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A MUST-READ FOR EVERY FULL-TIME AND ASPIRING PRO PHOTOGRAPHER

WEDDINGS MEET ONE OF THE UK’S RISING STARS ISSUE 108 £4.75 www.absolutephoto.com

TESTED: EOS 5DS R Canon’s 50.6-megapixel medium-format killer? Find out on page 81

ARE YOU AN ALDI OR A WAITROSE PHOTOGRAPHER? Our brand workshop will help you decide

WORLD’S BEST PHOTO COMPS How entering top competitions can raise your profile

ON THE SPOT Tim Flach talks exclusively about his sublime animal portraiture TOP END 70-200mm TELEZOOMS TESTED

Fast aperture telezoom optics from Canon, Nikon, Sony, Pentax, Sigma and Tamron put through their paces


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Welcome

welcome

BELOW: Photoshop is 25 this year. Turn to page 60 to find out how it all started and more great shots like this. CGI & post-production: Taylor James, agency: Y&R, client: Citrix.

@PHOTOPROUK

I don’t think I’ve had a more engaging and entertaining conversation in a long time. One evening, during the recent Photography Show in Birmingham, I found myself embroiled in a (admittedly alcohol fuelled) debate about whether photography was art. Granted, it was hardly the most original of discussions but it was one that my companions - a nature photographer, a lifestyle photographer and a commercial photographer – were only too happy to give their two penn’orth on. We didn’t come to a conclusion, of course, but that wasn’t really the idea. It was more important that a diverse range of views were aired and considered. In the painfully bright light of the following morning, I realised that the conversation carried more significance to me than just a way of a few photographers passing the time over dinner. Having been handed the reins of the UK’s biggest professional photography magazine (this one), I feel it is important that what appears between the covers on an issue by issue basis is as diverse and thoughtprovoking as the conversation had been the night before. With that in mind, we’ve made some changes to the title, which go beyond some new fonts.

Going forward I promise to fill the magazine with inspiring, thoughtprovoking and, occasionally, challenging images, some great advice and the odd surprise along the way. I’d be keen to hear your thoughts on the tweaks we’ve made. I think professional photographers - regardless of their chosen specialism - are eager to see articles and thoughts from a broad range of their peers, not purely the discipline they’re involved in. You may agree. You may not. Either way, I’d like to hear from you on the email address below. Use the same address to tell me about articles you might like to read or write - yourself. The new-look Professional Photo is now a member of TIPA - the Technical Image Press Association. This means we’re part of a worldwide organisation of photography magazines and are committed to delivering great content in every issue. It’s a pretty big deal to us and we look forward to being part of the Association for years to come. And before you ask, no, this isn’t my mugshot (below). I’m a much darker green. Enjoy the issue. Editorial director Roger Payne rogerpayne@bright-publishing.com @RogPayne

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© TIM FLACH

Contents

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EDITORIAL Editorial director Roger Payne 01223 492244 rogerpayne@bright-publishing.com Contributing editors Terry Hope & Ian Farrell Sub editors Lisa Clatworthy & Catherine Brodie Contributors Kate Hopewell-Smith, Tigz Rice, Richard Hopkins, Zena Toscani, Megan Croft ADVERTISING Sales director Matt Snow 01223 499453 mattsnow@bright-publishing.com Key accounts Mike Elliott 01223 499458 mikeelliott@bright-publishing.com Sales executive Krishan Parmar 01223 499462 krishanparmar@bright-publishing.com DESIGN Design director Andy Jennings Senior designer Mark George Ad production Lucy Woolcomb WEB Digital development manager Ashley Norton Interactive designer Will Woodgate PUBLISHING Managing director Andy Brogden Managing director Matt Pluck Head of circulation Chris Haslum

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SUBSCRIPTION AND BACK ISSUES Subscribe online: www.brightsubs.com/photopro Email: subs@photopromagazine.com Subscription hotline: 01778 392497 NEWS-STAND DISTRIBUTION COMAG, Tavistock Road, West Drayton, Middlesex UB7 7QE 01895 433600 PRINTED IN THE UK BY Warners Midlands plc using only paper from FSC/PEFC suppliers www.warners.co.uk

Professional Photo is published on the first Thursday of every month by Bright Publishing Ltd, Bright House, 82 High Street, Sawston, Cambridge CB22 3HJ. No part of this magazine can be used without prior written permission of Bright Publishing Ltd. Professional Photo is a registered trademark of Bright Publishing Ltd. The advertisements published in Professional Photo that have been written, designed or produced by employees of Bright Publishing Ltd remain the copyright of Bright Publishing Ltd and may not be reproduced without the written consent of the publisher. The content of this publication does not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher. While Bright Publishing makes every effort to ensure accuracy, it can’t be guaranteed. Street pricing at the time of writing is quoted for products.

When you have finished with this magazine, please recycle it 004 PROFESSIONAL PHOTO ISSUE 108

SUBSCRIPTION OFFER – SAVE 50%

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Contents

inside #108

050

020

006

UPFRONT

020

COVER TIM FLACH’S ANIMALS

031

COVER ALDI OR WAITROSE?

039

COVER VIDEO SKILLS

047

MAKE LIGHTROOM SLIDE SHOWS

050

PROJECT: FIFTY CHEFS

059

COVER PHOTO COMPETITIONS

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RISING STAR

081

COVER CANON EOS 5DS R

089

COVER 70-200mm TELEZOOMS

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BUYERS’ GUIDE: EVENT PHOTOGRAPHY SOLUTIONS

London at 7000ft, shoot your food, new kit from Canon, Sony and Leica, plus a whole lot more! How one photographer creates pure animal magic Why supermarkets can help you get your branding right

Start shooting movies that would make Spielberg proud Show your images at their best with some Lightroom trickery

Ten-year project serves up tasty portraits of capital’s chefs Get inspired and enter the world’s biggest competitions Why Alexandra Cameron is going to be one to watch £3199 super DSLR tested. Do you need to start saving? Half a dozen high-quality optics tested, just one winner

Have a ball and start making some big bucks

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BEHIND THE SHOT

The truth behind one of Mary Ellen Mark’s most iconic images

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@PHOTOPROUK

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© ZOE MCCONNELL

Contents

008 EDITORIAL Editorial director Roger Payne 01223 492244 rogerpayne@bright-publishing.com Contributing editors Terry Hope & Ian Farrell Sub editors Lisa Clatworthy & Catherine Brodie Contributors Richard Hopkins, Megan Croft, Lee Henry, Will Cheung ADVERTISING Sales director Matt Snow 01223 499453 mattsnow@bright-publishing.com Key accounts Mike Elliott 01223 499458 mikeelliott@bright-publishing.com Sales executive Krishan Parmar 01223 499462 krishanparmar@bright-publishing.com DESIGN Design director Andy Jennings Senior designer Mark George Ad production Lucy Woolcomb WEB Digital development manager Ashley Norton Interactive designer Will Woodgate PUBLISHING Managing directors Andy Brogden & Matt Pluck Head of circulation Chris Haslum SUBSCRIPTION AND BACK ISSUES Subscribe online: www.brightsubs.com/photopro Email: subs@photopromagazine.com Subscription hotline: 01778 392497 NEWS-STAND DISTRIBUTION COMAG, Tavistock Road, West Drayton, Middlesex UB7 7QE 01895 433600 PRINTED IN THE UK BY Warners Midlands plc using only paper from FSC/PEFC suppliers www.warners.co.uk

Professional Photo is published on the first Thursday of every month by Bright Publishing Ltd, Bright House, 82 High Street, Sawston, Cambridge CB22 3HJ. No part of this magazine can be used without prior written permission of Bright Publishing Ltd. Professional Photo is a registered trademark of Bright Publishing Ltd. The advertisements published in Professional Photo that have been written, designed or produced by employees of Bright Publishing Ltd remain the copyright of Bright Publishing Ltd and may not be reproduced without the written consent of the publisher. The content of this publication does not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher. While Bright Publishing makes every effort to ensure accuracy, it can’t be guaranteed. Street pricing at the time of writing is quoted for products.

When you have finished with this magazine, please recycle it 006 PROFESSIONAL PHOTO ISSUE 111

068 SUBSCRIPTION OFFER – GET 3 ISSUES FOR £3 It’s never been easier or cheaper to subscribe to Professional Photo. See page 36 for more info on our special offer…

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Contents

inside #111

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039 XXX 057

050

077

008

COVER UPFRONT

024

COVER RORY LEWIS

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VIDEO TRAINING

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COVER BETTER IMAGE EDITING

045

KILLER CUT-OUTS

050

COVER SAVE THE ARCTIC

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COVER A DECADE OF THE EOS 5D

068

COVER SHOOTING STAR

077

THE STORY OF HOXTON

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85MM PRIMES TESTED

094

EPSON SURECOLOR SC-P800

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BUYERS’ GUIDE: RENTAL

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THE STORY BEHIND

Underground London, Yorkshire portraits, Far Eastern art fairs and Soviet bus stops Personal project spawns superb portraits of famous faces Why online training is the way for pros to stay sharp Workflow-boosting advice to help you make the cut

Wave goodbye to 50p heads with this Photoshop tutorial Andy Gotts takes a T-shirt and saves the planet Era-defining camera system, by the pros who use it

Zoe McConnell’s unique fashion and celebrity images How a niche photography book publisher took on the world

One of these lenses is the sharpest we’ve ever tested Does this A2 printer deliver better results than your pro lab? The places to go if you want to hire kit or try before you buy Terry O’Neill’s shot of a defining moment in Elton John’s career

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UPFRONT

once in a blue moon RUTGER PAUW

ROGER PAYNE

If you’re thinking ‘Photoshopped’, you’re not alone. When Dutch freelance photographer Rutger Pauw’s image of cyclist Danny MacAskill first appeared online after last month’s solar eclipse, many suggested it was a composite. But it was followed a few days later by a ‘making of’ video, which proved the contrary. Captured at 9.25am on 20 March 2015 (we’ve the metadata to prove it), Pauw got the idea over a year earlier and pitched it to Red Bull, who commissioned him on the spot. “Finding the location was difficult. The sun moves incredibly quickly when you’re shooting through a long telephoto lens,” says Rutger taking up the story. “I was 300m away to get Danny a good size compared with the sun and from that distance the obstacle had to be large enough to create a viable action image. It was about a 3m drop.

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“On the day, it was pouring with rain. But a break in the clouds just 90 minutes before the eclipse gave us hope. We had to hike around the mountain, Danny had to dig a trail leading up to the cliff and I had to dig the broncolor Move flash into the ground as there was nowhere for a lighting stand. One of Danny’s friends spent the entire shoot holding up a Pocket Wizard as a transceiver so the flash would fire. “Danny had a few false run-ups - the clouds were moving so quickly we had to keep stopping him. In the end this was literally the only shot we got. Just 30 seconds afterwards the rain came in and we didn’t see the sun again until the afternoon.” Want to emulate Rutger’s eclipse image? Leave 12 August 2026 clear in your diary. Or 14 November 2050.

rutgerpauw.com @RutgerPauw win.gs/1CLXToe

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© RED BULL CONTENT POOL - RUTGER PAUW

On commission

@PHOTOPROUK

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UPFRONT

play your carbs right SHUTTERSTOCK

ROGER PAYNE

There’s never been a better time to photograph what you eat. The reasons why should give you food for thought

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Taking stock

It’s time to look at your morning cuppa in a whole new light. Not to mention your lunch, dinner, Sunday roast, midnight snacks, weekly shopping and trip to the pub. Food (and drink) photographers are currently enjoying a feast of moneymaking opportunities as demand for high-quality imagery reaches new heights. According to online picture agency Shutterstock food and beverage images are suddenly on everyone’s menu with clients showing bigger and bigger appetites for good shots of tasty treats. And growth isn’t purely limited to healthy options, either, rib-eye steaks and pavlovas are just as popular as quinoa and kale. “Food is the lifeblood of any country’s culture. Our customers are looking for beautiful, visual ways to express what’s on people’s tables all over the world and what’s trending in food and beverages,” explains Shutterstock’s communications manager Rachel Ceccarelli. “Art directors, marketing agencies and media organisations use imagery to better tell their stories, and when you think about the boom in healthy cuisines or the changing ‘rural’ aesthetic of restaurants and pubs lately, it’s natural we would also see that shift on Shutterstock. “There is certainly a trend in clean, healthy eating with a focus on fruits, vegetables and ingredient transparency,” she continues. “But, there’s something to be said about a delicious photo of a hamburger slider.” Naturally, making the most of this scrumptious opportunity isn’t simply a case of rustling up your favourite dish and then snapping away, there are some further considerations that go beyond being able to set up and light

@PHOTOPROUK

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UPFRONT

here come the girls ROGER PAYNE

The Little Black Gallery in London is set to bare all with a follow-up to its highly successful Girls! Girls! Girls! exhibition from last year. Girls! Girls! Girls! Part 2 will feature more than 50 images from some of the world’s biggest photographic names including Bob Carlos Clarke, Patrick Lichfield and Marco Glaviano, with equally famous subjects - Kate Moss, Eva Herzigova and Cindy Crawford among them. “Over the past seven years we have become infamous for exhibiting sexy pictures - particularly as we represent the estate of Bob Carlos Clarke and have a permanent room of his provocative and brilliant pictures at the gallery,” explains 008 PROFESSIONAL PHOTO ISSUE 109

Ghislain Pascal, co-founder and director of The Little Black Gallery. “It seemed only appropriate therefore that we should celebrate the sexiest photographs by the photographers that we represent in an annual group show. We also looked for other photographs to include in the exhibition by photographers that we don’t represent. Last year it was the brilliant backstage photographs of supermodels by Roxanne Lowit, and this year we are lucky to include Corinne Day’s iconic shot of Kate Moss taken for The Face magazine in 1990.” The work on show is certainly wide ranging, with a Polaroid image of Claudia Schiffer sitting alongside a

digital composite from Bob Carlos Clarke and Unipart calendar classics from Patrick Lichfield, yet Ghislain is clear on a stand-out image from the collection: “‘Cindy Kiss’ by Marco Glaviano (top right), which is printed on canvas with diamond dust. Usually I do not like it when photographic images are printed on canvas, but this fun image of Cindy looks even more stunning. It looks like a million dollar piece of artwork.” Girls! Girls! Girls! Part 2 is at The Little Black Gallery, 13A Park Walk, Chelsea, London SW10 0AJ from 17 September until 31 October 2015. thelittleblackgallery.com WWW.ABSOLUTEPHOTO.COM


© MARCO GLAVIANO

© PATRICK LICHFIELD

© BOB CARLOS CLARKE

© BRUNO BISANG

© ROXANNE LOWIT

Exhibition

CLOCKWISE FROM ABOVE: Irina Shayk (2010) by Roxanne Lowit; Girl on Snow (1989) by Patrick Lichfield - shot for the 1990 Unipart calendar; Cindy Kiss by Marco Glaviano who shot all of Cindy Crawford’s multi-million selling calendars; For Dolls That Do Dishes (2004) by Bob Carlos Clarke, this image featuring Rachel Weisz was part of his first digital exhibition; Claudia Schiffer (1997) by Bruno Bisang.

@PHOTOPROUK

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UPFRONT

eastern promise TERRY HOPE

Organisation, it’s said to be Asia’s premier photo art fair, and it showcases the best of vintage and contemporary photography from East and West. It’s a happy marriage: international collectors can explore works by emerging and established artists from across the AsiaPacific region, while local collectors acquire works by internationally renowned artists from the West. © ORMOND GIGLI

Asia’s premier art fair offers an unrivalled chance for collectors to explore works from emerging Asian artists and master photographers

For several years now photographic fine art has been taken very seriously indeed, and to prove this, dedicated fairs are taking place all around the world. Celebrating the great imagery created not just by established master photographers, they also champion the next generation of emerging artists. Photo Shanghai is one such fair. Set up last year by the World Photography

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© GIOVANNI GASTEL

© YANG FUDONG

© AUGUST SANDER

© TERRY O’NEILL

© LUIS BARRAGAN

Photo Shanghai

@PHOTOPROUK

This year’s event featured 50 leading international galleries and more than 500 works of art for sale by a wide range of artists, some legends of the ilk of Horst P Horst and Henri Cartier-Bresson, some established contemporary artists and some emerging and gathering a reputation, giving investors the chance to invest before prices start to climb. The brains behind Photo Shanghai, and its sister show Photo San Francisco (launching in January), is Scott Gray. Passionate about promoting fine art photography on a global basis, Scott says, “Traditional art fairs are seeing an increase of photography within their mix so it’s a natural progression that more photography focused art fairs are developed. We believe that it’s essential the photography industry has a genuine hub in the Asia-Pacific region to further

support its growth and China, as the dominant market in Asia-Pacific, was the natural choice. Shanghai, the country’s largest city, provides the perfect platform to build one of the most important photography fairs in the global calendar. “The wonderful thing about genuine international art fairs such as Photo Shanghai is that it provides the collector with an enormous choice that reaches far beyond local galleries. By visiting the fair the collector will be able to see work showcased by galleries from New York through to LA, Paris, Berlin, and London as much as the more ‘local’ galleries from Hong Kong, Singapore, Taipei and Tokyo. It’s also a wonderful opportunity for photographers to have their work showcased to an international audience.” photoshanghai.org ISSUE 111 PROFESSIONAL PHOTO 015


UPFRONT

kit news

New gear to get you warming up the credit card

SONY DELIVERS WORLD’S FIRST IN A7R II Sony has created its most advanced compact system camera to date with the launch of the A7R II. The model is the world’s first to feature a backilluminated CMOS sensor and, with 42.4 megapixels, it also sports the highest resolution full-frame sensor the company has ever produced. The back-illumination design means that data can be output more quickly, plus it gives greater versatility in low light. As a result, the A7R II transfers data 3.5x faster than the original A7R and has a native ISO range to 25,600, which can be expanded to 102,400. Further technological feats have been achieved with a new shutter mechanism, which cuts vibration down by 50%,

CANON POWERS UP WITH G3X The PowerShot G3X is Canon’s newest addition to its popular range of premium compacts, slotting into the line-up between the existing G7X and G1X MkII. With a rugged magnesium alloy body shell featuring built-in Wi-Fi and NFC, the G3X uses the same one-inch sensor as the G7X, but sports a whopping 24-600mm zoom lens along with a 3.2in 180° tilting LCD touchscreen, which features a 1.62 million pixel display, the highest on any Canon compact. The G3X employs a 5-axis image stabiliser as seen in Canon’s recent 4K video camera, the XC10, and can shoot Full HD video up to 60p. Video users can also take advantage of the audio features, which include a separate mic socket and a headphone input to monitor audio whilst recording. Available from mid-July, the G3X will sell for £799. canon.co.uk

399 phase-detection autofocusing points and 4K video shooting. Despite all these features, the camera remains comparatively compact and lightweight, and it keys into a wide range of own brand and Zeiss lenses. Also new is the RX100 IV compact camera, which features a number of upgrades over its predecessor, but the same one-inch CMOS sensor. The key changes are based around video functionality, with 4K now available and a 1000fps slow-motion mode, but it also offers shutter speeds up to 1/32,000sec, upgraded autofocusing and a new electronic viewfinder with 2.35-million dots. Prices are to be confirmed. sony.co.uk

MANFROTTO UNVEILS DIGITAL DIRECTOR Best known for tripods, Manfrotto’s latest launch - Digital Director represents a new direction for the company. Comprising hardware, software and firmware, Digital Director uses an iPad and USB cable to provide an interface for Canon and Nikon DSLRs, enabling users to shoot, store and share both stills and video footage. Effectively turning an iPad into an external monitor, once connected Digital Director enables users to change camera functions in real time, shoot remotely and then edit using

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the dedicated iPad app before sharing by FTP, email or on social networks. It has full Apple certification and is available now for £399.95 (iPad not included). manfrotto.co.uk

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UPFRONT LEICA OFFERS FULL-FRAME FIXIE

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BRIEFLY… 1 4K functionality is the key selling point of Panasonic’s latest compact system camera - the Lumix DMC-G7. The 16-megapixel model, which replaces the G6, offers 4K video at 25p and a range of new 4K photo features enabling you to extract an eight-megapixel still from 4K video footage. Wi-Fi functionality, ISOs up to 25,600 and a new noise reduction system are also on offer. Prices start from £599 body only.

panasonic.com/uk

3 Hasselblad has unveiled a camera range designed specifically for aerial photography. The A5D system contains no internal moving parts so there’s no danger of unintentional movement due to aircraft vibration. Three sensor options will initially be available - the A5D-40 and A5D-60 with CCD sensors and the A5D-50c with a CMOS sensor - which are each compatible with nine H-System lenses. Pricing and availability is to be confirmed.

hasselblad.com Buy yourself a Tenba Switch bag and you’ll be colour coordinated no matter what you’re wearing. The bags come supplied with a black faux leather front flap, but this can be switched for more eyecatching colours including pink and black/grey camouflage. Three sizes are available - the Switch 7, 8 and 10 - which are suitable for larger compact system camera and medium-sized DSLR outfits. 2

macgroupeu.com

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GoPro has added touchscreen functionality to its latest model, the Hero+ LCD. The action cam offers Full HD video at 60p, eightmegapixel stills capture and also has a new in-camera trimming feature to create short clips for easy sharing without needing a computer. The camera will be available from mid-July when pricing will be confirmed. 4

gopro.com

The new Leica Q is likely to get purists all hot under the collar by virtue of its classic simplicity. The 24-megapixel full-frame compact has a fixed Summilux 28mm f/1.7 lens and full manual control, making it ideally suited to travel and street photography. Wi-Fi functionality also makes it simple for images to be transferred and shared quickly. Other highlights include a viewfinder with 3.68 million dots, ISO sensitivity up to 50,000 and a digital frame selector that enables you to pick 35mm and 50mm shooting equivalents at the touch of a button. Some will see this as a challenger to the Fujifilm X100T, although the £2900 price tag may suggest otherwise. leica-camera.co.uk

LOWEPRO UPDATES PRO RUNNER SERIES

Lowepro has added extra functionality and versatility to its Pro Runner range of bags, designed for photographers and videographers on the move. The three bags, all of which meet standard airline carry-on requirements, now feature organisational zones to help keep key pieces of kit apart from one another and to ease access. The camera zone features Lowepro’s MaxFit system of dividers for maximum protection, while the device zone has the company’s CradleFit pockets for the same reason. The Pro Runner BP 350 AW II and 450 AW II (£184 and £216) are backpacks while the Pro Runner PL x450 AW II has the additional benefit of wheels and a retractable handle. lowepro.co.uk

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UPFRONT

kit news

New gear to get you warming up the credit card

LEICA S 007 READY FOR SERVICE After its initial announcement at Photokina 2014, the Leica S (Typ 007) is now available. A number of changes have been made to the camera since the prototype was shown in Germany, including a boosted maximum ISO to 12,500, plus it’s also the first S-series model to shoot video. The Typ 007’s medium-format 30x45mm CMOS sensor and Maestro II image processor combine to make the camera four times faster than its predecessor. It now offers a frame rate of up to 3.5 frames-per-second as well as being able to capture Full HD video at full frame and 4K video in Super 35 format. Autofocusing has also been improved with an updated predictive system designed to deliver more accurate tracking of moving subjects, while integrated WiFi and GPS functionality make for easy

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PRO FEEDBACK PRODUCES NEW CANON WIDE-ANGLE Canon has continued its programme of upgrading key lenses. Claimed to be produced as a result of feedback from professional users, the 35mm f/1.4L II USM is the first Canon lens to use Blue Spectrum Refractive (BR) optics in its construction. This uses an organic optical material that reduces chromatic aberration and produces sharper images through its ability to refract blue light. The fully weather-sealed lens has a nine-blade aperture diaphragm and offers near-silent autofocusing and full-time manual focusing. Available from October, the 35mm f/1.4L II USM will cost £1799. canon.co.uk

connectivity and storage of location data. Coupled with the Leica S app, the camera can also be fired remotely. As you’d expect, the S Typ 007 is built to last. It features a die-cast aluminium chassis and, for the first time, has a bayonet mount machined from solid stainless steel. The camera is sealed from dust and rain, while the threeinch LCD with 921,600 pixels features toughened, scratch-resistant glass. Currently, there are ten S-System lenses, but third-party optics can also be used with adapters. This extends the range of optical choice to include Hasselblad H and Contax 645 and maintains all key functions. Available now, the Leica S (Typ 007) has an SRP of £12,900. uk.leica-camera.com

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UPFRONT PANASONIC RELEASES GH4R WITH UPDATED VIDEO CAPABILITY Panasonic has unveiled an ‘advanced’ version of its Lumix GH4 compact system camera. The new GH4R has improved video functionality that further enhance its capabilities as a photo/video hybrid. The camera now offers unlimited Cinema 4K (4096x2160 pixels) at up to 24 frames-per-second and QFHD (3840x2160 pixels) at up to 30 frames-per-second along with V-Log L video capability, which gives a wider dynamic range. The camera’s clean HDMI output also provides a higher quality 4:2:2 ten-bit output. The GH4R is available now for £1199. Existing standard GH4 users can also get the V-Log L capability through a paid-for firmware upgrade. Firmware version 2.3 costs £79 and can be upgraded by purchasing the DMW-SFU1 Upgrade Software Key.

EPSON INTRODUCES BUDGET A3+ INKJET Epson claims its new SC-P400 printer is the smallest and lightest A3+ photo printer using pigment inks on the market. The unit, which measures 622x324x219mm and weighs a little over 12kg, uses seven UltraChrome HiGloss inks and features WiFi connectivity for simple printing from PCs, tablets and smartphones. USB and Ethernet connections are also provided. On sale from November, the SC-P400 accepts a wide range of media, with single sheets up to 1.3mm thick as well as the capability to take roll paper. Prices are yet to be confirmed.

panasonic.com/uk

DUO OF TAMRON FAST PRIMES Tamron has announced two new prime lenses for Canon and Nikon users with Sony versions to follow. The SP 35mm f/1.8 Di VC USD and SP 45mm f/1.8 Di VC USD both feature Tamron’s Vibration Compensation system and can be used on both full-frame and APS-C sensored models. Ultrasonic Silent Drives in both lenses make for a quiet autofocusing performance, while the nine-blade aperture diaphragm offers smooth bokeh. The duo also feature a moisture-resistant construction as well as fluorine coating on the front element to repel water and fingerprints. Available in October, prices are yet to be confirmed.

epson.co.uk tamron.eu/uk

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BRIEFLY… 1 Buy a Sekonic L-308S Flashmate meter between now and 31 October and you’ll receive £20 cashback. The offer is only available through authorised resellers and requires a voucher and proof of purchase to be sent by 30 November at the latest. Visit the Johnsons Photopia website for a list of participating retailers.

johnsons-photopia.co.uk 2 B+W’s new Käsemann HTC Polarising filters offer all the benefits of a polariser without losing as much light. While standard polarisers typically lose around three stops of transmitted light, the new offerings from B+W lose no more than 1.5 stops. Two versions of the screw-in filters are available, the Premium XS-Pro, with MRC nano coating for better beading of water to make cleaning easier, and the Professional F-Pro.

schneideroptics.com 3 Calumet is offering selected Fujifilm X-series models on a free two-day test drive. Both the X100T and X-T1 models can be

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hired through Calumet stores or the Calumet Rental website. Demand is expected to be high, so make sure you book in good time.

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calumetrental.co.uk 4 Samyang has unveiled a new video lens brand. The XEEN range currently comprises three prime lenses – a 24mm, 50mm and 85mm – all with T1.5 maximum aperture settings, while a further three optics are expected to be added next year. The trio are available in Canon, Nikon, Sony E, Micro Four Thirds and PL fittings and have an SRP of £1600 each.

xeenglobal.com 5 Two new backpack ranges have been added to the Lowepro line-up. The Whistler series (£257-£286) comprises two packs designed for photographers needing to carry an equal amount of photo gear and outdoor equipment, while the Photo Sport II range (£118-£147) is aimed at those wanting to carry kit while running or cycling.

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Pro folio

ANTON CORBIJN

IAN FARRELL

A career photographing iconic bands has given Anton Corbijn nearlegendary status in music photography. What inspires the man behind the camera?

@PHOTOPROUK

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Pro folio

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Pro folio

PREVIOUS: Nirvana, Seattle, 1993 LEFT: Tom Waites, Santa Rosa, 2004

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hen I was a kid, while all my friends used to sit up in their bedrooms wanting to be footballers, actors or rock stars, I used to sit in my bedroom wanting to be a photographer. More specifically, Anton Corbijn. His pictures of Depeche Mode and Joy Division graced my walls and I loved his gritty mono look – it suited my melancholic teenage view of the world. When I spoke to Corbijn about his retrospective exhibition taking place in the Netherlands, I didn’t tell him this. Because it sounds a bit weird, doesn’t it? But I did feel strangely nervous, more like I was meeting the lead singer of a favourite band than a photographer. But in some ways Corbijn is like a rock star: he’s been described as the fifth member of U2 and is credited with developing Depeche Mode’s entire visual style, having directed their videos, shot their photography and designed their record sleeves for 30 years. I ask him if the famously long-term relationships he develops with his subjects makes him feels like a member of the band too. “Well, not financially!” he laughs. “But I guess there’s no need for any of these guys to keep coming back to me if they don’t want to. It’s flattering and touching and great to know that what I shot for them last time worked, and that they liked it. When I started in photography people were hesitant to like my images, especially in Holland. So when things that you never really felt were good enough suddenly find an audience, that’s a great feeling.” Corbijn’s modest, down-to-earth personality is extremely likeable. In fact one of the reasons so many bigname bands keep coming back to him is because they enjoy his company as well as him photography. Flick through the 352-page coffee table book that accompanies his exhibition and the anecdotes from the likes of Michael Stipe and Nick Cave describe just how much fun an Anton Corbijn photo shoot can be. “Look at some of the ridiculous outfits Anton has persuaded us to wear over the years!” writes Depeche Mode’s

Martin Gore, himself pictured in a wedding dress. “Believe me it look a lot of love and trust. He deserves it!” Corbijn first picked up a camera in 1972. “I was young and a very shy guy. I’d moved to a new town and I didn’t know anyone at school,” he says. “There was this concert I wanted to go to, but I felt too shy to go. I thought that if I took my father’s camera then I could get to the front by the stage and be on my own. So I took a few pictures – nine or so – and sent them to a magazine, and they got published. That was the answer for me: how I could be connected to music, which was really my big love.” For the next 20 years Corbijn photographed musicians exclusively. “It was all I really picked up my camera for,” he says. “In later years I shot actors, directors and people like that too, but it’s always been people whose work I knew of. I think when you’re familiar with someone’s work you can get an idea of their state of mind.” The interpretation of music into visual themes is something at which Corbijn is highly skilled. He gives the impression this is an organic process that comes from within. “We just try something… it’s a slow and gradual processes,” he comments. “I’ve always tried to reflect in my pictures the music of the people I shoot. For instance in the 1970s when I was shooting Joy Division, I once asked three of them to walk away from me while one looked back – that seemed to me to be the vibe of their music right there. “I think Bono once said that I photograph U2’s music rather than the band, which I take to be a compliment. I think he meant it positively.” Corbijn’s pictures have a very strong visual style, making them instantly recognisable. He shoots only on film,

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ABOVE: U2, Sweden, 1982 RIGHT: Nick Cave, London, 1988

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specifically Kodak Tri-X, thousands of rolls of which he has stored in three fridges at home. “I feel the way I work is adventurous: you meet someone, you photograph them and for a few days you don’t know if you’ve been successful or not. I’ve always found that to be an interesting stress – an adventure! And how did this style come about? “You don’t set out to make a style. You basically can’t do it any other way, because you’re not skilled enough to do it any other way. It’s basically your disability that becomes your style. That’s how it is with me: this is how I shoot, but it’s also because I can’t do it any other way. I guess I could learn to, but I don’t want to. So I make it work for myself.” Corbijn says he finds digital cameras irritating to use: “You see too well what you are doing. People shoot and they look at the back of the camera and see if the image needs to be more perfect and shoot again. Perfection is a killer in photography, and imperfection is totally underrated, just as sharpness is overrated. I like to keep that element in my work.” However Corbijn is not against digital in his workflow. “I love the possibilities

that digital photography gives me postcapture. I shoot on film and use digital for post-production and printing. It’s the best of both worlds,” he says. In fact, digital manipulation has enabled Corbijn to recover pictures he thought were lost. “Going through my archive for the exhibition, there were negatives that were so badly under or overexposed that I wasn’t able to make a print from them originally. But scans have given me information in these images that I couldn’t see before, and I can use that to make a print.” This has let Corbijn see images that he shot years ago for the very first time: “When I was once shooting Morrissey I overexposed a film by 4-5 stops, but I’ve managed to get a useable image from that now, which is just lovely. I’ve ignored negatives like this up until now.” Going through his archive while curating the show was a mammoth task. “I went through 25,000 contact sheets,” he recalls. “Sometimes you look at pictures and you think ‘what was I doing?’ but other times you find a picture you’ve forgotten about and you think ‘wow! I love that.’ WWW.ABSOLUTEPHOTO.COM


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LEFT: Siouxsie Sioux, London, 1983

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RIGHT: Bono, west coast of Ireland, 1984

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“So many years down the line you look at your work differently, because it’s lost its need for immediacy. ” Alongside this career in stills, Corbijn has won huge praise for his music videos. He’s worked with names such as Nirvana and Johnny Cash, as well as his regulars like U2 and Depeche Mode. In more recent years it’s also led him into directing feature films: Control, The American and A Most Wanted Man have all won considerable acclaim. And for Corbijn, feature films are where his attention is right now. “I’m not putting down photography, because it’s my big love, and I will always take pictures, but the focus at the moment is very much on films,” he says. “They are demanding in terms of energy and time and I can’t pursue stills photography to the same level I have in previous years. So it has to take a bit of a back seat. The exhibition is kind of a goodbye to that involvement in photography – for now.” The next Corbijn-directed film scheduled for release is Life, which looks at the photographer Dennis Stock and his images of James Dean. 028 PROFESSIONAL PHOTO ISSUE 110

Looking back over Corbijn’s career so far, it’s impossible not to be impressed by the creativity, variety and quantity of his work. He has vision, and doesn’t try to shoot like anyone else. His images are as recognisable as the voice of REM’s Michael Stipe or the guitar of U2’s Edge. “There’s nothing like a trip down memory lane with Tony Cognac, aka Sir Anton Corbijn,” writes Dave Gahan of Depeche Mode in the accompanying catalogue to the 1-2-3-4 exhibition. “We have shared some beautiful and testing times together, and we are still here to tell this continuing story through the eyes and lens of Anton, our dear friend and companion on this continuing journey of music and film.”

ABOVE: Metallica, Nuremberg, 2008 RIGHT: Mick Jagger, Toronto 1994

1-2-3-4 is on show at the Fotomuseum Den Haag, the Netherlands until 16 August, and will move to Berlin later in the year. The accompanying exhibition catalogue is available from Prestel priced £50. fotomuseumdenhaag.nl/en prestel.com antoncorbijn.com WWW.ABSOLUTEPHOTO.COM


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animal magic TIM FLACH

TERRY HOPE

Tim Flach’s striking animal portraiture breaks all the rules and presents our fellow creatures in a way that is both unsettling and revealing

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PREVIOUS: Mandrill FAR LEFT: Family Group (Bornean orangutans, called Hanuman, Apsara and Rishi) LEFT: Orangutan Eyes (orangutan hybrid, Rajan) BELOW: Kiss (bonobos, Diatou and Cheka right) OPPOSITE: Gibbon Walking (Lar gibbon, Niyama) All from More than Human

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here’s an unwritten rule that animals, particularly nondomesticated animals, are supposed to be photographed in a certain way, usually candidly, often with a long lens and surrounded by their environment. Take them out of that situation and transpose them to a studio, complete with a portrait lighting set-up, and it’s confusing and, perhaps, a little unsettling. We’re not used to seeing the fellow inhabitants of our planet in this way, and when our eyes fix on theirs it makes a connection that we’re more accustomed to encountering in a human portrait. This is the trademark approach of Tim Flach, the man behind acclaimed projects such as Equus, Dog Gods and More than Human. If you’re unaware of the name you most certainly will know his pictures, because his iconic shots have been shared across the planet. His work is everywhere, from the walls of exclusive art galleries through to books, exhibitions, magazines and screen savers. For good measure he’s also in great demand in the commercial world, and he’s the man behind the recent celebrated campaign for Virgin Money. Animals have long been his central fascination, and interestingly enough his very first photo assignment was as a student on a foundation course, where he was asked to take pictures around London Zoo. “We were there to do a project on composition and had been given a list of exercises to complete,” he recalls, “but what fascinated me most was this idea of conceptual space. I was really intrigued by the notion of this animal in front of you: what do they make of you and what do you make of them? That’s a central thought that’s never left me.” As he progressed into a fulltime photographic career Tim developed his interest in the themes of anthropomorphism and anthropocentrism (the belief that human beings are the central or most significant species on the planet), and both of these concepts have heavily influenced and informed his style. “From the very beginning I was not trying to compete with wildlife photographers but rather to explore symbolism,” he says. “It was more about what were the metaphors that animals created within a commercial context. We need to separate creatures from their natural habitat and question what they represent to us. For example, my series of tiger portraits, which very much map the human tradition of portraiture, captures them gazing straight back at the viewer and it’s quite alarming, almost threatening.”

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“I WAS NOT TRYING TO COMPETE WITH WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHERS BUT RATHER TO EXPLORE SYMBOLISM… WE NEED TO SEPARATE CREATURES FROM THEIR NATURAL HABITAT AND QUESTION WHAT THEY REPRESENT TO US”

Wild in the studio At the outset Tim was bringing wild animals, sometimes large predators such as lions, into his studio under heavily controlled conditions, and producing startlingly sharp portraits that were so detail filled people often assumed the subject must have been borrowed from the local taxidermist, simply because they had never encountered anything similar before. However, as his work started to attract more attention, and particularly as digital technology evolved, it became viable to head out on location. “By around 2005, when digital capture had reached a certain place, we switched,” says Tim. “Up until then we were still better off taking pictures on film and scanning the negative, because the backs weren’t quite big enough and the quality wasn’t there. But once we’d migrated, the reliance of being close to an E6 or a C41 processing lab wasn’t as critical, so from then on we could take the studio to the animal. That was about the time I was working on Equus, so I was able to take my background and lights to the stables. The horses were less stressed, I had more options, and while I was there I could find some more candidates to be models on the day.

“It made a huge difference to me and the way I could work. I was often reliant on the goodwill of people to grant me access to their animals, particularly when I was working on a personal project. Asking them to bring their animals to a London studio would have been demanding, and I no longer had to do this. But I could also walk around a location and say ‘could we do something with this animal?’ So it just offered a bit of freedom, it just kept things a bit more fluid. And of course when you’re doing a personal project you’re not locked into the kind of visuals that might have been created by a creative team that you’ve then got to chase. It gives you the opportunity to be a little more responsive to what you felt on the day.” The move away from film also gave Tim the chance to shoot in the wild, and he travelled to the Amazon and Borneo while working on his More than Human book and a collaborative project on rainforests with Lewis Blackwell. “I think it was good for me,” he says, “I could benefit from the understanding I got from being there and speaking with people at the research centres, and I let that inform me. Someone who’s never been to the rainforest wouldn’t have this perspective. ISSUE 108 PROFESSIONAL PHOTO 023


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ABOVE: Huskies – Group Portrait, from Dog Gods

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“However, I then came back to the studio and decided that I would rather photograph a monkey in the studio than picture it jumping between the trees in the wild. I think the studio element – or the studio-type quality portrait - allows us to question what the animal means to us and the context in which you are viewing it. Going forward I suspect that I will mix the studio and location work and have very aesthetic visual hooks taking me to maybe a more documentary style type of imagery.” Tim works with medium-format Hasselblad cameras, and their quality enables him to produce work at extraordinary sizes: he’s currently having prints over two metres wide made, and they are still full of excruciating detail. However, he doesn’t feel that quality in itself adds to his imagery: it’s his picture construction that allows for a sense of clarity, not the optical quality. “By the time an image has made it onto the Internet it might be only 72 by 1024dpi,” he points out. “Even at that size it still has to work.” For the art side of his business, however, which now far outstrips the commercial side, quality is a crucial consideration. When a massive print is produced for sale in a gallery it needs to be able to take the enlargement, and for there to be no artefacts detracting from the overall effect. New projects Tim has recently signed a contract for his latest project, which he’ll be working on for the next year or so. The theme is conservation – the working title is Endangered - and it’s a huge commitment consisting of a series of interrelated elements that he’ll be shooting right across the world. “The whole concept of conservation, for all the wrong reasons, is going to become more and more prominent in the coming years,” he says. “When we’re starting out we put together 026 PROFESSIONAL PHOTO ISSUE 108

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a certain number of headings, which we identify and throw back at conservationists to see if they are candidates to represent an area. So far we’ve set up shoots at Port Lympne in Kent, where I’ll be photographing rhinos and gorillas that are part of a breeding programme designed to get these creatures back into the wild, and then I’ll be visiting the Durrell Wildlife Park in Jersey to photograph some tamarins and will also be visiting Madagascar and the Congo.” When he worked on his first project the ultimate aim was a book and possibly an exhibition, but with the growth of the web, there are far more elements to consider, and a project’s potential total reach is awe inspiring. “It’s a much bigger thing these days,” Tim confirms. “There will be some filming and maybe some parts of the project will be pulled out and highlighted as we go along. At any given time I’m going to be having shows going on: when I’m generating material for a book I’m automatically thinking in my mind that there will also be a series of exhibitions and shows around the world. The book is still an integral part of the process but it’s not as important as it used to be, simply because it’s actually the least likely place where the pictures will be seen. You might find that a few hundred thousand people could encounter the images that way but this is dwarfed by the potential exposure that this material might have on other platforms.” @PHOTOPROUK

LEFT TOP & BOTTOM: Ya Yun and Ji Li (meaning elegant and lucky in Chinese), giant pandas, from More than Human

ABOVE: Puppies (dalmatians) Both from Dog Gods

BELOW: Cosmetic Surgery Series – In Posts (Doberman pinschers, Betty and Lucca right)

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ABOVE AND TOP RIGHT: Tiger breeding series – Snow White Tiger (Shankar); Royal White Tiger (Narayana); Golden Tabby Tiger (Mutkan) BOTTOM RIGHT: Kanja Shaking (Bengal tiger) All from More than Human

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In the same way, Tim’s shows are now international, and there is always likely to be one somewhere around the world. Last year his work was on show in Kyoto, Japan, Uzbekistan and France, while the books have been translated into just about every language under the sun. While this all sounds really positive it has an impact on the commercial work Tim is offered. There is a danger that

some clients might imagine his energies will be solely concentrated on the art side of the business to the detriment of the advertising commissions. In fact this couldn’t be further from the truth. Tim sees both strands of the business as equally important and he’s keen to reassure clients that he’s always totally focused on both areas. “I think it’s reasonable that some clients might be concerned,” he says. WWW.ABSOLUTEPHOTO.COM


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“If you’re gambling on a photographer to run your campaign you need to know that they’re committed. I go through phases when I’m more associated with the art side of things, but more recently I’ve done quite a few commercial campaigns so I think people are a lot more confident that I’m demonstrating that commitment to fulfil commercial briefs. When I go back to doing my books again, however, they will need to @PHOTOPROUK

be reassured: if you hear that someone is shooting pictures for their art you want to know that they are going to show that same level of commitment if they’re photographing dog food. These days most commissions are awarded on the back of conference calls and you actually have to demonstrate that you’re up for it and win the job by expressing exactly what you’re going to do for them.”

With an international reputation, an army of followers and a foot firmly planted in both the commercial and fine art camps, Tim Flach’s work shows no signs of easing off, so expect to see more unnerving and compelling imagery from him as he embarks on his latest project. It’s sure to be a roaring success.

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SELF MADE LARA JADE

TERRY HOPE

Lara Jade started her photographic career by taking self portraits in the cramped surrounds of her bedroom. Now she's established among fashion photography's elite. Here's how it happened

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PREVIOUS: From the 2015 'Cat out of the bag' shoot for Elle Singapore TOP LEFT: Model Avery Tharp shot for Factice Magazine TOP RIGHT: A 2014 shoot for Chanel OPPOSITE: From a 2014 shoot for Tatler Hong Kong

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f anyone ever seriously doubted that Lara Jade had become an established superstar on the fashion photography circuit then one look at the crowds thronging to hear her speak at the recent Hasselblad ShootAmsterdam event would surely have put them straight. The place was positively heaving, with every available inch of space taken up by a huge crowd that wanted to glean some nugget or other to help them build their career in the same way. She’s an out-andout success story, an exemplary role model for anyone who’s ever dreamed of crashing the international fashion photography scene, and everyone wants to hear how she’s managed it. Big name she might now be, but Lara still very much has her feet on the ground. She’s steadfastly approachable and is determined to remain that way. True to form this is no swanky bar or upmarket hotel we’re meeting in: rather it’s the Costa off Oxford Circus. “The Amsterdam talk was terrifying,” she confides. “I’ve never spoken in front of so many people in my life. I never expected anything like that, and it was a little bit intimidating.”

But then Lara creates waves wherever she goes these days. She similarly brought the Focus Show to a halt a few years back. And the questions at the end of any talk are always: How did she break into the fashion business? Was there some special magic that propelled her to stardom? The fact is, Lara has no secrets. She is happy to give chapter and verse on how she broke in, even being open about the mistakes she’s made to ensure others might learn from her experience. She shares the story of her working life on a regular basis through her myriad of social media channels, while her workshops are deliberately kept to perhaps just 15 or 16, to ensure she has ample opportunity to give every delegate the full benefit of her time and personal attention. “I never hold anything back,” she says simply. “I’m more than happy to share my approach to photography, to lighting and to how to get a foothold in the business. I’ve come across other fashion photographers that hide everything away, almost as if they’re worried that someone else might be able to produce work that’s similar in quality WWW.ABSOLUTEPHOTO.COM


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to their own if they know how they’ve approached the shoot. That’s just not going to happen: there’s far more to photography than that, and it’s the style and approach that you take to a shoot that’s going to set you apart.” Secrets of the shoot There’s not a huge amount to reveal in any case, since Lara is a great believer in a simple approach. Her lighting inevitably revolves around one or two heads. That said she’s loved working with broncolor over the past year, and as part of her role as a Gen NEXT ambassador she’s regularly blogged about her work and the kit, sharing the stories behind the shoots. “I would probably be doing that in any case,” she says. “There’s no mystery about the way that I work in the studio: I’m happy to share it all and it’s nice when people come back to me and comment on what I’m doing. I’ll always try to answer their queries if I can.

“It all goes back to when I first went into the studio and found it quite an intimidating place. I’m not a technical photographer and I just had to work things out as I went along. And once you get more confidence you don’t need a lot of lights to get a good result. People say ‘oh, I used four lights in that picture,’ and you look and it’s just so badly lit. I encourage the students I meet to educate their eye and to understand what they like and to be able to recognise it. You see pictures where lighting has been mismatched and just doesn’t look natural – there will be cross shadows and so on - and the photographer just hasn’t used their eye to look at the picture properly.” Right at the start of her career, Lara learned that it was what the picture said to the person looking at it that was important rather than the technical ins and outs of how she created it. She had defied all the clichés to first make her mark on the world of fashion.

“THERE’S NO MYSTERY ABOUT THE WAY THAT I WORK IN THE STUDIO: I’M HAPPY TO SHARE IT”

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Born and brought up in the Midlands (not the creative hotbed that is London with its easy access to models), Lara honed her skills using herself as a model, in her bedroom using a table lamp for lighting and adjusting her pose using a carefully positioned mirror, with a sheet as a backdrop. She uploaded her work to the likes of Myspace and DeviantArt, and it was through the latter that she first got noticed. “I got contacted by an agent from Sudest57 in Milan, who had seen my work on the site and he wanted to come over to the UK to see me,” she recalls. “I was 18 at the time and he had some amazing photographers that he represented, such as Steve McCurry, Mary Ellen Mark and Elliott Erwitt, and it was an amazing thing to happen. The point is, however, that he came to see me because he liked what he saw: the fact that the story behind the scenes was so amazingly unglamorous didn’t matter to him at all. “That’s always been very much my approach: I know my starting point and I have an idea of where I want to get to, but I don’t really care that much about the bit in the middle. No client is ever going to come back to you and question why you didn’t use a particular light or a certain technique: if they like what you’ve produced then that’s all that counts.”

PREVIOUS: Actress Jenna Louise Coleman for The Observer LEFT: Portrait of a Lady fashion shoot for Factice magazine ABOVE: Beauty shoot with Georgie Hobday (March 2015)

“IF THEY LIKE WHAT YOU’VE PRODUCED THEN THAT’S ALL THAT COUNTS” @PHOTOPROUK

Running the show Approachable as ever, Lara is adamant she’s not put on a pedestal on her shoots. “I’ve heard of other fashion photographers who have been very difficult to work with,” she says, “and I never want to be like that. I always treat people fairly and with respect: I’m on the same level as the hair, make-up and stylist and it’s important that we trust each other and are honest on a shoot. We need to be able to realise when it’s time to say ‘no’ when something isn’t working and we’ve got to move on, and that’s all part of the business.” While considering herself part of the team, Lara accepts that the role of the photographer on a fashion shoot does carry special responsibilities, particularly if the client or creative director is on set. “When I was at school I was very shy and retiring,” she says. “However, as the photographer I’m aware that I will be seen as the lead figure on that job and so I’ll dress up and wear heels and it’s a bit of a performance. It will be my role to be continually asking the person who’s commissioned the shoot whether they’re happy with what they’re getting, and the whole thing is very much a collaboration.” If you really want to know what’s ISSUE 106 PROFESSIONAL PHOTO 029


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ABOVE: A New York shoot for City AM Bespoke magazine in December 2014 RIGHT: When Lara Jade started out she was her own model; this self-portrait dates from 2007 when she was shooting in her bedroom at home

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helped Lara to achieve all that she has to date, consider her drive and self-motivation. She’s never stood still, has taken the inevitable setbacks – such as moves to London and then back again when things got a little slow - without giving up, and she’s continually pushing herself to take on new challenges. So it was that, despite being well on the way to building a successful career in the UK, she took another huge leap of faith: to crack the fashion scene in New York. She had the advantage of knowing NY-based photographer Joey Lawrence, which helped her to make connections, but she’s still very much had to go back to being an unknown. It’s not been easy – the London and New York markets are very different – but she’s now making inroads and, as a bonus, she’s also now getting more workshops and jobs in Los Angeles, a place where she already feels very much at home. “I think when people hear that you’re based in New York they think you must be doing really well,” she says. “It was a struggle at first, but I’m now becoming

more established, and I’m very keen to still keep a presence in London. The chief difference is that in London the clients are willing to give new talent a chance, while in New York clients are very loyal to photographers they’ve worked with over the years and you need all kinds of connections to get a foot in the door.” On the assignment front Lara is also trying out new things, having recently shot an editorial portrait of the actress Holliday Grainger. “I shot her in the same style that I use for my fashion work, and I loved the experience,” she says. “Editorial work is quite different to fashion however: it’s less of a collaboration and more about problem solving.” There’s little doubt we’ll be hearing plenty more about Lara Jade in the future, and if she inspires others to follow the trail she’s been blazing, she’ll be more than delighted.

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First look: LR6/CC

First look

Lightroom 6/CC TIGZ RICE

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Faster, smarter, better? Lightroom has been updated – these are the key changes

dobe has given Lightroom an overall performance boost, with the application now taking advantage of compatible graphics processor units (GPU) to increase speed. These changes are particularly noticeable in the Develop module. Image adjustments are now in real time, with changes to the sliders or Tone Curve graph rendered instantly. The new version is also significantly quicker at building standard and 1:1 previews, aided by a new Auto setting for Preview Size in Catalog Settings. Detecting your monitor size, Lightroom formats previews for optimum speed. There are also improvements in the Library, with Collections now able to be filtered by name, as well as shift-clicking the quick access Develop Settings making basic amends at half the usual increments. 048 PROFESSIONAL PHOTO ISSUE 107

A number of existing features have been upgraded, including enhancements to the Slideshow module - which now offers both Manual and Automatic modes, supporting up to ten audio tracks per slide show for longer playback. There are also new options to Pan and Zoom sliders along with an Audio Balance slider to control the audio levels between video and overplayed music tracks. It can also sync your images to keep time with the beat of the music and - possibly the most handy new feature save slide shows so you can go back and make minor changes at any time. For those of you already enjoying the Filter Brush feature in Adobe Camera Raw, it has now arrived in Lightroom, giving you the option to mask areas of graduated or radial filters with the supplied brush tool. WWW.ABSOLUTEPHOTO.COM


First look: LR6/CC

IMAGES (FROM TOP): Camera Raw’s Filter Brush is now included; facial recognition works with keywords; builtin HDR Merge; and seamless panorama creation.

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Introduced to the Web module are HTML5 based Web Galleries, giving better support for online curation of images. Among the brand-new features are built-in High Dynamic Range (HDR) Merge and seamless Panorama creation. Both provide a far more convenient and time-efficient workflow than the previous method of rendering merged images through Photoshop, as well as the huge advantage of maintaining all the original Raw information via the creation of a new Digital Negative File (DNG). In comparison to the TIFF results from Lightroom 5 via Photoshop, DNG files allow for even more control post-merge; in fact, Lightroom will offer up to four stops of non-destructive exposure adjustment in either direction for Panorama files and up to ten steps in either direction for HDR Merge. Highly sought after since its appearance in applications such as Aperture, Facial Recognition debuts in Lightroom. After you’ve provided some initial naming information, Lightroom will start to autocomplete names and subsequently recognise and suggest names for each face in future. Each name also gets its own dedicated keyword for easy searching, which I can see being an invaluable tool for event and sports photographers where images of specific attendees might be requested. For those who decide to go the subscription route, Lightroom CC also opens up a whole new world of cloud-based accessibility, with major improvements to Lightroom mobile

and the release of brand-new apps for iOS and Android for anytime, anywhere access to your synced image library. As well as being able to edit your desktop library on the go via Smart Previews, you can automatically import photos taken on your mobile device directly to your desktop, streamlining the creative process. The new Lightroom On The Web feature also allows for online gallery sharing as well as the ability to receive feedback from your clients, which for some photographers may even remove the need to invest in a third-party online client gallery. Initial verdict Adobe continues to bring its A game to the post-production workflow, providing an impressive and diverse range of updates and new features that speed up and streamline workflow in this new version of Lightroom. Regardless of subject matter and style, if you’re a professional photographer working with large quantities of image files, the performance boost delivered by using compatible graphics processing units would be a reason enough on its own to upgrade, making everything else a bonus.

PRICES ADOBE CREATIVE CLOUD USERS Free NEW CREATIVE CLOUD USERS £8.57 a month (Photographer’s Bundle) ONE-OFF NON-CLOUD APP £100.07

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Technique

MAKING THE CUT IAN FARRELL

Transforming a huge number of images down into a concise collection that tells a story is a skill that involves more than simple quality control. But do photographers place enough importance on the editing process? Ian Farrell investigates @PHOTOPROUK

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Technique

ABOVE: From many shots, Peter Marlow selected just one of Margaret Thatcher.

@PHOTOPROUK

© PETER MARLOW

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he great Stephen King once said: “Kill your darlings, kill your darlings, even when it breaks your egocentric little scribbler’s heart, kill your darlings.” He wasn’t outlining the plot of a new horror novel, but rather describing the process of editing. Be merciless, detached and brutal. As much as this advice is heeded by authors and journalists, it’s also valuable for photographers. The editing process – where all the pictures from a job are boiled down to a small selection for your client – is critical to get right. Deliver too few and you could miss something out and will come across as offering poor value for money. But send too many and you’ll look wishy-washy, and the mediocre images will bring down the overall quality of your submission. There is a fine line to be trod, and it’s important to do it as efficiently as possible. The huge number of files that digital cameras encourage us to shoot can take a long time to wade through, but a methodical approach to editing can help shorten the process, and preserve your sanity! Tools like Adobe Lightroom and Bridge, and Photo Mechanic are purposedesigned for the speedy assessment of images, and include enough tools to support different ways of working. Generally, editing photography is about conveying the message of a shoot in as few pictures as possible. It involves deciding which images you love and which you hate, which is a simple task at first, but gets harder as the rounds of keep-or-reject decision-making go on. When editing personal work you’re allowed to listen to your heart more than when you’re editing a selection for a client – after all it’s really their needs you have to put first. But it’s not always easy to be dispassionate and let go of an image that you love because it doesn’t tell the story you’re after. Someone who recognises this dilemma is Magnum photographer Stuart Franklin, who has shot photo essays all over the world. “I’m not a dispassionate person. I just can’t switch off my passion for photography and for my images,” he says. For Franklin, the editing process starts by recalling elements of the shoot. “I think editing has lots to do with memory: what you remember seeing and feeling when you went out to take photographs. What I tend to look for first are those images that I remember shooting the most clearly,” he says. After using Adobe Bridge to label images that he likes on first inspection,

“EDITING IS AS SUBJECTIVE AND INDIVIDUAL AS SHOOTING AND RETOUCHING” Franklin will often produce ‘work prints’ to take the process away from his computer. “I like to put some small 7x5in prints down on the floor and see how they work together and how the narrative flows. I do this especially with book projects, and it’s important to involve the opinions of other people too, I think. “As one of my colleagues is fond of saying: ‘time is a great editor’. Often I find that the more you look at an edit over time, the better you can make a judgement. I’ve frequently gone back to bodies of work and produced new edits and variations. As you move further away from an event, different things become more interesting. For instance, photographs of the riots in Paris in 1968 would have originally been edited to show the fighting and violence in the streets, but now we’d find it more interesting to see the flared trousers of the students on the steps of the Sorbonne, and their tweed jackets and youthful expressions.” Franklin describes editing as an art form. “I think there are photographers – and I’m one of them – who put too many pictures in a project, but it’s so hard to be decisive, and easy to be indecisive. I think my best ever piece of editing is for my book Hotel Afrique. After visiting 17 African countries over a period of weeks I managed to include just 28 pictures. I’m quite proud of that!” Indeed, there are some tough choices to be made while editing, and these

choices have a profound effect on the story that your images are trying to tell. But exactly how you edit is down to you. Optimistic editors (like Stuart Franklin) prefer to start by identifying what’s good – picking their favourite images to form a final selection. More pessimistic types prefer to get rid of the bad stuff over and over again until whatever’s left becomes their final edit, by default. In reality, most of us edit with a combination of these methods: perhaps starting out by eliminating the obviously bad frames before flipping over into a more positive state of mind. There will be times when you have to be more ruthless than you like. Aim not to give your client more than one view of a particular shot or pose unless they’ve asked for some variation. Try to decide which they will value the most, not which you are most attached to yourself. And if you are having problems with objectivity, try asking a trusted colleague or friend to choose – without prepping them first. Editing is a process that’s as subjective and individual as shooting and retouching, and we should probably think of it in these terms – as an equally valuable part of the shooting process. It’s much more than simple quality control, or separating the wheat from the chaff. Editing dictates the tone of the story being told, and in the spray-and-pray age of digital photography that’s never been more important. ISSUE 111 PROFESSIONAL PHOTO 041


Technique

ALIGHTROOM EDITING WORKFLOW FOR OPTIMISTS

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The optimist photographer likes to identify what works well and keep it. They edit pictures by choosing their favourites, and eliminating everything else. Lightroom lets us do this by using the pick/reject flags (the P and X keys) and the Refine Photos… command in the Library menu. This handy workflow tool sets all unmarked photos as rejected, and all picked photos as unflagged, so you can go over your selection again and again until you’re happy with the edit you have.

LOAD UP Import your images, adding

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GET RID OF OBVIOUS DUFFERS Scroll

copyright info, keywords and Develop settings that apply to them all. Once finished, switch to the grid view in the Library module.

through the images looking for any obvious rejects, like when the flash failed to fire. For each of these press X to flag it as rejected.

DELETE THE DUFFERS Use Cmd+Delete to delete all the rejects. Lightroom will ask if you want to remove them from the catalogue or delete them from the disk – as these images are failures, you can safely delete them properly.

KEEP THE LIKES Switch to the Loupe view (E) and make sure the thumbnails at the bottom of the screen are showing. Go through each picture asking yourself ‘does this have potential or not?’ Press P if it does; press X if it doesn’t.

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BE REFINED Go to Library>Refine Photos…

to set unflagged images to Rejected and picked ones back to unflagged, so you can go through again. Delete the newly rejected shots.

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HAVE ANOTHER LOOK Repeat the process, asking yourself ‘is this likely to be a final image for the client?’ If it is, press P; if not press X. At the end, refine the selection once more.

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HELPFUL TIPS

REPEAT AS REQUIRED Keep doing this until you have the set you want. Ask yourself a different question each time: ‘Is this the best pose/ scenario?’ or ‘which image makes me feel best?’

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n Don’t dwell on an image. If in doubt, pick it – you can look at it with a different question in the next round. n Don’t want to delete the newly rejected pictures? Filter them out instead: in the grid view, click Attribute

in the Library filter bar at the top and click the Picked and Unflagged icons. You won’t see the rejects, but they’ll still be there. n If you can’t eliminate any more, consider a round of the pessimist’s workflow.

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Technique

ALIGHTROOM EDITING WORKFLOW FOR PESSIMISTS

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The pessimist photographer focuses on the bad things first – they look at what doesn’t make the grade and they chop it out. We can use Lightroom’s pick and reject flags for this, pressing X to mark anything we don’t like the look of. When all the pictures have been assessed we can either delete or hide the rejected pictures and make another pass, until what’s left is the final edit.

LOAD UP Import your images, adding any

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copyright info, keywords and Develop settings that apply to them all. Once finished, switch to the grid view in the Library module.

through the images looking for any obvious rejects, like when the flash failed to fire. For each of these press X to flag it as rejected.

DELETE THE DUFFERS Use Cmd+Delete to delete all the rejects. Lightroom will ask if you want to remove them from the catalogue or delete them from the disk – as these images are failures, you can safely delete them properly.

SELECT THE REJECTS Swap to the Loupe view (E) and use the arrow keys to scroll through, press X for any that don’t make the grade. Ask yourself ‘is there anything technically wrong here that I can’t fix’, if yes, press X, if not leave it alone.

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EJECT THE REJECTS Use G to go back to grid view and delete the newly rejected pictures. If you don’t want to delete them, filter them out by clicking Attribute and ticking the Unflagged icon.

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AND REPEAT Ask yourself: are there any

awkward poses or elements? Use X to reject, or move to the next image. At the end, go back to grid view and delete rejects.

HELPFUL TIPS

REPEAT AS REQUIRED Until you’re rid of everything you’re unhappy with, asking yourself a different question each time. What remains will be close to your final edit.

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@PHOTOPROUK

n In either of these workflows, if you spot a picture that will make the grade, but it needs editing in Photoshop, flag it with a coloured label. You can filter for these images at the end of your edit. n Paging through images is more

responsive in the Library module than the Develop module. n Halve the number of keystrokes you need to make by turning on Photo>Auto Advance. This will move you to the next image after you press P or X.

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Software technique

Slide shows

Creating a slide show TIGZ RICE

From showing off your work to prospective clients to adding value to packages, this is the way to go

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f you’re looking to add value to your photography packages, a slide show can be a brilliant additional product that you can put together quickly and with minimal additional costs (depending on how you choose to present the slide show!)

@PHOTOPROUK

In this tutorial we will be looking at how you can create your very own slide shows directly in Lightroom. Plus, the benefit of using Lightroom is that it remembers the last settings you used to create a slide show – great for brand consistency with minimal fuss.

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Software technique

The Backdrop panel gives you several options to enhance your images, from using a background image or a colour wash (gradient) to a plain solid colour. I’ve chosen a solid white backdrop to keep everything as minimal as possible.

The Titles panel is great for adding introduction and credit text to your slide show, giving viewers more information on what’s included in the show and how they can contact you afterwards, ie. via your website. This can be either text or graphic based. I’ve chosen to include my logo as an introduction, with my website details at the end.

In Lightroom 6/CC, the Music panel offers the ability to use up to ten tracks to accompany your show, for those wanting to create longer projects. Simply click on the + symbol and delve into your music library. If you’re struggling to find the right track, check out royalty free music websites like Triple Scoop Music (http://triplescoopmusic.com).

The Playback panel allows you to choose how your slides are shown in relation to the music, offering you the options to sync slides to the music or simply spread them out evenly to fit to the length of the track/s. If you’ve included video in your slide show, you can even control the audio balance between video and the overplayed audio track.

Choose your slide show’s quality setting at the bottom of the Playback panel and hit the Preview button to watch or the Export Video button to save the slide show in MP4 format in a range of file sizes all the way up to high definition.

Finally, the new Lightroom 6/CC lets you save your slide show in the top right corner of the Lightroom interface so you can come back and make changes later, just in case. These will be stored with your newly created Collection, making it easy to locate in future.

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Project: Katie Wilson

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Project: Katie Wilson

THE ART OF

COOKING KATIE WILSON

MEGAN CROFT

Katie Wilson steps into the kitchens of some of London’s most loved and famous establishments to photograph the hands that feed the capital @PHOTOPROUK

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Project: Katie Wilson

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here’s something magical about dining out. Serene and obliging servers without so much as a drop of sweat on their brows present Instagramworthy plates in front of you and your fellow diners, as if such a delicious, belly-quenching dish had been created by kitchen wizards. Or at least that’s how it can seem sometimes, certainly compared to the chaos in many a home kitchen where a bowl of pasta can seem a struggle too far. It certainly wouldn’t be getting Instagrammed anyway. Intrigued by what goes on behind the scenes, foodie and pro photographer Katie Wilson decided to break down the fourth wall of dining out to meet the masters behind the masterpieces in her latest personal project, Fifty Chefs. The mystery was heightened for Katie who, knowing a few chefs herself, was privy to glimpses of the physical toll that it takes on chefs in their quest to satisfy diners and tantalise taste buds. “I would catch up with them and see these horrific scars and burns on their arms and hands and would think ‘what the hell do you guys get up to?’,”

explains Katie. That initial curiosity led to a ten-year project that would take her on a tasting tour of London into the kitchens of some of the most esteemed chefs and most loved community figures, fitting in sittings between service and after-hours as well as in-between her full-time career as a commercial food, portrait and travel photographer. “It was a long, slow process of finding a time when I wasn’t working commercially and when the chefs were free. That’s partly why it took so long,” she explains. “It’s been the most fulfilling personal project that I’ve done and I have really enjoyed every shoot; meeting all the different chefs and in most cases spending time photographing their kitchens too. I feel very lucky to have met all these great chefs. I have learned all sorts of random things about cooking too, like how to boil the perfect quail’s egg so you can peel it without breaking it.” Much to her disappointment, superstar chef Gordon Ramsey declined Katie’s photographic proposal, but the chefs she did persuade to pose in front of her lens make up much of

PREVIOUS SPREAD: Antonio Carluccio, Carluccio’s BELOW: Damian Clisby, Petersham Nurseries Café, Richmond RIGHT: Ollie Dabbous, Dabbous, Fitzrovia; Nevio Pellici, E Pellicci, Bethnal Green; James Lowe, Lyle’s, Shoreditch; Shuko Oda, Koya Bar, Soho; Margot Henderson, Rochelle Canteen, Shoreditch; Pierre Koffmann, Koffmann’s The Berkeley Hotel, Knightsbridge; Assaf Granit, The Palomar, Soho; Yossi Elad, The Palomar, Soho

London’s kitchen glitterati as well as its unsung heroes. Surely though for a big lover of food, photographing those she admired must have been a little intimidating? “Yes! Especially my food heroes and heroines like Angela Hartnett and Yotam Ottolenghi,” she exclaims. “But you know what, absolutely everybody I met was lovely. Great chefs all seem to love their jobs. “Antonio Carluccio thought I was too skinny and cooked me an enormous bowl of pasta, which was delicious, and we happened to shoot Richard Corrigan on St Patrick’s Day, even though it was only 9am we drank quite a lot of champagne and I had the best sausage roll I’ve ever eaten there! Also the Pellicci family who I have kept in touch with - are a

“I FEEL VERY LUCKY TO HAVE MET ALL THESE GREAT CHEFS”

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red alert! IAN FARRELL

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Prepare to be amazed as we dive into the Red Bull Content Pool – home to the world’s most breathtaking images

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© DIMITRIOS KONTIZAS/RED BULL ILLUME

@PHOTOPROUK

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© AGUSTIN MUNOZ/RED BULL ILLUME

Best of Red Bull

T

hink of Red Bull and what comes to mind? Formula 1 racing? Parachute jumps from space? Amusing animated TV adverts declaring that ‘Red Bull gives you wings’? Well dig a little deeper and you’ll find a lot more besides: in fact, you’ll discover a multi-platform media company. The name Red Bull is about an awful lot more than the world’s bestknown energy drink. It may also surprise you to know that photography lies at the centre of Red Bull’s high-octane activities. In fact the company has an entire division – Red Bull Media House, Austria – that looks after the thousands of images (and hours of video footage) it receives every year from numerous awe-inspiring photo shoots around the world. Red Bull has been carrying out its mission of ‘giving wings to people and ideas’ ever since the first Red Bull athlete was signed: documenting stories with extraordinary images. That first athlete was Formula 1 driver Gerhard Berger, and the photographer who shot him was Ulrich Grill. Today, video has entered the foray too, but the still image continues to account for 50% of the company’s media presence. Last year 1900 shoots worldwide resulted in 100,000 images being submitted to Red Bull Media House, with 45,000 of these making it to the company’s own picture library, the Red Bull Content Pool. Here anyone running a magazine, blog, newspaper or TV station can download images and video

PREVIOUS: Red Bull Illume 2013 Category: Wings Athletes: Hubert Schober and Kedley Oliveti LEFT: Red Bull Illume 2010 Category: Playground Athlete: Orlando Duque

@PHOTOPROUK

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Best of Red Bull

“AN ART DIRECTOR TOLD ME I SHOULD DRAW UP A LIST OF THE CLIENTS I MOST WANTED TO WORK FOR. TOP OF THE LIST WAS RED BULL” people from the athlete’s crew – so team players are welcome; divas are not. Jason Halayko is a Canadian photographer living and working in Japan. He describes shooting for Red Bull as being part of a community of photographers who are proud of what they do: “The load is awesome, as they give you lots of work, but also being part of the Red Bull thing is great too. They are a company that’s about more than just trying to sell you a drink. They’re about trying to bring up the scenes around these minority sports that perhaps don’t always get the attention they deserve, and they’re doing that globally. For that reason, it’s a brand that I’m actually proud to be part of.”

© RAY DEMSKI/RED BULL CONTENT POOL

BELOW: Orlando Duque dives on Malpelo Island, Colombia, 9 November 2009

should draw up a list of the five clients I most wanted to work for, and go after them,” recalls Florida-based surfing photographer Rob Snow. “Top of the list was Red Bull. It took a few attempts but eventually I got a job with them shooting freestyle soccer. That made me feel like I was finally a pro, and I’d made it.” If you think you might feel more at home on the slopes than in a studio, or shooting motocross instead of marriage vows, the list of desirable qualities for a Red Bull photographer also includes a high technical skill set, with many using remote cameras or drones to get still-more unusual perspectives and angles. Larger shoots often involve video crews, as well as

@PHOTOPROUK

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© ERIC BERGER/RED BULL ILLUME

© VINCENT CURUTCHET/RED BULL CONTENT POOL

Best of Red Bull

TOP LEFT: Orlando Duque from Colombia dives from the 27.5m platform on the Saint Nicolas Tower during the second stop of the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series, La Rochelle, France, 17 May 2015 LEFT: Red Bull Illume 2010 Category Winner: New Creativity Athlete: Dan Treadway ABOVE: Julien Dupont performs during Red Bull Roller Coaster at La Feria de Chapultepec in Mexico City, Mexico, 4 December 2014

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© FABIO PIVA/RED BULL CONTENT POOL

Best of Red Bull

footage and use them for free for editorial purposes. And as sports like base jumping, motocross, free running and ice climbing have grown in popularity, so the number of photographers covering them has increased too. Around 350 of them now shoot for Red Bull, in every region of the world. Developing ideas As well as photographing the action at events, Red Bull photographers also work directly with athletes to showcase

their talent and skills. The ideas behind these shoots often range from the extraordinary to the outlandish and often come about from collaborations between photographers, Red Bull offices in other countries and the athletes themselves. Many photographers have shot for Red Bull for a long time, with some finding the company through a love of sport themselves, giving them a better understanding of their subject matter. Take Christian Pondella, who has shot

“THE IDEAS BEHIND THESE SHOOTS OFTEN RANGE FROM THE EXTRAORDINARY TO THE OUTLANDISH” @PHOTOPROUK

snow sports and climbing for Red Bull since 2000. The US-based photographer originally started shooting pictures of his friends climbing while he himself was scaling the cliff faces of Mammoth, California. “I majored in fine art with an emphasis on photography, but even then I never really thought of being a photographer for a living,” he confesses. “I moved to Mammoth after graduating and worked nights in a restaurant so I could get out on the slopes in the day – I was a ski bum and a climbing bum, really.” Talk to those who shoot for Red Bull and you’ll find this athlete-turnedsnapper story told often. It’s an association that has made Red Bull a hugely desirable brand to shoot for. “When I started out I had some help from an art director who told me I ISSUE 109 PROFESSIONAL PHOTO 061


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© GEORGE KARBUS/RED BULL ILLUME

THIS IMAGE: Red Bull Illume 2013 Category: Spirit Athlete: Katerina Hamsikov

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Best of Red Bull

CASE STUDY: JASON HALAYKO I started shooting freestyle motocross here in Japan for my friends. Some pictures started to get into magazines and I thought, ‘if I keep this going then I’ll get printed and I can work on my photography’. So that’s exactly what I did. Then when Red Bull came into Japan and started doing FMX events, they asked the magazine to recommend a photographer, and they mentioned me. So I went and shot this event in Yokohama, in an old abandoned storage facility, and when they saw the results they really liked them, and said I had that ‘Red Bull style’ they were looking for. After that I said yes to simply everything they offered me – music, dance, and other sports. As the Red Bull scene in Japan grew and grew they gave me more and more, to a point that now, in the spring and autumn, I’m shooting almost every weekend. I’ve been doing that for six or seven years.

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The distinctive look of a Red Bull photo is hard to describe, but I guess it’s dynamic, clean and – most importantly – tells a story. The best photos tell the story of an entire event. Portraits are clean-cut too, and often use new techniques so they look cutting edge. Red Bull likes new ideas that result in pictures not seen before – like LED lighting. There was a guy who put them on the arms and legs of a breakdancer, and you see them spinning around in the dark. That was a very creative approach. The next thing I’m doing is this weekend: the Japan finals for BC1. I’ve shot that all the way through, so I know all the beat boys – they’re all my friends now. Shooting the same events time after time is one of the things I enjoy the most. I can really connect with the people and I feel like I’m part of the event too. jason-halayko.com

ABOVE: Soul Flyers Fred Fugen and Vincent Reffet perform during training in Austria for The Ultimate Skydiving Combo, skydiving from 33, 000 feet (10km) above the Mont Blanc, in Austria, 13 May 2014 RIGHT: Sebastien Ogier of France races during the FIA World Rally Championship 2014 in Coffs Harbour, Australia, 12 September 2014

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© JAANUS REE/RED BULL CONTENT POOL

© DOM DAHER/RED BULL CONTENT POOL

Best of Red Bull

@PHOTOPROUK

The degree of seriousness that Red Bull places on imagery gives photography a kudos similar to that of the extreme sports that the company is associated with. It should come as no surprise, then, that the company also runs an event that’s centred on photography: Red Bull Illume – Image Quest 2016. This top-end competition is run every three years and is open to anyone, not just the professionals already shooting for the Red Bull Content Pool. Red Bull Illume aims to showcase the very best of creative sports photography, and the results are absolutely breathtaking – have a look at redbullillume.com to see for yourself.

The winners’ exhibition travels to countries all around the world, giving photographers the kind of exposure that can transform careers. In fact, many Red Bull Illume winners have gone on to shoot for Red Bull as a result of entering the competition – something to consider if you think your own photography could do with a bit more ‘wings’. Red Bull events are held all over the world. Head to one, take some great images of your own and have a can or two!

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Project: Andy Gotts

SAVE THE ARCTIC ANDY GOTTS

MEGAN CROFT

Celebrity photographer Andy Gotts has just tied up his latest project after eight months, a campaign spearheaded by Vivienne Westwood and Greenpeace, Save the Arctic. We catch up with him post-exhibition to find out more

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Project: Andy Gotts

@PHOTOPROUK

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Project: Andy Gotts

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espite Andy Gotts’ 25 years as a celebrity photographer – as we chat he nonchalantly sprinkles the conversation with titbits about his shoots with Al Pacino, Daniel Radcliffe and the like – he is down to earth and honest, just a regular bloke who happens to be one of the greatest talents working in the portrait industry today. It’s his affable personality and genuine passion for his work that led to his recent involvement in what some might consider a controversial campaign: a ménage à trois of sorts between himself, Vivienne Westwood and Greenpeace. Exhibited alongside the escalators leading in and out of London’s Waterloo Station – and not coincidentally up to Shell’s UK headquarters – the Save the Arctic campaign featured images of celebrities wearing Save the Arctic T-shirts designed by Vivienne Westwood. An ongoing Icons project for Elton John was how this unlikely trio began their journey, as Andy was called on to shoot Vivienne for the project. “I’m not an activist, I’m not an environmental campaigner in the slightest, I’m just a photographer and it just happened that there’s something about Vivienne that’s magical, when you meet her she’s just inspirational,” he says of that fated shoot with the legendary designer and

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political activist. Captivated by her as a person and her achievements not only in fashion but as an activist, Andy offered his services to Vivienne to help on any of her campaigns. A week later, Vivienne suggested that Andy could shoot one or two people wearing her Save the Arctic campaign T-shirt. Two people eventually grew to 60, most drawn in for the same reason as Andy, Vivienne’s captivating personality – from Naomi Campbell and Kate Moss to Pamela Anderson, Kylie and Rita Ora. Andy was even smuggled into the Ecuadorian embassy to shoot Julian Assange. The marketing material developed into a fully formed campaign that’s now been repeated around the world with everyone from Korean to Japanese celebrities donning the T-shirt. The original campaign brief was as dull as dishwater; it was all about the T-shirt. However, Andy’s straight talking resulted in a campaign that’s dynamic and interesting; he said to Greenpeace and Vivienne: “How bloody boring will it be for people looking at these pictures of however many actors or singers that are identical, let’s mix it up a bit.” The T-shirt still had to be the focal point, but keeping the lighting, crop and tonal range the same, Andy challenged himself to see just how different he could make his images.

PREVIOUS PAGE: Sir John Hurt BELOW: Fearne Cotton and Sir Ian McKellen BELOW RIGHT: Kylie Minogue and Ozzy Osbourne

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Project: Andy Gotts

His technique with all his shoots is to bring 50% to a shoot and hope that his subject meets him halfway. “Between you, you can create something different,” he explains. “Try to tease something unique, different and special out of each shoot.” The first campaign subject to put Andy’s theory to the test was actor Simon Pegg and having worked together previously, Andy knew he’d be game for donning a red tie, a visual reminder of his role in the film Shaun of the Dead, and lark around. Fun as that was, any red-blooded male would likely give an arm or a leg (or both!) to hold court with the poster girl of many boyhood dreams, Kylie Minogue, and getting to shoot her was a highlight of the campaign for Andy. “I was in her company for about two and a half hours and she is so lovely, friendly, bubbly and hilarious, I can see why everyone loves her,” he says of pop princess Kylie. “There’s a few people in life who can make you feel that you’re special and she’s one of them. She can make you feel like you’re the most important person in her life.” Most of Andy’s 25 years in the business have been spent shooting actors and he is completely at home as they schmooze up to and work with the camera, as is the nature of their job. Not one to get

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apprehensive, having made a living out of capturing Hollywood icons and big screen stars, it was in fact the supermodels who Andy approached with the most trepidation. Mockingly explaining it away as a fear of having a phone launched at him by Naomi Campbell (infamously she threw her phone at her maid in 2007), in reality he was concerned about meeting expectations with these widely photographed supermodels. Although he’d worked with Kate Moss previously, the fact that she has been photographed, painted and drawn by anyone who’s anyone in the industry, was still intimidating to Andy. “You do think, how do I match up to these greats? I want to walk away with something I’m proud of, no matter how famous the person is I want a portrait, just one that I’m proud of,” he explains frankly. “When shooting Kate or Naomi Campbell or any of these supermodels, thinking any photographer worth their salt has photographed them, how do I walk away from this shoot with something different that I’m proud of? That was a bit daunting.” Andy has made his name as a black & white portrait photographer, putting the art form on a pedestal and slating the work of Rankin and Bailey quite openly: “If I look at a Rankin portrait, I really,

really don’t like it. The same if I look at a Bailey portrait, I just don’t like them.” Portraits by the likes of Caravaggio and Rembrandt have informed Andy’s style since his days as a student when he admired – and he still admires – the expert use of shadows within their paintings, seeing shadows as just as important as light. Over the past eight years, Andy has moved more into colour work but not as you’d expect. “I hated colour and I still do even now I do a lot of colour, because I shoot digitally and the first thing I do is to mute it down,” he explains. “Colour reminds me of HELLO! magazine. I don’t want to say it’s tacky but there’s something very commercial about a normally coloured picture.” The colour of the Vivienne Westwood T-shirt featured in the Save the Arctic campaign was dark blue; black & white was taken off the table from the very beginning, so muted colour it was. Desaturating is one of the only things Andy does in Photoshop, along with cropping. “The first thing I do is cut down the vibrance, cut down the saturation and have a very cool muted colour cast on the picture,” explains Andy. “It’s purely for my own aesthetic pleasure,” he says. The T-shirt seems to have been a bit of a bane in the shoot,

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Project: Andy Gotts

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Project: Andy Gotts

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Jodie Kidd, Simon Pegg, Georgia May Jagger and Steve Coogan

and Andy suggests a tongue-in-cheek alternative. “It would have been a lot easier if the T-shirt wasn’t involved at all, if I’d have been in the Bahamas and everyone was drunk, but alas I was stuck in Mayfair with a ropy T-shirt.” His limited post-production work turned out to be a saving grace when it came to reaching the campaign finish line, which came around all of a sudden when Greenpeace suggested exhibiting before Shell’s drilling in the Arctic began again. “It was quite a tight turnaround because I was shooting the talent and storing the pictures on memory cards, I wasn’t retouching or doing anything with them,” says Andy. “Then all of a sudden I’m given four weeks to produce the finished images, but it’s happened and it works and the response has been amazing.” His minimalist style carries through to his equipment too. “I’m a bit like a packhorse. I’ve got everything strapped to me and what I can physically carry is my studio,” he says of his pareddown kitbag, which he manages alone without an assistant. A Phase One IQ250 was used on this campaign, along with Elinchrom flashes (“they are without doubt the best flashes out there”), an Octa softbox, a light metre bought 28 years ago and an 80mm or 150mm lens, which make up the mainstay of his kit. Displaying the images right on the doorstep of Shell’s HQ was a touch of genius, but Andy’s preference would have been to have his campaign images hung in a more formal setting. “I was happy with what Greenpeace did with the final images, but maybe I’d have liked to see them in more of a gallery exhibition,” he confesses. “Having said that, over the course of these shots being on the wall, 2.7 million people have walked past them. Would 2.7 million people go to a gallery? No. Would I want them in a gallery? Yes. Do I want lots of people to see them? Yes.” He’s brutally honest about the effect of the campaign too. “Will it make a difference to the Arctic? No, it’s just people in T-shirts. But will it raise awareness? Yes, it’ll raise awareness but it won’t change anything,” he postulates. The exhibition was up for just two weeks at the end of July, but the full campaign can still be seen online at the Vivienne Westwood website, where you can also buy the campaign T-shirt. Now it’s all over, Andy is happy to take a step back and move onto the next project.

ABOVE: Pamela Anderson RIGHT: Vivienne Westwood

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Rising Star: Alexandra Cameron

rising star

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Rising Star: Alexandra Cameron

ALEXANDRA CAMERON

IAN FARRELL

Unusually for a photographer whose work is so rooted in fantasy, Alex Cameron values all things ‘real’ above everything else, and spurns Photoshop. Ian Farrell talks to her about her methods, motivations and ambitions

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Rising Star: Alexandra Cameron

t

he journey through Flickr towards a career in fantasynarrative fashion photography is becoming a well-trodden path. Names like Lara Jade, Miss Aniela and Rosie Hardy all gained a huge following there. Hot on their heels is Alexandra Cameron: a photographer who loves life, light and fragility, and who distinguishes herself from others in this field by her rejection of Photoshop in favour of building sets and props. Alex splits her time between her fashion photography, portraiture and music photography, but it’s her ethereal fashion images that she is best known for online. She confesses that she probably wouldn’t have pursued photography as a career if it wasn’t for the following she has on Flickr, which currently stands at nearly 12,000: “I joined Flickr and realised how userfriendly it was, how quick the uploading process is and how amazing all the other artists are – which was inspirational. I was speechless when I first saw what they were doing, and I just wanted to be like them. It drove me to be better.” Like many photographers living a life online, Alex started a 365 project and began to enjoy the feedback. “One reason for doing something like that is to learn, but in another way it gains you a following and motivates you to show your audience what you can do. It drives you to experiment and see if people like what you’re doing. “I guess it could be seen as shallow to create something just for your audience – you’re always told you should be doing it ‘for yourself’ – but then I do think the audience is an important part of art. You’re creating an image because you want to be proud of it and express yourself. It’s all about expression, and being into Flickr is a large part of that. In a way it’s almost showing off, saying to people ‘this is what I was feeling. This is who I am.’” Me, myself and I Self-portraiture has always been a significant part of Alex’s photography. While it now satisfies her need for selfexpression, it originally came about for more practical reasons: “In my early days of photography, when I was really getting into portraiture, I needed people to experiment on. My two sisters wouldn’t let me photograph them, and it was difficult and expensive to get a model, so I started taking pictures of myself. “Self-portraiture is so important for learning skills and trying out new ideas, especially when you want to do something crazy, like lying down in a muddy puddle, and you’d feel odd about 074 PROFESSIONAL PHOTO ISSUE 108

PREVIOUS SPREAD: Models Bernadette and Isabella, photographed during a workshop TOP: Photographer Rosie Hardy ABOVE: Self-portrait, using indoor light, 2014 RIGHT: Self-portrait in fields near Alex’s home, 2013

asking a model to do that. That’s where taking pictures of yourself is really worth it: you can create things that you might not otherwise get the chance to create, and it’s amazing to have complete control over every aspect of the picture.” She adds: “I don’t think I’ll ever be at a point where I’ll want to stop self-portraiture. I know that some photographers have petered off in that area, but I hope I never do. It’s become like a diary now – I think back to the day I shot a particular photograph, and I can remember everything I was doing then. The light, the weather, which way the wind was blowing – it’s very cathartic. “I’m always looking for good light, I adore it. It’s the purest thing. ” Of course, Flickr and self-portraiture go together like hand in glove. With so WWW.ABSOLUTEPHOTO.COM


Rising Star: Alexandra Cameron

many followers, does Alex get stage fright when she is posting a picture of herself online? “No, not really because I’ve been posting on there for so long, and you can see the history of my images from the beginning, so I’m used to it. People do often ask that, mind you, especially about my more revealing images on there. But you know, Lara [Jade] and Rosie [Hardy] have done them – lots of people on Flickr have done them, especially women. “I think we are all probably very body conscious, but this is another strength of self-portraiture – if someone else had a camera on me I’d be worried as hell about how I’m going to look, but if I’m in control of everything then I can produce photos that don’t make me cringe, because the result will be what I was aiming for and expecting.” @PHOTOPROUK

“IT’S NOT ABOUT SEXUALISING ANYTHING, IT’S ABOUT PUTTING A MIRROR UP TO SOMEONE AND SAYING ‘THAT’S YOU’” This experience, and a chance opportunity, led Alex into another area of portraiture that she says is exceptionally rewarding. “I started shooting body-confidence portraits when a blogger, Laura Jane Williams of Superlatively Rude, approached me and said that she wanted to celebrate how she looked after losing some weight. She said ‘I don’t want a feather-boa shot, I just want to be me,’ and that really chimed with how I like to portray

real life in my pictures and tell stories. I don’t glamorise it or use fancy makeup, I want it to be just about them. “It’s not about sexualising anything, it’s about putting a mirror up to someone and saying ‘that’s you’. I honestly think that everyone is beautiful in their own way, and I like stripping things bare and showing that. “These women are sometimes terrified about the shoot, as well as excited to be doing it, but I think it helps that ISSUE 108 PROFESSIONAL PHOTO 075


Rising Star: Alexandra Cameron

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Rising Star: Alexandra Cameron

they know I’ve been naked in front of a camera too. I never tell them how to pose or what to do; I just want them to move like they move. And after an hour or so they are so confident with it, and when they say ‘thank you – that was amazing!’ it’s just so satisfying.”

TOP AND BELOW: Giant bird’s nest and rocking horse

NEXT PAGE: From Free Love for the Ballad of Online magazine

BOTTOM: True Blue, 2015

FINAL PAGE: First Aid Kit on stage, 2015

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Out of this world Although Alex claims to have a love for all things natural, many of her fashion images draw heavily on fantasy and fairy tale to momentarily suspend reality. How does she square this with her keep-it-real philosophy? “I do love being theatrical with my fashion photography, that’s true,” she admits, “but everything you see in those pictures is really there. I want everything in the picture to be real and feel real.” A good example of this approach is Alex’s Giant project, which she has been working on for the last 12 months. Each image features a beautifully dressed model in a picturesque location with an oversized prop, handmade by Alex’s carpenter boyfriend Will Conolly. “The project came about when I first met Will at a party,” she recalls. “We got chatting about what we both did for a living and ended up saying ‘we should make something, what can we make?’”

The project is a huge collaboration, involving not just Alex and Will but a team of volunteers as well as make-up artists and clothes stylists. “We’ve done a giant chair, a giant bird’s nest, a giant origami boat, a giant rocking horse – it’s the most fun I have ever had on a project, hands down,” Alex enthuses. “I’m a massive fan of Tim Walker, who also uses oversized props in his work. Those images are just incredible – he’s the Tim Burton of the photography world.” Alex’s fashion photography also involves some pretty amazing locations, which she finds through a mixture of luck and cheek. “I email houses all the time and ask if I can shoot there. The bigger ones, like those owned by English Heritage or the National Trust, are never going to say yes without a huge fee, but some of the others do. I organised a fashion shoot not long ago in the oldest continuously occupied home in the UK.” And where does she go when she wants privacy to experiment? “Luckily I live in the middle of nowhere, so I know spots where you get no one else around. Mind you, I remember once shooting in this gorgeous poppy field when three women suddenly appeared. I casually put my coat back on, and looked at my camera until they went away.”

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Rising Star: Alexandra Cameron

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Rising Star: Alexandra Cameron

ALEXANDRA CAMERON ON… THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN MEN AND WOMEN “EVERYTHING YOU SEE IN THESE PICTURES IS REALLY THERE. I WANT EVERYTHING IN THE PICTURE TO BE REAL AND FEEL REAL” The sound of music Away from the world of fashion and fantasy, Alex also shoots music. “I grew up surrounded by people who are into music. My Dad loves it and my brother has a band called The Last Dinosaur, and I have photographed them for years,” she recalls. “I started to write to other bands and say ‘oh hey, I see you’re gigging next month, can I come down and take some pictures?’ and it was amazing how many said yes. They’d often buy the pictures from me afterwards, and I’ve made good connections that way.” Alex describes her relationship with record label EMI as particularly successful, with 20 album covers in her portfolio so far. “I’d like to do more promotional stuff too,” she says. Is this an area where there could be some crossover with her other work, bringing together some of the more disparate aspects of her photography into something more specialised? “Yes possibly, but I do hope that photographers can be successful and be general. I worry sometimes that people I respect, like Lara Jade and Miss Aniela, have gone off in the direction they are strongest at. But I’ve kept it broad and kept spreading it around. “Then again I remind myself that people like Annie Leibovitz started off documenting bands behind the @PHOTOPROUK

scenes and she now does all this wonderful big-scale portraiture. That’s an inspiration and shows it can be done. That’s the dream.” Alex sounds upbeat when it comes to the future. In fact, it’s hard not to be inspired by her bubbly brand of enthusiasm. “I am always just looking for more and more opportunities to shoot,” she says. “I’d love to find more locations, I’d love for the giant series to continue and be a book one day, and I’d love to shoot more bands – maybe even go on tour or something. “I do like the combination of the things I’m shooting at the moment: fashion for the stories, and music because I see that as a bit of an adventure. If I can continue on that path, but make it bigger, that would be absolutely great.”

Turning professional four years ago, Alex Cameron shoots portraiture, weddings, bands and fashion – and she hopes to never lose the urge to take self-portraits. alexandracameron.co.uk Once upon a time in Alex land @alexandracameronphotography

It’s very different photographing guys; I don’t do it as often as I photograph women. I think it’s more difficult to make them look mysterious. Women are more fascinating, delicate and can express a lot more. Maybe that’s because, in our society, we deem them to be more outwardly emotional. Maybe you can tell more of a story with women than you can with men. Speaking from an aesthetic point of view, I like aspects of fragility, especially in women. Not because I think that they are more fragile creatures than men, but because they can play with that fragility more, and their sexuality, which I think is fascinating. The rough look of a landscape, combined with the fragility of a woman, is so beautiful. I try and work with that as much as I can.

CALLING ALL RISING STARS Are you a photographic star of the future? In years to come, will your name be mentioned in the same breath as McCurry, Erwitt or Bailey? If you think (and hope!) so, email rogerpayne@brightpublishing.com, telling him why Professional Photo should be the first to champion your work and including your three favourite shots (low res JPEGs please, not huge TIFFs – yet).

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RISING


Shooting Star: Zoe McConnell

STAR

ZOE MCCONNELL

ROGER PAYNE

Having been on both sides of the camera, Zoe McConnell is making a name for herself behind it with her striking fashion & celebrity images


Shooting Star: Zoe McConnell

i

f you think fashion and celebrity photography is a wheeze, speak to Zoe McConnell. Her working life isn’t the procession of long lunches and air kissing you may think, instead photography for her is something of an obsession. “It’s never a day off when you’re a photographer, or at least it shouldn’t be if you’re doing it properly,” she asserts. “I’m constantly trying to inspire myself. Even if I don’t have a job on, I’ll be planning something, it’s always about looking forward.” Eight years ago Zoe was coming to the end of a successful career as a model and looking for a new challenge. Taking images of ‘pretty friends’ proved to be the turning point and while she initially kept both plates spinning, she found herself spending more and more time behind the camera. She acknowledges that her time as a model has undoubtedly helped her. “I’ve had the insight into how a photo shoot runs,” she confirms. “I think no matter how much you train [as a photographer] that bit you will never learn. Even though I enjoyed modelling, I was never really into it; it was just a job. Once I got into photography, I realised how models can do so many different things, but were never asked to. It was

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a way of changing sexy photography into something more interesting – I felt I was breaking some barriers down. “There was a very set standard idea of what sexy was,” she continues. “That approach still works, because classic never dies, but there was a very specific mindset. Being younger and female, I just wanted to approach it differently.” Zoe’s work certainly has a distinct feel. From the harsh, direct illumination of her (often) single light set-ups, through to the more unusual angles and unconventional poses, she feels these hallmarks are central to her success: “I went in with a definitive look and that’s helped. I often think that my work looks too samey, but when I try to change it people don’t respond in the same way. If you have a look, stick with it.” Sticking with it has certainly done Zoe no harm. Her initial exposure came in Maxim magazine from which she went on to secure further commissions, and as her magazine presence grew so did her client base. As well as editorial, she’s also shot fashion and a growing number of celebrities – Rihanna, Rita Ora and Nicole Scherzinger among them. PREVIOUS SPREAD: Rita Ora

THIS SPREAD: Fashion and editorial shots, taken with Canon EOS-1Ds MkIII

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Shooting Star: Zoe McConnell

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Shooting Star: Zoe McConnell


Shooting Star: Zoe McConnell


Shooting Star: Zoe McConnell

PREVIOUS SPREAD AND FAR RIGHT: Nicole Scherzinger RIGHT TOP: Anja K for Missguided

Shooting ‘talent’ brings its own challenges. “There’s a lot of emails and discussions, plus we always have to make sure the celebrity is happy with the brief,” she smiles. “I had a situation recently shooting Jessie J. We wanted her up on a roof, but she was scared of heights. There’s often someone in the chain who hasn’t relayed a message, which can cause issues, but it can also work in everyone’s favour as you’ll get a raw energy without it being too pre-planned. “I’ve never had anything completely cave in – there’s always a workaround. You’ve normally got around three hours of hair and make-up to make alterations,” she continues. “I’m known for being very quick – and that helps me get more bookings. I’m quick because I have very set ideas before I go in and because the team and the talent are so strong. I also realised that if you take too long over things you can lose the moment.” Having ideas certainly isn’t an issue for Zoe. She is constantly being on the lookout for inspiration. “If you see a shot that inspires you, take a picture of it with your phone, or print it out,” she advises. “I think it’s really important to be open to other people’s work. I’ve got about 8000 pictures on my phone – I use it all the time to shoot things that inspire me.” When it comes to getting her work to a wider audience, Zoe adopts both traditional and digital routes, using a conventional portfolio and social media. “Some people expect you to bring an iPad, but as a photographer I think it’s important to have printed work, to show your images print well and that you understand how 074 PROFESSIONAL PHOTO ISSUE 111

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Shooting Star: Zoe McConnell

important print is. An iPad is too small – it’s good to see big images. “I think Instagram is essential for photographers,” she enthuses. “Although it hasn’t happened to me, my partner – who is also a photographer – has been told by big editorial clients that they pick photographers up from Instagram. I haven’t had anything directly from Instagram, but when I do something new and then promote it to my followers – which includes my clients – I do tend to get calls a week or so later.” More recently, Zoe has also started working with a London agent and is in talks with another in LA, but rather than putting all her work through an agent, she’s adopted a more cautious approach that works for both parties. “While I’m using the agent for fashion editorial, the celebrity stuff tends to come to me direct,” she explains. “If a celebrity job comes through them then of course I’ll take it, but they are my fashion agent. They take a 15% cut on editorial and 20% on advertising, so it’s a decent deal.” Having an agent may sound a little extravagant, but Zoe is all too aware that the market is increasingly competitive, with magazines closing and more content going online. “Print media is getting tougher and I’m conscious of a big change happening among editorial photographers. Client

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bases are getting smaller, and some of the bigger photographers are coming down and taking on jobs they wouldn’t have touched before,” she says. “It’s been in the last year that I can feel this movement happening. When it’s online, the general attitude is ‘it’s online, so we don’t have much budget’. Online shouldn’t be an excuse to halve the budget. Lots of publications aren’t using online 100% and they haven’t really fully grasped the concept, but once they do it will be interesting to see what happens and if companies start investing more.” Zoe has recently moved into film, with an existing client – Missguided clothing – wanting her to translate her stills lighting style into movies. Along with her partner, she invested in the kit to do the job properly and shot a demo film to show what they were capable of. “I invested £2000, got a model, paid for a location and put together a mock advert – they loved it,” she tells us. “If you look at your photography as a business, any business needs investment. It’s not as simple as investing in a small camera, taking some photographs and calling yourself a photographer. Over the years, I’ve invested so much time and money into kit, practising, testing but it’s all paid itself back. I think it’s crucial if you’re going to take this business seriously.”

Celebrity and fashion photographer Zoe McConnell shoots both stills and film for magazines, clothing, cosmetics and music labels. zoemcconnellphotography.com @zoemcconnell

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Rising Star: Hannah Millard

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Rising Star: Hannah Millard

star HANNAH MILLARD

TERRY HOPE

Meet wedding photographer Hannah Millard. Inspired by her love of travel, she captures pictures that reflect the true personality of her subjects

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Rising Star: Hannah Millard

T

he wedding photography business has changed beyond recognition over the years. Out has gone the stuffy, clichéd approach, where pictures were ticked off a pre-agreed checklist and in its place is a melting pot of different styles and approaches, from the classic to the fly on the wall. The truth is, of course, that weddings are as diverse as the people involved, and that wedding photographers finally got their head around that fact. For every couple there’s a perfect photographer, and vice versa of course; it’s just a matter of the two parties somehow finding each other. Tapping very much into that philosophy is Derbyshire-based Hannah Millard. Her story is a classic tale of someone stumbling almost by accident into what turns out to be their perfect career, and subsequently pursuing it with a passion. Once you know for sure what you want to do you pour your heart and soul into it, and the rest just follows naturally. “Photography was always a hobby for me through my childhood,” says Hannah, “but it was always something that I did for pure enjoyment, and I never considered making a career out of it until one of my friends was getting married. It just grew from there. “I then had to work out how to turn this into a business, and I made the decision to sign up for training from some of my personal photography heroes: the most significant of these were Emma Case’s Welcome Home workshop and Lisa Devlin’s residential Photography Farm workshop. “I think there is a lot you can teach yourself through experience and it’s certainly possible to use the Internet to research technique, but actual, face-to-face learning and networking with other photographers moves you on much quicker. The best workshops aren’t the ones that tell you how

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to do it or encourage you to copy. Instead they’re the ones that light that fire of inspiration that pushes you on to develop your own style.” Hannah’s love for weddings was fired by her own views on the role that photography plays in documenting landmark family events. She believes it should be about more than simply recording what went on: rather it should be a gathering together of small cameos, incidentals and details that were special on the day, alongside the headline shots. “It’s not just about the big moments at the weddings,” she says. “The rings, the kiss, the first dance: it’s the everyday moments that happen in-between that are key to telling the story of not just the day itself but the relationships between people. If it wasn’t for that drive to tell those stories and the huge rewards that come from doing it well I don’t think I’d be a wedding photographer.” Finding the clients With the wedding photography market fragmented, one of the biggest challenges for anyone with a very distinctive style is to introduce yourself to a receptive audience. That’s not an easy thing to do, particularly when you’re on the threshold of your career. “I know that my style isn’t for everyone,” she says, “so I only want to bring in clients who ‘get’ what I’m trying to achieve. Most of my couples come on the back of blog features that I’ve written, and I’m addressing these to couples that are already looking around for something a little bit different. "I’m also increasingly getting bookings via word of mouth or through social media, including Facebook. At the moment Facebook has a really bad reputation with businesses because IMAGES: Telling the stories, not just of the big day itself, but also of the relationships is part of the attraction of wedding photography for rising star Hannah Millard, who acknowledges that her style isn’t for everyone.

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Rising Star: Hannah Millard

“IT’S NOT JUST THE BIG MOMENTS… IT’S THE EVERYDAY MOMENTS THAT ARE KEY”

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Rising Star: Hannah Millard

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Rising Star: Hannah Millard

“IT’S JUST ABOUT FINDING THAT BALANCE BETWEEN BLENDING IN, GETTING INVOLVED AND STEPPING BACK A BIT” they keep changing how we get our organic reach, but it’s still a really valuable tool and the advertising potential is huge. I tend to do really focused, targeted ads that reach out to people I have things in common with. “The next step I take to attract my ideal clients is to make it very clear on my website what I’m about. I’ve got an amazing graphic by the awesome Veronica Dearly on my About page, that’s an illustration of little facts and trivia and things I like, and I want the whole site to feel relaxed and informal, so anyone looking for something more staged and formal can see instantly that I wouldn’t be right for them.” Managing expectations is the next step. Hannah addresses the subject of group shots right at the outset, explaining that they take up a lot of time on the day. “I always recommend doing no more than eight group shots, so it doesn’t overrun, but there will be scope for the couple to get the combinations they want,” she says. “I’m very conscious of imposing overly on the day: if I’m taking the couple away from their reception for a set of portraits then I usually cap this at around 15 minutes, depending on the timeline of the day. I’d rather get a quick five minutes between the ceremony and the reception and let them enjoy the company of their guests and then sneak them off for another 15 minutes between courses when they’ll really appreciate a few minutes to themselves and will be feeling loads more relaxed.” Shooting style “When I direct couples I try to get them interacting with each other and actually having fun rather than keeping them static, so we’ll often be joking and laughing around and the smiles will be natural. This works because I’ve laid the groundwork to let the couple know what I’m all about. Most of my couples would describe themselves as camera shy, but because they trust me and know my work this part of the day is always way easier than they expect.” @PHOTOPROUK

Along with her approach, Hannah has a distinct shooting style that enables her to get the shots she’s after with minimum disruption. She acts like an insider to the point where many people mistake her for a guest. She likes to get close to her subjects using a 35mm or 50mm lens (and occasionally a 24mm if she’s working on the dance floor), and the resulting pictures make the viewer feel as though they’re right in the heart of the action. “It’s just about finding that balance between blending in, getting involved and then stepping back a bit,” says Hannah. “Because I also shoot highlights videos at some weddings I tend to work with a high ISO and a wide aperture to use the ambient light and retain the atmosphere of the occasion. I prefer a little extra digital noise to the effect of direct flash, although I might resort to using flash on the dance floor to create a party feel.” Hannah must be doing something right because she’s getting noticed; her biggest accolade to date being named one of Rangefinder magazine’s 30 Rising Stars of Wedding Photography last year. “You don’t enter for this, you have to be nominated,” she says, “and I was just blown away by it all. Some of my all-time favourite wedding photographers have been listed in the past so it was a real honour for me.” Next on the agenda is to build the number of destination weddings she tackles, so she can combine her twin loves of weddings and travel. She’s also planning to diversify into other areas, such as boudoir photography.

“I’m taking on my own workspace so I can separate work and home life a bit more,” she explains, “and this will also give me a bit of space for shooting, meeting with clients and providing one-to-ones for photographers who want a little bit of help taking their own next step forward.”

Wedding photographer Hannah Millard is selftaught and works in a very relaxed and informal style, aiming to capture the high spots of a wedding in an unobtrusive way. camerahannah.co.uk @camerahannah camerahannah camerahannah

CALLING ALL RISING STARS Are you a star of the future? In years to come, will your name be mentioned in the same breath as McCurry, Erwitt or Bailey? If you think (and hope!) so, email rogerpayne@bright-publishing. com, telling him why Professional Photo should be the first to champion your work and including your three favourite shots (low res JPEGs please, not huge TIFFs – yet).

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Tested: Elinchrom ELB 400

Main test

Elinchrom ELB 400 Just two Elinchrom ELB 400 kits arrived in the UK in March. Professional Photo grabbed one of them TIGZ RICE

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’ve been using the Two Head Elinchrom Quadra RX A Kit with lithium-ion batteries - both in the studio and on location - for two years. Since the Quadra’s arrival in 2009, its compact nature, lightweight heads and general portability as a battery-powered unit have made it a game changer for many photographers, me included, opening up the possibility of more locations that lacked power supply or were a little more ‘off piste’ than standard lighting gear would allow. I travel a lot, so it was important for me to be shooting with reliable equipment, and I can’t fault the Quadra. It has continued to impress with its stamina on long days of shooting and shows no sign of wear and tear. It is also compatible with full size modifiers, giving me the best of both worlds when it comes to replacing standard studio lighting. Back in December, I tested a couple of Elinchrom ELC Pro HD 1000 heads, which introduced a couple of new shooting modes – Delayed and Strobo – to the Elinchrom range. I loved the new functions, but they came with a lack of portability due to the size, weight and the need for a power supply on a full studio head. Getting just the heads and the stands around proved to be hard work, let alone adding a camera bag into the equation. The new ELB 400 series, however, combines Quadra portability with the Delayed and Strobo features from the ELC Pro heads. Could this prove to be the perfect portable lighting combination?

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So what’s new? I tested the ELB 400 2 Action Head To Go set, which arrived in a foam-packed Elinchrom branded hard case unit, just like my existing two-head kit. At first glance, it’s actually quite hard to tell the difference between the two sets, with the exception of the ‘ELB 400’ text on the side of the battery pack. Both systems come with one battery pack, two lithiumion batteries, two heads, an EL-Skyport wireless trigger and all the relevant cables and chargers neatly laid out in exactly the same positions in the box. But there are, of course, changes and these start with the batteries. I was already impressed with the old Quadra’s lithium-ion offering, providing a 90-minute recharge time – that’s faster than I can use up the power in the second battery. Elinchrom promise 280 flashes-per-charge at full power on


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Tested: Elinchrom ELB 400

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Tested: Elinchrom ELB 400

“THE NEW AND IMPROVED BATTERIES COULD POTENTIALLY LAST ME AN ENTIRE DAY”

the Quadra - although on a mid-range power setting I could usually manage nearer 700 flashes per charge as well as powering the continuous modelling lamp. The new and improved batteries supplied with the ELB now promise 350 flashes-per-charge at full power, which at mid-range power could potentially now last me an entire day of shooting on one battery. The new battery still only requires 90 minutes for a full recharge; and Elinchrom has also introduced a new Battery Rescue feature which claims to restore discharged lithiumion batteries. What’s even better is that the ELB 400 is backwards compatible with the old Quadra batteries, including the lead gel batteries, which gives some freedom and flexibility for those looking to use the ELB 400 as a top-up on their existing lighting set-up. Moving onto the heads, Elinchrom has once again done very little to the exterior design, but packed more punch inside with an increase from 8-400Ws to 7-424Ws on both the new Pro and Action heads in comparison with the Quadra. The Action heads offer a minimum flash duration of 1/5700sec through the B port or 1/4000sec when both heads are attached to the battery pack via a 2:1 lighting ratio. These would be, as the name suggests, great for action shots, dancers, extreme sports and lots of movement. The Pro heads offer a slower minimum flash duration of 1/3000sec through the B port alone and 1/1500sec @PHOTOPROUK

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Tested: Elinchrom ELB 400

LEFT: The new heads don’t look that different, the main improvements are hidden inside, including lots of extra power. THIS IMAGE: Having experimented with Delayed mode to fantastic effect on this studio shoot with model Scarlet Duggan, I’ll certainly be using it again.

with both heads plugged in, although this would be great for most instances of photography, especially portraiture and still life. Whichever head takes your fancy, both feature Elinchrom’s Full Flash Curve technology, providing accurate exposure and colour consistency throughout shoots. There has been a minor change to the EL-Skyport, which now boasts 20 frequency channels and four groups to control multiple Elinchrom units at a time. This allows the user to control and manipulate lights remotely, as well as offering a sync speed of up to 1/320sec depending on your camera. The most noticeable physical and technological changes are in the main ELB 400 pack, where the plastic edging is now permanently fixed in place after feedback on the Quadra model, offering a tighter seal for adverse weather on location. The screw cap fittings on the A and B ports have been replaced with rubber flip-up socket covers, allowing for quicker set up and take down of equipment. On the inside, Elinchrom has engineered a 20% faster recycling time of 1.6 seconds at full power compared with the original Quadra time of two seconds, allowing for faster shooting - especially on those action shots. @PHOTOPROUK

By far the biggest change, however, is to the new OLED, which has replaced the old complicated menu with a no-fuss, intuitive, easy-to-follow structure. It also incorporates three new shooting modes brought forward from the Elinchrom ELC Pro HD units. Sequence mode allows you to sequentially trigger up to 20 compatible units in bursts or as a continuous cycle to match the frame rate of your camera. Delayed mode provides a fully customisable rear curtain sync flash option and Strobo mode enables you to fire multiple flashes during a single frame to capture movement-based images. In use I had the ELB 400 kit for about two weeks, during which time it was in constant use on both client commissioned work and a few test shoots specifically to try out the functionality of the new shooting modes. Swapping from the Quadra to the ELB was incredibly straightforward, so much so in fact that I had to make sure

I picked up the right carry case when I left in the morning for location shoots! Although I’d never vocalised any thoughts on the old screw caps on the Quadra ports, the rubber flip caps really do save a good chunk of time in comparison. Other little things, like upgrading the way head-to-pack cables screw into the new heads, added to the overall feeling of improvement. The spare fuses also clipped into the battery packs far more securely than the ones on the Quadra, which gives me a bit more reassurance that I can rely on them if I ever need to. Having worked wirelessly for so long, I have to admit that I take for granted the EL-Skyport and built-in wireless receivers of the Quadra and ELB 400 units. This was highlighted to me this week whilst shooting for another photographer in a dimly lit network of hazardous wires. Working on location offered me a great opportunity to test out the battery power of the improved lithium-ion batteries.

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Tested: Elinchrom ELB 400

THIS IMAGE: Strobo mode will definitely be useful for action shots of dancers.

SPECIFICATIONS ENERGY (Ws/J) 424 POWER DISTRIBUTION Asymmetrical 2:1 POWER RANGE (f/stop) 6.9 POWER RANGE (Ws) 100%: 21-424, 66% Output A: 14-282, 33% Output B: 7-142

During a three-hour shoot, I took 406 images at about half power with one studio head attached, with minimal use of the modelling lamp. After the shoot, the first battery was still showing 75% capacity, so there was plenty more power to keep going if I’d needed to. The 20% faster recycling time was really noticeable on movement-based shoots which were pin sharp thanks to the fast flash duration - but not so noticeable during a couple of portrait commissions I had been working on over the fortnight. If I didn’t shoot a lot of dancers, the Pro heads would be more than enough for my regular workflow. The new OLED menu system made a massive difference, offering an intuitive and simple-to-navigate structure that didn’t require a manual to operate. After two years with the Quadra, I’ve still not fully memorised the symbols and codes to manoeuvre my way through all the sub-menus, but in a couple of minutes I was happily entering manual settings for Delayed, Sequence and Strobo modes. The ELB 400 also managed to match the high standards of these new shooting modes as powered by the ELC Pro HD heads, so from that perspective, it saved me looking into having two sets of lights. Delayed mode produced some fantastic results and is something I will incorporate regularly into my portfolio of work, along with Strobo for action shots of dancers. Sequence didn’t do a whole lot for me, but then I only had one pack, so perhaps if I’d had multiple units I could have been a little more experimental in the studio. Most of my work sits in the lower end of the power range, so I can’t say I really 082 PROFESSIONAL PHOTO ISSUE 106

felt any difference with the additional 25Ws, though the increase from 6.6 stops to 6.9 gave me more flexibility at the lower end of the spectrum, which helped massively while testing the Delayed and Strobo shooting modes.

POWER RANGE 1/1 to 1/32

Verdict Although it’s hard to see the difference on the outside of the equipment, the Elinchrom ELB 400 really does manage to pack a whole lot more into one tiny box! For someone looking to invest in their first portable flash, it’s a nobrainer. Lightweight, compact and intuitive, the ELB 400 offers a readymade kit that will hold its own both in the studio and on location, giving you the freedom to get out and be more adventurous with your photography. For existing Quadra users, the ELB 400 is a definite upgrade for those shooting sports, dance or movement. Having a built-in rear sync option and the ability to achieve stroboscopic effects in-camera are brilliant additions to your portfolio of skills, but for the standard studio photographer it also offers you additional ways to create atmosphere or tell a narrative without the need for extensive post-production. For photographers who spend a lot of time on the move like I do, the extended battery life will definitely come in handy. I like the automatic 2:1 ratio on both the Quadra and the ELB 400 and it can be useful for quick portrait set-ups, but for some lighting scenarios I require more control, therefore I would opt for the Elinchrom ELB 400 Action Twin Pack, which offers two battery packs instead of just one.

RECYCLING TIMES (in seconds), FAST MODE Output A: 0.3-1.6, Output B: 0.17-0.7 ECO MODE Output A: 0.5-3.5, Output B: 0.3-1.2

POWER INCREMENTS (in f/stop) 1/10 to 5/10-1/1 FLASH DURATION AT MAX. POWER (in seconds) Output A: 1/1200 (Pro head), 1/2800 (Action head). Output B: 1/3000 (Pro head), 1/5700 (Action head). A+B combined 1/1500 (Pro heads), 1/4000 (Action heads)

COLOUR TEMPERATURE AT MAX. POWER 5500K POWER STABILITY ±0.5% MODELLING LAMP MODE On, off, programmable timer, continuous FLASHES OUT OF FULL CHARGE AT MIN. POWER 6000 (Eco mode), 5500 (Fast mode) AT MAX. POWER 350 (Eco and Fast modes) APPROX. RECHARGE TIME 90 minutes WEIGHT 2kg (pack and battery), 0.73kg (battery only) CONTACT www.elinchrom.com

PRICES ELB 400 PACK £869 ELB 400 PACK WITH LI-ION BATTERY & CHARGER £1,169 QUADRA ACTION HEAD £345 QUADRA PRO HEAD £315 ELB 400 1 ACTION HEAD TO GO SET £1439 ELB 400 1 PRO HEAD TO GO SET £1409 ELB 400 2 ACTION HEAD TO GO SET £2039 ELB 400 2 PRO HEAD TO GO SET £1979 ELB 400 ACTION TWIN PACK SET £2875 ELB 400 PRO HEAD TWIN SET £2815

VERDICT FEATURES

4/5

EASE OF USE

4.5/5

VALUE FOR MONEY

4/5

OVERALL

4.5/5

WWW.ABSOLUTEPHOTO.COM


Buyers’ guide: Carbon tripods

Buyers' guide

Carbon footprints Get weaving and choose yourself a carbon tripod with our buyers’ guide to the black stuff ROGER PAYNE

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hink about carbon fibre and the chances are you’ll be thinking of its weight-saving benefits. There’s little doubt that a carbon tripod will be lighter to lug around - it’s typically a third of the weight of aluminium - but that isn’t the only reason why you should consider going for the black stuff the next time you buy a three-legged friend. As well as being lighter, carbon fibre is also much stronger thanks to the carbon microfibres tightly weaved together to form a material that’s five times tougher than steel. This strength also makes it a more rigid platform for your camera, so that you can support far greater weight, or payload. It’s not unusual for a carbon tripod to carry ten times its own weight; a feat which would see its aluminium counterparts buckling under the strain. You’ll also find that carbon-fibre tripods are more user-friendly in colder conditions. Working outside in the winter with an aluminium tripod can almost be unbearable in terms of how cold the legs get. Carbon fibre stays warmer to the touch - which means that you can stay out shooting longer in the colder weather. In all other ways, the same tripod buying rules apply. Fewer leg sections means greater stability but more bulk, legs and heads can (largely) be mixed and matched, and, as always, you get what you pay for. Not that any of this round-up of carbon options could be described as cheap. 096 PROFESSIONAL PHOTO ISSUE 106

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Buyers’ guide: Carbon tripods

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INDURO PRICE RANGE: £200-£680

If you want your carbon-fibre tripod big and beefy, check out the Grand Induro range; 11 models capable of supporting between 20 and 40kg. The tallest model - the GIT505XXL - also extends to an impressive 265cm. Grand Induro models don’t have a centre column, instead they offer a flat, modular platform made of lightweight magnesium alloy that can accept a levelling base, column or video bowl. More conventional offerings are available from the Classic series, which comprises ten models ranging from the CLT004 to the CLT404L. All Induro tripods come with dust cover and padded tripod case as standard. indurogear.com 2 MANFROTTO PRICE RANGE: £216.95£710.95 One of the most popular tripod

manufacturers, which is mirrored in the range of carbon-fibre models on offer for both conventional and video use. There is a logical progression from the entry-level 290 range, through the @PHOTOPROUK

all-round 190 and 055 ranges up to the heavy-duty 057 tripods with stability and maximum payload (amongst other features) increasing as you move through the ranges. All these are also available in three- or four-section variants and can typically be bought with or without a head. The MT190CXPro4 is worthy of mention as it will hold up to 7kg of kit but folds down to 52.5cm and the MT055CXPro3 is good for heavier kits (up to 9kg) with the three-section legs extending to 170cm. If you want something a little different, take a look at the BeFree Carbon model, which has a leg design that enables it to fold down to 40cm, weighs just 1.1kg yet supports up to 4kg of kit; useful for travel. manfrotto.co.uk 3

GITZO PRICE RANGE: £479.95-£1849.95

Gitzo produced the first carbon-fibre tripod in 1994 and while today’s models may cost more than most, they should give a lifetime of service to justify the outlay. Carbon models are now available

in all six tripod ranges with the names Mountaineer, Traveler, Ocean, Leveling, Explorer and Systematic - giving a hint to their applications. For all-purpose use, the Mountaineer models combine rigidity and light weight with the GT2542 personifying the range folding down to 56cm but supporting up to 18kg, while the Traveler models are ideal for those wanting to pack light. Those in the Ocean range, including the 1.15kg four-section GK1582OT, offer resistance against seawater and other naturally-occurring nasties, while the Explorer models feature legs that can be moved independently and a free rotating centre column. If you want to set up quickly on uneven terrain, look at the Leveling range and, finally, the rangetopping Systematic line-up is designed for use with long lenses. Take a look at the GT3542LS and warm up the credit card. Gitzo tripods can be supplied either as legs only, but some head and leg kits are also available. gitzo.co.uk ISSUE 106 PROFESSIONAL PHOTO 097


Buyers’ guide: Carbon tripods

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BENRO PRICE RANGE: £280-£470

Benro’s two ranges of carbon-fibre models all offer leg tubes made with nine layers of carbon. Eight varieties comprise the Mach3 range, while there are four models in the more compact Travel Angel series. As the name suggests, Travel Angel tripods are designed for photographers on the move and feature reverse leg folding for more compact storage, whereas the Mach3 models feature a more traditional design, suited to all-round use. Both ranges are available as legs only or in kit form and come with a dust cover and padded carry case. Travel Angel models vary from the four-section FTA18CV0 to the five-section FTA29CV1, while the Mach3 pods range from the four-section TMA18C to the four-section TMA48CXL supporting 20kg. benrousa.com 098 PROFESSIONAL PHOTO ISSUE 106

5 MEFOTO PRICE RANGE: £280 (ROADTRIP) £340 (GLOBETROTTER) Bring some colour

into your photographic life with the MeFoto carbon-fibre offerings. Two models are available - RoadTrip Series 1 and GlobeTrotter Series 2 - but both come in a choice of anodised finishes: black, titanium, blue, red or green. They also both feature a built-in monopod created by joining one of the legs and the centre column. Of the two, the RoadTrip is smaller and lighter than the GlobeTrotter, folding down to 39cm and weighing 1.42kg, but it supports up to 8kg and extends to 156cm. The Globetrotter folds down to 42cm and weighs 1.7kg, yet supports up to 12kg and extends to 163cm. Both models come supplied with ball head, Arca-style quick-release plate and carry case. mefoto.com

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NEST PRICE RANGE: £249-£299

Designed for the travelling professional, the three models currently available in the Nest range offer different thicknesses of leg tube. The NT6264K has 26mm legs, the NT-6294CK (pictured) features 29mm legs and the NT-6323CK has 32mm legs. This leg width is directly proportional to both the height each tripod can reach and the weight it can support; from 1.5m/15kg to 1.8m/25kg. The two thinner-legged models also have one removable leg that can be converted into a monopod. All three models offer a heavy-duty ball and socket head, four-section legs and come in a kit with carry bag, shoulder strap, a set of Allen keys and a five-year warranty. nest-style.com WWW.ABSOLUTEPHOTO.COM


Buyers’ guide: Carbon tripods

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FLM PRICE RANGE: £361.50-£641.50

German manufacturer, FLM has an impressive range of carbon offerings. Models are available in three series: Series 26, Series 30 and Series 30 Extra Size. In each case, the number refers to the width of the uppermost leg tube, the Extra Size models extend higher than the conventional Series 30 range. Eight layers of carbon are used on all models, with three- and foursection versions available, plus there’s some handy extra additions, such as a retractable hook at the base of the centre column for extra stability. Series 30 is likely to be most suited to professional users, with no fewer than 12 models, six of which offer a levelling system. The smallest model in this range, the three-section CP30-S4S, extends to 139cm and supports 15kg, while the largest, the three-section CP30-L3S, supports the same weight and extends to 173cm. flm-gmbh.com

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8 VELBON PRICE RANGE: £249 (E643D), £254 (E635D) Currently Velbon offers

two carbon-fibre models. Both the GEO E635D and GEO E643D (pictured) include a head in the price and are capable of supporting up to 10kg of camera gear, although the recommended loading weight is a more modest 4kg. The 28mm carbon-fibre leg tubes also feature basalt for extra rigidity, while the twosection centre column can be detached for ground-level shooting. Differences? The E635D has three-section legs, a pan and tilt head, folds to 68cm, extends to 183cm and weighs just over 2kg. The E643D has four-section legs, a ball and socket head, folds to 53.8cm, extends to 168cm and weighs 1.83kg. Both include a no-quibble five-year warranty. velbon.co.uk @PHOTOPROUK

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Buyers’ guide: Wedding presentation

Buyers’ guide

One for the album ROGER PAYNE

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ou may be the best wedding photographer ever to have walked the planet, but your clients (and potential future clients) will judge you on the quality of the end results. And that means presenting your work in the right way. The importance of choosing the right album or photo book to show off your images can’t be stressed enough and there’s a bewildering array of options to choose from. To narrow it down, we contacted some of the key album and book manufacturers and asked them to suggest the best products from their ranges for the working pro. Here’s what they came up with, but if you want to find out more make sure you visit their respective websites.

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ONE VISION

Offering a wide range of presentation options for the professional, One Vision recommends two products for wedding use: Photo Cover Albums and Allura Matted Albums. As their name suggests, a Photo Cover Album has a sealed photographic cover with a choice of nine different soft touch leatherette colour options for the spine and back cover. Alternatively, you can choose a full photo wrap. The pages in the album are printed photographically on to Fujifilm paper (unless you choose the Fine Art option) and the album itself is handmade and comes supplied in its own black presentation box. Sizes range from 8x6in to 16x12in and can contain between ten and 60 pages. The Allura Matted range offers a huge range of cover options and bevelled cut mounts along with high-quality prints. While many customers will want to opt for the nubuck or suede cover options, you can also choose an acrylic or photographic cover. Sizes range from 10x10in to 16x12in with 20 to 40 pages possible. Production time is up to 15 working days. onevisionimaging.com

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APERTURE BOOKS

Aperture Books produce high-quality photo books at competitive prices. Of particular relevance to the professional photographer are the A3 deluxe coffeetable books and the Horizon Layflat Creative Collection. The coffee-table books are made with carefully selected fine art stock that contrasts well with wedding images. Following printing, each page is creased within the book block precisely enabling easy page turn and reducing ‘bounce’ when the book is laid open. The block is then glued and clamped before being drilled and stitched by hand. The Horizon Layflat Creative Collection gives customers complete control over cover design. On top of this flexibility, the Creative Collection delivers optional extras including padded covers, matt laminate, metallic paper and rounded corners. After creating a book using the free software, order online then sit back and relax. All books are thoroughly checked by the company’s pre-press department before printing and then again by the quality control team before despatch. aperturebooks.com WWW.ABSOLUTEPHOTO.COM


Buyers’ guide: Wedding presentation

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DUNNS

Look at Dunn’s handcrafted Avante album range, which offers a premium standard in digital album manufacture and print. Albums are expertly printed and finished, showcasing your images in full panoramic spreads. Avante albums are printed using Fujifilm photographic paper with options of lustre, gloss or metallic finishes. Cover design can be personalised with a choice of full acrylic, acrylic tab or full image wrap. These are complemented by a wide range of cover materials. Avante albums come in seven sizes and are beautifully packaged and presented in a premium black box. To complement your main album, Dunns also offers a hinged lay-flat book range, which is a cost-effective option for parent or family books. Also available as book sets they come in three sizes. dunnsimaging.co.uk

PHOTO PRODUCTIONS

Photo Productions provides premium photo books and claims to combine high-quality with unbeatable prices. Eight album sizes are available with bevelled acrylic covers. Pocket and parent books are, uniquely, made in exactly the same way as the main albums so you’ll get true lay-flat, panoramic spreads. The company offers an easy order and proofing system. An expert design service is included in the price and includes free brightness and colour correction. Proofing is via PDF with every photo numbered to make changes easy. If you’d rather supply your own design, you’ll get a 10% discount. No corners are cut when it comes to production with a 23-stage printing and binding process used to create your book. Every album also comes with a presentation box and you’ll receive a free photographic copy of the album cover. Extra copies ordered at the same time will get 30% off, plus UK delivery is free. photoproductions.com 5

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FOLIO ALBUMS

Folio Albums creates simple and elegant, lay-flat books with an almost invisible crease. Each book is produced with the highest quality archival papers and comes with genuine leather as standard. All the fine art books are square to suit landscape and portrait styles; sizes range from 12x12in to 6x6in. The company also produces a luxurious matted album. The albums are produced to the same exacting standards synonymous with Folio Albums. All spreads are printed on high-quality archival papers and hand mounted with conservation-grade white mattes for a clean and timeless appeal. Each album is handmade with the utmost attention to detail using eco-friendly materials to create an album to cherish. The new matted album is the perfect way to showcase any type of photography for a beautiful keepsake that will last a lifetime. folioalbums.com ISSUE 109 PROFESSIONAL PHOTO 097


Buyers’ guide: Wedding presentation

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GF SMITH

GF Smith Photographic manufactures albums, frames, folders and mounts and the company has been supplying the professional wedding and portrait photographer since 1985. To make sure that the modernday pro stays ahead of the game, the company has created a diverse product range that will help your images stand out. The digital Expressions range of albums has many cover, material and size options that will accommodate most photographic packages. For those photographers wanting to impress their clients even more, the Expressions Duo has now been introduced, which is the classic Expressions but with black or white silk weave mattes over the images. This can all be designed using the GF Smith PPS software, which is a very simple and easy solution to designing albums. The Expressions Duo album is completely handmade and is a truly bespoke solution for your customers. gfsmithphotographic.com @PHOTOPROUK

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BOB BOOKS

Bob Books offers five different paper types and seven different format sizes. The lustre photographic paper is ideal for weddings with its luxurious finish, thick paper stock and lay-flat binding so you can show the wedding party uninterrupted over a double-page spread. For wedding photo books, photographic paper books are recommended. The printing process exposes the image onto photographic paper and then it’s processed as a traditional photo. The extra thick, 300gsm pages are then bound using a unique lay-flat binding process, meaning none of the image disappears down the spine. Perfect for showcasing group photos and those extra special images. Currently the largest size available is the Large Landscape (38x29cm) book or Large Square (30x30cm), both with lustre or gloss photographic paper and with up to 98 inner pages. You can even add short video clips of the special day in the photo book, which can be scanned and played by any smart device! bobbooks.co.uk

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LOXLEY COLOUR

Create the ultimate book and digital package with Loxley Colour’s Book and USB Box. Designed as a no-brainer upgrade for clients who would otherwise opt for an entry-level USB package, it helps you offer more, for less, with prices starting at £99. Containing a quality, photographically printed 9x6in book with up to 30 spreads and a personalised 8GB USB stick all presented in a matching box, it’s the perfect package for any client. Choose from 21 colours of leatherette and two colours of USB. Add the perfect finishing touch with free customisable UV printing designs or add text to each item for seamless co-ordination. A brand-new addition to the Loxley Colour line-up, the Book & Wooden USB Box offers a natural alternative comprising a wooden USB stick and wooden outer box alongside the 9x6in book. This combo adds a lifestyle look and feel to any photography package, and the option of a Hessian book cover completes the natural theme. loxleycolour.com ISSUE 109 PROFESSIONAL PHOTO 099


Buyers’ guide: Wedding presentation

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SIM IMAGING

Sim Imaging’s Matted album offers the best of both worlds, combining the full flush mounted edge-to-edge pages of the classic album, with traditional bevel-cut apertures. This album has four different mount options and you can choose from the full range of album covers. Alternatively, the company’s handcrafted digital album offers a timeless format that’s made for sharing. Choose from 20 to 100 pages and offer an open flat design with full doublepage edge-to-edge panoramic printing. Select between four sizes and an extensive range of cover finishes that truly make every album stand out. For these options, Sim Imaging can create a sample plus matching smaller duplicates at 40% off. You can also add one of 30 stunning linen colours to your album cover and matching smaller duplicates. The cover can be personalised with a traditional blind embossing or laser etching. For an extra special finish, select black, silver or gold embossed text. simimaging.co.uk 10

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COLORWORLD IMAGING

Offering a wide range of products, the first port of call for the working pro should be the Artisan albums range, which are handmade in the company’s lab based in the North East. Featuring genuine leather covers as standard, they range in sizes from 12x9in up to 16x12in. All the pages contain a matted overlay on top of the photographic print and there’s a choice of lustre, gloss or metallic paper. Matted pages can be either black linen with white core or white stucco effect. Artisan albums can also be designed with flush mount pages, to give that mix of contemporary and traditional all in the same album. Additional cover options include a cameo option, photo montage and canvas. The most popular is still the acrylic cover. Artisan albums can be ordered through the Colorworld Designer Pro software, which is free to download from our website. Delivery timescales are 5 to 7 working days. colorworldimaging.co.uk 11

ALBUM EPOCA

Album Epoca produces handmade albums, coffee-table books and frames that embody the ‘Made in Italy’ quality and style. The pro wedding albums come in a huge range of colours, materials and formats and can be fully customised to show your images at their very best. They are manually assembled by carefully joining together the cover and the block, and Album Epoca prides itself on attention to detail to ensure a product of the finest quality and style. That should go down well with your clients! The coffee-table books are equally versatile and can be customised; you can select from a wide range of formats, papers and covers. Whatever the product you want to create for your clients, Album Epoca offers a solution. gbr.albumepoca.com @PHOTOPROUK

11

ISSUE 109 PROFESSIONAL PHOTO 101


Group test: 85mm primes

Group test

Prime time RICHARD HOPKINS

Shallow depth-of-field and impressive low light capabilities have put primes back on the menu. We take a look at a quintet of bokeh-licious options

P

rime lenses are making a comeback. Not that they’ve ever gone away of course, but there’s no doubt that a new wave of ultra-modern and super-sharp prime lenses are finding their way into professionals’ bags, complementing the workhorse set of zooms. Sigma is a prime example (haha!) with its Art range, and now Tamron, too, with fast new SP primes, including image stabilisation. Not to be outdone, all the camera manufacturers are refreshing their ranges and filling in gaps with new primes of fabulous performance. For while zooms are excellent and the unrivalled kings of versatility, there’s one thing they really can’t do like primes – and that’s ultra-low f/1.4 apertures.

Primes are smaller and lighter too, even sharper, and often cheaper. So what’s behind this resurgence? In a word, bokeh – shallow depth-of-field, with a sharp subject set against a softly blurred background. It’s a very attractive and popular technique, it adds another string to your bow, and it helps develop a more creative style to differentiate your portfolio. And perhaps not insignificantly, bokeh is also something that compacts and camera-phones cannot do! Here we have five fine prime lenses, all 85mm, and all f/1.4 apart from the uniquely special Canon f/1.2. They range in price from a mere £249 for the Samyang, up to £3299 for the majestic Zeiss Otus. They are all extremely sharp,

with the Otus setting a new record for the sharpest lens we’ve ever tested. One technical point to be aware of when using ultra-fast lenses. Unlike film SLRs, most standard DSLR viewfinders don’t show the effect of shallow depth-of-field at f/numbers below f/2.8 or so, and they’re not as good for manual focusing. DSLR viewfinders are optimised for AF working and their focusing screens have a narrower acceptance angle, meaning they simply don’t see the effect of wider apertures. It’s fully visible in live view, but optical viewfinders need a different focusing screen. For some cameras these are readily available from the manufacturer and easy to fit, or there may be an option from a third-party supplier.

ZEISS

p093 OTUS 85MM F/1.4 ZE SIGMA 85MM F/1.4 EX DG HSM

NIKON

p091

p087 AF-S NIKKOR 85MM F/1.4G N SWM @PHOTOPROUK

SAMYANG

p089 85MM F/1.4 AS IF UMC

CANON EF 85MM F/1.2L II USM

p085

ISSUE 111 PROFESSIONAL PHOTO 083


Group test: 85mm primes

SPECIFICATIONS

Canon

STREET PRICE £1499 APERTURE RANGE f/1.2 to f/16

EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM

FORMAT COMPATIBILITY Full-frame and APS-C ANGLE OF VIEW (diagonal) 29° (full-frame), 18° (APS-C 1.6x) OPTICAL DESIGN 8 elements in 7 groups PREMIUM ELEMENTS 2x HRI, 1x aspherical AUTOFOCUS USM Ultra Sonic Motor MANUAL FOCUS Full-time override MIN FOCUS 95cm (from sensor) MIN WORKING DISTANCE 82cm (front of lens) MAX MAGNIFICATION 1:9.1 (0.11x) IMAGE STABILISATION No WEATHER RESISTANT No FILTER SIZE 72mm SIZE (DxL) 91.5x84mm WEIGHT 1025g CAMERA FITTINGS Canon only CONTACT www.canon.co.uk

PERFORMANCE

MTF % AT 24 LINES-PER-MM, FULL-FRAME

@PHOTOPROUK

VERDICT

675474+ 6081+ 6685+ 7387+ 7786+ 8184+ 8079+ 7773+ 72

70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0

73

67

54

87

85

81

74

60

66

86

77

81

84

80 79 77

73 72

V.GOOD

80

GOOD

90

EXCELLENT

SHARPNESS 85MM 100

FAIR

f/1.2 maximum aperture is that the light cone projected from the rear of the lens is too big to pass through the mirror box unimpeded. This has the effect of clipping out-of-focus highlights that enter off-axis from above or below, so instead of nice circular orbs, the top or bottom can get chopped off, forming something of an igloo shape. This is perhaps more of an observation than a criticism, depending on how much of a bokeh purist you are. Optical performance is very high, especially considering the f/1.2 maximum aperture where sharpness is close to the Excellent line in the centre, and well within the Very Good zone towards the edges. Stopping down improves things rapidly and at f/1.4 it’s quite similar to the impressive Nikon (though neither gets near the Zeiss Otus at f/1.4). Thereafter, sharpness continues to build steadily, to well above the Excellent line from f/2.8 right across the frame. Aberrations are decently controlled, with relatively low vignetting for an f/1.2 maximum aperture, where it’s 1.7 stops, improving to negligible by f/2.8, rating Good overall. CA is modest, rating Very Good, though there’s some bokehfringing at low f/numbers that needs cleaning up in post-processing, and a small amount of 0.8% barrel distortion, rating Very Good.

POOR

There are two 85mm primes in the Canon range – the ever-popular 85mm f/1.8 USM that dates back to 1992 (and is a £250 bargain today) and this 85mm f/1.2L USM MkII. It replaced the slowfocusing MkI version in 2006 and was one of the first lenses to feature fly-bywire manual focusing where the ring doesn’t move anything directly, but controls the focus motor. It’s hard not to be seduced by the huge, gleaming front element that dominates the design. It’s a beautiful thing to behold, and there’s nothing else quite like it for bokeh-licious backgrounds or low-light working. At f/1.2, it’s exactly half a stop faster than f/1.4 and all that gorgeous glass adds up to a weight of 1025g – over two times the Canon 85mm f/1.8. It’s getting on for the 1200g of the Zeiss Otus, and the Canon is almost as fat, but much shorter. It’s immaculately built of course, though without weather-proofing. The fly-by-wire manual focus works well - very light and affording the fine control necessary when depth-of-field is measured in mms for a typical headand-shoulders portrait at f/1.2. While the AF speed is much improved over the MkI version, the heavy glass still makes the MkII relatively slow, recording 1.1secs in the near-to-far speed test from 1.5m to 6m. In normal working though, you’re unlikely to need that much shift very often and in practise it’s more than adequately rapid. The optical design is eight elements in seven groups, including one aspherical and two high refractive index elements. One downside of such an ambitious

f/1.2 f/1.4 f/2 f/2.8 f/4 f/5.6 f/8 f/11 f/16

CENTRE

EDGE

VIGNETTING F1.2 0 -0.5 -1 -1.5 -2 -2.5 -3 -3.5 -4

VIGNETTING F2 0 -0.5 -1 -1.5 -2 -2.5 -3 -3.5 -4

VIGNETTING F2.8 0 -0.5 -1 -1.5 -2 -2.5 -3

FEATURES

5/5

HANDLING

5/5

OPTICAL QUALITY

4.5/5

OVERALL

4.8/5

-3.5 -4

ISSUE 111 PROFESSIONAL PHOTO 085


Group test: 85mm primes

SPECIFICATIONS

Sigma

STREET PRICE £649 APERTURE RANGE f/1.4 to f/16

85mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM

FORMAT COMPATIBILITY Full-frame and APS-C ANGLE OF VIEW (diagonal) 29° (full-frame), 18-19° (APS-C 1.6-1.5x) OPTICAL DESIGN 11 elements in 8 groups PREMIUM ELEMENTS 1x SLD, 1x aspherical AUTOFOCUS HSM Hyper Sonic Motor MANUAL FOCUS Full-time override MIN FOCUS 85cm (from sensor) MIN WORKING DISTANCE 65cm (front of lens) MAX MAGNIFICATION 1:8.6 (0.12x) WEATHER RESISTANT No FILTER SIZE 77mm SIZE (DxL) 84.7x87.6mm WEIGHT 725g CAMERA FITTINGS Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Sigma, Sony CONTACT www.sigma-imaging-uk.com

PERFORMANCE

MTF % AT 24 LINES-PER-MM, FULL-FRAME

735478+ 6182+ 6686+ 7185+ 7582+ 7576+ 7168+ 66

@PHOTOPROUK

VERDICT

70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0

86

82

78

73

61

66

85

71

82

75

75 76

71

68 66

54

V.GOOD

80

GOOD

90

FAIR

lens types, it is in this class. More to the point, AF accuracy was spot-on – vital for situations with only a few mms depth-of-field, and that was with zero AF micro-adjustment set. Sharpness is very high. In the centre, it rates Excellent right from f/1.4, and rises even higher throughout mid-range apertures, peaking close to the 90% line at f/4. To split hairs, it actually beats the Nikon by a couple of percentage points. Unlike the Nikon though, edge sharpness lags somewhat, rating Very Good at f/1.4 before reaching Excellent from f/4. The MTF graphs tell the story but, another way of looking at it – how often will subjects towards the edges of the frame actually be in focus when depth-of-field is so shallow? Aberrations control is generally of a very high order, with a couple of exceptions. Distortion is effectively nil, rating Excellent; vignetting is low for such a fast lens, recording 1.4 stops at f/1.4 reducing to almost nothing at f/2.8, rating Very Good; CA is minimal, rating Very Good. The caveats are noticeable CA bokehfringing at lower f/numbers – as with all these lenses except the Zeiss Otus – and in the flare test the Sigma was prone to some coloured spotting of very bright light sources within the frame.

POOR

While Sigma has been enjoying the limelight recently with its exceptionally fine Art range of zooms and primes, the Sigma 85mm f/1.4 has been around for a few years, since 2010. An updated Art version must surely be on the drawing board, but the current lens is no pushover and it comes at a keen price, substantially undercutting all rivals except the manual-focusing Samyang. In terms of the Sigma’s specification, the only directly comparable lens here is the Nikon – both 85mm f/1.4, with ultrasonic autofocus. They share quite a few other secondary features too, though the Sigma is slightly heavier at 725g, partly due to extra glass in the 11-element optical design. It includes one SLD element and one moulded glass aspherical, with a nine-bladed aperture diaphragm. Filter size is the popular 77mm, and Sigmas always come well equipped with a lens hood and zippered case. In fact, Sigma goes a step further here by including a short extension to the lens hood for use on APS-C format cameras. Build quality is very good, smartly finished in matte black. Bearing in mind Sigma is up against some of the finest lenses money can buy here and standards are very high, the focusing ring isn’t quite so silky-smooth, nor is the mechanism completely silent in AF mode, even if nobody except you is ever likely to hear it. Autofocus is fast for a lens like this, recording 0.8secs in the near-to-far speed test – the same as the Nikon. While that’s not as quick some other

EXCELLENT

SHARPNESS 85MM 100

f/1.4 f/2 f/2.8 f/4 f/5.6 f/8 f/11 f/16

CENTRE

EDGE

VIGNETTING F1.4 0 -0.5 -1 -1.5 -2 -2.5 -3 -3.5 -4

VIGNETTING F2 0 -0.5 -1 -1.5 -2 -2.5 -3 -3.5 -4

VIGNETTING F2.8 0 -0.5 -1 -1.5 -2 -2.5 -3

FEATURES

4.5/5

HANDLING

4.5/5

OPTICAL QUALITY

4/5

OVERALL

4.3/5

-3.5 -4

ISSUE 111 PROFESSIONAL PHOTO 091


Group test: 85mm primes

SPECIFICATIONS

Zeiss

STREET PRICE £3299 APERTURE RANGE f/1.4 to f/16 FORMAT COMPATIBILITY Full-frame and APS-C

Otus 85mm f/1.4

ANGLE OF VIEW (diagonal) 29° (full-frame), 18-19° (APS-C 1.6-1.5x) OPTICAL DESIGN 11 elements in 9 groups PREMIUM ELEMENTS 6x LD, 1x aspherical DIAPHRAGM 9 rounded blades AUTOFOCUS Manual focus only MIN FOCUS 80cm (from sensor) MIN WORKING DISTANCE 63cm (front of lens) MAX MAGNIFICATION 1:8.3 (0.12x) IMAGE STABILISATION No WEATHER RESISTANT No FILTER SIZE 86mm SIZE (DxL) 101x141mm WEIGHT 1200g CAMERA FITTINGS Canon, Nikon CONTACT www.zeiss.co.uk

PERFORMANCE

WINNER

MTF % AT 24 LINES-PER-MM, FULL-FRAME

876789+ 7091+ 7789+ 8286+ 8382+ 8077+ 7570+ 68

@PHOTOPROUK

VERDICT

70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0

91

89

87

89

77

67

70

82

86

83 82 80

77 75

70 68

V.GOOD

80

GOOD

90

FAIR

The large lens hood is metal (adding 98g to the weight) and lined with efficient black flocking. There’s no weather sealing though, and the filter thread is a large 86mm. It’s the sharpest lens we’ve ever tested (just!) but what’s even more impressive is how sharp it is right from f/1.4, soaring way above the Excellent line in the centre, and very close to that at the edges, too. This is really what sets the Zeiss Otus apart – there’s nothing to touch it from f/1.4 to f/2.8, and with a lens of this specification, that’s where it’s most valuable. Chromatic aberration (CA) is exceptionally well controlled, meaning that there’s not only an absence of colour fringing around sharp light and dark transitions, but there’s also no bokeh-fringing where out of focus areas can pick up a green or magenta halo at lower f/numbers. All the other 85mms suffer from this quite noticeably, but with the Zeiss Otus the out of focus areas are just soft, creamy, and clean. Using the colour fringing correction in Lightroom does a pretty good job of sorting out CA with the others, but that’s never quite as good. Flare control rates Excellent, distortion also Excellent, though Zeiss has not found a cure for vignetting, that rates Good.

POOR

The Zeiss Otus stands alone in a number of ways, though it’s not the only 85mm f/1.4 in the Zeiss line-up. There’s the Planar T* ZE (for Canon) and ZF.2 (Nikon) that has a modest six-element optical design and is distinguished by a silver front filter thread. Then there’s the Planar T* ZA with eight elements in Sony-A mount, that appears to be the same as the Sony-Zeiss branded version, and then finally and unequivocally at the top of the tree, there’s this unique new Zeiss Otus with 11 elements. It’s like no other 85mm f/1.4 prime out there. The size and weight immediately sets it apart, which at 1200g is double the Nikon, and it’s manual focus only – there’s no AF, like the Samyang. And then there’s the price that at £3299 is more than double the already costly Canon, and twelve times the bargain Samyang. That much bad news would normally be a deal-breaker, but the Zeiss Otus has an ace to play – the optics are utterly fabulous. Zeiss says it’s the best lens in its class, designed and built without compromise, and that’s quite a claim given the very high standards amongst all 85mm primes. But, it’s true. Mechanically, it’s exactingly built. The barrel is all metal and the focusing ring is sublimely smooth, one-finger light, and has a very long travel. It runs through three-quarters of a turn from infinity to 0.8m, compared to one-third turn or so for most other lenses, and this makes critically accurate focusing not only much easier, but definitely more pleasurable too.

EXCELLENT

SHARPNESS 85MM 100

f/1.4 f/2 f/2.8 f/4 f/5.6 f/8 f/11 f/16

CENTRE

EDGE

VIGNETTING F1.4 0 -0.5 -1 -1.5 -2 -2.5 -3 -3.5 -4

VIGNETTING F2 0 -0.5 -1 -1.5 -2 -2.5 -3 -3.5 -4

VIGNETTING F2.8 0 -0.5 -1 -1.5 -2 -2.5 -3

FEATURES

4.5/5

HANDLING

5/5

OPTICAL QUALITY

5/5

OVERALL

4.8/5

-3.5 -4

ISSUE 111 PROFESSIONAL PHOTO 093


The story behind

IMAGE: Elton John in a Bob Mackie-designed sequined Dodgers uniform. October 1975

access all areas TERRY O’NEILL

ROGER PAYNE

Terry O’Neill joins 110,000 fans to capture a defining moment in rock history

Published by ACC, Two Days That Rocked The World is on sale now for £29.95. accdistribution.com/uk 106 PROFESSIONAL PHOTO ISSUE 111

On 25 and 26 October 1975, Elton John played two sell-out concerts at the Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. Already established as rock royalty, the gigs took Elton’s stock even higher as he entertained 110,000 people over the two days with a mixture of outrageous costumes, on-stage antics and charttopping hits. Amongst the people invited backstage was photographer Terry O’Neill, who was granted an access all areas pass enabling him to document not only the event itself, but the build-up as well. The results of his endeavours – many of which have never seen the light of day before – have now been published in a book entitled Two Days That Rocked The World, which contains a huge array of images along with personal recollections both from O’Neill himself, members of the band and some of the famous names who were there to experience rock history.

Watching O’Neill work was drummer Ray Cooper, who commented: “Terry’s photographs were often taken from audacious, almost Orson Wellesian, angles and I knew that this show was going to be photographed in an adventurous and remarkable way. Many of the iconic images captured by Terry were taken from my very own percussion podium.” O’Neill himself recollects: “They gave me full access: everything from the plane to backstage, sound rehearsal to performance. You have to remember that not many photographers are allowed on stage. And if they are, it’s usually very controlled and only for a few songs. But I was able to go and shoot anywhere I wanted. Because of that access, I was able to capture what it must have looked like from Elton’s perspective; looking out at Dodger Stadium in front of tens of thousands of screaming fans.” WWW.ABSOLUTEPHOTO.COM

Professional Photo 1  

Monthly photography magazine, designed between 2014-present (40+ issues) alongside in-house editors. Features new gear reviews, photo projec...

Professional Photo 1  

Monthly photography magazine, designed between 2014-present (40+ issues) alongside in-house editors. Features new gear reviews, photo projec...

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