, despite unrelenting currents, low light and water clouded with sperm and eggs. his success finally came when he positioned himself so that the action came to him. Kit Canon EOS 5D Mark III with 15mm f/2.8 lens plus Zillion housing and Pro One optical dome port Exposure 1/200 sec at f/9, ISO 640


Photography news from around the globe 1

3

The entry-level Fujifilm X-A10 incorporates a newly developed 16.3MP APS-C sensor.

The rear command dial can be used to take a picture when you’re holding the camera in ‘selfie’ mode.

2

4

The grip has been styled to give control whether you have the camera pointing at the subject or at yourself.

Assigning controls to function buttons means you don’t have to dip into the menu at crucial times.

new 16.3MP Mirrorless caMera

fuji x-poseD

Fujifilm lifts the lid on a camera aimed at CSC first-timers vailable from January, the Fujifilm X-A10 is a new entry-level mirrorless body in the popular X Series range of interchangeablelens compact system cameras. Priced at £499/$499, it comes bundled with an XC 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 OIS II lens. At the camera’s heart is a 16.3-megapixel APS-C sized sensor and its sensitivity range stretches from ISO 200 to ISO 6,400, expandable up to ISO 25,600. It offers the familiar array of Fujifilm Film Simulation modes – a total of six, including Provia, Velvia and new Classic Chrome. The X-A10’s retro styling, complete with two command dials for adjusting

A

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exposure settings, means it fits neatly into the X Series line-up. Around the back is a slide-and-tilt screen that can be flipped towards the front of the camera to make taking selfies that bit easier. Fujifilm says that the shape of the X-A10’s grip has been designed to accommodate both normal shooting and when the camera’s held in reverse for a self-portrait. In a further nod to self-portrait specialists, the camera’s vertical rear command dial can be used to focus and release the shutter by pressing it. Additionally, when you rotate the rear LCD screen upwards by 180 degrees, eye-detection autofocus is activated, so the camera will automatically search for

5

Even if the flip-up screen is tilted by 180 degrees, it’s not blocked by the camera body.

eyes in the frame to base its focus on. Fujifilm has loaded the X-A10 with Portrait Enhancer mode for improved skin reproduction, in addition to a set of 10 Advanced Filters. Fujifilm claims that the X-A10 has an “energy-efficient” design, which means it’s capable of delivering 410 shots on a single battery charge. The camera can be charged via USB, which is convenient www.digitalcameraworld.com


What’s neW?

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A total of 10 Advanced Filters include the new Fisheye and Cross Screen effects.

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The built-in flash uses Fujifilm’s Super Intelligent Flash system to reduce clipped highlights.

In focus

FOCAL POINT

Rounding up what’s new and exciting

s o f t wa r e u P d at e

LET THERE BE LIGHTROOM Manfrotto Befree Color Aimed at travel photographers who want to stand out from the crowd, these new coloured models in the popular Befree range fold down to 41cm and weigh just 1.4kg. £140/$148; www.manfrotto.com

Lume Cube This small LED light source can be used as a continuous light for video work or an external flash for stills. Brightness can be adjusted from 0 to 1500 lumens and its battery lasts up to 29 minutes at full power. £90/$80 (single); £170/$150 (twin); www.lumecube.com

aDObe has announced the availability of updates to Lightroom on iOS and desktop. Lightroom CC 2015.8 brings with it a new Reference View, which you can access in the Develop Module. This option enables you to compare two different images side by side, allowing you to ensure that the white balance, colours and other visual aspects are consistent. Lightroom for iOS 2.6 brings more substantial changes. There’s a new editing interface that has been designed to allow for easier one-handed adjustments, along with a new info interface to make it easy to add titles, captions and copyright details. These should soon be in Lightroom for Android too. www.adobe.com

fa s t 50M M l e ns

sTandaRd IssuE

8

With the XC16-50mm lens, the X-A10 can focus on objects that are as close as around 7cm from the front of the lens.

if you’re travelling. Its fastest shutter speed is rated at 1/32,000 sec in electronic shutter mode and it can shoot Full HD video at 30p, 25p and 24p. Other noteworthy highlights include Fujifilm’s five-axis image stabilisation (a combination of both optical and electronic stabilisation); a 7cm close-focusing distance that www.digitalcameraworld.com

makes macro photography a reality; and wireless transfer of photos and video to compatible smartphones that have the free Fujifilm Camera Remote app installed. Like similar apps from rival camera manufacturers, this app also doubles as an advanced remote release. www.fujifilm.eu/uk

Cullman Mundo Cullman’s new eye-catching orange tripod is also available in less vibrant blue, silver or black. What really makes it stand out is that it features an integrated monopod, making it a versatile camera support. £180 www.cullmann.de

Meyer Optik Görlitz is releasing a fast new 50mm lens in January. And we mean fast. The Nocturnus 50 f/0.95 II has a maximum aperture of f/0.95, running to f/22 at the small end. Designed for full-frame cameras using the Sony E mount, the Nocturnus weighs in at 680g and has a 67mm-diameter filter thread. It includes 15 aperture blades, which should help provide smooth circular bokeh, as well as a stepless aperture, manual focusing and a minimum focus distance of 50cm. £2,999/£3,225; www.meyer-optik-goerlitz.com

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In focus

what’s new?

1

2

Capture One Pro 10 enables faster switching between images, even at 100 percent view.

A new filter option in this release allows you to search an image collection by the orientation of images.

FOCAL POINT Rounding up what’s new and exciting

daTEs FOR YOuR dIaRY JanuarY

swpp shOw London Wednesday 11th-Sunday 15 Jan www.swpp.co.uk/convention

feBruarY Cullman stockholm The new Stockholm bags include a daypack and four shoulder bags. Each is constructed from a water-repellent and abrasion-resistant polyester material. From £45; www.cullmann.de

Cp+ CaMera & phOtO iMaging shOw Yokohama Thursday 23rd-Sunday 26th Feb www.cpplus.jp/en

MarcH

the phOtOgraphy shOw Birmingham Saturday 18th-Tuesday 21st Mar www.photographyshow.com

MarcH-aPril

fOrMat festival Derby Thursday 24 Mar-Saturday 23 Apr www.formatfestival.com

s o f t wa r e r e l e a s e

aPril

pro-tuneD

phOtOshOp wOrlD Orlando Thursday 20th-Saturday 22nd Apr www.photoshopworld.com

Medium-format camera specialist Phase One introduces Capture One Pro 10

wOrlD pinhOle Day Global Sunday 30th Apr www.pinholeday.com

apture One started out as a solution for shooting tethered to a computer when using a Phase One medium-format camera. Things have moved on considerably and, despite extending its tethered shooting support to compatible SLRs from the likes of Canon and Nikon, Capture One has grown into an image organiser and full-featured raw editor. It’s like Lightroom on steroids, with high-end tools for adjusting exposure, colour, lens aberrations and more. For its 10th edition, Phase One has gone back to basics with Capture One Pro, making an improved user experience its priority. Browsing, panning and zooming all get a speed boost; there’s a new default workspace to help newcomers find their way around more easily; and a new three-stage sharpening process completes the line-up. Capture One Pro 10 is available now on

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You can simulate the final size, colour, and sharpness with on-screen proofing.

ultimate Wildlife Hide from simon King Designed by top TV wildlife cameraman Simon King, this new hide stands 1.7m high and 1.5m square. The material is wind- and waterproof and all windows feature twin viewports. £199; www.shop-simon kingwildlife.com

M aY

phOtO lOnDOn London Thursday 18th-Sunday 21st May www.photolondon.org

June

belfast phOtO festival Belfast Thursday 1st-Friday 30th June www.belfastphotofestival.com

J u lY

nikOn 100th anniversary Global Tuesday 25th July www.europe-nikon.com

J u lY - s e P t e M B e r

Capture One Pro’s new sharpening control enables you to sharpen an entire image or just part of it.

Windows or macOS. New users can buy it outright for €279/ $299; it’s also available via a €12 monthly subscription. www.phaseone.com

FEBRUARY 2017

Camslinger streetomatic+ Mirrorless camera accessory specialist Cosyspeed has a new SLR-sized bag that gives one-handed access to kit as big as a Canon 5D . Premium materials include ‘veggie leather.’ €130/$130; www.cosyspeed.com

les renCOntres D’arles Arles Monday 3rd Jul - Sunday 24th Sept www.rencontres-arles.com

august

wOrlD phOtO Day Global Saturday 19th Aug www.worldphotoday.com

sePteMBer

ifa COnsuMer eleCtrOniCs shOw Berlin Friday 1st-Wednesday 6th Sept http://b2b.ifa-berlin.com

www.digitalcameraworld.com


In focus

what’s new?

FOCAL POINT

National Geographic Creative

Rounding up what’s new and exciting

National Geographic Creative

Lomography daguerreotype achromat 2.9/64 Reviving a 19th century optical design, this retro lens is designed to produce soft-focus effects at its f/2.9 maximum aperture. £399/$499; www.lomography. com

led ligHts

HOOp and GLORY? twO new NanGuang LED ring lights are heading to the UK via Kenro. NanGuang’s CNR480C (£228) is a 48W model with an diameter of 45.6cm. It features 480 LEDs, which have an average life of 50,000 hours, as well as variable colour temperature from 3,2005,600K. There’s also the 59cm CNR640 (£264). It has stepless dimmer control, but its colour temperature is fixed at 5,600K. www.kenro.co.uk

National Geographic Archives

paxis Mt pickett 20 It might look like a child’s car seat here, but the bottom third of this camera bag is separated into a small, self-contained ‘Shuttle Pod’ that’s suspended from a hinged arm. £200/$249; www.paxispax.com

new Book

states of play Explore the changing face of the United States his extensive review of the National Geographic archives takes a tour of the United States over the past 100 years. National Geographic: United States of America (Taschen, £250) might be priced more as an investment than a coffee-table read, but it brings together more than 700 images

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that capture life from the jazz bars of New Orleans to the beaches of Hawaii, from black-and-white shots taken in the 1920s to the early digital images of the 1990s. As America enters uncharted political waters, taking a look at its past through the eyes of some of the world’s greatest photographers seems fitting. www.taschen.com

FEBRUARY 2017

flasHgun Luminar Macphun, the people behind Aurora HDR, have launched this Photoshop rival. Highlights include a customisable interface that lets you view only the tools you need, selective editing brushes and a raw image file editor. £55/$69 www.macphun.com

anOTHER FInE METz the Metz mecablitz M400 packs a lot of features into a small shell. With a guide number of 40, the M400 includes a zoom-swivel head that covers 24-105mm, and master/ slave wireless TTL functionality (depending on camera model). It comes in Canon, Nikon, Sony, Fujifilm, Pentax and Micro Four Thirds fittings and costs £122/$280. www.metz-mecatech.de

www.digitalcameraworld.com


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PHOTOGRAPHY COMPE TITIONS

Win over £150,000 in the year’s hottest upcoming photo contests! by lauren sCott

In the saturated world of photography competitions, knowing which ones are worth entering can be a challenge. Fortunately, we’ve hand-picked the cream of the crop for the upcoming year, with all the dates, details and winning insights you need to succeed. Use our handy calendar and tips to devise a winning strategy and ensure you don’t miss any key deadlines. Whether you shoot animals or architecture, taking part in prestigious competitions gets your work noticed. Preparing photos for judging is also 26

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a great way to set yourself a new creative challenge and curate a strong body of work. The requirements are diverse, and there are no shortcuts to success. Heed the advice of the past winners and judges we speak to. We’ve done our homework to make sure that in all the competitions featured, you retain copyright of your images by entering. So whether you’re looking for industry recognition, or just want to share your passion and perspective with others, discover what’s happening in the next year, and photograph your way to victory!

FREE 2017 PLANNER AND COMPETITION POSTER WITH THIS ISSUE

www.digitalcameraworld.com


Top row, left to right: Tony wu, Mark Benham. MIddle row, left to right: Minghui Yuan, Az Jackson, elaineTaylor. BoTToM row, left to right: Nicholas roemmelt, Ganesh H Shankar

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Contents 2 8 Ta k e a V i e w ( L P O T Y ) 3 0 W i l d l i f e P h o t o g r a p h e r o f t h e Ye a r 32 RPS International Print Competition 3 4 USA Landscape POT Y 36 International Garden POT Y 3 8 Sony World Photo Awards 39 Pink L ady Food POT Y 39 Epson Pano Awards 3 9 Tr a v e l P h o t o g r a p h e r o f t h e Ye a r 39 International Photography Awards 40 Insight Astronomy POT Y 40 British Wildlife Photography Awards 40 The AOP Awards 4 0 Ta y l o r W e s s i n g P o r t r a i t P r i z e 4 1 iPhone Photography Awards 4 1 GDT European Wildlife POT Y 4 1 Atkins Ciwem Environmental POT Y 4 1 N a t i o n a l G e o g r a p h i c Tr a v e l l e r

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1L A N d S C A P E

PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR 2017

Enter the Take a View contest and celebrate the nation’s best scenery www.take-a-view.co.uk Take A View is the ultimate UK landscape competition. Founded in 2006 by genre pro Charlie Waite, it’s the highlight of the competition calendar – but its real beauty is that it attracts entrants from all walks of life and skill levels. The winners reveal a fresh and diverse portrait of the British landscape, from serene seascapes to buzzing cities. Breathtaking scenery can often be found – relatively speaking – on our doorstep. Take time to chase the perfect location and light for your entries. To keep things nice and simple, there are only four main categories that you can enter work into: Classic View, Living The View, Your View and Urban View. Whether you live in a city or a remote island, or whether you prefer scenes with people, close-up details, abstract frames or traditional landscapes, there’s tons of scope for creativity. The best images will be displayed at the Waterloo train station towards the end of the year, and will also appear in a stunning book.

PriZes There’s a total fund of over £20,000, including £10,000 for the overall winner, and £1,000 and £500 for the first and second places in each category.

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Matthew Cattell

Opening date: 1st May 2017 Closing date: 14th July 2017 Entry fee: £35 for up to 25 images

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Judge’s comment “Attend to everything. Everything should be either intended, or not intended, to be there. This seeing process remains the cornerstone of all landscape photography.” Charlie Waite

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Starling Vortex Matthew captured this winning murmuration display in Brighton.

WINNER’S TIP MATTHEW CATTELL, 2016 “A winning image needs to be more than a well-executed photograph. Technique has to be combined with that extra element – emotion, dramatic weather, an unusual viewpoint, or a unique moment in time – which invites the viewer to take a closer look.”

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2 WILdLIFE

PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR

Enter everything from the birds to the bees www.nhm.ac.uk Wacky about wildlife? Good news: the world’s most iconic nature competition is opening its doors again – for the 54th year running! As usual, it’s run in association with the Natural History Museum, and you can expect the playing field to be as diverse as ever. In 2016, winners were selected from over 5,000 entries and 95 countries. The jury is looking for shots that push the artistic and technical boundaries of wildlife photography. Whether it’s an intimate portrait of a creepy crawly or a serene seascape, try to make your entries original. There are 16 specific categories, including Animal Behaviour, Earth’s Environments and the Photojournalist Award. Quality needs to be top-notch, but the contest is inclusive to all. Why not start with a subject in your local area? Get to know nearby wildlife, revisit often and really learn their habits. Keep an eye on the website for the key dates.

PriZes The big prize is £10,000, plus a trophy and a personalised certificate. Each category has a substantial cash prize, and all shortlisted entrants are invited to a prestigious awards ceremony at the museum.

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Tim laman

Entry Date: October 2017 Closing date: December 2017 Entry fee: £30 for up to 25 images

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Judge’s comment “A vital story is captured in one frame. We need photography like this to bring stories across to us afresh. It touches our hearts and our minds, and just might help support actions to stop destruction.” Lewis Blackwell

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Entwined Lives Tim Laman won the overall title with his image of a male Bornean orangutan, climbing an emergent tree in its dwindling habitat.

WINNINg TIP Patience and subject knowledge are key to success. Field biologist and photographer Tim Laman knew the orangutan would revisit this spot. After three days of climbing up and down, he hid several GoPro cameras in the canopy, triggering them remotely from the forest floor when he saw the orangutan climbing.

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3 R P S I N T E R N AT I O N A L

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PRINT COMPETITION Find kudos with the world’s oldest photo exhibition www.rps-international.org/awards

WINNER’S TIP CAROLYN MENdELSOHN, 2016 “Choose your best work, and go with your gut instinct. It helps if your work communicates something and goes beyond just being a pretty picture. The final print has to be great, so make sure you follow the guidelines and that it is excellent quality.”

The Royal Photographic Society’s Print exhibition has a long history - it’s been held nearly every year since 1854! For this year’s 160th cycle, the RPS is looking for anyone with an interest in photography to submit their work. Because photographers both rising and professional can enter, the winning mix of images is always an eclectic display. This competition is a little bit different, as there’s an emphasis on submitting an exhibition-worthy example of your work. Entries are initially submitted online, and then around 100 prints are selected for the touring exhibition – you’ll only need to submit a print if you’re shortlisted for this stage. As well as cash prizes for the three top entries, there’s a 12-month mentorship programme to support a photographic project (for the under-30’s Gold award). The major final display tours venues and festivals around the country.

PriZes The gold, silver and bronze medal winners each receive £1,000, £750 and £500 respectively.

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Judge’s comment “It possesses a quietness and elusiveness... There is something behind the girl’s eyes that gives the image its potency. It stayed with me throughout the judging process.” Gemma Padley 32

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Carolyn Mendelsohn

Entry date: February 2017 Closing date: May 2017 Entry fee: The three levels of entry fee are £30, £25 and £15.

Above Alice Carolyn’s winning portrait focuses on the complex transition between childhood to young adulthood. The jury felt that it was a clear standout from the start of the judging process.

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4 USA L ANdSCAPE

PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YE AR

From Kansas to Kentucky, capture the most revolutionary American views Alex Noriega

www.usalpoty.com

WINNERS TIP ALEX NORIEGA, 2016 Above

Mount Rainier Alex’s image was chosen for celebrating the free spirit of the American landscape.

The search is on to document America’s most exciting views. The USA Landscape Photographer of the Year awards follow on from the huge success of the UK competition, and were set up by Charlie Waite to celebrate the scenery of the stars and stripes in all its forms. There are five main categories you can enter your shots into: Classic View, My USA, Black & White, Urban, and Environmental Value. Photo editing is allowed, but physical changes to the landscape aren’t permitted – so no cloning out trees or fences to make the shot look better! The good news is that you don’t have to live in the USA to enter – only to take the shots on American soil – and the 34

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photos you submit to the contest can be up to five years old. The prize fund is worth over $45,000, so check the website for hints and tips, and be sure to enter if you have the chance.

“Enter your most unique compositions. Light and conditions are important, but even the best possible image of Tunnel View or Mesa Arch is going to be overlooked by judges who have seen it hundreds of times before. Images that are completely unique to you will stand out.”

PriZes The grand winner of this year’s contest receives $15,000. There’s $1,000 for the best in each adult category.

more inFo Entry Date: 1st June 2017 Closing date: 1st September 2017 Entry fee: $10 for a single entry, $45 for up to 20 images

Judge’s comment “We’re looking for well-composed and powerful images from the USA – in the urban and environmental categories as well, not just landscapes.” Justin Reznick www.digitalcameraworld.com


5 I N T E R N AT I O N A L

GARdEN PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR

Embrace flower power as this contest blossoms for another season www.igpoty.com WheTher you’re into foliage and flowers or simply love the great outdoors, International Garden Photographer is a charming competition to get involved with. If you’re budding to get started, there are eight categories on offer, including Breathing Spaces and Greening the City – you’re bound to find something that suits your style. There aren’t any restrictions for entry, so you can submit your photos no matter where or when they were taken. As a bonus, all entrants can request feedback on their entries after the judging is completed. Digital Camera editor Ben Brain was on the most recent panel, alongside plenty of industry professionals and photographers. IGPOTY is run in association with the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, United Kingdom. The exhibition of winners will be held at the gardens themselves, so hundreds of visitors could see your work on display. This goes on to tour the UK and several overseas locations. The portfolio book from the awards is also stunning.

PriZes Top prize of £7,500, plus an array of camera goodies for the other category winners.

more inFo Entry date: 5th February 2017 Closing date: 31st October 2017 Entry fee: £10 for up to four photographs in one category; £25 for a portfolio of six themed images

Judge’s comment “This picture is totally immersive. The eye is led to the horizon by the diagonals of the stream and the trees, making this an elegant symphony of plants and nature.” Tyrone McGlinchey


richard Bloom

Tekapo Lupins Lake Tekapo’s picturesque Lupins helped Richard to win the IGPOTY title. The f/16 aperture he used guaranteed plenty of background-to-foreground detail.


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P H O T O G R A P H Y AWA R d S Win $25,000 in the world’s largest photo competition www.worldphoto.org

ThIs is one big, international, inclusive photo competition. There are Pro, Open, Student and Youth entry options, and categories ranging from current affairs and contemporary issues to still-life and lifestyle. The Open competition is sorted by nationality, which picks out the best single image taken by a local photographer in over 50 countries. All genres of photojournalism are welcomed, which makes for an interesting mix between fine-art and commercial approaches. As well as being free to enter, there’s a huge cash gift of $25,000 to the photo that’s crowned the best. Winners and finalists also get global exposure of their work – the exhibition starts at London’s Somerset House, and there’s a travelling version that makes its way around the world. If you miss the January 2017 deadlines for the awards, fear not: the 2018 competition will open for entries in June.

WINNER’S TIP JULIEN MAUVE, 2016 “The content is more important than the form. Reach memories and let people use their imagination in front of a picture. Create a story based on your own personal experience.”

PriZes The professional award fund is $25,000, while the open competition is $5,000. There’s also Sony imaging equipment on offer for the winners of each category.

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Judge’s comment “I want to be blown away by seeing an image that immediately invokes an emotional response.” Russ O’Connell, Pro competition judge 38

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Julian Mauve

Entry date: Open now Closing date: Youth & Open, 5th January; Professional, 10th January Entry fee: Free to enter

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Above Greetings from Mars Julien Mauve won the Professional Conceptual category with his series about space exploration, discovery, and our behaviour in front of landscapes.

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7P I N k L A d Y F O O d

8 EPSON INTERNATIONAL

Are your pictures ripe for the picking? www.pinkladyfoodphotographeroftheyear.com

Dare to shoot wider? www.thepanoawards.com

PANO AWARdS

PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR

Nicholas roemmelt polina plotnikova

LOVe snapping shots of your dinner? This international contest celebrates all types of food imagery, whether it’s commercial, humanitarian or just mouth-watering. Past winners have captured crop growing and the celebration of eating in festivals and gatherings. With fresh new categories in the lineup this year, cook up your winners soon for the £5,000 prize.

chaLLenGe yourself to shoot the best urban and rural panoramic scenes. The categories cover themes of Nature/ Landscapes and Built Environment/Architecture. There’s even room for Virtual Reality and 360° images. 2016’s total prize was an impressive $25,000, plus a pool of Epson goodies worth over $60,000. Images must be in a 2:1 or wider ratio.

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9 TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHER

1INTERNATIONAL 0

Open your eyes to adventure www.tpoty.com

Win global exposure and $22,500 www.photoawards.com

PHOTOGRAPHY AWARdS

OF THE YEAR

david oliete

Marinka Masséus

JOUrney beyond postcard scenes to win the £4,000 prize. Whether you shoot landscapes, food, architecture or people, the organisers say that the competition is about fun and adventure. Previously commended winners have been catapulted into the limelight of the industry – so challenge yourself to get out there and view the world with fresh eyes.

ThIs global contest is great at recognising new (and established) photography talent. The winners in each category – there are nine including Best Photography Book, Nature and People – are invited to a glitzy awards night and awarded cash prizes totalling $22,500! The shortlisted photos will be part of a New York exhibition.

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1INSIGHT 1 ASTRONOMY

1BRITISH 2 WILdLIFE

(Beyond) the sky’s the limit www.redbullillume.com

The UK’s most captivating creatures www.bwpawards.org

PHOTOGRAPHY AWARdS

PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR

Yu Jun

George Stoyle

search for the most spectacular visions of the cosmos in this free astrophotography contest. The main prize has soared to £10,000 and there are nine categories, spanning from Aurorae and Galaxies to People and Space. Why not start by capturing night skyscapes close to home? Check out the previous winners, and you’ll soon be reaching for the stars.

enTer photos of your favourite British animals and habitats here. 15 different categories cover the usual suspects like British Seasons, Animal Portraits and Behaviour, and there’s a special section for HD video. Up to 40 images costs £35, but youth entries are free. The overall winner gets £5,000, and there are camera prizes on offer for the category victors.

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1THE3AOP PHOTOGRAPHY

1TAYLOR 4 WESSING

Think beyond the lens www.the-aop.org/awards

Photograph faces and feelings www.npg.org.uk

PHOTOGRAPHIC PORTRAIT PRIzE

AWARdS

Kelvin Murray

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etienne Malapart

The Open AOP awards are (as the name suggests) open to everyone. Whether you enter an award-winning video or up to four shots in a photo series, your subject can be completely up to you, as there are no categories or themes to choose between. The final photos are included in the AOP’s Beyond the Lens Festival in London.

POrTraITs can be wide-ranging, but try to tell a story with your photos of people. Submit up to six photos for the chance to win £15,000 and display in The National Portrait Gallery, London. You can submit a digital image of your work for the first stage of judging, but will have to deliver a high-quality print if you’re shortlisted for the next round.

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1IPHONE 5 PHOTOGRAPHY

1GdT6EUROPEAN WILdLIFE

Make your smartphone shots count www.ippawards.com

Nature imagery with pizzazz www.bit.ly/1PRSsd6

AWARdS

PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR

patryk Kuleta

Georg Kantioler

MObILe photography is both fun and powerful, and this international contest celebrates that. Within the 18 categories, images can come from an iPhone, iPad or iPod (you’re even allowed to edit them). There’s no prize fund or exhibition, but entry fees are low – so get ready compete for the IPPA Photographer of the Year title.

WeIrD and wonderful photos of wildlife succeed in this contest. Combine your love of animals with artistic flair, and choose between sections such as Birds, Mammals and even Landscapes. The jury are looking for dynamic depictions of nature, and any European photographer can enter. €3,000 is awarded to the creative image that most impresses.

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1ENVIRONMENTAL 7

1NATIONAL 8 GEOGRAPHIC TRAVELLER

PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR

Win an exciting magazine assignment www.natgeotraveller.co.uk

Be an inspiration to others www.ciwem.org/epoty

Sara lindström

Simon Morris

cOULD your images inspire others to take care of the environment? The key in this contest is to show natural, social and economic environmental issues. Think broadly – you might document transport, landscapes or even the weather. Prizes for 2016 included £3,000 overall and £500 for the best video. Photos are shown off at the Royal Geographical Society, London.

WanT to be the next big thing in travel photography? The National Geographic Society is searching for talented winners to send on a real-life photographic commission for its Traveller magazine. (Past destinations have included Myanmar and Iceland.) It’s free to enter shots of people, action, and nature, as well as a quick video clip of a travel experience.

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MASTER YOUR CAMERA NOW! Get to know your camera and what it has to offer – and start taking your best shots ever! bY JAMES AbbOTT

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othing beats the feeling you get when all the elements in front of your camera come together in perfect harmony, and create the perfect image. With all the right settings in place, reviewing that once-in-a-lifetime shot on the rear screen can give you a real buzz. All because of a little luck, and an understanding of what settings are needed for different situations. If you’re new to photography, or if you simply want to brush up on a few skills, you’re in the right place. We’re going to take you through everything you need to know to immediately start taking better photos. By the time you’ve finished reading, your photography skills will be ready for anything.


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1 Get to know your camera

The first step towards technical and creative prowess is to get to know the basic settings and functions on your camera. You don’t need to know everything, but having an idea of what the buttons and dials are for will not only make you feel more confident, it’ll also mean you know how to

1

LCD screen

The LCD screen is extremely useful and can be used to compose shots, to review your photos and also to navigate menus and view settings. Many cameras now have touchscreen LCDs.

access different settings as you need them. All cameras are slightly different, and advanced models offer controls that the more basic options may not, but their layout is extremely similar in most cases. So let’s take a look at what you need to know to start taking more control…

adjustment knob 2 Dioptric If you wear glasses but would prefer

buttons 3 Zoom These two buttons can often be

not to while shooting, this control can adjust the viewfinder to your vision. Use autofocus to focus on a subject, then rotate the wheel until the subject is sharp in the viewfinder.

found next to the LCD screen or above the thumbplate on the back of the camera. These are used to zoom in and out of images during playback and in Live View.

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button 4 Menu Cameras offer a wide range of settings, features and customisation options. Press the Menu button to bring up the main menu options on your rear LCD, then go through sub-menus for the setting you want.

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keys / 5 Cross D-pad

Depending on your camera make and model, there will either be cross keys or a D-pad. These are used to navigate menus and settings if your camera doesn’t have a touchscreen LCD.

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button 6 Playback Press this button when you want to review the image you just shot on your rear LCD. You can view older images too if they’re still on the camera, using the cross keys, D-pad or touchscreen LCD.

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Quick menu / 7 Info button

Access your most commonly used settings fast with this control. This option makes changing settings quick and easy, and removes the need to navigate the main menu.

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button 8 Shutter Pressing the shutter button releases the shutter to take a photo. Half-depress the button to the point of resistance to activate autofocus, then fully depress the button to take the photo.

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dial 9 Mode Turning the mode dial allows you to select the shooting mode. These range from fully automatic to semi-automatic, where you take control of 95% of settings, to fully manual, where you control everything.

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Flash button

The flash button is used to activate the pop-up flash. While it’s on the top of the body on this camera, on others it can often be found to the left of the viewfinder, just below the flash itself.

release button 10 Lens When you attach a lens to a camera, it remains locked in position so it doesn’t fall off. To remove a lens to fit another you have to press the lens release button and rotate the lens to remove it from the body.

wheel 12 Control Use this to adjust

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settings like shutter speed and aperture while you’re shooting. The setting the control wheel affects depends on the mode you’ve chosen on the mode dial.

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dial 13 Mode Turning the mode dial allows you to select the shooting mode. These range from fully automatic to semi-automatic, where you take control of 95% of settings, to fully manual, where you control everything.

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14 Hotshoe The hotshoe is an attachment that’s used primarily for fitting an external flash to your camera. They can also be used to attach accessories including wireless flash triggers and microphones for video.

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Shutterstock / Daniel Kay

R U ! YO OW R N TE A S ER A M AM C

APERTURE PRIORITY Aperture Priority is best for subjects where controlling depth of field is necessary, such as landscapes (large depth of field) and portraits (shallow depth of field).

2 Shooting modes

Most cameras feature a range of shooting modes, which you can choose based on preference, what you’re shooting or how experienced you are. Auto (shown on the mode dial as a green square or Auto) takes care of everything for you: you just have to point and shoot. Program (P) mode takes care of shutter speed and aperture, while you set

SHUTTER PRIORITY Shutter Priority is your best choice when having control over shutter speed is important, such as when freezing movement (fast shutter speed) or blurring movement (slower shutter speed).

options like ISO, metering modes and white balance. Then there are the semi‑automatic modes: Aperture Priority (A or Av) and Shutter Priority (S or Tv). With Aperture Priority, you select the aperture and the camera sets the appropriate shutter speed. Shutter Priority selects an aperture based on the shutter speed you

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set. These modes allow you to take control of the setting that’s most important to your shot. Manual mode (M) requires you to take control of all settings, including both aperture and shutter speed. This is only really necessary when shooting a handful of advanced techniques, but it’s worth taking the time to master this mode.

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Control depth of field with the aperture

Depth of field simply refers to how much of the depth of the image is in acceptably sharp focus. Wide aperture settings such as f/2.8 create an extremely shallow depth‑of‑field, which is perfect for portraits where you want the subject to be sharp and the background to be blurred. For landscape shots, however, you want as much of the scene to be in focus as possible, so using an aperture such as f/16 will provide much more front to back sharpness.

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LARGE DoF

SHALLOW DoF

Using a narrow aperture has captured a greater depth of sharpness.

A wider aperture has isolated focus on the subject in the foreground.

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FASTER SHUTTER SPEED

SLOWER SHUTTER SPEED

A fast shutter speed has completely frozen the passing car, resulting in a dull and static image.

A slow shutter speed and a ‘panning’ technique have captured a dynamic motion blur.

4 Control motion blur with the shutter speed

Shutter speed is an incredibly creative control that can be used to freeze fast‑moving subjects in space and time, or capture them as a more artistic blur. For action photography, these two options provide a wealth of possibilities. For instance, shooting a passing car at 1/1,000 sec will ‘freeze’ it, making it appear not to be moving, while tracking the car as it passes at 1/125 sec will capture dynamic blur in the background. To learn more about this, take a look at tip 15.

NORMAL With a predominantly light scene, the camera metering has been fooled into underexposure, which has made the image too dark.

5 Exposure compensation

When you shoot in Aperture Priority or Shutter Priority modes, your camera will always assume that the subject is a mid‑tone, equivalent to mid‑grey. The problem is that if you’re shooting a subject that’s lighter or darker than mid‑grey, or is against a background lighter or darker than

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EXPOSURE COMPENSATION +1 By adding one stop of overexposure using exposure compensation, the camera exposure has been made as bright as it should be.

mid‑grey, the image will over‑ or underexpose. Exposure compensation allows you to override the camera’s automatic assumptions, which means you can lighten or darken exposure to correct the problem. It basically provides manual control with the convenience of a semi‑automatic shooting mode.

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ISO 100

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6 What’s ISO?

your photo. Noise, which becomes more evident at higher ISOs and plain ugly at the highest settings, appears as grainy coloured flecks – a little like film grain. Your choice of setting is ultimately a matter of compromise. The big attraction to using high ISOs (such as ISO 6,400) is that they allow you to use much faster shutter speeds. This means that in low‑light settings you won’t have

to use a tripod or a flashgun. As a general rule of thumb you can start with ISO 100 on bright days; 400 on cloudy days; 800 at dusk and dawn; 1,600 indoors without flash; and 3,200 or 6,400 at night. It’s worth running a few tests with your new camera to assess what you consider the highest acceptable ISO: it’s usually a little less than the highest ISO the camera’s manufacturer boasts.

Roddy Llewellyn

ISO controls how sensitive your camera’s sensor is to light: lower settings are less sensitive and higher settings are more sensitive. There are a bunch of things to consider with ISO, but the basic logic is that the lower the ISO is (usually around 100), the better the image quality is, and vice versa. At low ISOs, there will be very little ‘noise’ in

Raw image files offer the best image quality, but you have to edit them later to bring that out.

Take control over how JPEGs look by selecting a picture style and customising it.

7 Image file formats

By default your new camera will most likely be set to take JPEGs. This type of image file is processed in‑camera, which means that you can download images from the memory card and print them or share them online instantly. The great thing about JPEGs is that they don’t take up much space on your memory card and hard drive, and they’re processed ready for use. The downside is that they capture a relatively limited range of tone and colour, and their quality deteriorates if you edit them frequently.

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When you become more experienced, and more demanding, shooting in your camera’s ‘raw’ file format will appeal. (The precise file format varies by camera make.) Each raw file is larger than a JPEG in terms of storage space. The advantage of raw is that you control how images are processed, and have more room to correct exposure and white balance mistakes than with JPEGs. The obvious negative is that you have to process all images before they can be printed or shared online, using Photoshop or Lightroom, for example.

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COvER STORY

SINGLE POINT

To ensure a sharp subject no matter what you’re shooting, cameras offer three focusing modes that are best used in specific situations. Single Shot AF is best for static subjects, such as portraits. Continuous AF will continually focus on a moving subject while the shutter button is pressed down halfway and the active (green or red) focus point is over them. Manual focus is just that: you have to focus by rotating the focus ring on the lens until the subject looks sharp through the viewfinder or on the LCD screen. This option is best for landscape and macro photography.

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MANUAL FOCUS

CONTINUOUS

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Shutterstock / Maxim Petrichuk

8 Focusing modes

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9 Metering modes

Metering modes allow you to change the way your camera reads light from scenes, which then has an effect on how the exposure is set. For most of your shooting, Evaluative/Matrix will be the best option, but when should you use the other modes?

Spot/Partial Spot metering takes a light reading from an area of roughly 2‑4% of the frame. On many cameras this area will be at the active focus point. Spot metering is great when a subject is lit from behind, or when you want to expose for a specific part of the subject.

This graph shows how spot metering concentrates around the focus point.

The small area around the focus point gives an indication of the region covered by spot metering.

Spot metering is ideal for small subjects against a light or dark tone.

Centre-weighted Centre‑weighted metering biases metering towards the centre of the frame, graduating out to a lesser effect towards the edges. This mode is useful when using lens filters such as ND grads, which can cause Evaluative/Matrix metering to overexpose.

This graph is higher in the middle, where it’s heavily ‘weighted’ in its exposure reading.

The exposure is mainly on the central part of the image, though the outer parts have an influence.

Centre-weighted metering often exposes skin tones perfectly.

Evaluative/Matrix With this type of metering set the camera reads light from all parts of the frame, and calculates an average exposure based on the presence of light and dark areas in the scene. This makes achieving a correct exposure a breeze in most situations.

The graph for Evaluative/Matrix metering is flat, as all areas are treated equally.

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The light across the whole frame is measured as a single value. It’s a crude method, but can be useful.

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Evaluative metering is good for shots with a mix of light and dark.

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Cover Story

FLASH EXPOSURE COMPENSATION ‑1

NORMAL

10 Pop-up flash basics

Shutterstock / Paul Daniels

You can’t beat a flashgun for versatility, but if your camera has a pop‑up flash it can be a great way to add light to subjects. Using a pop‑up flash can be as simple as pressing the flash button and shooting, but if you find the flash is too strong or too weak, you can use flash exposure compensation to adjust the power. Depending on your camera this may be accessed in the main menu, the Quick menu or by pressing the flash button itself.

Even with an abstract image, the rule of thirds guideline can provide visual balance.

11 Composition

Composition is simply the way elements in your shot are arranged. With a good composition, elements feel balanced and the viewer is drawn into the frame. The rule of thirds is one of the simplest compositional techniques to

www.digitalcameraworld.com

Here, composing the subject on one of the four ‘power points’ makes the image successful. For this scene the sky is more interesting than the sea, which is why it’s more prominent.

master, but also one of the most useful. By following this guideline, you can ensure that your photos are visually balanced with all the elements within a scene working together in harmony. Simply imagine the frame is split into nine equally sized rectangles by two

horizontal and two vertical lines. Most cameras offer this grid on the LCD screen, and some also have one that can be activated in the viewfinder. Now position the subject on one of the four point where these lines intersect, and you’ve got a good, solid composition.

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18mm

55mm

100mm

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12 Focal length

It’s common to buy cameras in kits where you get a basic zoom lens as well as the camera body. The zoom lens will cover the focal lengths that are most useful for a wide range of subjects, and often ranges from 18‑55mm. Focal

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length is basically how wide the field of view is; a smaller number provides a wider view while a larger number offers a narrower view. This makes 18mm ideal for landscapes and 35mm good for a range of subjects, while 55mm is great

for portraits and getting a little closer to subjects that are further away. Your choice of focal length can also distort the subject: one classic example is a short focal length making a portrait subject’s nose look too big.

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Cover Story

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13 Settings for portraits

Find a location where there’s a fairly clean background a few metres behind the subject. To shoot a portrait, set your camera to Aperture Priority mode with the aperture set to f/5.6, and ISO at 100 or 400 depending on how bright it is. Now rotate the zoom ring so the lens is set to 55mm. Next, set the focus mode to Single Shot and make sure just a single AF point is active; then, looking through the viewfinder, adjust the AF point’s position so it’s over the subject’s eye. You’re now ready to begin shooting.

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If possible, attach your camera to a tripod and shoot after sunrise or before sunset for the best light. Set your camera to Aperture Priority mode, with the aperture set to f/16 and ISO at 100. Make sure the lens is set to 18mm for the widest possible view, then switch the lens to manual focus. Now turn on Live View (The LCD screen) and compose the image before zooming in to a point that’s roughly one third of the distance into the scene, and manually focus. To take a shot, activate the self‑timer, then press the shutter button.

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Shutterstock / Richard Bowden

14 Settings for landscapes

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Settings for panning shots

For panning shots, you’ll need to set the lens to 35mm or 55mm, depending on your distance from the subject. Set the camera to Shutter Priority mode and use one of the shutter speeds below. Set ISO to 100 or 400 depending on the light, then select Continuous AF with the central focus point active. As the subject approaches, track them by half‑pressing the shutter button; as they pass, keep tracking them by twisting on your hips before releasing the shutter and smoothly continuing to track them.

Suggested shutter speeds for panning Walking: 1/8 to 1/15 sec Running: 1/15 to 1/30 sec Cycling: 1/15 to 1/60 sec Cars: 1/30 to 1/125 sec Racing cars: 1/125 to 1/250 sec

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B AC K TO BASICS TECH MADE EASY

THIS MONTH: 3 6 0 - D E g r E E I M Ag I N g & v r Get the big picture on immersive photography and video…

hether it has the legs to go the distance and be seen as another creative way to get your pictures and films out there or it’s destined to be a short-lived phase in the history of photography, there’s no doubt that ‘immersive’ imaging is currently a hot topic. Everyone’s jumping on the 360-degree and virtual reality (VR) bandwagon, from Google and Facebook to Nikon and the BBC. But you don’t need the backing of a corporation with deep pockets to give it a go. While immersive imaging might once have required expensive camera rigs and a painstaking process, it can now be realised using nothing more than a smartphone and a viewer made from cardboard.

W

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The terms ‘360’ and ‘VR’ are often used interchangeably, but there are some clear distinctions. For a start, ‘true’ VR has nothing to do with photography at all: rather, it involves a computer-generated virtual environment that you can traipse around and interact with while wearing a VR headset. It’s all about the end-user experience and the hardware required to make it happen. The reverse is true of 360-degree photography. While you can look all around an environment and move through it, you’re not free to wander off where you like. You’re essentially along for the ride, only able to view a scene from the camera’s perspective, whether it’s locked to the spot on a tripod or skimming through the air on a skydiver’s wrist. It’s all about the way that a scene has

ImmersIve Images: 360-degree photos enable the viewer to scroll around a scene. Spherical 360 panoramas are more immersive than ‘cylindrical’ or horizontal 360s as they stretch above and below the camera position.

been shot rather than how you view it. There isn’t a requirement for specialist hardware to see a 360-degree photo or video – you can simply drag the image around on your smartphone, tablet or computer to be able to view the scene all around, above and below the camera’s position, just like you can with Google Street View. That being said, you can use a VR headset to also view 360-degree photos and videos – and it’s this crossover with VR that’s the main reason both technologies are talked about in the same breath. Not only does > www.digitalcameraworld.com


360-dEGREE imAGinG & vR

back to basics

g o o g l e C a r D b oa r D dive into vR using a smartphone and Google’s cheap-as-chips viewer platform for that allows developers to display VR content on the web and in iOS and Android smartphone apps; and a physical VR viewer equipped with two lenses and a slot for holding your phone. This latter component can literally be made of cardboard, although there are more robust options too. Once activated,

a Cardboard-compatible image or video is split into two on the phone’s display – one for each eye – which creates a 3D effect. The key to Cardboard’s success is its affordability: cardboard viewers are cheap and many apps are free. A quick browse on Amazon will reveal more substantial Cardboard-compatible plastic headsets.

otHer aPPS Facebook now supports 360 photos; try using Google’s Street View camera app to produce a 360 image in a format that Facebook can understand.

looK aroUND YoU You don’t need a headset to view a 360 image: either swipe left, right, up and down or, on a smartphone, tap the image and move your mobile around.

Image: Shutterstock / Manamana

AS a taste of the potential for 360-degree imaging and VR, Google Cardboard is hard to beat. It’s essentially a way of turning your smartphone into a VR headset using a cheap cardboard mount, so it’s a great way to see if VR is right for you . Google Cardboard is in fact a two-part technology: there’s a software

Illustrations: Andy McLaughlin

360°

SeamleSS Think about your start and end points – try to keep them relatively featureless, so the join will be less obvious.

Cardboard Camera In addition to a Cardboard app for viewing VR content, Google has a free Cardboard Camera app available that enables you to shoot 360-degree horizontal panoramas. You have to follow the on-screen guide and rotate full-circle slowly; then the app converts the image into a Cardboard-compatible image that you can view within the same app. In addition to the Cardboard Camera app, you can view Cardboard-friendly 360-degree panoramas in Google’s Street View app.

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Vr VieWer Here’s how a 360-degree panorama is displayed on a phone in Cardboard mode. You need a Cardboard viewer (below) to see the ‘merged’ result.

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Back to Basics

360-degree imaging & vr

DOINg IT wITH AN SLr if you want the highest-quality 360s, you’ll need a digital camera, a tripod and plenty of time

tAKING a 360-degree panorama with a digital SLR or mirrorless camera allows you to capture more detail than you can with a smartphone. Unlike a phone, where you shoot a panorama in one continuous take by moving the phone, or a dedicated 360-degree camera where a single button press can record everything you need, you have to do things the traditional way with an SLR if you’re working with a standard type of lens. Each section of the panorama will need to be recorded in separate frames, with enough overlap to make it easier to line them up later. You’ll also need to work with manual exposure, focus and white balance settings so that there’s consistency between each picture. Alternatively you can cut down the shooting and processing time by using a fisheye lens. You’ll have to factor in processing time. There are many options when it comes to panorama-stitching software, including PTGui and Autopana, but you can create 360 panoramas in Photoshop.

a VR headset help to block out the outside world, but a 360-degree photo or video that’s been optimised for VR creates a 3D effect that ensures the experience is more immersive, especially when coupled with a set of headphones for listening to any spatial audio effects that may be present. There are essentially three ways to record 360-degree photos and videos: on a smartphone, using an app such as 360 Panorama or Cardboard Camera; with a dedicated 360-degree camera like Nikon’s KeyMission 360; or, for the optimum quality, with a digital SLR. Each approach has its own pros and cons. For fun factor and speed, a smartphone and app is the way to go. The drawback is that you have to move the phone full circle to create your 360-degree 60

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triPoD aND HeaD If you get serious about 360 imaging with a digital camera, a panoramic head and levelling base will make life easier .

image, which can lead to some odd joins when the camera stitches the ends of your panorama together. Creating a spherical 360 is even harder, so usually you’ll be limited to just a straight horizontal panorama with little in the way of vertical picture detail. A 360-degree camera is the next step up in convenience, enabling you to record a photo or video with a single button press. Some cameras do this using two sensors mounted on each side of the camera body, each lens capturing a view of approximately 180 degrees vertically and horizontally before they’re stitched together to create a spherical image. Not all ‘360’ cameras are capable of producing a full 360 degrees vertically, though, so check the small print before you buy. Finally, if you’ve got the time,

toP aND bottom For a spherical-type 360 panorama, make sure you’ve got a shot for the ‘ceiling’ of your image and one for the ‘floor’.

reSolUtioN Using a fisheye lens means you can take fewer shots, but for increased resolution – and the ability to zoom into the image further – switch to a wide lens and shoot more frames.

you can shoot a 360 panorama with a ‘proper’ camera like an SLR. While this process takes longer than with a smartphone or dedicated 360 camera, the quality of the end result is worth it.

A 360-degree camera is a step up in convenience, enabling you to record a photo with a single button press

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360-dEGREE imAGinG & vR

back to basics

DEDICATED 360° CAMErAS For the cost of a new lens for a SLR, you can pick up a stand-alone camera for all-round recording

Illustrations: Andy McLaughlin

there are more 360 cameras available than you can shake a selfie stick at, but there’s no denying the convenience that comes from shooting stills and video at the touch of a button. The advantage a 360 camera has over a smartphone is that you don’t have to move the camera to record the full view, and there’s potentially better picture quality to be had. Some cameras, such as the Samsung Gear 360 and Nikon KeyMission 360, require a compatible smartphone and app to get the most from them. There are others, including the Insta360 Nano, that work directly with a phone, plugging directly into it and turning it into a 360 camera. One of the disadvantages of recording such an extreme field of view in a single image or video is that the dynamic range of the scene can be just as extreme. Bright areas may become overexposed and dark areas may be too dark, as the camera struggles to find a satisfactory ‘average’ exposure. Exposure compensation and other creative overrides are typically limited on these types of cameras, although smartphone apps bring more control.

more or leSS Other 360 cameras use either a single fisheye lens or multiple lenses to create the final image or video.

aCtioN StatioNS Many 360 cameras can be attached to mounts and used on helmets, wrists, bike frames and more, putting viewers in the thick of the action.

StitCH tHiS Many manufacturers have opted for the dual-lens design, with the two 180-degree images stitched together automatically in the camera.

NeXT mONTH

a small selection of 360-degree cameras 360 cameras come in all shapes and sizes, from ruggedised action cams to spherical webcam-style wonders. This four-strong selection is just the tip of the iceberg…

Nikon KeyMission 360 (£419/$500) Nikon’s robust camera shoots 4K video and 23.9MP photos, and it’s built to take the knocks.

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Ricoh Theta S (£319/$349) Ricoh’s small stick of a 360 camera records 5,376 x 2,688 JPEGs and Full HD video.

Radio-controlled wireless flash explained

Samsung Gear 360: (£350/$350) This silver sphere’s two 15MP CMOS sensors deliver 30MP stills that measure 7,776 x 3,888 pixels.

360Fly 4K (£600/$500) A sci-fi-styled device that has a rubberised exterior, records in 4K and features a neat mobile app.

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oR k

a n Im hY a a Sh l g ot ys e S Is W W

lady in red

The vibrant dash of red from the umbrella contrasts with the muted snow tones, providing a focal point in an otherwise plain scene. “What I needed was a subject that could completely break the perfection of the image,� Beniamino says.

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i m a g e a n a ly s i s

WhY ShotS WoRk

Winter name:

Beniamino Pisati

locatIon:

Sondrio, Lombardy, Italy

KIt:

Canon 5D Mark III with 24-105mm f/4L lens at 35mm

eXPosURe: 1/250 sec at f/4, ISo 400 WebsIte:

straight ahead

Beniamino photographed the scene head-on so that the symmetrical elements such as the trees appear upright. “Because it was a really geometric situation, it was important to have a neat and straight image,” he says. “Simple composition helps in that.” He used Lightroom to straighten the viewpoint even more.

www.beniaminopisati.com

trinity of trees

Repeating lines can effectively capture a viewer’s attention. By framing the three trees equally in the frame, Beniamino has come up with a classic composition; the parallel vertical lines are comforting and calming to the eye. The 35mm focal length used also shows a natural field of view.

Colour palette

The bold red accent contrasts with the largely monochrome scene, and this means that the viewer’s eye is immediately drawn to the main focal point of the photo: the umbrella. Red itself conveys feelings of energy, passion and action. By isolating this bold colour, Beniamino has also given the photo an emotional impact. www.digitalcameraworld.com

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i m a g e a n a ly s i s

WhY ShotS WoRk

nOtes anD KeePsaKes name:

Dina Belenko

locatIon:

London, Uk

KIt:

Nikon D800 with 50mm f/1.8 lens

eXPosURe: 1/100 sec at f/8, ISo 160 WebsIte:

www.500px.com/arken

Filling the frame Effective still-life photos are often about choosing the right subjects. Dina collected favourite items with colours and textures that worked together in this composition. “The first object to place was a red pencil (which has the brightest colour),” she says. “The second was a notebook (which occupies the largest area).”

FA

topsy-turvy

TE S

BW

This quirky image intrigues the viewer by playing with a sense of balance. “The photo was shot from above, so the surface that looks like a table is actually a sheet of plywood standing vertically,” Dina says. A transparent plastic sheet under the objects means shadows haven’t ruined the illusion.


i m a g e a n a ly s i s

WhY ShotS WoRk

Climber’s HanDs name:

Denis klero

locatIon:

krasnoyarsk, Russia

KIt:

Canon EoS 5D Mark III with EF 50mm f/1.2L USM lens

eXPosURe: 1/160 sec at f/16, ISo 160 WebsIte:

www.klero.ru

This image won the Close Up category in the 2016 Red Bull Illume Photo contest (www.redbullillume.com) © Denis Klero/Red Bull Illume

in the shadows

By lighting up the climber’s face as well as the hands, Denis has created an intriguing profile shot with hidden depth. “With the help of two medium softbox sets on both sides, I focused on the hands and fingers, their owner hiding in the shade,” he says.

Ultra low-key The histogram of this moody scene is typical of a low-key image. Most of the subject is in shadow, and the dark tones have been clipped into a pure black. This doesn’t matter in this instance, as it draws the attention to the lightest and most important part of the image: the climber’s hands.

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tonal quality “In this picture colour is not important, the contrast is. This is why the photo is in black and white,” says Denis. The use of a high-contrast monochrome conversion really conveys the coarseness of the climber’s hands. It also helps to render the skin detail with even more clarity.

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PHoto aCtiVe

Get Involved!

enteR todAY!

If you’d like to take part in any of the features in Photo Active, please send us an email at digitalcamera@futurenet.com with one of the following in the subject line: Rate My Photo, Shootout, Portfolio or Photo Answers. Please include your full name, contact details (including a daytime phone number) and a sample of your work (max 10MB)

Enter this month’s assignment at www.photocrowd. com/a/current Closing date: 25th January 2017

Members of the global Digital Camera community share their work with you…

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PORTFOLIO

Jatenipat Ketpradit shares his adventurous tales of shooting extreme landscapes and portraits

FaCebook www.facebook.com/ digitalcameraworld

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Who will get the street photography title?

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PHOTO ANSWERS

Andrew James answers your technical questions and rates your photos so you can improve your photography skills

twitter www.twitter.com/ digitalcameraw

ASSIGNMENT

The winners from our autumnal scenes contest are announced – and our next city-based assignment is launched

FliCkr www.flickr.com/ groups/digitalcameraworld

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! t u Shooto Camera readers l a it ig D o tw e g en ll a ch We oto challenge h p st te la r ou in rt a p to take STREET PHOTOGRAPHY

For our latest Shootout, Claire Gillo recruited two photographers who, although a couple in real life, fancied taking each other on in a street photography showdown… READER 1

READER 2

mma D rabble

A n d rew H iggin s

CameraS: Panasonic GX8 and GH4

Camera:

loCation: Ross-on-Wye

loCation: Ross-on-Wye

AFTER training as a documentary photographer in Marseilles, Emma has now turned to the world of commercial and commissioned photography to earn a living. She’s shot subjects ranging from actors to dressage horses, and is a

ANDREW has been a professional editorial photographer for longer than he cares to remember. He’s always enjoyed dabbling in street photography, often grabbing shots while he’s been on the way to jobs or as a break from his professional press work.

keen user of the Lumix G range of cameras – so much so that she’s now a Panasonic Ambassador for Europe. Emma encouraged Andrew to also apply for this Shootout, as she felt that their different outlooks and camera systems would provide an interesting contrast.

Nikon D7000

He opted to use a single prime lens on the day, as he feels that a zoom lens can slow you down for this type of quick-fire photography. Although he opted for an SLR here, he normally favours a Micro Four Thirds camera or even a compact for street shooting. www.drabblehiggins.com

You CoulD take Join us and learn new skills! Email digitalcamera part in our next @futurenet.com (subject line: Shootout). reaDer Shootout Please include your address and phone number

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SHOOTOUT

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Challenge 1

Shootout

street photography

Capture the quirky side of London

Kit Panasonic GX8 with 25mm f/1.4 lens Exposure 1/50 sec at f/5.6, ISO 400

mma RATHER than camp out in one spot waiting for situations to develop, we spent much of the day walking the central London streets in search of shots. This was much more challenging, but Emma soon honed in

Expe rt op in ion

• Emma has artf ully stageman aged the elemen ts here. • Three real ly is the magic number whe n it comes to pho tograph y composit ion. • Emma has a grea t eye for colour – the cool blue s running through the shot tie everyth ing toge ther.

p totip

Be ready for anything

on this scene. “I find people who take selfies are oblivious to the world outside their iPhone,” she says. “The world of the selfie can be a fruitful place for observant photographers to explore. “I approached this scene with a Martin Parr sensibility and had plenty of time and space to take a few frames, slowly moving around and lining up the other self-portrait-takers behind this lady. I love her selfie face. She spent some time perfecting her ‘moment’.”

Things happen quickly in street photography, so you need to have your camera switched on, set up and ready to go. Avoid using a brightly coloured camera strap, and wrap it around your wrist rather than over your shoulder. Keep the camera held at chest or head height as you walk around: this will reduce the movement required to get the camera up to your eye. Not only does let you react faster, it’s less likely to distract your subjects. 70

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street photography

SHOOTOUT

Kit Nikon D7000 with 24mm f/2.8 lens Exposure 1/200 sec at f/13, ISO 500

A ndrew TRAFALGAR Square was bustling, and we knew pictures would come our way if we were patient. “The huge hoardings promoting the Caravaggio art show immediately offered photo possibilities, as the artist used light in a way that was similar to the directional afternoon sunshine,” explains Andrew. “I just had to watch and wait to see how

t ki op t

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the passing people would work with the faces on the hoardings, trying to catch a moment when there looked like some interaction between them. “This lady stopped and shielded her eyes as she looked around. The moment had great potential, but I had to walk in closer and bend down to bring the elements together, as if the faces were looking at her. “I’m often amazed at how, by moving gently, one can make street photos without being noticed, even shooting with a SLR. But you have to be quick: you can’t ‘overstay’ the moment.”

Expe rt op in ion

• Wh o cou ld resist this classic street pho tograph y se t-up? • An dre w’s pic ked out a woman in darker colours, whi ch allows the eye to be dra wn up to the brigh ter post er face. • The person on the righ t help s to ‘grou nd’ the shot and ensure it doe sn’t feel over-en gine ered.

play the waiting game We were covering lots of ground as opposed to finding a location, waiting and watching – but the latter approach can often bring great rewards in street photography. Our visit to Trafalgar Square coincided with incredible light, so we decided to dedicate a little more time here. Waiting gives you the opportunity to engineer shots and experiment, as Emma did with a street-level shot. FEBRUARY 2017

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Challenge 2

Shootout

street photography

Shoot a night scene without using flash

Kit Panasonic GH4 with 15mm f/1.7 lens Exposure 1/60 sec at f/2, ISO 3,200

mma PARTS of the city centre were experiencing a blackout on the evening of our Shootout. “All the startled and alarmed faces in the crowds certainly helped us on our street photography mission,” says

Emma. “I noticed this lady as we gathered for a group catch-up at a underground entrance, and I couldn’t resist its theatrical nature. “I used my Panasonic GH4 – purely because I’d left the spare batteries for the GX8 at home – with settings of f/2 at ISO 3,200 in order to get a shutter speed of 1/60 sec. This wide aperture wouldn’t have been my first choice, but shooting in the dark means that you have to compromise.”

Expe rt op in ion

Camera settings For sharp shots, you need a fast shutter speed. To guarantee this, consider using Shutter Priority, dialling in your preferred shutter speed and switching to Auto ISO; the camera will then adjust the aperture and sensitivity according to the situation. When it comes to focusing, choose Continuous autofocus. Alternatively, switch to manual focus and preset the focus distance to two or three metres. 72

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street photography

SHOOTOUT

A n d rew EARLIER in the evening, we headed to Covent Garden with the intention of shooting street performers, but we couldn’t resist the picture potential offered by this fashion ad. “As day turned to night, there was a period of quite bland twilight, which didn’t offer anything special,” Andrew says. “Then London lit up, and the city became a film set. This illuminated advertising photo was one of two side by side, which I thought had the possibility of a fun street picture; the supermodel and the people she lit up, the pedestrians in silhouette. The fact that passing people were wrapped up in warm clothes for the chilly weather added to the contrast. “I just waited and shot a number of people going by, always trying to catch the matching step of the supermodel’s leg. I also had to adjust the camera’s exposure in order to overexpose slightly and keep the clean bright image of the model, but not to lose the silhouette of the people walking past.”

Expe rt op in ion

• Wh o’d have thou ght a bac klit ad wou ld del iver such a cine ma tic qual ity of ligh ting? • The con trast between the two se ts of figures – both visu ally and conce ptu ally – is effec tive. • Opt ing for a blac k-and-whit e trea tme n t is fitt ing for wha t is esse n tial ly a mon o scene.

neXt Month

Getting creative at the iconic Clevedon Pier

Kit Nikon D7000 with 24mm f/2.8 lens Exposure 1/100 sec at f/5, ISO 3,200

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Confrontation

next issue…

When you’re getting up close to people, you have to be prepared for someone to challenge you. We only experienced it a couple of times, but a smile and a sharp exit was the key to avoiding things turning ugly.

If this article’s inspired you to get out there to shoot the street, there are more expert advice and tips coming your way next issue, as we offer an in-depth guide to taking great street photography shots. Look out for our March issue, on sale from Friday 27th January.

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Photo Active

Portfolio Explore the epic vistas of JKBoy, an exciting landscape photographer from Thailand

Name:

Jatenipat Ketpradit

LocatioN:

Bangkok, Thailand

Subject:

Landscape and travel

equipmeNt: Nikon D810 with 16-35mm f/4 lens

Jatenipat Ketpradit

WebSite:

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www.500px.com/jkboy_jatenipat

Standing on the top of a mountain, Jatenipat Ketpradit – or JKBoy as he’s known on his photography and social media sites – is most likely setting up his tripod ready to capture another stunning vista. His style of shooting and processing has a heavy and dominating presence that is certainly eye-catching, and his work has gained much attention on 500px and Getty. Jatenipat has travelled extensively and his love for photography ties in with his wanderlust. From Chile, Iceland and Mongolia to the Himalayas, he’s battled many elements to get the shot. Take, for example, his image ‘Himalaya Journey’ (right). After trekking for seven days in the Everest region, Jatenipat reached the top of Gokyo peak. “At 17,575 ft above sea level, the panoramic view of the Himalayas mountain range took my breath away,” Jatenipat says. “From this viewpoint it’s possible to see the Ngozumpa glacier and four 8,000m peaks: Everest, Lhotse, Makalu, and Cho Oyu.” Determined to shoot in whatever conditions he’s presented with and never go away empty-handed, Jatenipat says D i g i tA l c A m e r A

the toughest photo shoot he’s ever had was in the Patagonia region. “The waves on the lake that day were magnificent, but the wind was super-strong – about 40kmph, I would estimate. I faced tons of spray from strong wind splashing my lens, and the wind was continually shaking my tripod. I had to wipe off the water from the front of my lens almost every shot!” Jatenipat isn’t only a great landscape photographer: he’s also got an eye for portraiture, and likes to combine the two genres, often including a small figure in his landscapes. He says it shows how small we are compared to nature, as well as creating a narrative in the scene. He also shoots portraits, using local people to document almost extinct traditions. Take his image ‘Spirit of Altantsgögts’ (middle right). “I was on a journey to the border between Kazakhstan and Mongolia, heading to the local Kazakhs Muslim community in search of the Burgedchin.” These ‘Eagle Hunters’ hunt on horseback using golden eagles. “At -40 degrees Celsius, only the strong survive here,” Jatenipat explains. “The bond between the hunters and eagles is key. Today, there are only 250 hunters left in the whole country.”

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Kit Nikon D810 with 16-35mm f/4 lens at 24mm Exposure 1/4 sec at f/16, ISO 100 Heaven on earth at Salto Grade. It’s the crown jewel of Torres del Paine, the national park in the extreme south region of Patagonia, Chile.

Kit Nikon D810 with 16-35mm f/4 lens at 16mm Exposure 1/25 sec at f/11, ISO 100 (eight vertical shots) Shot from the top of Gokyo peak, which is based in the deep of Khumbu region of the Nepal Himalayas.

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NeXt moNtH

Wildlife macro photographer Yasir Mehamood gets close up!

Kit Nikon D810 with 16-35mm f/4 lens at 24mm Exposure 1/125 sec at f/9, ISO 125 Burgedchin or Eagle Hunters are pride hunters who inherit their skills from their ancestors and have used golden eagles to hunt for more than 250 years.

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Kit Nikon D810 with 16-35mm f/4 lens at 16mm Exposure 1/25 sec at f/13, ISO 200 (eight shots) To capture this view, eight vertical shots were taken from the top of Mt Valahnukur in Thorsmork, the forest of Thor in Iceland.

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Photo Active

Photo answers

Your tricky photography questions answered! aNDREW JaMEs Our expert photo advisor is here to help

Fazed by Focal lengths? losing it over lcd screens? Send your question to digitalcamera@futurenet.com and let us provide you with a solution

Canon doesn’t do printed manuals any longer, but you can still get one from Robert Scott Publishing.

Missing manual I recently bought a new Canon SLR and there’s no full printed instruction booklet with it. Is this right?

Pete Horn

ThaT’s right, Pete: Canon has moved away from the full printed manuals and now supplies only a PDF version 76

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on a disc. When I asked Canon about this, they said the change was part of a scheme to reduce the use of paper in the production and supply of their products. You can print the PDF yourself at home, of course, but as the full manuals are always extremely comprehensive, you are going to use a lot of ink and end up with a hefty tome if you print it at A4. For many photographers, a PDF that can be saved onto your laptop – or even on your smartphone if you want it handy – is a perfectly acceptable and easily searchable format. But if, like me, you are a bit old-fashioned and like a printed booklet to thumb through and make notes in, printing it is the only option.

The best way to do this is to get someone else to do the hard work – so rather than print it yourself, you can contact Robert Scott Publishing, the only company in the UK with permission to commercially supply a printed Canon manual. You can search for and order any Canon manual you need at www. eos-magazine-shop.com. They come in A5 ring-bound booklets: that’s bigger than the booklets Canon previously supplied with the camera, but they are neat and wellpresented. Robert Scott Publishing can supply manuals for Canon lenses, flashgun and other accessories too. Incidentally, if you are buying a new Nikon camera, you’ll still get a full printed manual in the packaging. www.digitalcameraworld.com


Photo Answers

Photo Active

la gUYm iD an e ’s

Polariser puzzle

high-key lighting Explore one of the most fashionable shooting techniques What is high-key lighting? It’s a basic lighting technique that can be used indoors or out and with a range of different subjects – although it’s probably best-known for its use in portraiture. It relies on brighter tones to convey the mood. An image will be mainly made of mid-tones to white, with a lack of strong blacks within the frame. so are there are no blacks in the image? There can still be blacks in the image, but they don’t need to be pure black and they definitely shouldn’t dominate the frame. If black and darker tones are the dominating tones within an image, that photo would be regarded as low-key, the opposite of highkey. But you can, for example, still shoot a high-key portrait with a dark-haired model. is it just over-exposing the photo? No, your subject shouldn’t be over-exposed – although if you are using a white background, that may well become pure white. So if you are shooting a high-key portrait against a white background, you want to be sure that the skin tones in your model do not fall to pure white, but they should be very light in tone. can i just shoot normally, then process for a high-key effect? You can, but it’s not always successful,

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so it’s always best to try to shoot as close as you can to high-key, then just improve on what you already have when it comes to post-processing. In a studio, you can set the lights to create a high-key effect. In natural light, bright but overcast conditions can be used, but you’ll need to set +2 or even +3 exposure compensation to push the tones to the right of the histogram. Pick a naturally bright background, such as a white wall, for your backdrop. are there times when it’s best to shoot high-key lighting? Not really: just like any type of lighting, it’s a creative choice about how you want to show your subject. High-key is naturally quite flattering because it can mask skin defects, and the lack of shadows means that strong features like prominent noses are less obvious. other than portraits, what other subjects can be shot high-key? You can shoot whatever you like this way if the circumstances allow it. Landscapes, pet portraits, macro, flowers and wildlife are just a few of the genres that can be successful captured as high-key. The trick is to be aware of the potential of this style and grab the photographic opportunities when you can.

What’s the difference between the two types of 105mm circular polariser from Lee Filters? Dave Hunt

IN terms of immediately obvious physical differences, the only thing that separates the two lee circular polarisers is their thickness. The outer ring of the Landscape Polariser is approximately 7mm thick, while the ‘normal’ circular polariser is about double that diameter. The extra slimness of the Landscape Polariser means it can be used with focal lengths as wide as 16mm without any of the vignetting occurring that you get with the other 105mm circular polariser at these focal lengths. Vignetting is a darkening of the corners of the image where the actual filter surround is being captured. The Landscape Polariser also has a slightly warmer bias than the other polariser, which is regarded as a benefit for landscape photography – although if you shoot raw, you can tweak white balance to your heart’s content anyway. Apart from these factors, the two polarisers are used in exactly the same way and are fixed to the front of the camera by screwing into an 105mm accessory ring that has to be attached to a Lee Filters holder. You simply rotate the filters to get the polarising effect that you want, whether that’s removing reflections from glass or water, reducing glare or saturating colours. Some of the ASK US A abilities of a polarising filter qUeStion cannot be replicated in postdigitalcamera@ production, which is why it is futurenet.com generally regarded as the most (subject line: useful physical filter of them all. Photo Answers) There is one other difference between these two polarising filters: the slimmer Landscape Polariser is quite a bit cheaper than the standard 105mm circular polariser. FEBRUARY 2017

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Photo aCtive

Photo AnswERs

Speed shooting Are burst speed and frame rate the same thing with different names? Joseph Browning

exif explained Someone recently suggested I checked my Exif data. I didn’t know what this meant – can you explain please? Glenda Frost ExIf is the information that your camera stores every time you take a shot. It is simply a checklist of the settings you chose for each image, and an acronym of EXchangeable Image File. All cameras store Exif information whether you are shooting raw or JPEG. You can access this data both while the image is still on a memory card and in the camera or when it’s been transferred to your computer. On my Canon EOS 5D III with an image showing in review, I can press the Info button and it will tell me the shutter speed, aperture, shooting mode, metering mode, white balance, ISO and file type used. On the computer you can view all this information in Windows by rightclicking and selecting Properties on a PC or in macOS by Ctrl-clicking and selecting Get Info. Photoshop and Lightroom will also tell you all this. As you see here, the Exif reveals my lily shot was taken on a Canon 1D X with an EF 300mm f/2.8 L IS USM lens with an exposure of 1/640 sec, f/5.6, Aperture Priority and Pattern metering. The file size is also shown, and the data indicates that no flash was fired. My photography began back in the film days when this info wasn’t captured by the camera. I’d walk around with a notebook to scribble down apertures, shutter speeds, focal lengths and so on, so I could compare differences later. Digital cameras do this job for you, but using that data to help you understand the effects you are getting with different settings will help you learn. 78

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No, they are two different things! Frame rate or frames per second (fps) is simply the speed at which a camera can shoot consecutive frames; burst rate is how many of those shots you can shoot one after the other before the camera slows down or freezes altogether. If you’ve ever needed to fire off continuous shots in a bid to capture some action, you might have experienced your camera becoming sluggish or locking up. How well your camera performs when

shooting like this will depend on its buffer, the storage area that holds the digital data of each image being taken before it is then written onto the memory card. Pro-level SLRs are better and faster at handling the image data and therefore suffer less from buffering. This can be crucial in situations where the photographer is relying on the camera’s ability to keep shooting without hesitation to capture the perfect shot of a very fast-moving subject. You can see the kind of situation I am talking about from my sequence of a diving osprey. This all happened in a split-second, so I needed to keep firing to capture it all . If your camera stutters and locks up when shooting a sequence of raw files, change the file type to JPEG. JPEGs are smaller than raw files, so it’s easier for the camera to shift them through the sequence and onto the memory card.

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Choose a camera with a high burst rate and you can capture brilliant action sequences.

QUICK Q&A

A good vintage What’s the best way to make images look vintage in Lightroom?

Chrissie McDrew  

If you want to keep it simple, i’d just go for a sepia tone on the photo. There are a number of presets you can use: one is Sepia itself, but Antique and Antique Light are worth a try too. A Lightroom preset is a simple one-touch way of creating that aged look. Lightening the edges by using the Radial Filter after applying the preset can enhance the ‘faded’ look even more.

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Photo Active

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to

Photo Answers

Flare busting How can I avoid flare in my shots? Fred Hope

Before

After

Create a light leak in lightroom Create the effect of a light leak that mimics an accident from the days of film 1

Start the effect

In the Develop module, select the Graduated Filter and drag it across the image where you intend to mimic the light leak. Here it’s from the right, where there is already some strong light. Now push the Temperature, Tint and Exposure sliders to the right. Don’t push them too far at this stage: I’ve selected 40, 40 and 0.60 respectively.

the effect 2 enhance Click the New tab to activate a second grad. Drag it across the same area, but stop about halfway between the edge and the pin for the first grad. Repeat the process, this time pushing the Temperature, Tint and Exposure values up more. I’ve selected 60, 60 and 1.40 in order to enhance the effect further.

touches 3 Finishing You could stop there, but a third grad will finish this image off nicely. So click the New tab and drag a grad a short way in from the edge. Don’t bother with the Temperature slider this time, but push the Tint slider to 100. Push the Exposure slider further and also the Highlights slider, and you are done.

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flaRE can be an issue even when you are not shooting directly into light. Sometimes the tiniest adjustment of the camera angle can resolve the issue, but other times you will need to shield the lens from the light. Nine times out of 10, holding your hand between the lens and the problem light works perfectly, but sometimes you might need something a bit larger to mask the area. I’ve been known to ask passers-by to stand next to the camera and act as a light shield while I take a shot. Nobody’s refused yet, because they are usually intrigued!

QUICK Q&A Daylight WB

Cloudy WB

Cloudy & warm Cloudy white balance gives a yellowy colour cast, so what’s the point of it?

Kevin Trott

ClouDy and shade Wb settings are rather badly named! Cloudy and Shade are best used when the conditions are already warm, such as a sunrise or sunset shot, when they’ll enhance the warmth rather than make it look fake.

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ASK US A qUeStion

digitalcamera@ futurenet.com (subject line: Photo Answers)

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Photo AnswERs

m r Y a Ph te ot o

Photo aCtive

rob stubbs

A wartime re-enactment event yields an moody, evocative shot

aNDREW says: this shot has bags of mood and drama. I can imagine an image like this being a poster shot for a wartime film. The dark space around the main scene itself would allow for a designer to place the promotional words. Abroad contrast range means the highlights from the backlighting are fractionally burning out, although I don’t think that’s a major issue. You have done well to retain some detail in the plane itself. While the re-enactors aren’t sharp, they

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Rob says: i took this image at a night shoot of the lancaster bomber ‘Just Jane’ at the lincolnshire aviation heritage centre at east Kirkby. It was an organised shoot and the set-up incorporated a number of re-enactors dressed in period clothing. A smoke machine was used to generate the atmospheric smoke in the background. It was a matter of trying to capture the image when the smoke had drifted behind so it didn’t obscure the plane or actors. My exposure time was 20 seconds. I wanted to capture a moody scene, evocative of the era with the plane and actors nicely backlit, but with some detail also visible so it wasn’t just a silhouette.

FEBRUARY 2017

have been static enough during the 20-second exposure to make sure they haven’t become an indistinct blur. I think your image would have even greater impact if you’d zoomed in closer to frame the shot mainly around the left side of the aircraft. I’d also have been tempted to reduce the exposure time by increasing the ISO from the 200 you used to 800 or even 1,600. This might have added a bit of noise, but that grittiness wouldn’t matter in an image like this.

NICely DoNe You’ve handled an ultra-tricky exposure well The image of the bomber oozes mood

RooM FoR IMPRoVeMeNT A tighter crop could increase the impact A shorter exposure would sharpen human interest

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o te ot raPh Y m

Christine Bennett

A first-time studio session leads to a strikingly simple dancer portrait

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ChRIsTINE says: this shot was taken at a one-off event with a ballerina posing for shadows, reflections and silhouettes. I particularly liked the grace and shape of her arms and the tutu. The photo was taken on my Canon EOS 7D Mark II with an exposure of 1/125 sec at f/11 and ISO 100, with multiple studio flashes lighting the dancer. aNDREW says: as this was only your first attempt at shooting in a studio environment, i have to take my hat off to you and suggest you try it more often. You’ve captured a lovely image. Your lighting set-up has certainly worked well for that intriguing shadow against the white backdrop: since that sounds like it was your main intention, it’s a big tick for a job well done. I like the pose – especially the left arm so gracefully poised, which enhances the shape of the shadow, although I wonder whether it would have been possible for her front leg to continue that lovely diagonal. As I’m not your typical ballet dancer, I don’t know if this shape would have been possible! The way the lighting works for the shadow means there is an ugly black shadow on the back of her left

leg, and it’s not overly flattering on her face either. With studio lighting, one problem solved often creates another! I’d like to see the white background itself a bit brighter to create a stronger contrast. You could do this in processing. I can also see a fold from the backdrop coming in from the bottom-left, but a quick touch-up with the Healing Brush in Photoshop would sort that out.

NICely DoNe Communicating with your subject is key, so you’ve handled the posing well The striking shadow against the backdrop really stands out

RooM FoR IMPRoVeMeNT Get back in the studio and experiment more with the lights to see how positional changes affect the look Bring out some of the detail in the tutu’s folds

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Photo AnswERs

m r Y a Ph te ot o

Photo aCtive

howard moss

A characterful portrait could have been even better with a couple of simple steps

aNDREW says: she has amazing character, but the surroundings look more like a dull day in grimsby than bali! The background in your original framing doesn’t add anything, so all the interest is in the lines and expression on her face. However, you’ve cropped a lot, as the original was shot at 40mm on your 18-250mm lens and you’ve ended up with a frame that looks like it was taken at about 200mm. As your focusing is spot-on, you’ve just about got away with it, but you’ve lost a lot of pixels: if you ever want to print the

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hoWaRD says: i took this image in bali. as soon as i spotted this wonderful old lady, i wanted to get a shot of her. She was selling incense sticks at one of the big temples so I paid her the cost of a couple of packs. My original was shot from too far away with my 18-250mm lens at the wider end, so in post-processing I cropped in and tried to bring out the colours and textures. My exposure was 1/320 sec at f/4.5 using ISO 200.

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image at A4 or bigger, the quality will suffer. There’s nothing wrong with after-the-shot cropping, but I feel this is taking it beyond its limits. Your processing seems to have added over-saturation in her skin tones. I also wish there was a little more light in her eyes. A small blip of fill-in flash would have helped to bring them out of the shadows without overpowering the scene.

NICely DoNe Self-critique has helped you work the better crop you should have taken at An aperture of f/4.5 means the focus is on the face

RooM FoR IMPRoVeMeNT It’s too big a crop, so next time fill the frame with such a characterful face Rein back on that saturation – or at least localise it

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Photo A p active

Assignment The winners of our ‘autumnal scenes’ contest – and essential details for this month’s low light challenge

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EvEry issuE, we challenge you to take the most creative and arresting shot around a theme, and share it at the online community at Photocrowd (www.photocrowd.com). Here, you’ll be able to browse the entries and vote on your favourites. The best entries receive a critique from our judging panel – and one winner receives a special prize! Your mission in issue 184 was to capture autumnal scenes. We had a lot of incredible colourful entries for this challenge; but the winning shot, taken by Waldemar Matusik, has a subdued finish and a gloomy appeal that gently reminds us of the transition between autumn and winter. His use of complementary colours got us to take notice! Here are our top three, plus the Crowd Vote winner, chosen by readers... This month’s photo assignment is the city at night! You can find all the details over the page… 1

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WAlDemAr mAtusik

Well done to our first-place-winning autumnal scene. Waldemar has certainly created an atmospheric result that uses the warm rich colours of the woodland floor to contrast against the cool, cold tones of the mist. These two elements in the scene really enhance the final effect. Waldemar has done well to create a strong composition, using the tree trunks to pull the viewer slowly into the scene. The bare, structural branches show that autumn is approaching its end and that winter is coming. Kit Nikon D7100 with Nikon AF-S DX 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G ED lens Exposure 1.6 sec at f/9, ISO 100

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TURN OVER!

This month’s assignment is to shoot in the city at night

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melissA richArDs Melissa has done a great job to create a bold and dynamic composition. It just goes to show the importance of looking up once in a while! Melissa has kept an even exposure while shooting into the sky. Kit Nikon D750 with 14mm f/2.8 lens Exposure 1/3,200 sec at f/7.1, ISO 800

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mirko miotto

By creatively composing the shot to include just the tops of the trees, Mirko has eliminated distractions, leaving us with a minimalist result. The white sky frames the remaining leaves, and dark branches perfectly. Kit Canon EOS 7D with EF 50mm f/1.8 II Exposure 1/200 sec at f/6.3 ISO 100

croWD vote

sA smit

Chosen by the voting community at Photocrowd. Join Photocrowd to choose your favourites next time! No shooting information

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Assignment

New ASSIGNMeNt

the city At night After the sun has set, unpack your camera and have a go at shooting the urban environment to get creative results

There’s something magical about the city after the sun has set. First the street lights get swtiched on; then car headlights zoom by! It all makes for an excellent subject matter to shoot. For this challenge we really want you to embrace the creative opportunities the city has to offer, and see what you can come up with. Get your tripods at the ready and capture the urban environment coming alive! Try shooting in the twilight hour to give the sky a deep blue tint. You may also want to experiment using a slow shutter speed to capture creative light trails. Although it can be tempting to go to the regular tourist spots, try finding an original location for your city shots and see what you can come up with. www.photocrowd. com/a/current How to enter Closing date: 25th Visit www.photocrowd. January 2017 com/a/current and look for the City At Night contest. (It’s free to join.) Click Submit An Image to upload your entry. The closing date is 25th January 2017. The creator of the best photo in the judges’ opinion will receive a brand-new Lowepro Transit Sling 250 AW bag. The Crowd Vote winner also receives a special prize. A selection of the winning images will appear in issue 188.

ENTER TODAY!

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wIN A Lowepro photo hAtChbACk bp 250 Aw II We’re giving away this versatile Lowepro daypack worth £99 to the winner of our new assignment. The Photo Hatchback BP 250 AW II is a 22-litre pack that can swallow an SLR with an attached lens, plus two additional lenses and accessories in its camera compartment. Remove this, and the pack converts to a full daypack. The hatchback design gives peace of mind, as your camera gear can’t be

accessed while you’re wearing the pack, while the CradleFit™ tablet pocket and built-in All Weather AW Cover™ provide additional protection.

www.lowepro.co.uk

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PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHY BIGGER. BOLDER. BETTER.

The new and expanded Professional Photography is now on sale and it’s aimed at everyone that loves photography as a creative pursuit; be that high-end enthusiasts or professional photographers. Find inspiring portfolios and exclusive interviews with the world’s leading photographers – David Bailey and Martin Parr to Don McCullin – the photographers to watch, the personal projects that inspire, debates, and more.

SUBSCRIBE FOR £30 A YEAR Never miss an issue, visit www.bit.ly/ProfessionalPhotographyMagazine

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IntervIew

Tre vor LeighTon One of the UK’s most highly-regarded portrait and commercial photographers talks to David Clark about his life and work

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hen did your passion for photography begin? I started taking pictures as a teenager, but when I was eight years old I used to borrow my dad’s camera and go around pretending to take pictures, even though there was no film in the camera. I’m dyslexic, and that definitely made me a more visual person. When I was 12 or 13, I started assisting local wedding photographers on Saturdays. Later on I did the wedding pictures myself. Was it a useful experience? It wasn’t the sort of thing I really wanted to do, but it was the only thing that was happening in Carlisle. Looking back on it now, I realise that a good wedding photographer is someone who goes into a situation and takes control, and it taught me to

do that. In that respect, I’m really glad I covered 60 weddings. Then you studied photography at Carlisle College of Art & Design… The thing about going to art college is that it’s not the college itself that determines how successful you’re going to be – the other students are just as important. I was very fortunate that another person on my course was Steve Johnston, who had the same love of photography as me. We had competitions where we went to places like Morecambe and Blackpool for the day, and would see who came up with the best pictures. He’s a brilliant painter now. What was your ambition when you started out? I really wanted to be David Bailey. I think any photographer who >


Trevor LeighTon

IntervIew

Before the Dawn publicity image, 2014 Trevor says: “I created this picture in Kate Bush’s garage, using a pool I’d bought online for the shoot.”


IntervIew

Trevor LeighTon

Left Wayne Hemingway, 2008 “This was shot for Hello. I suggested the idea of him standing fully clothed in a pool, and he loved it.”

TREVOR LEIGHTON

Portrait and commercial photographer Born in Carlisle in 1957, Trevor studied photography at Carlisle College of Art & Design. He opened his first studio with fellow photographer Nick Powell in London in 1980.

came after him used him as a kind of yardstick. He had the life, he had the girls, and he even had feature films made about him. I wanted to do all that, and initially I wanted to be a Vogue fashion photographer.

“I wanted to be David Bailey. He had the life, he had the girls, and he even had feature films made about him” 90

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Would you have wanted to achieve that ambition? No, because as my career went along and I started doing portraits, something better happened to me. As the National Portrait Gallery started collecting my work, I realised that this was more important than being a ‘frock photographer’, as Bailey would call it. As a portrait photographer I would leave this legacy of portraits, whereas even if I’d been a successful fashion photographer, I would leave nothing behind apart from tearsheets. Also, in fashion photography you’re always relying on other people’s skills,

His work has included portraits of famous personalities, fashion, beauty and advertising. It has been published in newspapers and magazines including Vogue, Tatler, Arena, The Observer and The Sunday Times.

Above Daisy Lowe, 2010 “Daisy had just moved into a new house, and I photographed her in her bedroom for Hello.”

He published a collection of portraits of comedians, The Jokers, in 1999 and currently has 245 portraits in the National Portrait Gallery collection. He lives in West Sussex.

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whereas in portrait photography, it’s just you and the subject. You moved down to London in 1980 and opened a studio. Was it difficult to get established? Looking back, I don’t know how I did it. Even the physical side of moving was difficult, living in bedsits. My college friend Nick Powell had decided he would open up his own studio and said, “Why don’t we do it together?” We rented an old studio that had been owned by Gordon Crocker, who was a big photographer in the 1940s and 1950s, but it needed complete www.digitalcameraworld.com

modernisation. I had trained as an electrician with my dad, so I was able to rewire the place, and we turned it into something reasonable. How did you get work? I did what everyone else did – I rang up magazines and went to show them my portfolio. One of the people I saw was Denise Barnes, then the art director of Cosmopolitan. She looked at my pictures, which were terrible, and said I wasn’t suitable for the magazine, but she asked me to come back in six months. I did that and again the same thing happened. Eventually, two years later she

booked me. She said my enthusiasm for my terrible pictures was fantastic and I was always positive, so she had decided to keep her eye on me. The rest is history. Who was your first celebrity portrait subject? In 1981, I showed my portfolio to Woman’s Journal. The art director saw my portraits and asked if I was available to photograph the gossip columnist Nigel Dempster the next week. They loved it and asked me to do a portrait of Norman Parkinson. That went well, and they asked me to photograph Quentin Crisp. All of FeBrUArY 2017

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Quickfire Q&A Who’s been your most difficult sitter? I found that Lou Reed was horrendous. I photographed him in his hotel room, but his minders literally chucked me out into the corridor after I asked him to take off his sunglasses. I had about 30 seconds with him. Do you prefer working in a studio? For portraits, yes, because I like to be in control of things. Most photographers are control freaks. I’m happy in a blacked-out studio with just my lights. I love that classic studio thing. Do you put limits on your post-processing? I try not to over-process the images. Some of my rivals use software that basically turns people into plastic. I have to do that to some extent, but I always let some reality come through.

a sudden I had three celebrity portraits in my portfolio.

“Kate Bush phoned me and said she wanted me to do a poster for her Before the Dawn concerts. She wanted a picture of herself in a lifejacket in the sea” 92

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Saunders and Rik Mayall. Eventually I had about 40 comedian portraits and thought I’d do a book. The publisher wanted at least 80, though, so then I had the daunting task of getting them all.

How did you build your portfolio? Sometimes I would receive commissions, but I mainly built it via my other work. For instance, I might be doing a commercial picture for the TV Times with a famous actor; then at the end of the session, I’d say, “Can I just do a quick black-and-white portrait?” They’d normally say yes, and that’s how I managed to accumulate them. How did your book The Jokers come about? I met Dawn French and Lenny Henry at the beginning of their careers, and afterwards they insisted on me doing their photos. Through them I got to photograph people like Jennifer

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Above left Victoria Wood, 1999 “Victoria urgently needed some publicity pictures for a tour, so I did them one weekend in her house in Morecambe.”

You’ve worked with Kate Bush three times. What’s she like to work with? She is an absolute sweetheart – very intelligent, lovely. I can’t say a bad thing about her. In 2014, she phoned me and said she wanted me to do a poster for her Before the Dawn concerts. I thought she would want a nice beauty shot, but she said she wanted a picture of herself in a lifejacket in the sea. I thought, “What’s she talking about?” But it www.digitalcameraworld.com


was her concept; I was just there to facilitate it. How did you manage to achieve that shot? I bought a 12ft square pool online, and we installed it in Kate’s garage. She wanted the picture to look like it was taken in moonlight, so I put black drapes over the ceiling and shot her with a beauty dish as it reflected the moon in the water. I asked everyone on the shoot, even the make-up artist, to splash the water, to make it look like the sea. Then it was one of those magical moments when you shoot something, see it on the screen and realise it’s going to work. I looked at Kate and said, “You really are a genius!” www.digitalcameraworld.com

Above Bruce and Wilnelia Forsyth, 2015 “Bruce is a lovely man. I photographed him and his wife together in Montenegro for Hello.” Left Jonathan Ross, 1999 “This was a straight studio shot of Jonathan – it’s a kind of homage to Richard Avedon.”

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Do you think digital has changed photography for the better? I can only speak personally, but the positive thing for me is that I feel I’m more creative now than I’ve ever been. It means I’m allowed to experiment more, without the shackles of finance. I will try lighting that I’ve never tried before, because I can see straight away whether it works or not. So from that point of view, I love it. What’s the downside? The negative side is that my personal life is non-existent. I come home after a shoot, download the files onto my system, convert them to JPEGs and upload them to the magazine. Then I get emails at all sorts of hours, saying “We need this urgently; can you extend the background; can you make the model’s hips or arms smaller; can you extend her neck?” Every free second I’ve got is taken up with this work, and you don’t get paid for it. It’s expected. How has it affected the photography industry generally? It’s killed the industry to a certain degree, because it’s allowed everyone 94

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TreVor’s kiT BAG Trevor says: “My main camera at the moment is the Canon EOS 5DS R, which is a great piece of kit. For portraits and beauty work, I mainly use the EF 135mm f/2 L as it’s so sharp. I like using zooms, and for lots of my magazine shoots I use the EF 24-70mm f/2.8L.”

to be a photographer. So many pictures I see are just mediocre. It’s like going into the Marks & Spencer wine department – you can’t buy a bad bottle of wine, but you can’t buy a good bottle either. If you look at a great photographer’s work, you can recognise it straight away. If it’s bland and any photographer could have taken the image, then it’s failed in my opinion. What’s been your biggest achievement so far? The thing that really stands out for me is that it’s been a miracle that I’ve actually done what I’ve done. When I was a boy in Carlisle, I used to lie in my bed on summer nights, looking at my Vogue posters on the wall, and dream about being a photographer. We lived in a council house near to the main railway line, and I used to listen to the train to London and imagine that one day I’d be on it. It’s been a long journey from that point, but it’s been fantastic, and I still love photography more than anything else. www.trevorleighton.com

Above Richard Wilson, 1999 “There was a slight grumpiness about Richard, which came out in this portrait.”

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The brilliant editorial work of Clive Arrowsmith

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PRO ZONE

WORK EXPERIENCE Damien Lovegrove has spent his career creating fabulous portraits. He tells Jeff Meyer what it’s like revisiting your archive and rediscovering your work...

What do you think makes a good portrait photographer? It requires key traits like integrity, fun, respectfulness and a personable

character. It wasn’t until I was in my early 30s that I began to gain the confidence needed to hone these skills. I shot my first portrait in 1996 at the age of 32. Some of the leading photographers I met early in my career had confidence and craft skills in bucketloads, but somehow they lost the desire or focus to really push themselves to greatness, and they fell by the wayside. It takes continual practice and improvement to get the most from photography, and there are many obstacles along the way.

How did you get the initial idea for this book? I have an extensive back catalogue of portrait images shot over the last five years, all shot using the Fujifilm X system. I remember at the end of my wedding career, my business consultant told me to write a book, so I took his advice and wrote The Complete Guide to Professional Wedding Photography. This book was published by Focal Press and went on to become a best-seller. After an extensive portrait career, I decided to put together everything I know about photographing people into a book. This book, Portraits, is showing the signs of becoming a best-seller too.

Was Fujifilm involved in the project this time? At no point did Fujifilm have any editorial influence, but they were generous with their marketing advice and have provided some post-launch marketing support.

What sort of techniques can people expect to learn from this book? After learning about lighting during his career at the BBC, Damien Lovegrove now applies his skills to the art of portrait photography – and shots of beautiful women in particular.

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They will learn the psychology of photographing people: how to create intimacy, create moments of fun, and put energy into their pictures. They’ll

Damien’S WOrK

amien Lovegrove is a world-renowned portrait photographer and an Fujifilm UK ambassador. He has been a TV cameraman and commercial photographer as well as a wedding and portrait photographer; now he is a writer, teacher, columnist, motivator and artist. He went to the BBC at 19 and trained to be a cameraman. He went on to train as a lighting director, leaving the BBC in 1998 to become a full time photographer. Damien now specialises in making women look fabulous. “I’m inspired by beauty,” he says, “and as I have matured as a photographer I’ve learned to see beauty in just about everyone and everywhere. It’s not what I look at that matters: it is what I see.”

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This spread Damien Lovegrove has distilled his  years of portrait experience into a new self-published ebook, where you can discover the approaches and techniques required to take shots like these.

> www.digitalcameraworld.com


www.digitalcameraworld.com

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Work ExpEriEncE

“Ultimatelyit’sthe familiarityand opennesscreatedby thephotographerthat ensuresthesuccess ofaportrait”

see how to find beautiful natural light – and where great light doesn’t exist, they will learn how to create their own using continuous lights or flash techniques. They will find out about the art of photography: composition, balance, tone, texture and photographic design. They will discover how to pose people; how to create relaxed, natural images; how to capture movement; and the making of dynamic pictures. Finally, they will learn a complete workflow from capture through to print.

What are some of the common mistakes in portraiture that you see new photographers making? They make everything far too complicated. They are thinking about the technique and technology, concentrating on cameras, lenses and lights, and not thinking about the person in the picture and creating the moment to capture.

How did you select the images for this book? Were you looking for certain styles, lighting or techniques?

It must be an interesting experience going back through your archive like this. Do you find that your style has changed over time? Yes, but not necessarily in the last five years. In 2008, I was shooting a lot of street photography using colour gels and white balance shifting, because that’s what I was teaching at the time. The genres change; for instance, lately I’ve been teaching Hollywood and boudoir, and all of these are represented in the book.

When you revisit a body of work, do you find that your feelings about certain images change over time?

Damien’S WOrK

I chose 384 high-resolution images from my archive that I thought best illustrated the techniques that I was writing about.

Yes, I do. I find it’s really useful to wait a while before selecting images for 98

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WORK EXPERIENCE

PrO zOne

a project like this, because you can get swept away with the moment and the fun that you had a on a shoot. It’s not until some time after a shoot that the value of a captured moment can be truly understood.

What makes an ideal portrait? Is there a common thread that runs through all great portraiture? Yes, the wow factor. A good portrait makes you stop in your tracks. Sometimes it’s through shock. A lot of photographers use the shock tactic to make an arresting portrait, for instance Annie Leibovitz’s images of Meryl Streep or David Bowie. These are portraits that grab attention straight away. Other photographers create extremely beautiful portraits; much of Mario Testino’s work falls into this category. Ultimately it’s the familiarity and openness created by the photographer that ensures the success of a portrait.

How do you stay creative? I keep moving on. Since my image-making career began in 1984, I’ve always kept learning new skills, styles and lighting techniques. Occasionally a bit of kit can rekindle some excitement, but there’s no substitute for the buzz that I get when I’m taking pictures. I like to be out shooting pictures three days a week. Throughout my career I’ve captured, on average, about 50,000 frames each year.

What do you know now that you wish you knew when you were starting out as a portrait photographer? I now have a maturity and a better understanding of people. I didn’t have the ability to direct and command respect until I was in my late 20s. I suppose photographing children at schools was a fast lesson into the psychology of portrait shooting, and photographing weddings and wedding groups taught me how to interact with people and get the most from them. My new-found confidence and jovial character puts people at ease, and helps me to create fun and intimate moments to capture.

mOre inFO

This spread Damien’s portrait style centres around finding what he calls “the wow factor” in the shot. “A good portrait makes you stop in your tracks,” he says.

www.digitalcameraworld.com

• Portraits by Damien Lovegrove is out now, price £40. It’s available as a PDF ebook that’s compatible with Windows and macOS computers, as well as iOS and Android tablets. You can buy it via www.lovegroveportraits.com. Damien’s site is www.lovegrovephotography.com and he also publishes a blog at www.prophotonut.com

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SEBASTião SAlgAdo This world-famous figure charts the biggest issues of our time through his photos

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Sebastião Salgado / Taschen

ebaStião Salgado is one of the world’s most celebrated photojournalists. His epic scale black-and-white images focus on global social issues, such as the effects of industrialisation, poverty and famine. His many prestigious awards include twice being named Photographer of the Year by the International Center of Photography in New York.

What’s his back story? Salgado was born in Brazil in 1944, one of eight children; his family owned a cattle farm. He graduated with a Master’s Degree in Economics from the University of São Paulo, then worked for São Paulo’s Ministry of Finance. In the late 1960s he was involved in protests against Brazil’s military dictatorship. This led to his Brazilian passport being revoked for 10 years after he’d moved to Paris in 1968, to study for a doctorate in economics. He stayed in Paris and later worked for the International Coffee Organisation.

How did he get into photography? Salgado began taking pictures in the early 1970s when his wife, Léila, bought a camera. His interest in photography led him to give up his career as an economist in 1973, and he started covering news assignments for the Sygma and Gamma agencies. He joined Magnum in 1979. In 1981, he took one of his most famous news photographs, capturing the attempted assassination of President Ronald Reagan in Washington DC. He left Magnum in 1994 to establish his own photo agency, Amazones Images, in partnership with Léila. 100

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How did his work develop? Although he made a living from news photography in the early days, most of his work has been focused on his own long-term projects. The first was a photo essay on rural communities in South America, later published in his awardwinning book Other Americas. From 1986-92 he documented the lives of manual labourers in 23 countries, which culminated in his landmark 1993 book Workers: An Archaeology of the Industrial Age. His later projects include Migrations (2000), a seven-year project in which he photographed refugees and migrants in more than 35 countries.

What’s his most recent project? In 2004, he began another international project, this time photographing landscapes, wildlife and indigenous people living traditional lives.

A celebration of the unspoiled natural world, it was published as Genesis in 2013.

NEXT MONTH

The rock photos of Jill He has recently published Furmanovsky Kuwait: A Desert on Fire, the first book drawn from his work during the 1991 Gulf War. As Iraqi troops retreated, they set around 700 oil wells ablaze and brought about a major environmental disaster. Salgado’s images capture the struggle to extinguish the fires in heat intense enough to warp his shortest lens. This collection, winner of the Oskar Barnack Award, is published by Taschen (£45, www.taschen .com).

Why is he in the news?

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Kit ZONe NeW gear / eXPert teStS / BUYiNg aDViCe

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CANON 1300D vs NiKON D3400

Two beginner SLR models go head to head to see which one comes out on top

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PENTAX K-70

The new mid-range 24.4-megapixel SLR from Pentax is tested by our review expert

MANuAl lENSES

Seven mighty manual-focus primes are pitted against each other

also reviewed 108 GOPrO hErO5 blACK For adventurers on the go!

110 SONy 50mm f/2.8 Capture macro close-ups

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111 SiGMA 30mm f/1.4

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iNSTANT CAMErAS

We test six instant cameras to see which delivers the best print to hand instantly!

f/1.4 prime lens on a budget

CAMErA PhONES

Want to snap more on your mobile? We reveal what you should look for

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Keep your hands warm this winter

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Digital Camera is brought to you by the UK’s most experienced team of photography journalists, which means you can trust everything you read, and compare kit with confidence. We believe the best way to test a product is to use it as it was intended. Our real-world testing involves taking equipment on a proper shoot – whether outdoors or in the studio – and using it exactly as you would, to let you know if it’s fit for purpose.

Each of our tests scores out of five in one or more sub-categories; then we award an overall mark out of five. Digital Camera is 100% independent – and never swayed by advertisers. The tests you read are our genuine, unbiased opinions. Our company has a strict code of conduct on testing – the most rigorous of any photo magazine.

Scientific data won’t tell you everything, but it’s a great way to make comparisons and sense-check our real-world conclusions. We have a series of controlled tests for cameras and lenses that deliver objective benchmarks. You can download the high-resolution test images and resolution charts we shoot from www. techradar.com/cameras. This means you can check the quality yourself – and even run your own tests.

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Our five awards Given to the top product in a group test

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Kit zone

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HeaD to HeaD

Canon 1300d niKon d3400 VS

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We pitch the cheapest Canon SLR against the cheapest Nikon

oth of these cameras are aimed at beginners or photographers on a tight budget, so you won’t find cutting-edge specifications here. But you do want a camera that delivers good performance across a wide range of everyday subjects – and is also a little future-proof, so you don’t outgrow it too soon as your skills evolve. Canon’s EOS 1300D and Nikon’s D3400 both have APS-C format sensors. The Canon’s is very slightly smaller – only by a millimetre here or there, but

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it explains why the Canon has a crop factor of 1.6x and the Nikon’s is 1.5x. You need to multiply a lens’s actual focal length by each number to get the effective focal length. So an 18-55mm kit lens on the Canon corresponds to a 29-88mm lens, whereas on the Nikon it’s equivalent to 27-83mm. In practice, you’ll hardly notice the difference. Both cameras are backed up by a big choice of lenses. The EOS 1300D uses an 18-megapixel sensor that’s served many of Canon’s SLRs well, but is a step behind the 24MP sensors in its latest (and more expensive) EOS 750D and 760D. The Nikon D3400 has an

up-to-date 24MP sensor, like those found in Nikon’s more advanced cameras. It’s not just about the megapixels, though: each new generation of sensor tends to be a little better at noise control and dynamic range. The D3400 edges ahead for ISO range, too. It can shoot at sensitivities from ISO 100 to 25,600, whereas the EOS 1300D only goes from ISO 100-6,400, although it can go up to ISO 12,800 in ‘expanded’ mode. The D3400 has an advantage for low-light photography, then. It’s also a little better equipped for action www.digitalcameraworld.com


HEAd to HEAd

You want a camera  that delivers good  performance across  everyday subjects –  and is also a little  future-proof

photography, with a best continuous shooting speed of five frames per second, versus 3fps for the 1300D. Neither camera is really a sports specialist, but the Nikon is that little bit more versatile. There’s not too much to choose between these cameras for autofocus. The Canon has a nine-point AF system, including a more accurate cross-type sensor in the centre; while the Nikon has an 11-point AF system, also with a single cross-type sensor. They are basic by SLR standards, but perfectly adequate for most people who are just starting out. Autofocus speed and responsiveness also depends on the lens. The Nikon D3400 usually comes with Nikon’s latest 18-55mm AF-P VR (Vibration Reduction) lens, which is fast, quiet and very good. Some kits may come with a non-VR lens, but these are best avoided. The EOS 1300D comes in a variety of kits. The cheapest includes an 18-55mm DC III lens, which doesn’t have an image stabiliser. This certainly brings the price down, but we’d recommend looking for a better bundle, ideally with the 18-55mm 18-55mm IS II lens. It’s a little pricier, but worth it for the image stabilisation. You get wireless connectivity with both cameras. The D3400 has Nikon’s SnapBridge technology, which uses Bluetooth LE (low energy) to maintain a connection with your smartphone or tablet. So you can see web-sized versions of your photos on your smart device straight away, but you can’t transfer full-resolution pictures or use your smart device to control the camera remotely. The EOS 1300D has Wi-Fi and NFC built in, but not Bluetooth. It’s a little more fiddly to set up a Wi-Fi connection, but you can then transfer full-size photos to your smart device, and control the 1300D remotely.

Build & handling When you put these two cameras side by side, the Nikon D3400 is significantly smaller. Nikon’s 18-55mm AF-P lens > www.digitalcameraworld.com

Canon 1300D

Kit zone

niKon D3400

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You can use full-frame EF lenses on the 1300D, but you can’t use its smaller-format EF-S lenses, like this one, on full-frame Canons.

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You can use full-frame FX lenses on the D3400, and its smaller DX lenses can be used on full-frame Nikons in ‘crop mode’.

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The D3400’s mode dial has a Guide setting to walk beginners through different types of photo, and Effects for advanced experiments.

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The rear screen is sharp and clear, but if you want one that flips out and rotates, you’ll have to step up to the Nikon D5500 or D5600.

The 1300D and the D3400 both have a single control dial. The Canon’s is mounted on the top and is easier to use one-handed. It’s a budget camera, but the 1300D has a high-resolution 920k-dot LCD display. It’s fixed, though, and does not tilt or flip out. 4

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The four-way navigation buttons also act as short-cuts to the ISO, autofocus, white balance and drive mode settings.

The D3400 has a smaller navigational controller than the 1300D, and it doesn’t offer any shooting setting shortcuts.

Website Street price

Website Street price

www.canon.co.uk £319/$449 with 18-55mm IS II lens Image sensor 18MP CMOS, 22.3 x 14.9mm Max image size 5,184 x 3,456 pixels Image processor Digic 4+ Stabilisation In-lens Viewfinder Pentamirror, 0.80x, 95% Lens mount Canon EF-S ISO range (expanded) ISO 100-6,400 (expandable to 12,800) Autofocus points 9-point (1 cross-type) Shutter speeds 1/4,000 to 30 sec, Bulb X-sync 1/200 sec Max burst rate 3fps Buffer capacity 1,110 JPEG, 6 raw Video – max resolution 1080p (24/25/30fps) LCD screen 3-inch, 920k Memory SD/HC/XC Wireless connectivity Wi-Fi, NFC Interface USB/video, HDMI mini Body materials Carbon fibre, glass fibre, polycarbonate Body (W x H x D) 129 x 101 x 78mm Weight 485g Battery life (Cipa) 500 shots

www.nikon.co.uk £409/$497 (body only) Image sensor 24.2MP CMOS, 23.5 x 15.6mm Max image size 6,000 x 4,000 pixels Image processor Expeed 4 Stabilisation In-lens Viewfinder Pentamirror, 0.85x, 95% Lens mount Nikon F ISO range (expanded) ISO 100-25,600 Autofocus points 11-point (1 cross-type) Shutter speeds 1/4,000 to 30 sec, Bulb X-sync 1/200 sec Max burst rate 5fps Buffer capacity 100 JPEG, 17 raw Video – max resolution 1080p (24/25/30/ 50/60fps) LCD screen 3-inch, 921k Memory SD/HC/XC Wireless connectivity Bluetooth LE Interface USB, HDMI Type C Body materials Carbon fibre, composite Body (W x H x D) 124 x 98 x 76mm Weight 445g Battery life (Cipa) 1,200 shots

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Kit zone

HEAd to HEAd

image teSt

Nikon

Canon

Detail

The 1300D has only 18 million pixels compared to the Nikon’s 24 million, and you can see this in the fine-detail rendition. The Canon is good, but the Nikon is better.

Nikon

Canon

Low light

At ISO 6,400, the D3400 is still 2EV (stops) below its maximum ISO 25,600 setting, and still showing good contrast, colour and detail – it’s much better than the 1300D here.

Nikon

Canon

Colour The Canon has captured the subtle warmth in this winter sunlight far better than the Nikon. It delivers rich, pleasing colours at its default settings.

Canon

Nikon

Exposure

The EOS 1300D’s Evaluative metering works pretty well, although it is easily fooled into overexposure in dark areas. Nikon’s Matrix metering system does well in a variety of conditions.

collapses down to a shorter length via a button on the side, but Canon’s regular 18-55mm kit lens is no larger. From the top, these two cameras look pretty similar, with a mode dial on the right-hand side offering Program AE, Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority and Manual modes, together with a selection of scene modes and a full Auto setting. The Canon’s power switch is around the base of the mode dial, while the Nikon’s is around the shutter release. It’s easy to switch the D3400 on and 104

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The Canon offers  more direct access  over camera settings,  whereas the Nikon  D3400 relies heavily  on its display

FEBRUARY 2017

off one-handed, but with the Canon you need to hold the camera with your left hand and flick the switch with your right. Both cameras have just one control dial: the Canon’s is on the top of the grip at the front, while the Nikon’s is on the back. Both work perfectly well, but this time the tables are turned – you can work the Canon’s dial one-handed, but with the Nikon you really need both. Round the back, the EOS 1300D makes good use of the space, clustering all the buttons over on the right-hand

side and making more room for the four-way directional buttons, which also act as shortcuts for the drive mode, ISO setting, AF mode and white balance. The D3400 has just as many buttons, with four of them arranged vertically down the left. This pushes the screen to the right, leaving less space for the navigational controller, which is smaller and does not offer access to key shooting settings in the way that the Canon does. This is a key difference between these cameras – the Canon offers more direct access over camera settings while you’re shooting, whereas the Nikon relies heavily on its display and seems to need more button clicks and screen navigation to achieve the same basic adjustments. For outright beginners the D3400 works perfectly well – especially its built-in Guide mode, which is almost like having a manual of photography inside the camera. It not only explains the settings for different kinds of photography, but applies them too. Once you’ve learned the basics, though, you might find the D3400’s approach too slow and novice-orientated, and long www.digitalcameraworld.com


Kit zone

HEAd to HEAd

Canon 1300D

niKon D3400

ColoUr error Closer to Zer0 is better 4.4 0

2

4

3.1 6

8

10

0

12

The colour error figures are close. The Canon offered more appealing colour in our daylight shots.

2

4

6

8

10

12

The Nikon’s auto white balance tends towards colder colours in outdoor shots.

raW* Signal-to-noiSe ratio higher is better; raw results use images CoNverted from tiff 50

50

The D3400’s images are generally sharper with more contrast and clarity than the Canon’s. This is partly due to the exposure system, which manages a wide range of conditions very well – the 1300D seems to have a slight tendency towards overexposure. Outdoors, the D3400 produced crisp, well-exposed shots, but with a rather cold tone. The 1300D produced much more pleasing colours which captured the subtle warmth of a low sun more effectively. You may get different results if you experiment with the white balance settings, picture styles and raw processing, but out of the box the Canon’s results were a little more appealing. At high ISO settings, the D3400 pulled ahead very quickly. You would expect a sensor with more megapixels to be worse at higher ISO settings, not better, but Nikon’s sensor is newer than the design used in the EOS 1300D. The D3400 has a maximum ISO 2EV higher than the Canon’s; that’s a good guide to the difference in high-ISO image quality. At ISO 6,400, the Canon’s maximum, the D3400 was well within its abilities and delivered much sharper pictures. Rod Lawton www.digitalcameraworld.com

100

400

1,600

30 20 10

* raw results use images CoNverted to tiff 6,400

25,600

The EOS 1300D appears a clear winner; in practice, though, its low noise is achieved at the cost of detail.

* raw results use images CoNverted to tiff 100

400

1,600

6,400

25,600

The D3400’s signal-to-noise figures look mediocre, but its detail rendition is very good.

raW* DYnamiC range higher is better; raw results use images CoNverted from tiff 14

14

Exposure value

Performance

20 10

Exposure value

instead for the more direct control offered by the 1300D. Judged purely in terms of handling, control and feel, the EOS 1300D comes out on top. It feels the right size and offers everyday adjustments in a much more direct way. The D3400 feels a little small, and while it offers just as many knobs and dials as the Canon, they’re not used to such good effect.

40

decibels

decibels

40 30

12 10 8 6

* raw results use images CoNverted to tiff 100

400

1,600

6,400

25,600

Neither camera can match the dynamic range of more expensive or full-frame cameras. Normal ISO range

12 10 8 6

* raw results use images CoNverted to tiff 100

400

1,600

6,400

25,600

The D3400 does not match the raw dynamic range we’ve seen from more advanced Nikons.

Expanded ISO range

VerDiCt featUreS

featUreS

BUilD & HanDling

BUilD & HanDling

performanCe

performanCe

ValUe

ValUe

oVerall

oVerall

as we said at the start, this head-tohead is designed to find out which model gives you more camera for less money. However, we just can’t split them in terms of overall rating – both deserve nothing more nor less than four stars – but we can tell you their strengths and weaknesses. For value and ease of use, the Canon EOS 1300D is the winner. It doesn’t produce

the best image quality, and it can’t match the D3400’s continuous shooting speed. But it’s cheaper, its controls are better for setting adjustments, and it handles well. The D3400 delivers better technical quality, and the 18-55mm AF-P kit lens is extremely good in a camera at this price. But it feels smaller and more fiddly to use, with more dependence on its screen. FEBRUARY 2017

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Kit Zone

PeNTaX K-70 3

1 2

4

CSC w w w.r icoh-imag ing.co.uk

Pentax K-70 £799/$897 with 18-135mm lens Pentax elbows its way into the enthusiast digital SLR market with a tough new outdoor camera SPeCifiCationS Sensor APS-C CMOS sensor, 23.5 x 15.6mm, 24.2MP Lenses Pentax KAF2 Memory SD/SDHC/SDXC, UHS-I Viewfinder Optical pentaprism, 0.95x, 100% Max video resolution 1,920 x 1,080 ISO range 100-102,400 Autofocus points 11 (9 cross-type) Max burst rate 6fps Screen 3-inch vari-angle, 921,000 dots Shutter speeds 1/6,000 sec to 30 sec, Bulb Weight 688g Dimensions 126 x 93 x 74mm (body only) Power supply D-LI109 lithium-ion battery, 410 shots

The kit lens has a long focal range, is weather-resistant and has a non-rotating front element – perfect for use with filters 106

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PENTAX is pitching the dustproof, weather-resistant and cold-resistant K-70 at the outdoor photography market. However, the K-70’s specs suggest it’s an all-rounder suited to a much wider range of subjects. Its 24-megapixel APS-C sensor has no anti-aliasing filter, but an AA Filter Simulator that applies microscopic vibrations to imitate the effect of a physical filter. This is made possible by Pentax’s five-axis Sensor Shift system. This can cut camera shake and is used for a Pixel Shift Resolution mode for better colour and definition in ultra-fine detail. Pentax has also added hybrid contrast and phase detection autofocus in Live View mode.

Build & handling The K-70’s square body and square-shaped grip are purely functional: it’s compact, easy to grip and the controls are all in the right places, but it’s not really

february 2017

1

The K-70 is dustproof, weatherproof and cold-proof down to -10 degrees Centigrade. 2

The Sensor Shift system is used for image stabilisation, anti-aliasing filter simulation and a high-res mode.

a thing of beauty. The twin control dials make it handy for experts who want to make adjustments quickly and the mode dial’s Sv (Sensitivity Priority) and TAv (Shutter and Aperture Priority) effectively bring the ISO setting into the ‘exposure triangle’ on the main mode dial. The kit lens has a long focal range, is weather-resistant and has a non-rotating front element, so it’s perfect for use with filters. It’s also relatively fast, smooth and quiet.

Performance 3

The rear screen is fully articulating. The K-70 gets hybrid autofocus in Live View mode – a first for a Pentax SLR. 4

The main mode dial has Sv and TAv modes, which bring the ISO setting into the ‘exposure triangle’.

Our lab results show that the K-70 is clearly capable of good results, but the 18-135mm kit lens has poor edge definition throughout the zoom and aperture range. K-70 buyers might be better off purchasing it in body-only form and then investing in more expensive glassware. The default multi-pattern exposure metering does a reliable job and the auto white balance system strikes a good balance between correcting colour casts and preserving the atmosphere. Rod Lawton www.digitalcameraworld.com


KIT Zone ColoUr error PeNTaX K-70

3.2

CaNON eOS 760D

8.2

NiKON D7200

4.5

SONy aLPHa 68

SCoreS CloSer to zero are better

-1.9 -5

0

5

10

15

20

The K-70’s strong but natural colour rendition gives it a pretty good score compared to rival cameras in this group.

raW Signal-to-noiSe ratio 50

Decibels

40

The vari-angle screen meant that we were able to get right down to puddle-level to capture this beautiful reflection – and the camera’s decent level of weather-proofing proved to be rather reassuring in a downpour!

30 20 10 0 100

higher SCoreS are better. raw reSultS uSe iMageS Converted to tiFF 400

1,600

6,400

25,600

The K-70 isn’t the best for JPEG noise reduction, but the results from its raw files start to edge ahead at higher ISOs.

raW DYnamiC range exposure Value

14

12 10 8 6 4

higher SCoreS are better. raw reSultS uSe iMageS Converted to tiFF 100

400

1,600

6,400

25,600

The same story is repeated here. The K-70 offers similar dynamic range to the rest at low ISOs, but is better at high ISO settings. The extra zoom range of the 18-135mm kit lens is useful for isolating subjects and getting tighter compositions. Sharpness at full zoom was disappointing, however, and the 18-135mm lens had poor edge sharpness too.

Meet the rivals… The cameras taking on the Pentax K-70…

For More indepth CaMera reviewS, viSit www.techradar. com/cameras

Canon EOS 760D £509/$849 (body) With its 24MP sensor, vari-angle display and hybrid CMOS AF sensor, the 760D is a close match for the K-70 in all aspects but ruggedness. Reviewed Issue 166

www.digitalcameraworld.com

Nikon D7200 £999/$1,297 (body with 18-105mm lens) The D7200 delivers excellent resolution and image quality with good handling. Bought with Nikon’s very good 18-105mm kit lens, it’s pricey. Reviewed Issue 164

Sony Alpha 68 £629/$698 (body with 18-55mm lens) The translucent mirror combines the autofocus speed of an SLR with the Live View of a mirrorless camera. Its AF system is very powerful. Reviewed Issue 180

We SaY... The K-70 is a compact, solid and wellspecified camera for enthusiasts. It’s packed with innovative features, and the articulated screen comes to life with the new hybrid Live View autofocus system. The 18-135mm kit lens, however, is a disappointment: it handles well, it focuses quickly and it offers a long zoom range, but the optical quality is poor.

VerDiCt featUreS BUilD & HanDling PerformanCe ValUe oVerall

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Kit Zone

GoPro Hero5 Black

1

3

2

AC T ION CA ME R A w w w.gopr o.com

goPro Hero5 Black £349/$399

A new design and fresh features get GoPro back to the top of its game It’s no secret that GoPro as a company has been struggling – and no wonder with all the jumping, crashing and extreme sports it’s been backing. As the company faltered, the copycats moved in, with a swathe of action cameras that have been as good, if not better than the Hero4. GoPro needed to do something big in response – and that has arrived in the form of the GoPro Hero5 Black. It’s not just a refinement of the Hero4: it’s a revolution in the action camera market. Spec-wise it appears much the same as the Hero4, but what it lacks in upgraded video specifications, it more than makes up for elsewhere. Features such as voice activation, manual exposure control and a two-inch touchscreen really make this GoPro’s most usable camera yet.

Build & handling A sleeker design does away with the waterproof housing, yet the camera is still protected to a 108

D i g i ta l C a m e r a

depth of 10m. All control buttons are designed flush to the body, and have been simplified to follow the one-touch approach first adopted by the Hero4 Session. The new button style works seamlessly with the touchscreen LCD, making setting adjustments through the camera as easy as using the app. Voice activation is another boost to usability: just shout “GoPro Start Recording” to start and “GoPro Stop Recording” to stop. It works perfectly, although you get odd looks.

Performance Video quality is the most important factor in an action camera, and is where GoPro has traditionally led the field. The Hero4 Black’s footage was exceptional. Despite GoPro announcing improvements in the Hero5, you’d be hard pressed to see any difference: it’s still just exceptional quality in good light. The GoPro Hero5 Black is compact, rugged and ready to go. It’s the best 4K action camera on the market right now. Alastair Jennings

FeBrUarY 2017

1

This screen gives you a convenient display of battery life, recording mode and resolution, as well as the remaining card capacity. 2

New to the Hero5 is Linear Field of View mode. This eliminates lens barrel distortion, albeit at a cost of slightly reducing the 14mm-equivalent lens’ field of view. 3

You get curved and flat self-adhesive mounts in the box, as well as this bracket to attach the GoPro to a mount. It has a safety stop to prevent the bracket slipping out of a faulty mount.

SPeCiFiCatiONS Video resolution 3,840 x 2,160 Image resolution 12MP ISO range Video, ISO 400-6,400; stills, ISO 100-1,600 Autofocus range N/A Wireless Yes LCD Screen 2-inch touchscreen Shutter speeds Dependent on resolution and mode Weight 117g Dimensions 60 x 30 x 45mm Power supply Lithium-ion 1,220mAh, 4.40V Waterproof 10m (33 ft)

We SaY... The Hero5 is the 4K action camera that we wanted, with more straightforward menus on a two-inch touchscreen and out-of-the-box water resistance. Great video quality further justifies the price.

VerDiCt FeatUreS BUilD & HaNDliNg PerFOrmaNCe ValUe OVerall

www.digitalcameraworld.com


Kit Zone

SonY FE 50mm F/2.8 mAcRo 1

SpeCiFiCatiONS

2

Full-frame compatible Yes Effective focal length 50mm (75mm APS-C) Image Stabiliser No Minimum focus distance 0.16m Max magnification factor 1.0x Manual focus override Yes Focus limit switch Yes Internal focus No Filter size 55mm Iris blades 7 Weather seals Partial Supplied accessories Caps Dimensions (dia x length) 71 x 71mm Weight 236g

SHarpNeSS 2,500

centre

2,000

3

M ACRO PRIME L E NS w w w. s ony.co.uk

Build & handling Although the lens is compact and light, it feels well-built and fairly robust. It lacks a weather-sealed mount but is dust- and moistureresistant. The inner barrel doesn’t rotate during focusing but does extend at shorter focusing distances, revealing calibrated markings for focus distance and magnification. No lens hood is supplied, but the front element is deeply recessed within the inner barrel, helping to guard against ghosting and flare. 110

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Performance The autofocus system is highly accurate but rather slow. For close-up shots, AF speed can be further hampered by hunting, so the limiter switch earns its keep. Wide-open at f/2.8, there’s a little vignetting and a slight drop in sharpness, but the quality of bokeh is pleasing. Sharpness is excellent from f/4 to f/11, but macro photographers might be disappointed that it drops off at f/16 – and that f/16 is the narrowest available aperture. Matthew Richards

FEBRUARY 2017

HIGHER SCORES ARE bEttER f/4

f/5.6

f/4

f/5.6

f/8

f/11

f/16

2,500

Edge

2,000 1,500 1,000 500

A standard prime that fully lives up to its macro billing Unusually for a relatively short-focal-length macro lens, there’s a focus limiter switch that can lock out the short or long ends of autofocus travel. There’s also a handy focus-hold button. Manual focusing is usually preferable in macro photography, so the smooth-action, fly-by-wire manual focusing system is a bonus. It offers excellent precision with the availability of fine adjustments, aided by the magnified focusing view available in Sony compact system cameras.

500 0 f/2.8

Sony Fe 50mm f/2.8 macro £500/$500 There have been 50mm ‘macro’ lenses from the likes of Canon and Zeiss that, while giving a natural perspective with a full-frame SLR, don’t deliver the full macro benefit. Instead they only offer a maximum magnification ratio of 0.5x at their closest focus distances. Like Sony’s older A-mount 50mm macro, this new E-mount optic boasts 1.0x magnification, reproducing small objects at full life-size on the image sensor.

1,500 1,000

3

Eight optical elements are arranged in seven groups, which include an aspherical front element and an ED (Extra-low Dispersion) element.

f/11

f/16

FriNgiNg NEARER 0 IS bEttER

f/2.8 0.36 f/5.6 0.52 f/16 0.75 Colour fringing is negligible: it’s practically imperceptible across the entire image frame.

DiStOrtiON NEARER 0 IS bEttER

2

On-board controls include AF/MF and autofocus limiter switches, as well as a focus hold button.

f/8

Between the two extremes of the aperture range, these graphs show that the lens captures excellent levels of fine detail.

1

The inner barrel extends at shorter focus distances, to as little as 4.5cm from the subject in full 1.0x macro shooting.

HIGHER SCORES ARE bEttER

0 f/2.8

+0.4 -2.0

-1.0

0

1.0

2.0

There’s the very slightest hint of barrel distortion, but it’s pretty much unnoticeable.

We SaY... The Sony FE 50mm f/2.8 Macro works very well as both a ‘standard’ and a macro prime lens, with excellent handling and very good overall image quality.

VerDiCt FeatUreS BUilD & HaNDliNg image qUalitY ValUe OVerall

www.digitalcameraworld.com


Kit zone

Sigma 30mm f/1.4 DC DN | C SpeCiFiCatiONS

Full-frame compatible No Effective focal length 45mm (Sony), 60mm (MFT) Image stabiliser No Minimum focus distance 0.3m Max magnification factor 0.14x Manual focus override Yes Focus limit switch No Internal focus Yes Filter size 52mm Iris blades 9 Supplied accessories Hood, caps Dimensions (dia x length) 65 x 73mm Weight 140g

1

2

SHarpNeSS 2,500

Centre

2,000

3

S TA N D A R D P R I M E L E N S w w w. s i g m a - i m a g i n g - u k . c o m

Sigma 30mm f/1.4 DC DN | C £240/$340

Build & handling The optical design includes two aspherical elements to boost image quality and compactness. Sigma claims the new lens rivals its Art-line optics for image quality. The built-in stepping motor enables quick and virtually silent autofocusing, with smooth transitions when shooting video. There are no switches or buttons on the lens barrel; the www.digitalcameraworld.com

only moving part is the manual focus ring. The ring is electronically coupled but well-damped, enabling smooth and precise adjustments. Focusing is fully internal, so the front element neither extends nor rotates. The front element is a little recessed within the barrel, and the lens comes with a hood. Aperture is controlled by a nine-blade diaphragm.

Performance There’s plenty of bite, even at f/1.4, with impressive sharpness and contrast, along with fairly minimal vignetting. Bokeh is smooth, despite the challenge of getting a tight depth of field with  a 30mm lens. Resistance to ghosting and flare is excellent. Autofocus proved very fast and accurate throughout our testing with a Sony Alpha 6000 body. Overall, this Contemporary class lens performs better than Sigma’s 30mm f/1.4 Art lens for Canon and Nikon cameras, as well as its relatively slow f/2.8 Art lens for Sony E-mount and MFT cameras. Matthew Richards

500 0 f/1.4

HIGHER SCORES ARE bETTER f/2.8

f/4

f/2.8

f/4

f/5.6

f/8

f/11

f/16

2,500

Edge

2,000 1,500 1,000 500

This standard prime aims for quality on a budget SIGMA’S 30mm Art-line lens for Canon and Nikon APS-C format SLRs has excellent build quality and handling and good optical performance. This new sibling offers the same effective 45mm focal length and f/1.4 aperture rating for Sony E-mount cameras, or 60mm in Micro Four Thirds fit. It’s from the Contemporary line, which is more budgetfriendly than the Art series. It’s also only a third of the weight of the 30mm Art lens, at just 140g, making it a well-balanced optic for small compact system cameras.

1,500 1,000

f/5.6

f/8

f/11

f/16

Wide-aperture sharpness is excellent across almost the whole frame, and the extreme borders soon catch up.

1

Like a variety of previous Sigma lenses, the main construction material is a high-quality TSC (Thermally Stable Composite).

HIGHER SCORES ARE bETTER

0 f/1.4

FriNgiNg NEARER 0 IS bETTER

f/1.4 1.72 f/5.6 1.67 f/16 1.72 Colour fringing is hard to spot, even around high-contrast transitions at the corners.

DiStOrtiON NEARER 0 IS bETTER

2

The Sony E and Micro Four Thirds mounting plates are made from brass, but lack weather-seal rings.

-2.71 -3.0

-2.0

0

2.0

3.0

There’s noticeable barrel distortion, but it’s uniform and easy to correct when editing.

We SaY... 3

The large fly-by-wire focus ring operates smoothly and enables precise adjustments.

The combination of excellent image quality and handling, along with a fast f/1.4 aperture rating, makes the Sigma 30mm f/1.4 DC DN | C a bargain buy.

VerDiCt FeatUreS BUilD & HaNDliNg image qUalitY ValUe OVerall

fEBRUaRY 2017

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111


Manual-focus lenses Let’s twist again, with fingers firmly on the focus ring. Matthew Richards explores the benefits of manual lenses hat’s so good about autofocus anyway? Those who like being in control often shy away from multi-point AF, where the camera decides which parts of a scene it’s going to focus on, often in a seemingly arbitrary process. Instead, they’ll single out the central AF point. This invariably means choosing an object in the scene that’s our preferred distance away, autofocusing, then maintaining a light press on the shutter button while they swivel the camera and compose the shot. For landscapes, street photography, reportage and action sports, manual focusing is a viable alternative. These manual lenses have a very particular advantage for manual focusing. They have longer, more accurate focus scales and most have depth of field index markings. With these lenses you can manage depth of field and hyperfocal distances precisely, something you can rarely do with regular autofocus lenses. Most digital cameras aren’t really set up for accurate manual focusing – the split-screen and microprism viewfinder aids of 35mm film cameras are long gone – but help might still be at hand. Some manual lenses have built-in

Marc Adamus / www. marcadamus.com

W

electronics that enable operation of the focus assist and confirmation lamps in the viewfinder. In some cases, you also need to set the aperture on the lens itself, rather than from the camera. This might sound like an extra chore but there’s a lot to be said for setting up your camera and lens, then concentrating fully on what you’re shooting, instead of worrying about what the camera’s going to do next. And there’s nothing more frustrating than missing a defining, magical moment because your camera has suddenly gone AWOL on autofocus duties.

the contenders 1 Irix 15mm f/2.4 Blackstone £600/$700 2 Laowa 15mm f/4 Wide Angle Macro £450/$500 3 samyang 10mm f/2.8 ED AS NCS CS £350/$400 4 samyang 14mm f/2.8 IF ED UMC £300/$330 5 Voigtländer 10.5mm f/0.95 Nokton £900/$1,100 6 Zeiss Loxia 2.8/21mm £1,100/$1,500 7 Zeiss Milvus 2/21mm £1,300/$1,850 PLUs Zeiss Touit 2.8/12mm £650/$1,000


MANUAL LENSES

FEBRUARY 2017

KIt Zone

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KIt Zone

MANUAL LENSES

Canon EF Nikon FX Pentax K Sony A Sony E

Canon EF Nikon FX Pentax K

Irix 15mm f/2.4 Blackstone £600/$700

Laowa 15mm f/4 Wide angle macro £450/$500

Welcome to the dark side

A shifty lens of hidden talents

e ran a full review of the plastic-bodied Firefly version of this lens last issue. The beefier Blackstone has a magnesium alloy skin, an extra weather-seal at the front and fluorescent engraved markings. The markings include a focus-distance scale and both depth-of-field and hyperfocaldistance markings for f/8, f/11 and f/16. There’s even a fine-tuning mechanism for optimum accuracy on individual camera bodies. As you’d hope for in a manualfocus lens, the focus ring has silky-smooth rotation and a long travel of about 150°, enabling excellent precision. Built-in electronics feed focus assist and confirmation lamps in the viewfinder and allow the aperture to be set from the host camera. This also maintains a bright viewfinder image when stopping down.

W

Image quality is excellent in all respects, and exposure control proved more accurate than in the Firefly edition that we reviewed last issue. It’s also neat that you can lock the focus setting to any preset position, thanks to a separate locking ring. d I g I ta L c a m e r a

2000

1500

1000

500

f/4

f/5.6

Centre

f/8

f/11

Middle

f/16

f/22

Edge

Sharpness is impressive throughout the range, and astonishing wide-open at f/2.4.

frIngIng (at f/8 LoWer Is Better)

Fringing

0.79

There’s practically no colour fringing, even around high-contrast edges at the edges.

dIstortIon nearer 0 is better -2.15 -4

-3

-2

-1

0

1

2

3

4

Control over barrel distortion is good, and better than the Samyang and Laowa lenses.

Performance

114

2500

f/2.8

VerdIct featUres BUILd & handLIng Performance VaLUe oVeraLL

FEBRUARY 2017

omething of an oddball, this wideangle lens delivers full 1.0x macro magnification. It’s great for extreme close-ups in which you want to major on a small subject yet include its surroundings. In full macro mode, however, the front of the lens is only about 5mm from the target, which is seldom practical. The lens also includes a 6mm shift mechanism. Its operation is basic, but it enables some perspective correction and an avenue of creative possibility. There are no built-in electronics, so it’s a completely manual lens. The stepless, click-free aperture ring is a bonus for movie capture, but precise focus adjustments are tricky, due to the focus ring only having 90° of travel. This is despite the extended close focusing range for macro shooting.

S

sharPness hIgher Is Better

Performance Centre sharpness is respectable but images are soft around the edges. Contrast is a little lacking at wide apertures. Distortion isn’t too bad in conventional shooting but becomes irregular when using the shift feature, somewhat negating the function’s usefulness for architectural shooting.

sharPness hIgher Is Better 2500

2000

1500

1000

500

f/2.8

f/4

f/5.6

Centre

f/8

f/11

Middle

f/16

f/22

Edge

Good at the centre, sharpness drops off towards the frame’s edges and corners.

frIngIng (at f/8) lower is better

Fringing

1.68

This does a decent job of keeping colour fringing to low levels across the frame.

dIstortIon nearer 0 is better -2.94 -4

-3

-2

-1

0

1

2

3

4

Barrel distortion lacks uniformity, using the shift function to correct perspective.

VerdIct featUres BUILd & handLIng Performance VaLUe oVeraLL

www.digitalcameraworld.com


KIT Zone

MANUAL LENSES

Canon EF-S

Canon M Fujifilm X Nikon FX Pentax K

Canon EF-S

Samsung NX Sony A Sony E Four Thirds Micro Four Thirds

Canon M Fujifilm X Nikon FX Pentax K

Samsung NX Sony A Sony E Four Thirds Micro Four Thirds

samyang 10mm f/2.8 ed as ncs cs £350/$400

samyang 14mm f/2.8 If ed Umc £300/$330

A budget ultra-wide for crop sensors

Quite compact for a full-frame optic

esigned exclusively for crop-sensor cameras in a wide range of mount options, this Samyang gives a similarly wide viewing angle on APS-C bodies as a 15mm lens on a full-frame body. Despite not being full-frame compatible, it’s much bigger than the Laowa 15mm lens, mostly due to its faster aperture rating which requires a larger-diameter front element. The Nikon-fit edition includes electronics that enable cameradriven aperture control and the illumination of focus-assist lamps in the viewfinder. These are lacking in other mount options of the lens. The lens hood forms an integral part of the barrel and can’t be removed, precluding the attachment of filters. Build quality feels good, and the focus ring has a fluid feel to its 140° rotation.

D

Performance There’s remarkably little drop-off in sharpness across the frame when shooting wide-open, but vignetting is severe and much more noticeable than in Samyang’s 14mm full-frame lens. The high-tech nano-structure coatings do well to fend off ghosting and flare. www.digitalcameraworld.com

2500

2000

1500

1000

500

f/2.8

f/4

f/5.6

Centre

f/8

f/11

Middle

f/16

f/22

Edge

Remarkably good wide-open, sharpness is actually better at f/2.8 than it is at f/4.

frIngIng (at f/8) lower is better

Fringing

1.61

Colour fringing worsens at narrow apertures but remains within respectable limits.

dIstortIon nearer 0 is better -3.62 -4

-3

-2

-1

0

1

2

3

Barrel distortion is a little more noticeable than from other lenses in the test group.

VerdIct featUres BUILd & handLIng Performance VaLUe oVeraLL

ompatible with full-frame cameras, the Samyang 14mm has the same f/2.8 aperture rating as its 10mm sibling for crop-sensor bodies. It’s slightly smaller and lighter than the 10mm lens. Again, the Nikon-fit edition adds electronics and a small price increase, but it’s manual all the way with the Canon-fit version that we tested, so the viewfinder image gets darker as you narrow the aperture. The downsized design is enabled by the inclusion of both hybrid and regular aspherical elements, instead of two regular aspherical elements. Other optical upgrades include an extra ED (Extra-low Dispersion) element and three HRI (High Refractive Index) elements. Both have a six-blade diaphragm and built-in hood, but the 14mm is the only lens here to lack depth of field markings.

C

sharPness hIgher Is Better

4

sharPness hIgher Is Better 2500

2000

1500

1000

500

f/2.8

f/4

f/5.6

Centre

f/8

f/11

Middle

f/16

f/22

Edge

Centre sharpness is very good at the widest aperture, but drops away in the corners.

frIngIng (at f/8) lower is better

Fringing

1.15

Opposite to its 10mm stablemate, colour fringing decreases as the aperture narrows.

dIstortIon nearer 0 is better -3.22 -4

-3

-2

-1

0

1

2

3

4

The amount of barrel distortion here is just a little less than from the 10mm lens.

Performance Focusing precision benefits from the control ring having a much longer travel than in the Samyang 10mm lens, at 240° compared with 140°. Image quality is very similar from both lenses. The 14mm’s corner-sharpness drops off more, but vignetting is less noticeable.

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KIT Zone

MANUAL LENSES H HHfor HH t s y e B son

H HHfor HH t es t B mf

Sony E

Micro Four Thirds

Voigtländer 10.5mm f/0.95 nokton £900/$1,100

Zeiss Loxia 2.8/21mm

It can practically see in the dark

Sony shooters get the best deal

ore than three full f/stops faster than an f/2.8 lens, the Voigtländer is reasonably small and light, while giving an effective focal length of 21mm on Micro Four Thirds cameras. It’s a manual affair, but that’s easier to live with on a mirrorless camera than an SLR. The electronic viewfinder (rear screen) remains bright when you narrow the aperture, giving an indication of the actual exposure. Shooting was natural in Aperture Priority and metered manual modes on our MFT test bodies. Quick and easy selection of click-steps or click-free aperture control is available via an additional control ring on the barrel. The focus ring has a very smooth action and an extra-long 265° of travel, while depth-of-field markings are shown for most apertures between f/1.4 and f/11.

M

Performance

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2500

2000

1500

1000

500

f/2.8

f/4

f/5.6

Centre

f/8

f/11

Middle

f/16

f/22

Edge

At wide aperture settings, corner-sharpness figures are much lower than you’d expect.

frIngIng (at f/8) lower is better

Fringing

2.69

Colour fringing remains constant, but can be noticeable towards the frame’s edges.

dIstortIon nearer 0 is better -0.75 -4

-3

-2

-1

0

1

2

3

4

There’s minimal barrel distortion – no mean feat for a lens with such short focal length.

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FEBRUARY 2017

ompact but beautifully engineered, Zeiss Loxia lenses are designed exclusively for Sony Alpha 7 full-frame cameras. This is the widest-angle offering in the range, with 35mm, 50mm and 85mm lenses also being available. Not to be confused with Zeissbadged Sony lenses, this is more traditional, manual-focus Zeiss fare. Travel in the focus ring is only about 90° but still enables very precise adjustments, aided by an automatic magnified preview while you’re focusing, courtesy of the A7’s ‘MF Assist’ function. The aperture ring has one-third f/stop click steps, but also has a de-click option for step-less aperture control. Mode selection requires the turn of a screw in the mounting plate, so you have to remove the lens from the camera.

C

sharPness hIgher Is Better

VerdIct

Corner sharpness is disappointing, especially at apertures wider than f/4, but centre sharpness and contrast are good. Vignetting is minimal considering the ultrawide aperture rating and, overall, the lens is a strong performer.

£1,100/$1,500

Performance Benefiting from classic Zeiss Distagon design values, the Loxia delivers spectacular image quality and sublime handling in a package that’s a perfect match for A7-series cameras. Our only quibble is that vignetting is pronounced at f/2.8, but it’s much reduced at f/4.

sharPness hIgher Is Better 2500

2000

1500

1000

500

f/2.8

f/4

f/5.6

Centre

f/8

f/11

Middle

f/16

f/22

Edge

The Loxia’s superb sharpness does justice to high-resolution cameras like the A7R II.

frIngIng (at f/8) lower is better

Fringing

0.59

Colour fringing is practically impossible to spot anywhere in the image frame.

dIstortIon nearer 0 is better 0.07 -4

-3

-2

-1

0

1

2

3

4

Almost matching the perfect score of the Milvus, this is essentially distortion-free.

VerdIct featUres BUILd & handLIng Performance VaLUe oVeraLL

www.digitalcameraworld.com


MANUAL LENSES

Canon EF-S

KIT Zone

aLternatIVe choIce

Nikon FX

Zeiss milvus 2/21mm

Zeiss touit 2.8/12mm

£1,300/$1,850

£650/$1,000

The Milvus range is growing up strong

The pros and cons of autofocus

he range of Milvus sharPness hIgher Is Better lenses for Canon and 2500 Nikon SLRs is nine strong, ranging from 15mm to 2000 135mm in focal length, and including two 0.5x macro lenses. Optics include updated 1500 versions of classic Zeiss Distagon and Planar designs, this 21mm f/2 1000 lens exemplifying the former. It features the same excellent build 500 quality as the Loxia but is much larger and about twice the weight – partly because it’s for SLRs but f/2.8 f/4 f/5.6 f/8 f/11 f/16 f/22 also as it’s an f/stop faster. Centre Middle Edge The travel of the focus ring is Levels of sharpness are good and consistent increased to 125°, enabling precise throughout the entire aperture range. adjustments. Electronics enable frIngIng (at f/8) lower is better the illumination of focus-assist Fringing 1.05 and confirmation lamps in the There’s practically no colour fringing, even in camera’s viewfinder. The Nikonthe extreme corners of full-frame images. mount option has an aperture ring dIstortIon nearer 0 is better with the same de-click mechanism as in the Loxia lens. 0.00

T

Performance Typical of the Zeiss Milvus range, the 21mm delivers exceptional sharpness and contrast, even at its widest aperture. It’s a stunning lens that does full justice to the highest-resolution Canon and Nikon SLRs. As with the Loxia though, vignetting is severe at apertures wider than f/4. www.digitalcameraworld.com

-4

-3

-2

-1

0

1

2

3

4

As indicated by the lab test score, distortion is basically a non-issue for this lens.

VerdIct featUres BUILd & handLIng Performance VaLUe oVeraLL

uch is the prevalence of modern autofocus lenses that it’s hard to find manual alternatives for some camera systems. One option is to go for a premium wide-angle prime like the Zeiss Touit, which is an autofocus lens but boasts the heritage of classic Zeiss Distagon design. Available in Fujifilm X and Sony E-mount options, this APS-C format lens is still a good choice for manual shooting. Like various other stepping-motor autofocus lenses, the electronic fly-by-wire focus ring enables fine and precise adjustments in manual focusing. While the Touit lacks a focus distance scale and depth of field markings, many mirrorless cameras can display focus distance information in the viewfinder.

S

Judging the depth Mirrorless cameras give you a live preview of the depth of field at any combination of focus distance and aperture, while keeping a viewfinder or LCD image that reflects the exposure setting. It can be more convenient than pressing the DOF Preview button on a SLR, only to get a dark viewfinder image.

Pros

• The option of autofocus whenever you want it. • For critical focusing with longer focal lengths and reduced depths of field, autofocus can be faster. • Full-time manual override is often available in autofocus lenses, enabling seamless swapping. cons

• Fine manual adjustment can be difficult in autofocus lenses, as the focus ring’s rotational travel is often small. • Modern autofocus lenses often lack a distance scale and depth-of-field markings. • The focus rings in autofocus lenses often lack the smooth feel of a manual lens.

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KIt Zone

MANUAL LENSES

the VerdIct

It’s a Zeiss win The Zeiss Loxia 2.8/21mm comes up trumps

H HHfor HH t es y B son

he little Loxia packs a mighty punch in terms of sharpness and contrast, while reining in colour fringing and distortion to excellent effect. Image quality is spectacular, handling is sublime and build quality is solid. For manual shooting, Loxia lenses with a Sony A7-series cameras make a dream team. For the same excellence in build, handling and image qualities on a D-SLR, the Zeiss Milvus takes top spot. However, the Irix Blackstone runs a very close second to the Milvus, adding some clever tricks and design flourishes, while also being cheaper.

Both of the Samyangs have refined handling characteristics, and deliver pleasing image quality at competitive prices. They are available in a wide variety of mount options to suit most SLRs and mirrorless cameras. The Voigtländer works very well as a Micro Four Thirds lens. Its super-fast f/0.95 aperture not only extends your stills and movie shooting possibilities in low light, but also enables a tight depth of field in wide-angle shooting. The Laowa lens combines ultrawide shooting with full 1.0x macro magnification, and even a shift mechanism for correcting perspective.

T

How tHe lenses coMpare

Irix 15mm f/2.4 Blackstone

Laowa 15mm f/4 Wide Angle Macro

Contact

www.irixlens.com

www.venuslens.net

Street price

£600/$700

£450/$500

Mount options

EF FX K

EF FX K

A

Samyang 10mm f/2.8 ED AS NCS CS

www.samyanglensglobal.com £350/$400

E

Samyang 14mm f/2.8 IF ED UMC

X DX K

EF-S M

NX A

E FT MFT

£300/$330 EF-S M

NX A

X DX K

Voigtländer 10.5mm f/0.95 Nokton

Zeiss Loxia 2.8/21mm

www.voigtlaender. com £900/$1,100 MFT

Zeiss Milvus 2/21mm

www.zeiss.com £1,100/$1,500 E

£1,300/$1,850 EF

F

E FT MFT

Image circle

Full-frame

Full-frame

APS-C

Full-frame

MFT

Full-frame

Full-frame

Angle of view

110 degrees

110 degrees

110 degrees

116 degrees

93 degrees

91 degrees

90 degrees

Elements/ groups

15 / 11

12 / 9

14 / 9

14 / 10

13 / 10

11 / 9

16 / 13

Diaphragm blades

9 blades

14 blades

6 blades

6 blades

10 blades

10 blades

9 blades

Aperture ring

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Nikon only

Aperture control from camera

Yes

No

Nikon only

Nikon only

No

No

Yes

Aperture range

f/2.4-22

f/4-32

f/2.8-22

f/2.8-22

f/0.95 to f/16

f/2.8-22

f/2.8-22

DOF markings

f/8, 11, 16

f/5.6, 11, 16, 22

f/2.8, 4, 5.6

None

f/1.4, 2, 4, 8, 11

f/4, 8, 16, 22

f/4, 8, 16, 22

Minimum focus distance

0.28m

0.12m

0.24m

0.28m

0.17m

0.25m

0.22m

Focus ring travel

150 degrees

90 degrees

140 degrees

240 degrees

265 degrees

90 degrees

125 degrees

Filter size

95mm

77mm

N/A

N/A

72mm

52mm

82mm

Hood

Petal, supplied

Petal, supplied

Built-in

Built-in

Petal, supplied

Petal, supplied

Petal, supplied

Widest diameter x length

114 x 100mm

84 x 65mm

87 x 104-132mm*

87 x 96-122mm*

77 x 82mm

62 x 72mm

96 x 110-112mm*

Weight

653-685g

410g

580-625g

530-575g

585g

394g

735-851g

*Length varies with mount option

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Get the BiGGest and Best photoGraphy Buyers’ Guide!

Packed with buying advice and in-depth reviews of the latest SLRs and CSCs, plus essential accessories and lenses

Buy from your newsagent, or order online www.myfavouritemagazines.co.uk/photo also available on your tablet or phone!


Kit ZONe

MINI-TEST

iNstaNt Cameras Six instant shooters perfect for party snappers or retro artists

1

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Fujifilm instax mini 70 £99/$99

Cheap and cheerful, the instax mini 70 is a cost-effective way to get into instant photography. Ours came in canary yellow, but you can also get it in passion red, stardust gold, midnight black, moon white and island blue. As these names suggest, it’s a party camera, but it’s really easy to use – you just turn it on and start shooting. The only thing you need to be careful of is that you don’t obscure the flash with your finger when you’re taking shots vertically. Everything else is taken care of – focusing, exposure and flash are all fully automatic. The inability to control the flash manually can be a bit of an annoyance – you’d need the more expensive mini 90 for that – but you do get a selfie mode and even a tiny selfie mirror on the front. The direct vision viewfinder is a little cramped, but effective enough. It’s maybe not the kind of camera you’d use for analogue ‘art’ projects, but we really liked the instax 70 as a simple party accessory – and the results are just as good as those from the other instax mini cameras, including the Leica Sofort.

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2 Fujifilm instax wide 300

3

big hardly covers it. The instax wide 300 is the size of an old-fashioned medium-format rangefinder camera, even a small folding field camera. It’s because it uses instax wide film packs rather than the regular instax mini. The film costs twice as much, but each instant print is twice the size; this is the closest you can get to old-style Polaroid print sizes but with modern instax film technology. The instax 300 wide might look big and clumsy but it’s light, and the generous grip makes it easy to hold and use. You power up with a spring-loaded switch around the shutter release, which extends the 95mm lens. The instax wide format is much larger than a digital sensor, so this equates to a moderate wide-angle lens. For a big camera, though, the instax wide 300 has a tiny viewfinder. It takes practice even to get your eye lined up with the eyepiece. Otherwise, it’s simple to use and delivers very good results. Where the regular instax mini format produces small photo ‘tokens’, these are more like proper photographs. The instax wide 300 is also good value.

Resembling a cross between a plastic pyramid and a spaceship from Close Encounters of the Third Kind, the Impossible I-1 is the only new camera for the original Polaroid film. The lights around the lens form a ‘ring flash’ for softer portrait lighting, and the whole camera is a curious amalgam of old-school chemistry and new-fangled technical wizardry. It even comes with a free I-1 app for your smartphone. You can use this as a remote trigger, a noise trigger and a self-timer. The app also allows double exposures, light painting, and aperture and shutter speed adjustment – and it works as a photo scanner too. This makes the I-1 an excellent tool for experiments in instant photography, but too cumbersome for informal party shots. The shape doesn’t help – this is a bulky camera to carry around. The battery in our sample lost its power far too quickly as well: the battery was flat practically every time we went to use the camera. The cost and slow development time of Impossible Project’s film technology is another drawback.

£99/$95

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FEBRUARY 2017

uk.impossible-project.com

impossible i-1 £315/369

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MINI-TEST

Kit ZONe

Five Films to choose From…

1

InsTax mInI The most common instant film format, producing pictures measuring just 62 x 46mm.

2

InsTax wIdE Twice the size of instax mini and twice the price, but photos measure a meatier 99 x 62mm.

uk.leica-camera.com

leica sofort

4

£229/$299

leiCa making an instant camera? That’s like Bentley making a moped. But Leica is deadly serious with the Sofort – and it’s not bad at all. It’s chunky and solid, and although it’s made of plastic, it’s good plastic. It comes in a choice of mint, orange and white, and takes regular Fujifilm instax mini film packs, although Leica supplies its own film packs too, which produce a warm white frame around each picture. Pressing the power button on the back extends the lens and, provided you have a film pack inserted, you’re ready to shoot. You compose shots using the small direct-vision viewfinder in the top left corner on the back of the camera. It’s not very big, but it’s usable enough. For an instant camera, the Sofort offers a lot of control, with Macro, Bulb, Self timer, Party & People, Sport & Action, Double Exposure and Selfie modes – in addition to fully automatic operation. You can also turn the flash on and off. The Sofort is expensive compared to the Fujifilm instax mini 70, despite using the same size of film, but it was the most popular model around the office.

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PolaroId sx-70 Not all Polaroid instant film is the same. The SX-70 film has a lower sensitivity.

4

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5 lomo’instant automat £129/$199

south Beach in California is, we imagine, the inspiration for the lomo’Instant automat south Beach edition. It’s a quirky hipster throwback that is never going to fade into the background. But while it is just a tiny bit mad on the outside, it’s pretty conventional on the inside, packing regular Fujifilm instax mini film. It’s not just the styling that makes this South Beach edition different – it also comes with a selection of accessories, including a lens cap that doubles as a wireless shutter release (there’s a slot for a button cell in the cap), a close-up lens, a wide-angle lens, a fisheye lens, and an object called a Splitzer. This isn’t an interchangeable-lens camera – these are just accessories that clip on the front. The Automat is simple to use, with a power switch around the lens barrel that also operates the three-position zone focusing. The viewfinder is small, but easy to find with your eye, and exposure is automatic. It’s nicely made, although some of the icons on the back are hard to decipher, the full accessory kit pushes up the price… and will you really use it all?

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PolaroId I-TyPE Designed for use in the Impossible I-1, I-Type film packs don’t have batteries built in.

PolaroId 600 Film designed for Polaroid 600-type cameras. It can also be used in the Impossible I-1.

uk.impossible-project.com

6

Polaroid sX-70 £385/$499

amazing to look at even now, the Polaroid sx-70 (refurbished and sold by the Impossible Project) is a real blast from the past. Even unfolding it for use is an adventure. There is a knack: you have to pull up on both ends of the viewfinder panel on the top until the internal latch is released, and the whole of the top of the camera opens out on a set of bellows. It’s an ingenious system because you even get through-the lens viewing and focusing via a pop-up eyepiece on the rear of the viewfinder housing and a split-image rangefinder. It’s a bit dark, but it is at least a ‘proper’ viewfinder. You adjust the focus with one dial on the front of the camera and the exposure compensation with another – the new Impossible Project film has a different sensitivity to the original emulsion. The camera is great, but the film is expensive for experimenting with (each pack has a battery built in) and the 30-minute development time is so long that this camera is actually far from ‘instant’. You also need to make sure you get the proper SX-70 film, which has a lower sensitivity than the others.

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MicRo-TEST

Kit ZONe

glOves fOr phOtOgraphers …Because numb paws aren’t much good when you’re shooting a winter wonderland

w w w. t h e n o r t h f a c e . c o . u k

the North face etip gloves £35/$45

1

Every finger and thumb tip features invisible Etip conductive tech: perfect for multi-finger swiping on a touch pad.

w w w. e a s y o f f g l o v e s . c o m

easy Off fold-Back finger tip gloves

2

You can’t beat fold-back fingertips for control, but these non-foldable tips are still supple enough for you to feel recessed buttons.

£12/$24

The stretchiness of these gloves makes them a pleasure to shoot with: they feel more like a second skin that lets you feel small controls and lens rings. Just don’t expect ultimate insulation in very cold climates. Seamlessly integrated touchscreen-friendly tips work flawlessly, and you get an effective grippy coating on the palms. Overall

These are tough and grippy, but a bit cumbersome when dealing with smaller controls. The thumb, forefinger and middle finger tips fold back, although they let in a slight draught when closed. Overall

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Just Zip photographers’ gloves

torro Wool touchscreen gloves

vbiger men’s touchscreen gloves

£18/$25

£13/$17

£10/$16

These are the most padded but also the bulkiest hand-warmers here. Flip-back thumb and forefinger tips with magnetic catches are essential for fine control, and you get a handy memory card pouch. Overall

www.digitalcameraworld.com

There are no flip-back fingertips here, but they are conductive, so you can just about use a touchscreen. The wool keeps your paws warm, yet it’s thin enough to enable easy camera control. Overall

These lycra-like gloves aren’t the warmest, but they are very flexible. It’s just a pity the touchscreencompatible pads on the thumb and forefinger are slippery and not particularly supple. Overall

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Kit ZONe

MINI-TEST

Camera PHONes Find out which of the latest and greatest smartphones boasts the best camera

1

apple iPhone 7 Plus From £719/$769

The 7 Plus stands out from its smaller sibling not only because of its 5.5-inch, 1,080 x 1,920 display, but also thanks to the inclusion of two cameras. Both have 12MP sensors; one has a 28mm-equivalent wide-angle f/1.8 lens with optical image stabilsation, and the other camera gets a 56mm-equivalent telephoto lens to effectively provide 2x optical zoom in a smartphone that’s just 7.3mm thick. It’s all great on paper, but the image quality is less impressive. Although colour accuracy is first class, phones like the Galaxy S7 and the Google Pixel use slightly larger sensors and resolve much more fine detail. The 7 Plus’ low-light quality is another disappointment, and Apple’s native camera app is short on manual control and lacks raw capture (although some third-party apps support both). At least it’s easy to use, thanks to excellent autofocus and the most accurate image preview here.

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google Pixel Xl

The Pixel XL replaces the Nexus 6P as Google’s flagship smartphone. Unlike the iPhone 7 Plus, there’s just a single rear-facing 12.3MP sensor fronted by an f/2.0 lens, and it lacks proper optical image stablilsation. Google’s native camera app is also lacking much manual control, and it won’t shoot raw image files. Thankfully the Pixel’s image quality is much more impressive. Its cutting-edge 1/2.3-inch sensor is able to resolve an incredible amount of fine detail, closer to what you’d expect from a 1-inch sensor. Low light performance is equally impressive: even at high ISOs, noise is minimal and detail is well-retained. The Pixel’s white balance, exposure metering and autofocus are also firstclass, although the 5.5-inch 1,440 x 2,560 AMOLED screen can slightly oversaturate colours. You won’t find a MicroSD slot either, which is a surprising omission given that the Pixel commands serious money.

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From £719/$770

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3

HtC 10 £570/$700

hTC’s One M9 was a major disappointment in terms of camera quality. Thankfully HTC has ditched its old 20MP sensor, and the new phone packs a more sensible 12MP device paired with a 26mm-equivalent f/1.8 lens that’s tricked out with optical image stablisation and laser autofocus. Screen specs are improved, too, as the 10 sports a 5.2-inch 1,440 x 2,560 display, while HTC’s camera app is packed with advanced controls including manual focus. You also get a MicroSD slot, and the camera can capture DNG raw files. The new camera sensor produces a vast improvement in image quality over the One M9. Detail is well-resolved in good light, and the HTC 10’s high-ISO image quality is impressive, with minimal noise when the going gets dim. If we were to nitpick, colour and contrast can look a little flat, and the camera app is prone to oversaturating red and orange tones when composing shots.

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www.digitalcameraworld.com


MINI-TEST

Kit ZONe

Five things to look For…

1

EXPaNdabLE stOraGE A Micro SD slot gives you scope to up storage space for snaps and video.

2

lg g5 £450/$500

scrEEN tEst OLED screens have great contrast, but LCDs can be brighter with better colour accuracy.

4

5

5

buiLt tO Last Most phones can snap more shots per charge than a compact if you watch your app usage.

w w w. s a m s u n g . c o m

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4

3

PiXEL PErfEct With resolutions of at least Full HD, all the screens here are crisp enough to hide individual pixels.

samsung galaxy s7 edge

biG PicturE More megapixels aren’t always helpful: image stabilisation and a fast lens are usually more useful.

w w w. s o n y m o b i l e . c o m

6

sony Xperia XZ £480/$600

From £639/$770 The G5 has that rarest of features in a modern smartphone: a removable battery. You also get a MicroSD slot for storage expansion, as well as the unusual inclusion of dual rear-facing cameras. The main camera is comprised of a 16MP sensor and 29mm-equivalent, f/1.8 lens, and it’s flanked by a secondary 8MP, 12mm-equivalent camera for ultra-wide shooting. Arguably a secondary camera with telephoto capability would be more versatile, though. This is the only phone here to shoot in a native 16:9 aspect ratio that fills its 5.3-inch screen. The G5’s camera app is also well-featured, although it’s a pity that Manual mode isn’t very intuitive – and yet you’ll need it to enable flash control. Other annoyances include poor high-ISO performance, but the G5 gains ground by resolving plenty of detail in good lighting. It can capture stunning dynamic range with HDR enabled.

OVerall

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The s7’s camera app is crammed with features, including raw capture and manual focusing, plus white balance, shutter speed, isO, autofocus and metering options. There are even three custom modes for storing different set-ups. Behind the scenes is a 12MP 26mmequivalent camera with phase-detection autofocus. It doesn’t resolve quite as much detail as the Pixel, but the S7’s shots look slightly more natural. Low-light performance is superb, helped by the lens’ large f/1.7 aperture, effective image stabilisation and a powerful flash. It all helps the S7 steer clear of high ISOs, which is useful as at the maximum ISO 800 sensitivity, noise is rather intrusive. Other issues include occasional underexposure, while the bevelled edges of the 5.5-inch 1,440 x 2,560 display make the S7 slippery to hold. But these are small gripes with a superb all-rounder.

OVerall

The Xperia’s 23MP camera looks good on paper – but its shots don’t. Those extra megapixels actually reduce image quality, as the XZ resolves considerably less detail than its rivals. If fine detail isn’t already endangered, noticeable image noise at low sensitivities – combined with overzealous image smoothing by the camera – brings it close to extinction. It’s not all bad news, as Sony’s camera app is one of the most feature-packed here. Manual options include white balance and ISO sensitivity, and there are controls for metering and manual focus. You get plenty of fun effects too, like an augmented reality mode, while the 13MP selfie camera takes some beating. A physical two-stage hardware shutter release and a water-resistant design also go in the XZ’s favour, but it’s not enough to compensate for the lacklustre image quality from camera tech that’s in dire need of an overhaul.

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expert tUtOrial

ligHtrOOm 128

How to add a tilt-shift effect to your portraits

Transform your photos with our easy, effective guides

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Tool School

Merge a set of exposures into a single frame, with the HDR Merge command in Photoshop’s Camera Raw plugin

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Artist Insight

James Abbott reveals how to create a realistic light-leak effect, for a true retro look using Photoshop CC

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Creative Spotlight

James Paterson shows how to control the mood and atmosphere of your raw files with a few Camera Raw tweaks

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lightroom

Simulating tilt-shift effects for toy town landscapes is all the rage – but did you know you can use the effect in portraits too?

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GeT STarT FIle FroM www.bit.ly/dc186files

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1 Graduated filter We’re going to use the Graduated Filter for this. It’s located under the Histogram in the Tool Strip. You can use the keyboard shortcut M to get it.

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SoFTWare Lightroom CC/6 GeT IT FroM www.adobe.com

ilt-shift lenses are designed to change the angle of the focal plane, as well as allow perspective corrected photos of buildings. Generally the tilt property is used to increase the depth of field at wider apertures, allowing you to get landscapes in focus at f/8 rather than f/22. With the potential for diffraction at f/22, getting the same results at f/8 is fantastic. Recently, though, a lot of people have been using tilt-shift lenses to decrease the depth of field. In landscapes, especially those from a height, the scene takes on a miniaturised look. Valleys look like railway models, while urban areas look like toy towns. For portraits, this allows you to have only the eyes in focus. Photographers like Mark Tucker pioneered this look. Let’s use Lightroom to create this effect without the expense of a tilt-shift lens.

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AF

Sean McCormack is a photographer and writer based in Galway in the west of Ireland. He’s the author of The Indispensable Guide to Lightroom CC. seanmcfoto.com

www.bit.ly/ dc186video

FO

Photographer and writer

watch viDeo

BE

Sean McCorMaCk

Simulate a tiltShift lenS effect in lightroom

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reset the panel Double click the title Effect. This resets everything in the panel to zero. We only need one tool here: Sharpness.

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lightroom SkillS

add a filter Set the Sharpness slider to -100. Click and drag from the top down just above the eyes. The longer the gap between the edges of the filter, the softer the transition is. I usually do a soft set and a hard set.

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6

how sharpness works The Sharpness slider has a negative set as well as a positive set. From 0 to -50, it works to remove sharpness from the areas where the local adjustment is applied. From -51 to -100, it acts as a lens blur.

add a second filter Now drag up from the bottom to just below the eyes for a second filter. You don’t want the top and bottom filters to overlap, or you won’t get a sharp area in-between. Because you changed the settings before dragging the first filter, they also apply to this filter.

complete the effect Because a tilted lens is less focused than a normal lens at the edge, create a second set of filters, this time with a harder edge to emphasis the effect. For even more effect, apply a third set.

RT PE P E X TI

Radial tilt-shift effects Here’s an alternative way to give shots the toy town look The Graduated Filter isn’t the only way to simulate a tilt-shift effect in Lightroom: you can also use the Radial Filter, although there’s a little trick in getting the Radial filter to emulate this look. As with the Graduated Filter, set Sharpness to -100. Using the Navigator zoom drop-down, select 16:1 zoom. Close

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the side tabs and drag a really long, narrow ellipse out. Tick the Invert Mask button. Set Feather to 100 for a long transition; use a lower Feather for a harder transition. Right-click on the filter pin and choose Duplicate to increase the filter strength. To set the position of the filters, zoom back in and move the pin or the Radials’ handles.

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JAMES PATERSON

Editor, Practical Photoshop With a decade as a working writer and photographer behind him, James knows exactly which Photoshop and Lightroom tools and techniques matter the most to you.

merge raw images into an HDr sHot witH Camera raw Photoshop

watcH viDeo www.bit.ly/ dc186video

Learn how to merge a set of exposures into a single, highly-detailed frame with the excellent HDR Merge command in Photoshop’s plugin for raw image files

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step by step Merge exposures into an HDr iMage Camera Raw handles the toughest part of the job with ease

oPen anD merge Open Adobe Bridge and select the set of bracketed exposures you’d like to merge, then right-click them and choose Open In Camera Raw. Press Ctrl/Cmd+A to select all the images in the filmstrip, then make any universal changes like white balance or lens correction. Once you’re happy, click the flyout menu above the filmstrip and choose Merge To HDR.

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Perfect your HDr The HDR dialog offers several simple controls – see opposite. Once you’re happy here, click Merge. Next, spend some time boosting the tones and colours – either across the entire image with the Basic panel sliders, or more selectively with the Adjustment Brush and Graduated Filter tools. Here we’ve darkened the sky and lifted the land.

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Tool school

D i g i ta l D a r k r o o m

pHotosHop anatoMY Further aDjustments The horizon here is slightly wonky, but there’s little point trying to fix this before merging the set, as most changes (including crops, local adjustments and exposure tweaks) get cancelled out during HDR Merge. It’s better to make changes like this once your HDR is merged.

auto-tone Initially HDR images can look a little flat and disappointing. The Auto-Toning box applies a quick fix to reveal greater detail in highlights and shadows. It’s completely non-destructive: after merging with Auto-Toning active, you’ll notice some settings changes in the Basic panel, which you can continue tweaking until you’re happy.

auto-align The Auto-Align checkbox helps to correct slight misalignments between frames in your set of images – caused perhaps by a nudge to the camera or tripod. It’s a clever feature that can fix even quite major shifts. These three exposures were shot hand-held without a tripod, but the command had no trouble aligning and merging them.

Deghost Any movement within the frame – perhaps from blowing branches or moving clouds – can be a potential problem for merging exposures, but Deghost can help. It detects discrepancies between frames and fills in the area using detail from a single image in the set. There are four strength settings to choose from, and you can see how each affects areas of the image by turning on the overlay.

basic panel controls

save box Once you click Merge, you’ll see a new Save box appear. By default the newly created HDR file will appear in the same folder as your original images: it’ll have the suffix -HDR. (You can change this in the Camera Raw preferences.) The image is in Adobe’s DNG format, so it has the same editing benefits as any other raw file. It’s a 16-bit HDR rather than 32-bit, so if you want greater colour depth, consider using dedicated HDR software instead.

After merging an HDR, you can fine-tune tones using the Basic panel. Note that the Exposure slider goes from -10 to +10. Usually it only goes from -4 to +4, so this gives you an idea of the increased dynamic range within the image. Use Camera Raw’s tonal tools to pull that hidden detail out of the image.

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RT PE P E X TI

Tease out the detail

1

How to improve shadows and highlights in Camera Raw 5

Your HDR image will contain a great deal of detail – the trick is teasing it out. After fine-tuning tones in the Basic panel, grab the Adjustment Brush [1] and click the plus icon next to Exposure [2]: this’ll load the brush with positive exposure and reset all the other sliders. Boost Shadows a little too [3], then begin painting over darker areas to lift out detail. For easier painting, tick

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Auto-Mask [4] so that the tool seeks out edges. Lower Flow in the brush settings: this’ll let you build up your strokes gradually for a natural result. Click New [5] to add more adjustment pins for other areas [6]. To boost the sky, grab the Targeted Adjustment tool [7], right-click and target Luminance, then drag down over the blue tones in the sky to darken them.

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JAMES ABBOTT

Photographer and journalist James is a professional photographer and journalist. He’s an advanced Photoshop user and has created hundreds of tutorials to help others improve their skills. jamesaphoto.co.uk

Create realistiC light leaks for a true retro look Photoshop

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T

D i g i TA l C A m E R A

www.bit.ly/ dc186video

SOFTWARE Photoshop CC GET IT FROM www.adobe.com

he great thing about modern day digital photography is that it’s just so good. Image quality is fantastic and it’s easier than ever to check your photographic work and learn from your mistakes. Film photography made this a little more difficult, but one of the best things about analogue was that it was a much

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Vintage is always in fashion when it comes to photography – but why go out shooting film when you can simply mimic its effects in Photoshop?

watch viDeo

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more organic process that you felt involved in. However, things could go wrong with a single frame or the entire film – such as light leaks, which are otherwise known as fogging. Fogging occurred when light leaked onto the film for one of several reasons, and created a scorched look over parts of the image. Today, these light leaks are

impossible to create in digital SLRs – but with Photoshop, it’s possible to generate fairly realistic-looking ‘deliberate leaks’ in just a few minutes. Best of all, as you are invoking the effects on purpose, you can choose which images to apply them to and exactly how they look. Nothing is left to chance! www.digitalcameraworld.com


D i g i ta l D a r k r o o m

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artist insight

set up the Gradient When the dialog box is open, make sure Style is set to Linear, and that Dither and Align with layer are ticked. Next, set the Angle to -10, which will tilt the black Gradient over slightly and move it from the bottom to the left side of the image. At this stage, what we’re doing doesn’t seem obvious, but it will be in the next step.

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Create a Gradient Open your image in Photoshop and press D on the keyboard to set the palette colours to black and white. If black is in the background, press X. Next, click on the Create New Fill Or Adjustment Layer icon at the bottom of the Layers panel – it’s the half-white, half-black circle – and select Gradient from near the top of the list of options.

refine the edGes Double-click on the Gradient icon at the top of the dialog box. When the window opens, drag the two black sliders on the left to Location: 60%. Now click to the left of these to create new points and position them at 45%. Next, drag the white point all the way to the left, click where it was and drag the new point to 67%.

RT PE P E X TI

Add a second leak Accentuate detail to create striking images

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As well as colourful scorch, with genuine film light leaks you’d quite often get a kind of bleed effect along one of the four edges of the film frame. All light leaks were different, but we can recreate their general characteristics. If you’d like to include an additional bleed, it’s

ChanGe position Once all the points have been put in place, you should have a black streak across the image at a slight angle. Click OK to close the window where you adjusted the points. With the first dialog box still open, click on the Gradient to drag it over to the left and set Scale to around 55%. Once you’re happy with the position, click OK.

simple; create a black Linear Gradient and change the angle so it matches one of the four image edges. Create a second Linear Gradient with the desired colour. Once you’ve finished following the main tutorial, you’ll have a good idea of how it’s done, and the result has a much more authentic look about it.

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5 7 Clip the layer Hold down the Alt key and hover your mouse over the line that separates the two Gradient Adjustment Layers we just created. When the pointer becomes a square with an arrow, click to clip Gradient Fill 2 (orange) to Gradient Fill 1 (black). At this point, the light leak and all the steps become apparent.

Make light leaks work with lighter tones

D i g i TA l C A m E R A

Adding pseudo light leaks to images made up of predominantly darker tones is easy, because they show up really well. But this doesn’t mean they don’t work well on shots with lighter tones. Once you get to step 8, select only the two Gradient

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apply a haze One of the characteristics of film fogging was a haze and loss of contrast. To mimic this, create a Levels Adjustment Layer; when the dialog box opens, drag the black output slider over to around 25. This will reduce contrast and add a level of haze to the image. Close the Levels window, and try to create a second different light leak yourself…

Layers by clicking on the one at the top, hold down Shift and then click on the one above the Background Layer. Next you need to press Ctrl+G (Cmd+G in macOS) to group the layers together, and finally press Ctrl/Cmd+J to duplicate the group.

RT PE P E X TI

Increasing the effect strength

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add a Colour Gradient Click the Create New Fill Or Adjustment Layer icon in the Layers panel and select Gradient. When the window opens, you’ll see the Gradient is the colour you just set. Ensure Style is set to Linear, Angle 70, Scale 120% and that Dither and Align with layer are ticked before clicking OK. Next you’re going to refine how this looks.

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ChanGe the blend mode The black Gradient Adjustment Layer will still be active, so go to the Blend mode menu that’s set to Normal by default and select Screen from the list of options. The Gradient will disappear. Double-click the black foreground colour on the Tool panel, and when the dialog box opens choose an orange and click OK. We used #f7bb18.

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Masterclass


JAMES PATERSON

Editor, Practical Photoshop With a decade as a working writer and photographer behind him, James knows which Photoshop and Lightroom tools and techniques matter the most to you.

NATURAL

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RETRO

SEPIA

Take conTrol of your raw files Photoshop

Control the mood and atmosphere of your raw files with a few simple Camera Raw tweaks. Here are four easy effects to try on any image...

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Make raw photos look as bright as JPEGs

RT PE P E X TI

Apply picture styles to raw files Have you ever noticed how if you shoot with your camera set to Raw+JPEG, the JPEG can look more vibrant than the raw? This is because the JPEG has a picture style applied to it in-camera, boosting colour and contrast, while the raw file is left untouched. But there’s a quick and easy way to get your raws looking just as vibrant… Tucked away in Camera Raw’s Camera Calibration panel, the Camera Profile drop-down lets you choose from a range of familiar styles. The list will depend on your camera– for example, a Nikon NEF file offers ‘Camera Vivid’ and a Canon CR2 offers ‘Camera Faithful’. After opening a new image, it’s often worth heading straight to Camera Calibration to experiment with these profiles: they offer a variety of looks that can make a good starting point for further edits.

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The naTural look For a natural portrait, begin by fixing any colour casts. Grab the White Balance tool from the toolbar and click over a neutral tone. Next, adjust Exposure and tweak Contrast until the tones look bright and punchy. To make full use of the tonal range, hold down Alt and drag Whites and Blacks for a greyscale view that shows clipped pixels, stopping just short of where they begin to appear.

Go reTro Go to the Tone Curve panel, click Point and target the Blue channel. Drag the bottom-left point upwards and the top-right point downwards to tint the shadows blue and the highlights yellow. For a simple film border effect, grab the Graduated Filter tool and set Exposure to -4.0, then drag short grads in from each side to add black strips. For an orange light leak effect, load the tool with an orange colour and +100 Saturation, then drag in from one side.

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D i g i ta l D a r k r o o m

Cool iT down You can use the Basic panel sliders to give portraits a cool, desaturated look. Begin this effect by dragging Temperature to the left to cool down the image, then tweak Tint. Next, try lowering Saturation to partially drain the image of colour – you can get some interesting effects by increasing Vibrance too. Finally, to give the image a stylised look, increase Shadows, decrease Highlights and pump up Clarity.

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creaTiVe sPoTliGHT

Sepia TinT Grab the Targeted Adjustment tool from the toolbar, right-click and choose Grayscale Mix. This will convert to black and white and let you drag up or down over the image to alter colour brightness. Next, for a sepia tone effect, go to the Split Tone panel. You can Alt-drag the Hue sliders for a temporary view of shadow and highlight tinting at 100% Saturation. When you find a colour you like, dial in as much saturation as you need.

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Issue 185

January 2017

12 creative projects set by top photographers / Beginner-friendly cameras / Marc Wilson interview / Nikon D810 vs Pentax K-2 / Free DxO Optics Pro 9 Elite software for Windows or macOS (Register by 28th Feb 2017)

Issue 181

September 2016

Master your lenses with our guide to shooting with wide-angle, telephoto and kit lenses / Best filter kits on test / Nikon D500 and Pentax K-1 review / Jon Tonks and Elliott Neep interviews / Lens tips cards / 10 videos / Two ebooks

Issue 177

May 2016

Stuart Freedman on how to put together a photo essay / How Matilda Temperley mixes fashion and documentary / Coastal landscape advice / Imageediting software on test / Montage ebook / Nine tips cards / 10 expert videos

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December 2016

Landscape photography: 21 techniques to help you take better shots / Magnum’s Alex Webb in conversation / Best pivot tripods / Nikon D3400 review / Get the wet-plate look in Photoshop / Two ebooks / 60 minutes of video training

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Sports & action special! 34 camera technique tips / Cameras for sport on test / Action cameras and accessories / Giant sport tips ebook / Ragnar Axelsson interview and photos / Canon 1D X II and Sony Alpha 68 on test / Videos and cards

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Shoot beautiful landscapes with our massive guide / Nikon D7200 vs Canon EOS 70D / Shutter speed basics / Studio lighting kits / Martin Middlebrook / Lara Jade / Darkroom Effects ebook / Nine landscape tips cards /Nine videos

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November 2016

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Get the best out of your images when you shoot raw: 10-page guide / Best macro lenses / Marsel van Oosten interview / Canon EOS 5D Mark IV review / How to correct lens aberrations / Two ebooks / 83 minutes of video training

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January 2017

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DESERT ISLAND D-SLR Doug Allan

Wildlife photographer and documentary cameraman www.dougallan.com

W

Who would you most like to thank for getting you where you are today? David Attenborough.

What’s the most expensive piece of kit you’ve ever bought? The new Red Dragon camera and underwater system last year (not much change from £85K).

What was your first camera? A Petri Flex SLR. The maker went bust long ago.

Be honest – what kind of photography are you bad at? Weddings terrify me.

What’s in your kit bag right now? A well-worn Canon G12. Always ready.

To crop or not to crop? Crop. The natural world doesn’t exist in inflexible aspect ratios.

How would you describe your work? Photojournalist first, followed by artist close behind. You can invite anyone to a dinner party – who do you choose? Paul Simon, Donald Trump, Helen Mirren and Susannah Lipscombe (my partner). What food do you take on a shoot? I like to take Kellogg’s Corn Flakes and powdered milk. I can quite happily live on that and nothing else for at least a week. 148

And how do you relax afterwards? Walking with my partner and her labradoodle. And then lots of sex.

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FEBRUARY 2017

What’s the shot you most regret not taking? Me on the summit of Shishapangma at 8,027m. My camera batteries had died; that’s also how I felt at the time. If you weren’t a photographer, what would you have done? I’d have liked to have tried acting. What book should every photographer read? Freeze Frame: a Wildlife Cameraman’s Adventures on Ice.

How many pictures do you shoot a year? Do movies count? In SLR still-image terms, hundreds to tens of thousands. If you could be invisible for one day with your camera...? Put me in the water to watch socialising whales. You’ve found a time-travel machine. Where do you go? Back to the Antarctic in 1850. Imagine all those whales down there then. How would a friend describe you in three words? Driven, exasperating, competitive. Which three words would you use? Easy-going, consistent, friendly. What is your Desert Island D-SLR? iPhone – and then maybe I can call for rescue as well. Doug’s book Freeze Frame is available now. dougallan. blogspot.co.uk www.digitalcameraworld.com

Illustration: Andy McLaughlin

hat’s your current mood? Knackered, but at peace. I’m in the middle of In the Company of Giants, a run of 18 theatre presentations in Ireland.


PHOTOSHOP GUIDE

TA K E C O M P L E T E C O N T RO L O F C O LO U R


Hue/Saturation and Vibrance Hue/Saturation and

different colour ranges from the

layer’s mask, then paint white

Vibrance are two of

menu at the top. Click the hand

to reveal the effect wherever

the easiest colour tools

icon, then drag left or right over

you like. Vibrance is another

to master, but they have hidden

colours to alter Saturation, or

great colour-enhancing tool

depths. Each can be applied as an

alternatively, hold Ctrl/Cmd and

that targets the less-saturated

Adjustment Layer. You can use

drag to change Hue instead.

colours in an image, so it’s great

Hue/Saturation to either change

Once done, if you want to apply

for portraits where you can

the shade and intensity of all the

the changes to certain areas,

boost clothes without over-

colours in an image, or choose

press Ctrl/Cmd+I to invert the

saturating the skin tones.

1


camera raw targeted adjuStment tool Found in the Camera

for five different parameters.

to change it. The tool is ideal

Raw plugin toolbar,

You can either adjust tones,

for boosting specific colour

the Targeted

convert to mono, or target

saturation, in this case to lift a

Adjustment tool is a sort of all-

colours based on their hue,

person’s clothes. It also excels

in-one tool for tone and colour.

saturation or luminosity. Once

when a colour needs to be

It works by targeting different

you’ve chosen what to adjust,

lighter, such as the greens and

colour ranges in the image.

simply click a colour in your

yellows in a dull landscape, or

Grab the tool, then right-click

image and drag up or down

the oranges in a person’s skin.

2


tone witH gradient mapS A Gradient Map

very good at giving images

in the gradient. Once you

enables you to

a split-tone look, but you can

find a combination you like,

apply a blend of

also use Gradient Maps more

experiment with the layer’s

two or more colours to the

subtly to shift colours. Add the

Blend mode and Opacity. Here

tonal range of an image. For

Gradient Map as an Adjustment we set the Blend mode to

example, you could introduce

Layer, then click the gradient

blue into the shadow tones

preview to enter the Gradient

and yellow into the highlights,

Editor. Double-click the colour

with a blend in-between. It’s

boxes to change the colours

3

Color, with 40% Opacity.


booSt colourS witH lab 4

If colours in an image

B channels only affect colour,

are lacking a little

so you’re free to alter colours

pop, then Lab Color

without affecting the image

mode can supercharge them.

brightness. Change it to A first.

Go to Image > Mode > Lab

Drag the bottom left and right

Color to convert to the Lab

sliders inwards by the same

colour space. Bring up the

amount (so that the middle of

Layers panel. Click the Create

the line goes over the centre of

Adjustment Layer icon and

the box) to boost the colours.

choose Curves. Notice at the

Switch to the B channel and

top of the Curves settings

do the same thing, then go to

the channel menu displays

Image > Mode > RGB to

Lightness, A and B. The A and

convert back.


uSe lab to cHange colourS 5

The way in which

and B channels. The A channel

Lab Color mode

changes the green (left side)

separates colour and

and magenta (right side)

tone (colour being controlled

colours, and the B channel

by the A and B channels, tone

affects yellows (right side) and

by the Lightness channel)

blues (left side). To change red

makes it perfect for changing

to green, as in this image, go

the colours in an image. Each

to the A channel and drag the

colour has an opposite, so we

bottom-left point all the way

can shift them from one to

up, and the top-right point all

the other with ease. To do so,

the way down. Then if you

convert to Lab Color mode and

only want the colour change

add a Curves adjustment, as in

to affect a certain area, simply

tip 4. But this time experiment

paint black or white on the

with the curve lines on the A

layer’s mask.


SelectiVe colour cHangeS 6

If you want to

Selective Color. Next, select

change one specific

a colour range in the menu

colour in an image,

at the top of the Selective

for example, to alter the colour Color settings. Here we chose

their negative opposites.

of clothes or a flower, then one Yellows to target the colour

Negative cyan adds red,

of the best tools is Selective

of the rose. Then you simply

negative magenta is green,

Color. To begin, click the Create

drag the sliders to alter the

and negative yellow is blue.

Adjustment Layer icon in

colour. The positive colours are The Black slider controls the

the Layers panel and choose

listed, but it’s worth knowing

colour’s overall brightness.


one-click color lookup effectS 7

The Color Lookup

click through the effects. Our

lowering the layer opacity, or go

adjustment gives you

favourites are Soft Warming,

one step further and combine

a range of one-click

3Strip, DropBlues and the recently several Color Lookup layers, as

toning and colour effects that can

added Fuji/Kodak film effects.

we’ve done here by using Soft

either be used as is, or combined

You can tone down an effect by

Warming and Fuji F125.

with other toning tools. Color Lookup was introduced to aid 3D and video toning, but that doesn’t mean you can’t use them to tone flat images. To add an effect, click the Create Adjustment Layer icon in the Layers panel, then open the 3DLUT File menu and


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underStanding colour

Manage Photoshop’s colour modes and profiles so that you can reproduce colours more accurately in print or on the web

GENIUS tIp!

SelectiVe colour adjuStmentS

The Vibrance Adjustment Layer enables you to selectively boost the saturation of weaker colours without over-saturating stronger ones, but this can still lead to unprintable colours that will show up as grey gamut warnings. You can target specific colours in a picture and boost their saturation

with even more control by using a Hue/ Saturation Adjustment Layer instead. Change the Adjustment Layer’s Master drop-down menu to a specific colour (such as blue). You can then increase the saturation of the Blues slider until just before the gamut warning patches start to appear in the blue parts of the image.

project info You’ll learn How to set up a Photoshop colour profile that will help you produce colours for print or web You’ll need Photoshop CC 2014.2.2 or any later version it’ll take Five minutes


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Digital Camera World – February 2017