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photographers the moment they’ve bought their first digital camera. He also pointed out that an equally large number of people spend too long trying to impress other photographers and not long enough trying to impress their clients. I had to agree. So, if you’ve made some resolutions in the last few weeks, my advice would be to sit down and properly plan how they’re going to happen. Likewise, if you’re just starting out on your road as a professional photographer, don’t be too hasty to believe the hype from close family and friends. Instead, get independent feedback from other people and clients. Ultimately, both will give you a far greater chance of success. Enjoy the issue.
Editorial director Roger Payne email@example.com @RogPayne © JERRY GHIONIS
BELOW: Just one example of Jerry Ghionis’s stunning images. He’ll by at the SWPP Convention later this month and we will too. Hope to see you there!
It’s that time of year when a lot of us make resolutions, both for personal and business reasons. In my opinion, however, they’re a complete and utter waste of time. There’s nothing wrong with the concept behind them, I guess, but it’s a grasping at straws mentality that really irks me. I don’t think anyone has ever made a resolution that’s based upon reason or considered thought, more they’re based on a pie-in-the-sky idea that will never come to fruition. Simply saying that you want to lose weight, do more exercise, be nicer to people, make more money, shoot a personal project et al means nothing if you just say it – it’s the how you do it that’s more important. And when you work out how you’re going to do something, that’s when it ceases to become a lily-livered ‘resolution’ and starts to become a cast-iron plan. It was a conversation I was having with Jerry Ghionis for this issue’s Pro Folio (see page 18) that prompted me to start thinking about this. We weren’t talking about resolutions per se, but more the fact that photographers – and people in general – tend to be very hasty in their decision-making. Jerry’s well-argued point was that far too many people simply start calling themselves
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EDITORIAL Editorial director Roger Payne 01223 492244 firstname.lastname@example.org Contributing editor Terry Hope Sub editors Lisa Clatworthy & Catherine Brodie Contributors Ben Davies, Michael Pilkington, Christian Hough, Steve Davey, Richard Hopkins ADVERTISING Sales director Matt Snow 01223 499453 email@example.com Key accounts Mike Elliott 01223 499458 firstname.lastname@example.org Senior sales executive Krishan Parmar 01223 499462 email@example.com Sales executive Ollie Smith 01223 499457 firstname.lastname@example.org 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: email@example.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
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COVER JERRY GHIONIS
COVER TEACHER TRAINING
PROJECT: END OF THE MINE
COVER 2016: ARE YOU READY?
COVER PRO LIGHTING SECRETS
MAKE THE LEAP
COVER A LA MODE
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EVENTS BUYERS’ GUIDE
THE STORY BEHIND
Fan of fast cars, French revolution fashion, the Outer Hebrides or new kit? Start here Wedding behemoth passes on advice you can’t afford to miss Boost your bottom line by passing on gems of photo advice Why it’s vitally important and how you can take control of it Compelling images charting one of the UK’s last coal mines Wondering what to do with your business this year? Get inspiration as leading pros share their plans The lighting behind three stunning portraits revealed
Jo Rutherford left her job and turned pro – you can do it too! Nikka Lorak, rising star of fashion, shares her story All six of the latest Zeiss lenses subjected to our exacting tests In all seriousness, this could change the way you work
Kit you need to make a splash on the event photography scene The name’s O’Neill, Terry O’Neill, he shoots Bond movies
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Matt Howell takes us under the bonnet of this shot from his Guild of Motoring Writers’ winning portfolio. There’s more to it than meets the eye After scooping the prestigious Guild of Motoring Writers’ Photographer of the Year title for the third time, Matt Howell was understandably ecstatic. One shot in particular in his six-strong winning portfolio set a puzzle: it was undeniably an outstanding portrait of a Ferrari 488 GTB posed in front of what is arguably the capital’s most iconic stretch of skyline, but just how was it possible to set something like this up in a location as security sensitive as London?
“The picture was actually a composite of three separate shots,” Matt explains, “which were taken over two days and married together in post-production. The picture was commissioned by Ferrari to mark the launch of its latest supercar, and the trick to any image like this is to know what you want the end result to look like before you start out, and then shoot the background first and then the car. “The reason for working this way round is simple: it’s very difficult to
alter the lighting on a backdrop such as the London skyline but it is possible to light the car to match. The skyline was shot before dawn, while the car was shot separately in a darkened warehouse, lit entirely with Bowens flash and on my trusty Phase One with an iQ250 back. The final images ultimately made their way into a number of high-end publications and websites.” matthowell.co.uk
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DAVID GRIFFEN KINGSLEY SINGLETON Pros have to take the rough with the smooth; you might not always like what you’re shooting, but shoot it you must. Sometimes, though, the Gods of Photography smile and you get to take pictures of what you love. And then eat it. Welcome to the world of food photographer David Griffen, whose efforts scooped him first place in 2015’s Pink Lady Food Photographer of the Year competition. “My first passion was for cooking, and then photography came along – so getting to combine the two is pretty sweet”, David told us, having built a career around shooting food and the people who create it. Moving from Adelaide over a decade ago, David lives and works in Cornwall, which has more than its fair share of top-class chefs and delicious local produce. Running a rustic kitchen studio his clients include cookbook publishers, food magazines and restaurants; “I do a little product work, but the main focus is on shooting finished dishes. With most of David’s commercial work being still-life images, how did he come to win a competition with a documentary shot of a street chef in Kuala Lumpur? “Well, that’s one of the reasons I love photography – exploring different aspects of creativity. Street photography, for instance, isn’t something I get to do a lot of in Cornwall, but when I go travelling I spend time looking for those situations. At the moment I’m favouring a Sony a7 II with 28mm and 50mm Zeiss lenses.” Of course, entering competitions takes time out of your schedule, so if you’re a busy pro, what’s the advantage of doing it? Does the creative element keep you fresh, or is it more about exposure? David sees advantages in both, putting time aside to raise his profile when he’s not shooting on jobs: “The win has been good for business, as I’ve come up on a few more art directors’ radar thanks to the PR surrounding the event. The exposure has been great for existing clients, too. I’ve submitted work for the last few years and because the competition has lots of varied categories, it’s allowed me to show off more diverse work from my portfolio, too.” davidgriffen.co.uk 006 PROFESSIONAL PHOTO ISSUE 112
Cooking up a winner
BELOW: David Griffen’s Smoked Wings captures a Malaysian street chef smoking more than just chicken...
Pink Lady Food Photographer of the Year celebrates the best in food photography from all around the globe, with categories to suit many styles. Entries are open now and will close on 7 February 2016. pinkladyfoodphotographeroftheyear.com
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animal instincts VARIOUS
Not all the photographic competitions are the same. Much like the Taylor Wessing for portraits and the World Press Photo for reportage, the Wildlife Photographer of the Year is the most prestigious of its genre. Now in its 51st year, the quality of the prize-winning images never disappoints. Even a controversy in 2009, when the winning image was disqualified after it was revealed that the lupine subject was a captive animal, hasn’t dulled its appeal. This year’s winners were announced last month at the National History Museum, London, where an exhibition of the images now runs until April 2016. Encouragingly, an amateur photographer took the top prize: Canadian physician Don Gutoski’s Tale of Two Foxes was chosen by the judging panel from over 42,000 entries. Taken in Cape Churchill, Canada, where the territories of the red and northern arctic fox overlap, the judges’ hailed it as “a haunting portrait of the struggle for life.” Don admits that this fox-eat-fox behaviour is highly unusual. “The Churchill guides had heard that the two species will occasionally fight, but no one we talked to had ever seen this behaviour,” he said. “I first noticed the red fox hunting and interacting with some prey and on closer approach realised that prey was a white arctic fox. By the time I got close enough to capture the event, the fight was over and the victor was feeding. I took a number of pictures, until the red fox had eaten its fill and picked up the remains to find a hiding spot for a later meal.” There are 18 individual category winners, including an award for the Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year. This year, that accolade went to 14‑year‑old Ondrej Pelànek from the Czech Republic for an image of fighting ruffs taken in Norway. Commenting on the image, judge and National Geographic
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© DON GUTOSKI
51st Wildlife POTY
© EDWIN GIESBERS
© ONDREJ PELÀNEK
© JONATHAN JAGOT
© PERE SOLER
senior editor Kathy Moran said: “There are lots of good photographs of ruffs getting ready to display, but very few images that capture the behaviour with such intensity and grace. The photographer has captured a moment that speaks to powerful behaviour, yet renders it as a delicate dance. You could spend a career trying to make this photograph. That it came from one of the younger entrants was just a thrill.” The exhibition is open until 10 April 2016 from 10am to 5.50pm, with last entry at 5.15pm. Tickets are £15 for adults, £7.50 for concessions and £41 for families (two adults and two or three children). Prices include a donation to the Natural History Museum. A book of the images, Wildlife Photographer of the Year Portfolio 25, is also available for £25. If you want to get involved with the 2016 competition, entries are open between December 2015 and February 2016. nhm.ac.uk/wpy @NHM_WPY
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© MICHAEL AW
© JUAN TAPIA
51st Wildlife POTY
ABOVE: The winning image in the Under Water category, by Michael AW of Australia LEFT (CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT): Amphibians and Reptiles category winner, by Edwin Giesbers of The Netherlands; Grand Title Winner Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2015, Ondrej Pelànek of Czech Republic; From the Sky category winner, by Pere Soler, Spain; 15-17 Years Old category winner, by Jonathan Jagot of France RIGHT: Impressions category winner, by Juan Tapia of Spain
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ROGER PAYNE FLORIAN BREITENBERGER
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Red Bull has launched its Illume Image Quest 2016. It’s the fourth time the triennial competition has been run with the 2013 Quest attracting 28,257 images from 6417 photographers in 24 countries. Dedicated to action and adventure sports images, the competition regularly produces photographs that have to be seen to be believed and always creates an astonishing collection of shots depicting extreme human endeavour, often in some of the world’s most challenging locations and environments.
Entries are invited in 11 categories between now and 31 March 2016 with this year seeing the introduction of a new Mobile category, specifically for images taken on smartphones and tablets. In total, 55 of the very best images will be selected, including category winners and one overall winner with the successful photographers announced next autumn. Following the prize-giving ceremony, the winning images will embark on a two-year exhibition tour around the globe.
This image by Florian Breitenberger of Xavier Pasamonte competing at the Nine Knights event in Austria was a finalist in the Experimental category of the 2013 competition. “I thought about producing something different,” Florian says about his image, “so I turned off my flashes during the sunset session and tried to catch Xavier against the backlight of the setting sun and the reflection in the water at the same time.” redbullillume.com
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let them eat cake TYLER SHIELDS
Tyler Shield’s latest project imagines life in court during the time of Marie Antoinette 008 PROFESSIONAL PHOTO ISSUE 115
Marie Antoinette, along with Louis XVI and too many French nobles to mention, came to a sticky end in the French Revolution, but before her unfortunate date with the guillotine she had the task of entertaining the royal court during what was, by all accounts, a time of great excess and decadence.
It’s a period that has long fascinated American art photographer Tyler Shields, and for his latest project he decided to visualise what life might have been like in Tuileries Palace in 1667 and the Palace of Versailles five years later. The result is an exhilarating series of images, aptly titled ‘Decadence’, that draws heavily on WWW.ABSOLUTEPHOTO.COM
IMAGES: As locations were difficult to find outside of the actual French palaces Tyler had to painstakingly recreate the interiors, a process that took more than a month with everything having to be custom-made, including the wigs.
the sumptuous fashions of the time, and which is due to be shown in its entirety at London’s Maddox Gallery in February. “I’ve always loved this period,” says Tyler, “and I felt inspired by what it might have been like to have been a photographer taking an intimate look inside at what was going on at that time. It wasn’t an easy thing to pull together however. For the models I used a lot of my actor friends, many of whom had been involved in my ‘Historical Fiction’ and ‘Provocateur’ projects, so it was a nice little family reunion. @PHOTOPROUK
“Suitable locations were impossible to find outside of the real thing so I had to recreate the interiors using set design - construction lasted over a month because everything ended up having to be handmade and painted. Even the wigs were custom-made, and I never knew how long this process actually took!” Doing it large Extra spice was added to the project by Tyler using larger formats throughout, in the shape of a Hasselblad H4D and a 50-year-old wooden 10x8in camera.
For him it was a chance to stretch himself by working with fresh gear but the extra pay-off was that collectors appear to value the fact that he’s working with bigger file sizes and giant sheet film. “The smaller 35mm-style formats are great,” he says, “but as my work and focus changed so did the tools I used. After I’d finished my ‘Suspense’ series I wanted more depth in my pictures, and it was at that time I switched to a Hasselblad. When we came to make the prints from these files my mind was blown, but I thought that maybe it was ISSUE 115 PROFESSIONAL PHOTO 009
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BELOW: Tyler stretched himself by using larger formats throughout the project, namely a Hasselblad H4D and a 50-year-old wooden 10x8in camera. Not only did this add extra spice to it but collectors showed greater appreciation of his working with bigger file sizes and giant sheet film.
just me. However, this doesn’t appear to be the case: I’ve sold more prints from the Hasselblad than any other camera, so collectors obviously liked what they saw. “After that I experimented with a fresh camera for each new series, and I used a 5x4in for a while along with a Pentax 6x7cm and Mamiya 645, and I found that picking a certain camera for a certain shot changed my work a lot. With ‘Decadence’ I made it as hard for myself as I possibly could and opted for 10x8in and Fuji Provia 100 transparency film. I learned a few fun things with this camera and had to figure out how to handle scans between 500MB and 1GB in size. It also costs around $210 every time I pressed the shutter, so I certainly couldn’t shoot everything this way. But I’m so happy I used it for some of the shots because it really was a magical experience.” tylershields.com A selection of 20 images from Decadence plus a behindthe-scenes video will be shown at the Maddox Gallery in Maddox Street, London, on 4 February 2016. This is the final series of images to be produced for Tyler’s forthcoming book Provocateur, which will be published by Glitterati next August.
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covered, uncovered ALAN POWDRILL
Questioning our preconceptions, Alan Powdrill’s latest project, Covered, explores the hidden world of tattoos
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Once the mark of a season at sea or time spent behind bars, the tattoo has made its way into the mainstream and amongst some crowds you’re the odd one out if your skin is bare. In the most part, the inked amongst us might not appear any different to the next person when fully clothed. But roll up a sleeve or unbutton a shirt and beneath is a whole other identity chosen and designed especially to be worn for life and to remain a secret only a few are to know about. Alan Powdrill comes from a small village in the Midlands and had an upbringing that was “conservative with both a big and a small ‘C’”. Tattoos were rarely glimpsed and represented a form of rebellion in this photographer’s straight-laced childhood. His fascination began early on but the idea
of a tattoo-focused photography project only came many years later. Flicking through his collection of coffee-table books, he came across controversial photographer Helmut Newton’s infamous image of four models clothed and then unclothed in the same position. It was a light bulb moment. “I wanted to document this explosion in popularity of getting inked,” he begins. “A lot of tattoo pictures are really clichéd glamour studio pictures featuring, more often than not, page 3 type models. I find them really boring.” The idea of juxtaposing a person’s outward appearance with their naked, second skin was the way for Alan to challenge people’s preconceptions through his photography. The idea went down well at tattoo conventions too, WWW.ABSOLUTEPHOTO.COM
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IMAGES: Enduring hours in the tattooist’s chari and spending hundreds of pounds on the art, the inked-up population was unsurprisingly forthcoming when it came to showing off their masterpieces.
where he managed to pick up his first few subjects. All his subjects are photographed near their homes and most were more than happy to bare all. “Most of these people are pretty extroverted in one way or another,” explains Alan. “They’ve spent hundreds and thousands of pounds on their skin as well as a lot of hours and a lot of pain and generally they’re pretty amenable to a chance to show it off.” So far, he’s shot 35 subjects, all of which formed part of his exhibition, Covered, which was held at trendy ad agency, Mother, in London’s Shoreditch. The project doesn’t end there though. With thoughts of producing a book, he’s on the lookout for new subjects and welcomes any contact from potential inked-up models willing to be a part of it. Yet to get ink himself, it’s definitely on the cards for the future. alanpowdrill.com @alanpowdrill
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eyes on the prize EDMONSON WEDDINGS ROGER PAYNE
Award-winning photographers David and Luke Edmondson think entering competitions is a sure-fire route to business success
There just aren’t enough hours in the day are there? Finding time for marketing, social media activity, administration and idea development is constantly battling the important stuff like taking photographs, servicing existing clients and finding new ones. Father and son David and Luke Edmondson are busy photographers, just like the rest of us. They have a successful wedding, portrait and commercial business based in Dallas but alongside doing all of the above, they also find the time to enter (and judge) a whole raft of competitions. And they both think it’s an absolutely crucial part of their working life. “Entering competitions is enmeshed in what we do. It helps keep us creative,” explains David. “The process puts you on the fast track,” adds Luke. Originally just shooting commercial work, David and Luke added wedding
photography to their repertoire in 2001. Initially they entered what they describe as the ‘middle part of the pond’ where they were competing on price, but Luke suggested a bold move, opting to target more wealthy clients. “We were trying to sell $1300 albums and people would tell us that they looked great, but ask if we had anything cheaper,” explains Luke. “It was killing us, so we switched to a different album company, changed our process of selling and my first sale jumped to $6000. I was convinced the client wasn’t going to pay it and when they did it was a eureka moment; I knew we were on to something.” This change in business focus led to the Edmondsons starting to deal with clients who had a higher visual IQ, essentially meaning that they could see the difference in the posing, lighting and post-production techniques they ISSUE 114 PROFESSIONAL PHOTO 013
heading south ALEX BERNASCONI
Braving the harshest environment, Alex Bernasconi took the most beautiful photos The coldest and windiest continent, Antarctica presents challenges to any adventurer, and among those encountered by fine art nature photographer Alex Bernasconi were an early morning slip into a stream and a katabatic wind storm capsizing a Zodiac inflatable boat. Thankfully, the seasoned adventurer went prepared, so these events simply served to “remind us that when you’re in such extreme and remote locations, it’s mandatory to be extra careful,” he 016 PROFESSIONAL PHOTO ISSUE 112
says. “In comparison with other trips, this is a real expedition: you have an indicative plan, but it’s always subject to changes caused by the weather. ” Although Alex couldn’t exactly make an itinerary for the trip, planning started a year beforehand, and packing included pretty much everything but the kitchen sink. “I’m not one of those wise photographers who are able to pack the strictly necessary: I don’t want to miss the chance of capturing an
image just because I wanted to save a few kilograms. As a result, I brought almost every kind of lens, from 14mm to 500mm, and I had the chance to use them all, even if the wide-angles and medium zoom were the most utilised. “The extreme conditions compel you to carry more gear in case of malfunction or damage: salt spray, rain, wind and the cold can affect even the most rugged equipment. An essential part of the equipment is a waterproof dry bag to protect my backpack during Zodiac WWW.ABSOLUTEPHOTO.COM
*See absolutephoto.com for T&Cs.
Available from 7 October, Blue Ice retails for £30. We’re giving away a free hardback copy, so tweet us with #blueice for a chance to win.*
transports and landings. Rain protection for my camera and lens is also vital on rainy or snowy days.” The result of the trip is his second book, Blue Ice, but he didn’t set out to create a book. “I just planned to work primarily on my fine art print collection,” he says. “But when I came back, I realised that I’d been lucky enough to collect a solid body of work. When I reviewed the images with my publisher, Alexandra Papadakis, the book materialised immediately.” @PHOTOPROUK
Polar royalty Professor Dowdeswell, director of the Scott Polar Research Institute, and Dr Peter Clarkson wrote the foreword and introduction to Blue Ice. Alex is honoured by their contributions, as he believes “conservation should be paramount for any nature photographer – we must hope that our images can move people to become more conscious and respectful of our planet.” alexbernasconi.com papadakis.net ISSUE 112 PROFESSIONAL PHOTO 017
New gear to get you warming up the credit card
CANON LAUNCHES A2 PRO-GRADE INKJET
Canon has unveiled the ImagePROGRAF PRO-1000 printer, which is capable of producing an A2 print in as little as six minutes and is optimised for printing images from EOS cameras. The printer, which will be available from February 2016, uses a new ink set comprising 12 pigment-based inks including photo black, matt black, grey and photo grey. Along with a Chroma Optimizer ink, these are claimed to provide pro-quality mono prints with deeper blacks. A new image processing system ensures the correct balance and mixture of inks, plus the PRO-1000 also offers wireless and cloud connectivity so users can print from different devices and apps,
including Dropbox and Google Drive. Existing EOS users are likely to make use of a new Crystal Fidelity feature that ensures images from the company’s DSLRs are faithfully reproduced, while all photographers will benefit from the Print Studio Pro plug-in. This allows you to print quickly from software including Photoshop and Lightroom. Canon has confirmed that the PRO-1000 is the first in a new series of professional-spec models, although there are no further details of when subsequent models will follow. Pricing on the Pro-1000 is to be confirmed. canon.co.uk
A POCKET FULL OF SONY COMPACT Sony’s new Cyber-shot RX1R II is claimed to offer the highest picture quality of any Sony compact ever made. It features a 42.4-megapixel full-frame sensor and a fixed Zeiss 35mm f/2 lens, but is still small enough to fit into a pocket. The latest addition to the RX range, which comprises the RX1 and RX1R, the RX1R II also boasts a 30% improvement in AF response speed compared with previous versions and features the world’s first variable optical low-pass filter. Depending on your own preference, the filter can be switched off or set to one of two strengths: Standard or High. A low-pass filter bracketing option is also available. Further specification highlights include an ISO range expandable to 102,400, retractable OLED viewfinder, tiltable screen and Full HD video. Available from December, the RX1R II will carry an SRP of £2600. sony.co.uk
TWO NEW ADDITIONS TO FUJIFILM XF LINE-UP Fujifilm has made further additions to its XF lens line-up. The existing range is joined by a second 35mm optic and, for the first time, a 1.4x teleconverter. The XF35mm F2 R WR is a smaller, lighter alternative to the existing XF35mm f/1.4 version and while it has a marginally slower maximum aperture, the new lens does benefit from the addition of weather resistance with eight seals protecting it from dust and moisture. With an inner focusing mechanism that’s claimed to focus in just 0.08sec and two colour options - black and silver - offered, it will be available from mid-November and costs £300. The XF1.4x TC WR will arrive at the same time and, at launch, will only be compatible with the XF50-140mm lens, although this is expected to change. It boosts the zoom to the 35mm equivalent of a 107-299mm with only one stop of light loss. Like the XF50-140mm, the £329 teleconverter is weather resistant. fujifilm.eu/uk
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ELINCHROM IMPROVES QUADRA AND SKYPORT OFFERINGS Elinchrom has introduced a new head for its ELB 400 and Quadra series flashes and improved the Skyport radio trigger. The new Quadra HS head is design for highspeed flash sync. An LED modelling lamp is included, with the new head also accepting all the Quadra mount accessories or other options via an adapter. The head can either be bought on its own, or as part of a kit with the ELB 400 power pack. A single head costs £335. The new Skyport HS works in tandem with the Quadra HS head and allows flash sync at up to 1/8000sec. The new transmitter also features a large LCD read-out, which enables users to see the exact power output of each light in the set-up. Individual control of both output and modelling light is also possible through the Skyport HS. Initially, Nikon and Canon compatible transmitters will be available, with a Sony version set to follow. It costs £199. theflashcentre.com
BRIEFLY… 1 Phase One has introduced new features to the XF camera software; the Waist Level Focus Confirmation, Seismographic Vibration Delay, BullsEye Level and Hyperfocal Point Calibration are all displayed in the handgrip LCD. Bug fixes and stability improvements are also included in this free software update.
phaseone.com 2 Sony has released a firmware update for the A7R II. Firmware version 2.0 adds uncompressed 14-bit Raw image capture to the camera’s original specification along with the ability to output video via HDMI during use of the Remote Camera Control software. Visit the website below and search for ‘ILCE-7RM2’ to download.
3 Hasselblad is running a special offer on its CFV-50c digital back. The medium-format CMOS back, which works on older V System cameras and offers high ISO settings, is available for £5995 excluding VAT if you buy before 31 December 2015.
hasselblad.com 4 Tenba’s Messenger DNA bags are quieter. The updated range now features Quiet Velcro, which makes it possible to open the bags silently without losing any of the security of standard Velcro. As well as the new fasteners, Tenba has also added olive green, cobalt blue and dark copper colourways to the line-up. The new bags are available now with prices ranging from £70 to £115.
ZEISS & SIGMA OFFER WIDE-ANGLES Wide-angle lens options have just got broader thanks to Zeiss and Sigma. Zeiss has added a 28mm f/1.4 version to its Otus line-up, to complement the existing 55mm f/1.4 and 85mm f/1.4 optics. If the current lenses are anything to go by, we’d expect the 28mm to offer impressive sharpness and high build quality when it goes on sale in the second quarter of 2016. Prices are to be confirmed, with the lens available in Canon and Nikon mounts. Sigma, meanwhile, is claiming its 20mm f/1.4 DG HSM is the world’s first ultra wide-angle lens for full-frame DSLRs, made possible through the company’s advanced manufacturing technologies. Available in Canon, Nikon and Sigma fittings, the 20mm is added to Sigma’s Art lens range and, as such, is designed to deliver the highest optical standards. It’s on sale now for £850. zeiss.com @PHOTOPROUK
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BAD BOY MADE GOOD CLIVE ARROWSMITH
Back in the day Clive Arrowsmith was the original party animal, living the dream in the hedonistic sixties and seventies. His new book recalls those crazy times and showcases his outstanding photography @PHOTOPROUK
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was looking forward to catching up with Clive Arrowsmith. I’d last encountered the photographer on the set of a Pirelli Calendar shoot in 1990. The theme was Heroines, the focus was on female power across the centuries, and the scantily clad models in the pictures represented such iconic figures as Joan of Arc, Cleopatra and Boudicca. This was all in the heady days before digital manipulation, of course, and so the aim was to achieve everything in‑camera. Considering that the pictures needed to look as if they had been shot in different locations all around the world this was no easy matter. The Pirelli team had travelled with a truckload of props and these were strategically placed to give the sense of where the heroine had been based. What was really remarkable about the shoot was Clive’s approach to lighting, which involved constructing an enormous tarpaulin light tent, open at the front and back. “I didn’t want to get any natural light falling on the models,” he says. “I wanted to use my own flash because that way you could see the landscape lit naturally through the studio structure while I could control the exposure on the model. We used a mobile generator to power the lights so that we could travel to more remote locations.” The tent was cumbersome and prone to blowing away, but it was also ingenious and the moody lighting effect
added hugely to the atmosphere of the shots. This was classic Clive: the ability to look at things differently, particularly on the lighting front, and to come up with something that no one else would have thought of. It obviously impressed Pirelli: they invited him back the following year. I also recalled the set as a happy place, with Clive at its epicentre. Easygoing, putting on innumerable accents, Clive was seemingly unfazed by the responsibility sitting on his shoulders. Interesting then to learn in the introduction to his new book Arrowsmith: Fashion, Beauty and Portraits that Michael Roberts, editor-at-large for Vanity Fair and former art director of Tatler, recalled he had once been warned off employing the photographer because he was a ‘wild man’, an ‘off-the-wall scallywag’ who was difficult to work with. Meeting a legend Clive appears mellower these days, but that’s not to say he’s quietened down completely. He’s still got a glint in his eye, can deliver a mean impersonation and can’t help but show me an email – its arrival interrupts our conversation – from Kelly Le Brock, which arrives with a flourish on his Apple watch. Naturally we get sidetracked, and Clive recalls how he first met up with a young Kelly in a London nightclub. “I had no fear in those days,” he recalls. “She was stunning, and I went straight up to her and offered her a lift home
PREVIOUS SPREAD: “I was going to be directing 'Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas' and went to meet Hunter S Thompson dressed as a priest because it was St Patrick's night. This picture was taken while we were arguing about the police conference sequence in the film where he wanted to use real lizards and alligators and I had pointed out they would be uncontrollable. I joked that we'd have to nail their feet to the bar to stop them running off and said that we'd have to use dummy creatures instead. He still wanted to use live animals. Years later he gave an interview to Rolling Stone saying that he wanted to use me for the film but couldn't because I had wanted to nail the alligators to the bar, which was totally wrong." OPPOSITE: Ann Schaufuss wearing Thea Porter, Vogue, 1972 “The backgrounds are from pictures I took in the Bahamas, the foregrounds were shot at the Vogue studios with a black background. I used a bellows extension to copy the transparencies I’d shot in the Bahamas then I double exposed the images of Ann in the camera” ABOVE LEFT: “This is Grace [Coddington] modelling a frogman’s outfit because the model we were waiting for got lost on her bike” ABOVE RIGHT: Pirelli calendar, 1991, Heroines theme – Cleopatra
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RIGHT: Ann Schaufuss wearing a cape by Zandra Rhodes, New York, Vogue
in my red Ferrari. I photographed her for Harper’s [Bazaar] and Vogue and she became an overnight sensation: she wasn’t tall or lanky like most models, and she had such beautiful big eyes.” Clive, it should be said, has always had a happy knack of being able to charm the ladies. He’s been married four times and can boast a string of high-profile relationships: one of his girlfriends from that era described him as “more of a lunatic than your average rock ’n’ roll star”. He freely confesses to his earlier excesses. He began his creative life as an art student at Queensferry Art School, and at the weekends he would hang out with students from Liverpool Art School, acquaintances who went on to form The Beatles. All these years on he’s still good friends with Paul McCartney, while George Harrison encouraged him to find out more about Eastern philosophies, which have had a profound effect on his life. After Queensferry he was awarded a scholarship by Kingston College of Art to study painting, illustration and graphic design. Following a brief stint of exclusively painting he found it impossible to make a living so he looked for a job. By good fortune he pitched up on the legendary sixties music show Ready, Steady, Go! where he became art director and started taking photographs behind the scenes. “Beatlemania was then at its height,” Clive recalls, “and I had often said to my work colleagues that I knew The Beatles really well and no one believed me. Eventually they made their debut on the show and Paul came on to the studio floor at which point one of the PA girls walked up to him and said, pointing at me: ‘He says he knows you’. Paul looked straight at me and exclaimed: ‘Spike (their nickname for me), what are you doing here?’ He insisted I go to the dressing room where John, George and Ringo were. After the show, we all got together and we then left them back at their hotel and I had all the buttons ripped off my clothes by the massive swarm of fans outside.” 026 PROFESSIONAL PHOTO ISSUE 113
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ABOVE: Canned Heat – Historical Figures and Ancient Heads album “This has to be one of the strangest and freakiest shoots I’ve ever done… The lead singer said: ‘This sucks man, I’m not putting my head under there.’ But another member of the band said: ‘It’s really great in here man, the smoke stays much longer.’ At this, the other members put their heads in”
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Clive gradually developed a broad portfolio and, after photographing the Royal College of Art Fashion Shows, he started working for the iconic sixties magazine Nova where his first job was to travel to the north of England and photograph the painter L S Lowry. Consequently he focused more on fashion photography and began working for Harpers & Queen, progressing onto Vogue where he worked with Grace Coddington from 1970 shooting fashion, beauty and portraits. Famous faces Alongside fashion he also photographed some of the legendary names of the time: Marianne Faithfull, The Rolling Stones, David Bowie, Jeff Beck, Fleetwood Mac, Robert Palmer and Cozy Powell. As a serious musician himself, however, his biggest thrill came when he had the chance to shoot pictures of one of his all-time idols Boz Scaggs, and the way this came about is a typical piece of Arrowsmith serendipity. “One Saturday morning in the late sixties I was at my house in Kensington,” says Clive, “when the phone rang and a voice said in a silky Texan drawl: ‘Hi, my name’s Boz Scaggs, and my wife Carmella has seen your pictures in Vogue and I would like you to photograph my album sleeve.’ I had worn out Boz’s original debut album on vinyl, I loved it so much, and I thought this must be a joke being played by one of my friends because they knew how much I loved that record. “‘If it’s really you,’ I said, ‘come round to my house, bring a bottle of champagne and gin and we’ll talk about it.’ A little while later the doorbell rang and there on my doorstep was Boz Scaggs. We became great friends and I co-wrote three songs with him for his album Boz Scaggs & Band. He is one of the people in my life that I really connected with and still have deep respect and affection for.” Clive’s hellraising days effectively came to an end as he became more serious about Buddhism, and it was George Harrison who first introduced him to the Hindu path of meditation and Indian music. “George was sitting in the corner of the studio chanting quietly when I was shooting the cover of the Phil Spector album,” he says, “and I noticed how serene he was. So I asked why he was like he was and he said: ‘I’ll send you a book that will explain it all’. I was a bit ragged at the time and drinking a bit too much and I asked him if it would help as I had always been very interested in Eastern philosophy. He then sent his assistant Mal round to my house in Kensington with a jewelled Bhagavad Gita and Hindu prayer beads 030 PROFESSIONAL PHOTO ISSUE 113
LEFT TOP: “I went to the then Playboy Club to photograph Sammy [Davis Jr]. He was very welcoming… he gave me front-row seats to his show, The Talk of the Town”
“IF IT’S REALLY YOU, COME ROUND TO MY HOUSE, BRING A BOTTLE OF CHAMPAGNE”
LEFT: “This was a fantastic moment when I captured Paul [McCartney] looking through his Dan Armstrong guitar”
and phonetic instructions of how to say the prayers. There began my deeper interest in Eastern philosophies and meditation, which ultimately resulted in me becoming a Tibetan Buddhist practitioner.” It’s a regime that Clive has steadfastly maintained to this day and he’s gone on to regularly photograph His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Khyongla Rato Rinpoche, his Buddhist teacher, who he describes as “the most important man in my life”. He’s clearly very sincere in his beliefs and as he came to embrace his faith he gave up drinking and smoking and turned his life around. These days he’s clearly enjoying himself and he’s relished the opportunity to go back through his
ABOVE: Paul McCartney and Wings – Band on the Run album cover “Paul asked me to photograph a group of celebrities dressed as convicts caught in a spotlight… Unfortunately, this was more of a challenge than I imagined as they had all been having a party whilst getting ready”
Arrowsmith: Fashion, Beauty and Portraits is published by ACC Editions priced at £50. antiquecollectorsclub.com @PHOTOPROUK
memories as he’s prepared this book. Flicking through the pages there are a number of notable, landmark images, which some may be surprised to discover Clive shot – the cover image for Wing’s seminal album Band on the Run (above) for example. But at the back of the book, Clive has provided some personal notes to fill in some of the detail of how these pictures came about. It’s a fitting record of an extraordinary career and you get the distinct feeling that in the future there won’t be quite so many larger-than-life characters like Clive emerging in the far less colourful days in which we live now. clivearrowsmith.com @clivearrowsmith ISSUE 113 PROFESSIONAL PHOTO 031
SPORTING GREAT BOB MARTIN
In 30 years, Bob Martin has witnessed world records, Olympic golds and winning shots all over the globe. Heâ€™s also seen a huge change in the role of sports photography 022 PROFESSIONAL PHOTO ISSUE 114
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’m having a conversation with Bob Martin that I can safely say I’ve never had with any professional photographer before. “People used to tell me, it’s not about the camera, it’s about the eye. It’s not,” he tells me. “Sports photography is about the kit and you’ve got to have the best gear to enable you to be the best. Purist photographers will think that’s a terrible thing to say, but it’s true. I’ve got to have 024 PROFESSIONAL PHOTO ISSUE 114
the latest toys, the latest cameras, I embrace technology and I think that’s helped me in my career.” It’s a refreshingly honest summation of his craft, but Bob isn’t finished yet. “Take auto-exposure, for example, many professionals will say they don’t need it, but sometimes it’s great. You just need to know how to use it, when to override it by two-thirds and when to switch it off. It’s great when the sun’s coming in and out or when you’re shooting
indoors and competitors are moving through spotlights,” he says, continuing to tear up pages of the professional photography rule book. And there’s more. “Autofocus saved my bacon. I can manual focus OK, but I was at the point where I didn’t think I could compete with other photographers because I was in my mid-20s and my eyesight was going. Then the technology came along to help. When I first started, getting a shot of Linford Christie running a WWW.ABSOLUTEPHOTO.COM
PREVIOUS SPREAD: Turin Winter Olympics, 2006
“PEOPLE USED TO TELL ME, IT’S NOT ABOUT THE CAMERA, IT’S ABOUT THE EYE. IT’S NOT”
LEFT: Serena Williams, French Open
100m sprint with both feet off the ground was considered a job well done, but nowadays that’s a piece of piss.” In case you hadn’t already realised, 55-year old Bob doesn’t mince his words. Despite these outspoken assertions, he’s not an angry man at all - he’s just comfortable with who he is as a photographer. A photographer who has spent the last 30 years capturing outstanding images of incredible sporting endeavour.
ABOVE: IAAF World Athletics Final, Monaco
BELOW: Michelle, British Open, 2005
“As you get older, you become more willing to accept what you are and what you do,” he continues. “I would never have admitted 20 years ago that I wasn’t a good manual focuser, now I’m quite happy to. It’s reality.” Like so many of the world’s leading professionals, Bob could so easily have been doing something else with his life. At school he knew he wanted to be a photographer, but was more into the technical side than the actual capture ISSUE 114 PROFESSIONAL PHOTO 025
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“IT’S AN EGOTISTICAL, SELFISH THING THAT I WANTED TO DO. HOPEFULLY, IT’S ALSO A GREAT BIT OF SELF-PROMOTION” and initially ended up working first for a local commercial photographers, then as a technician in the civil engineering department at London’s Imperial College. Photographing stress fractures in metals was a far cry from being trackside at the Olympics. But then he got a job as a darkroom technician for the Allsport agency where, as a perk of the job, he would be sent off to photograph sporting events at the weekend. “It was a pretty cool time, even though I wasn’t a sports fan,” he recalls. “I didn’t dislike sport, but I was a photography fan. The idea of going out and taking pictures was great and when I got the results back, I had Tony Duffy [the founder of Allsport] critiquing my images.” If you want to fill in the gaps between these early stages and today, you should pick up Bob’s new book 1/1000th: The Sports Photography of Bob Martin. It’s a hefty tome crammed with images from his illustrious career, the stories behind them and more personal pieces from those who have worked with him. @PHOTOPROUK
“It’s an egotistical, selfish thing that I wanted to do,” he tells me. “Hopefully it’s also a great bit of self-promotion, I’ve spent loads of money over the years running adverts in things like The Creative Handbook and online listings, but they’ve all been a waste of money. Only my website has paid back every penny I’ve invested in it, but I’m hoping that the book will be the best leave-behind for clients I’ve ever had.” While I’d question his assumption that publishing a book of your own work is egotistical, there’s little doubt that with 1/1000th Bob continues to be in tune with what his chosen market requires. It’s a skill he suggests any up-and-coming photographer should concentrate on, even if he doesn’t like the way the industry has changed himself. “Six years ago, 90% of the clients I’m working for now weren’t on my books – you have to keep moving,” he admits. “Social media is now a big part of our business. Clients want instant delivery. If I’m working for Virgin at the London Marathon I’ve got
ABOVE: 200m freestyle heats, Paralympics, Athens 2004. “This photo has won more awards than any other photo I have taken.” LEFT TOP: Usain Bolt setting 200m world record, Beijing Olympics, 2008 “I noticed that whenever Usain was going for a record, as he crossed the line he would look straight at the timing clock. So I started sitting right next to it.” LEFT BELOW: USA versus England, Rugby World Cup, 2007
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LEFT: Rebecca Romero, Beijing Olympics, 2008
to deliver the pictures now, while I’m shooting. I don’t like it, but I accept it. “I was once told by another photographer that if you don’t keep re-inventing yourself, you’ll stagnate and it’s true to some degree. I’m coming towards the end of my career, I may get another ten years if I’m lucky, but a youngster must embrace it all. I’ve spent my whole career doing this and I’m embracing social media for my clients.” As a sports photographer, Bob has often been at the sharp end of technological advances and none have been more revolutionary than the switch from film to digital. “I was happily shooting away on transparency, I knew how the film worked, I knew what would happen if I changed something. Then along came digital and we were all taking unsharp images,” he tells me. “It didn’t matter if you used a zoom lens or a prime lens as the sensors weren’t sharp enough to know the difference. All these clients who originally wanted you to shoot the best-quality files were happy with digital because you could send it to them instantly. “The first proper digital camera that was any good was the Nikon D3. Compared to the D2x it was a huge change; a game-changing camera,” he says. “Now I’m shooting on a D4s and a D810. The great thing about digital now is that the files are unbelievable. At first, you couldn’t shoot night football or indoor sport well, but now I can shoot at ISO 4000. I love it.” As well as opening up picture-taking opportunities, Bob feels that the advent of digital and the advanced technologies it’s brought with it have changed the face of what makes a great sports image. “People think it’s all about capturing the moment – that’s easy now. I could train a monkey to capture the moment. Putting yourself in the right place to capture that picture aesthetically well is the tough job.” If there’s one thing that defines Bob’s images it’s that he has an unerring knack of being able to put himself in that right place. As well as demonstrating impeccable technique, @PHOTOPROUK
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“I DON’T REALLY KNOW THE TACTICS OF SPORTS LIKE TUG OF WAR, SO THEN IT’S ALL ABOUT READING THE ACTION AND ANTICIPATING” many of his shots also take on an aesthetic quality; they’re more than a moment frozen in time. Much of this is down to knowledge of the sport, but also seeking out the unusual. “If you want to go and photograph a sport, unless you know it and understand it tactically, you will struggle so you have to become an expert,” he says. “I’ve just been doing it for years, that’s why my portfolio is so broad. I’ve always liked doing the whacky stuff. Naturally, I don’t really know the tactics of sports like tug of war or horse racing on ice, so then it’s all about reading the action and anticipating what’s going to happen.” Markets for sports images have changed in parallel with the technology used to capture them, with Bob lamenting the demise of printed media and the rise of websites. “When it was only printed media, the pictures for 030 PROFESSIONAL PHOTO ISSUE 114
the paper or magazine is what sold it, so photography was really important,” he argues. “In a website environment pictures are less important – we don’t sit and study pictures like we used to. I hope there’s a place for magazines in the future because I don’t see how a website can deliver photography really well.” It’s for this reason that more recently Bob has moved into consultancy and brand development. He was employed by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as Photo Chief at the London 2012 Games, where he was ultimately responsible for the provision of facilities for all 1400 press photographers and he remains in an advisory role for the 2016 Games in Rio. Likewise his work with Wimbledon crosses a range of uses. “I’m helping them to find their brand. The pictures I deliver are used for everything – their social media, branding, books,
tickets – the same theory applies to 70% of the people I work for now.” But perhaps the most stark example of how his world has changed is how he gets some of the unusual angles that have become a trademark of his images; above a tennis court as a player reaches for a ball, at the foot of a Grand National fence as horses leap over. “It’s all a negotiation,” he says. “20 years ago you’d stick the camera down when no one was looking and just fire it with a remote control, nowadays if you did that they’d blow your camera up. Today, once I’ve agreed a location, I don’t even need to be near the camera to fire it – I could be sitting in a room watching the footage on a laptop. That’s the future, whether you like it or not.” bobmartin.com @bobmartinphoto WWW.ABSOLUTEPHOTO.COM
LEFT: Chateau Doux Hot Air Balloon Festival “I went to Switzerland to shoot beautiful balloons in front of snowy mountains, but when I arrived there was no snow. I found some colour by getting inside this balloon as it was being inflated.” ABOVE: Champions Hurdle, Cheltenham, 2011 “This shot is a real ‘in the heart of it’ picture which I am very proud of. It won Sports Picture of the Year in America.” RIGHT: Craig Stadler at the famous Church Pews bunker at the Oakmont Country Club, US Open, 1994
EXCLUSIVE! GET 20% OFF BOB’S BOOK! A must for any sports photography nut, 1/1000th: The Sports Photography of Bob Martin is published by Vision Sports Publishing. It costs £50 but Professional Photo readers can get 20% off by heading to 1-1000th.com and inputting the code Photoprobob. @PHOTOPROUK
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GET READY TO SELL PAUL GALLAGHER
Getting the most out of your Raw file is one thing, turning it into a saleable print is another. Hereâ€™s how to refine your image for sale
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ast issue I set out the power of Camera Raw files and how we should harness as much as we can at those initial stages in order to shape the image file ready for the final stages, which generally involves altering localised areas of an image. For me, this is where Photoshop comes in. I have tried to use the Adjustment brush in Lightroom’s Develop Module many times, sometimes with great success, but when it comes to the true refinement of the image I still opt for the power of selections in Photoshop. As professional photographers, we can aim to make part of our income from the sales of our images and this selection stage is critical as it is these subtle refinements that set us apart from good enthusiasts and the client needs to see this! A good histogram Adobe Camera Raw is essentially the same engine as Adobe Lightroom, so if you opt to make your initial camera Raw file adjustments in Lightroom that is fine. If we look at image 1 , we can see that I have done all that I needed to do to the image file globally in Adobe Camera Raw by controlling the Highlights, moving the Exposure up slightly, bringing out the shadow detail and then reintroducing midtone contrast by increasing Clarity. Along with this, I followed my standard process of pre-sharpening the file 040 PROFESSIONAL PHOTO ISSUE 114
and removing chromatic aberration. With all that done, we can see that our histogram looks good and we have no real clipping of shadows or highlights to be concerned about. Although we have a good histogram the image looks rather flat and lifeless and displays little or no threedimensionality. It is for this reason that we now have to consider the individual areas of the image where we need to alter brightness and contrast to enable the viewer to look ‘through’ the image as opposed to look ‘at’ the image. What this also proves is that a good histogram, either in-camera or after Camera Raw adjustments, is not the finished article ready to sell and we need to map out our local adjustments to bring the image to life. When doing this I generally try to remember the moment when I was stood there taking the shot. It was obviously cold and the light from the setting sun behind the distant mountains was illuminating the plates of ice at my feet so this is what I aimed to do. I firstly opened the file from Adobe Camera Raw in Photoshop and began by making a selection of the foreground ice using the Lasso Tool. We must then choose the feather needed for the selection we are making. This is where the Feather slider comes into play. The feather determines how hard the edge of your brush is. The smaller the feather setting, the harder the edge of your brush, and the bigger the setting,
3 the softer the edge of your brush. In general terms if you are selecting a very small area of your image to adjust you will need a relatively small feather, and if you are adjusting large areas of your image you will need a bigger feather. It is also worth mentioning that the feather value is in pixels and the larger your camera file size, the larger the feather will be. When you have made your selection marching ants will appear around the selected area (image 2 ). To understand what my feather looked like I clicked on Edit in Quick Mask Mode in the bottom of the Tools panel and a red mask appeared on image 3 . The area of red is protected from my adjustment and WWW.ABSOLUTEPHOTO.COM
the area of the image showing through will be affected by my adjustments. The transition between the two is the feather I set. I then created a new Curves adjustment layer. A new layer appeared and at the same time a Curves dialogue box appeared (image 4 ). The Curves dialogue box consists of two axes, which gradually transform from solid black to solid white and a diagonal line. One end of the line represents white and the other black. If we click on any part of that line and drag it up or down we begin to alter the tones in our image. For example, if we push the line upwards we will lighten the area we have selected in our image; if we pull the line downwards we will darken the area we have selected; if we make an ‘S’ shape curve line we will increase contrast; and if we make a reverse ‘S’ shape curve line we will
“AMAZING AMOUNT OF FLEXIBILITY TO EXPLORE ALL THE TONES IN OUR IMAGE” @PHOTOPROUK
ABOVE: Tuolumne Meadows, Yosemite National Park. Take each image on its merits and follow this process to turn a beautiful image into a saleable print
4 lower contrast. With these simple controls we can do all that we ever did in the darkroom and we have an amazing amount of flexibility to explore all the tones in our image. All that remains is to try this technique out as often as you can whilst altering the feather of the section according to the portion of the image you are intending to alter. If this process is followed you can, with a little practice, have a finished image whereby the tonal
5 adjustments you have made, are not obvious, but the image has come to life during the process. With my aim to lighten the ice in the foreground of my image, I pushed up the lighter end of the curves line and the plates of ice brightened and began to stand out against the darker background (image 5 ). Then, in order to make the ice stand out even further and also to darken down any surrounding distractions, I selected the area of ISSUE 114 PROFESSIONAL PHOTO 041
6 ground surrounding the ice and also the edges of the picture (image 6 ). I then selected a new Curves adjustment layer and pulled the very upper right end of the curves line down the right axis, which darkened all the edges and ground surrounding the ice (image 7 ). At this stage, after altering and bringing to life the foreground of the image the sky needed a little help as it was now not in keeping tonally with the rest of the landscape. I made a selection of the sky, opened a new Curves adjustment layer and then increased the contrast so that it matched tonally with the rest of the photo (image 8 ). Levelling off One of the final stages in digitally processing any colour image is to check Levels to ensure that you have not inadvertently clipped any blacks or whites during any alterations. For this I opened a new Levels adjustment layer. As you will see in image 9 , my levels are perfect and I have a full range of tones from blacks to whites. It is important to mention here that by using points on a curve line ‘between’ the black and white points you seldom get clipping of whites and blacks as they remain mainly untouched. The only time in this image I did alter either of these points was to darken the edges and ground of the image surrounding the ice, which was fine as it was my intention to bring down highlights without clipping the black in the dark area of the image. All that was left for me to do now was to make a Stamp layer and sharpen the image ready for print and sales. A Stamp layer integrates all the adjustment layer changes you have made into one layer that appears at 044 PROFESSIONAL PHOTO ISSUE 114
“BY USING POINTS ON A CURVE LINE ‘BETWEEN’ THE BLACK AND WHITE POINTS YOU SELDOM GET CLIPPING” the top of your layers in your layers palette upon which you can sharpen. To do this, click on Shift>Alt>Cmd>A (Shift>Alt>Cnt>A on a PC). When this layer was created I simply selected Filter>Sharpen>Smart Sharpen… (image 10 ). I set the values appropriate for this image with an Amount of 160%, a Radius of 1.1 pixels and I added a little Noise Reduction of 33% to mitigate against noise in darker areas and areas of smooth tonality such as the skies. It goes without saying that your approach to each image will be different as there will be individual tones that you will want to adjust. However, the process is one I follow for every image I sell and it has allowed me maximum control and refinement. The resulting image does not look like it has been ‘recovered’, rather it’s been ‘refined’.
aspect2i.co.uk paulgallagher.co.uk WWW.ABSOLUTEPHOTO.COM
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Project: Peter Dench
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BEST OF BRITISH PETER DENCH
After two decades taking an unflinching look at the English, UK photojournalist Peter Dench is now training his sights on America @PHOTOPROUK
Project: Peter Dench
’ve only ever been punched in the face once,” declares photojournalist Peter Dench when I enquire whether his bold photographic approach has ever ended in tears. “I intervened in what I thought could develop into a nasty situation for a woman who was being harassed. In terms of taking pictures, there’s not been much confrontation. I think the fear is often in the head of the photographer.” If you’re already familiar with Peter’s work, you may be as surprised as I was to hear that he hasn’t been in a few more scrapes. He’s devoted a considerable chunk of his career to photographing the 050 PROFESSIONAL PHOTO ISSUE 113
British and all our eccentric ways, but paid particular attention to our collective drinking habits both home and abroad. Flick through the resulting books and you’re guaranteed to go through a range of emotions from amusement to downright horror. “For me a successful set of pictures, whether it’s a book, an exhibition or a magazine spread, engages with the viewer, takes them on a journey. If I can make them laugh, think or even cry that’s a success,” says Peter. “I learned early on that you can’t just take funny pictures, you have to have something to say, which is why for the A&E: Alcohol & England book, I went out with the police, the rapid response
unit in Bristol and I followed someone through rehab. Similarly, for The British Abroad, I didn’t want to produce a body of work showing people downing drinks, I needed to follow it through and highlight the consequences.” Peter graduated with a First-class Honours degree in Photographic Studies from the University of Derby 20 years ago, but readily admits that his course hadn’t prepared him for life as a working photographer. “I signed on the dole because I was completely underprepared. The course didn’t give me an understanding of who to approach, how to understand a picture editor or art director,” he recalls. WWW.ABSOLUTEPHOTO.COM
Project: Peter Dench
“I think I was one of the few people on my course who didn’t photograph myself or my friends naked. Ultimately, it taught me what I didn’t want to do. Whereas we were encouraged to look at the work of conceptual photographers, I used to look at the work of Martin Parr, Greg Leach and Paul Rees. I was delighted to discover that you didn’t have to get on a plane and go to a war zone to be a photographer, you could just get on the bus and go to B&Q.” Inevitably, Peter’s work has subsequently drawn comparisons with these early influences, although he’s quick to point out that it’s very difficult to take a UK-based highly saturated @PHOTOPROUK
colour image without this happening. “I like to think I would have reached the style of photography I have regardless of Martin Parr, but he certainly helped the process because he’s so prolific. That said, I think there are enough differences between us,” asserts Peter. “I try and think of a narrative, a social issue, an anthropological legacy, whereas I think Martin Parr is more of a collector, a forensic eye who puts images into big sets. “Other photojournalists suggest you need a clear idea about what you want to say, how you want to comment and then go and gather the pictures that endorse that. I’m a bit the opposite - I have an
PREVIOUS SPREAD: A group of friends from Scotland smoke, drink and chat at an afternoon pool party, Ayia Napa, Cyprus TOP LEFT: A father with his young son and a can of lager by the benches on Blackpool promenade TOP: An elderly couple kiss in a shelter on Blackpool promenade. The town has for a long time been a destination for those in or looking for love ABOVE: Suzy (right) and her daughter Leigh outside Nellie Deans Piano Bar on Blackpool’s North promenade
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Project: Peter Dench
inkling of something I want to explore or document and then I’ll absorb myself in it and decide what I want to say from the editing process.” That editing process is very much an inclusive affair for Peter, rather than spending lonely hours agonising over which images are going to make the cut, he leaves at least some of the decision-making to others. “You’ve got to live with the pictures for a while. I show them to a pool of friends, family and colleagues, not all of whom are necessarily photographers,” explains Peter. “You soon get a sense of what your trophy images are - your little pool of winning images rise to the surface. It’s quite insular being a photographer so it’s important to get other people’s opinions and let some pictures go that mean something to you, but don’t resonate with anyone else.” Most recently, Peter has been editing shots from his latest project, Dench Does Dallas, which saw him head stateside,
both as a deliberate change in approach but also to bring his British projects to a close. “The British Abroad brought to an end a trilogy on Britishness. Photographers do get pigeonholed - I was conscious of that, [my agency] Getty was conscious of that and it was time for me to exchange the red, white and blue of the union flag for a bigger market. This is kick-starting a ten-year look at the States - hopefully.” Funded by Olympus, Peter admits that Dallas was the first port of call “because the title of the book worked” and he spent two weeks there, discovering the place on foot or by taxi, bus and train. “I made sure I had anchors during the trip where I knew I had to be there at certain points. I pre-arranged a day with the Dallas police, I attended the Dallas junior police academy and I made sure I was there on 4 July for parades and so on, but a lot of those didn’t make the edit, it was the bits in between,” he says. “I was out about 18 hours a day
in 35° heat. You get a lot of the obvious pictures out of the way in the first few days and then you’ve got ten days left to get another range of images. You have to warm up, you can’t just take a brilliant picture, you’ve got to waste frames and hear the camera click through, press the button and zone into the mechanism of taking pictures.” Part of the agreement with Olympus funding the trip saw Peter using a different camera - an OM-D E-M5 Mark II. The smaller, lighter outfit
“YOU HAVE TO WARM UP, YOU CAN’T JUST TAKE A BRILLIANT PICTURE, YOU’VE GOT TO WASTE FRAMES”
THIS PAGE (CLOCKWISE FROM ABOVE): A poster of J R Ewing in the museum at Southfork Ranch, from TV’s Dallas; A bin outside Globe Life Park, a stadium in Arlington, Texas, home to American League’s Texas Rangers baseball team and the Texas Rangers Baseball Hall of Fame; Patriotic footwear worn by Chloe on her way to work in Southlake, Texas RIGHT: A young couple kiss passionately by a red wall in a Newquay nightclub
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Project: Peter Dench
is a big change from the Mamiya 6s and 7s he used to capture much of his other work pre-2010 before switching to Canon DSLRs and it also heralded a change in his approach. “The results still look like my work, but I photographed in a different way. I think I became a better photographer, I tightened up my composition and paid more attention to light. The Olympus kit helped with that,” he admits. “Some photojournalists say you’ve got to be quiet, in the shadows and shoot and move, but I always thought that was nonsense. I think you can be more inconspicuous the closer you are. Rather than ‘Who’s that man over there with the zoom lens?’, I want to respond to my subject if they talk to me, I want to smell them, touch them - I don’t do those things, that would be illegal, but I think the closer you are the better.” The resulting book is Peter’s third in 11 months and, like the ones that preceded it, it presents a snapshot
of life that will serve as a fine social documentary in time to come. Although he only stopped shooting for the Alcohol & England book a few years ago, he’s already starting to see its importance as a slice of UK history. “I’ve seen a shift away from laddish behaviour and binge drinking with youngsters in particular looking for more healthy pursuits,” he explains. “With the economic decline, the pub has waned as the centre of the community and I started to see my pictures as documenting a piece of history - I think that period between 1998 and 2008 was unique as being the binge decade.” Likewise, Peter feels that his own photography has changed. His more inyour-face approach as a photographer in his 20s has mellowed to more considered shooting in his 40s. “I’m 43 now, I need to lighten the load and reduce the intimidation. I don’t like pulling out a big camera and thrusting it around, I’m more comfortable with my craft.”
Peter’s book will be available to purchase online via Bluecoat Press and via Amazon and all reputable stockists. bluecoatpress.co.uk
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WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD? BEN DAVIES
A new year always heralds new resolutions designed to set out the steps to success. Find out what working pros are most looking forward to over the next 12 months
nce the last bottle of fizz has been finished and the fuzzy head has faded, 2016 promises to be an exciting year for professional photographers. For some, advances in technology will bring about new techniques, with new revenue streams to be tapped.
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For others, itâ€™s an opportunity to connect with fresh audiences and develop stronger brand identities. With lots going on, we caught up with a selection of pros who were featured in Professional Photo in 2015 to find out whatâ€™s now in store for this new year.
TOM KEENAN FAMILY/PORTRAIT For Tom, the winter tends to be a bit quieter so he’s currently working on ways to strengthen his income, such as shooting stock images for Lightstock. “I’ve also been working on how to get my clients the most out of their shoots, particularly family shoots,” he says. “This will involve using card payment transfers on viewings at client’s houses. I’m really excited about this, as I’m wanting to intentionally steer clients more towards tangible products than just digital images; I want to see more of my work on people’s walls!” tomkeenanphotography.co.uk
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© TOM KEENAN
© GARETH IWAN JONES
© SHELLEY RICHMOND
SHELLEY RICHMOND PORTRAITS/WEDDINGS
GARETH IWAN JONES PORTRAIT/COMMERCIAL
Sheffield-based Shelley will be running lots of workshops, aimed at newer photographers who want help expanding their portfolios. “I’ve secured funding for these from Big Lottery,” she says, “and so I’m really excited to say that I will be able to offer free places on the workshops for those that would most benefit from it. That way the advice, knowledge and experience that I can share isn’t locked behind a price barrier.”
“I’m going to get into aerial photography (manned aerials, not drones). I have a huge interest in this field, I’m in no way leaving portraiture and documentary behind, I’m just hoping to bring aerial imagery to the skill set.” And he’s not afraid of making the move in this direction. “I’m a big believer in change and embracing new directions to keep the business healthy,” he divulges. “It’s not an immediate results sort of plan but I’m confident I can make it commercially successful in the long run. It’s a rather specialist skill set, entirely different to portraiture.”
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© CAREY NASH
CAREY NASH WEDDINGS The winter is a welcome break for Carey, who gets an opportunity to spend more time at home with his family. “After March I will be travelling again throughout Canada for wedding work and then to various parts of Europe and Africa for travel photography,” he declares. “I’ve chosen a few regions I find interesting that I can visit and explore. It pushes me to continue creating something unique and embrace the skills I have learnt from portrait and wedding work. I focus on photographing both saleable art prints that I can exhibit back home as well as stuff that speaks personally to me.” careynash.com @PHOTOPROUK
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© ALEXANDRA CAMERON
ALEXANDRA CAMERON FASHION
RICHARD BRADBURY COMMERCIAL
Alexandra will be offering lots of workshops this year. “They’ll be run with my photography friend Rosie Hardy, we arrange everything. The day is about creating fairy tale like images and helps other creatives learn to take beautiful images,” she says. “We both announce dates on our social media and have held them in Hertfordshire, Cambridgeshire, London and the Peak District so far.”
Richard, who won the MPA Commercial & Creative Photographer of the Year award in October, will be busy giving lots of talks and running numerous seminars all over the UK. “I really enjoy speaking to fellow photographers, and feel passionate about helping others where I can, though I’m cautious to not turn into a training photographer!” he says. But he’s most excited about developing new techniques and working with new technologies, by exploring the realm of 3D photography. “It involves using 80 cameras at once, and I’m developing a technique with flash to capture some really dramatic action shots.”
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© PAUL HARRIES
© JERRY GHIONIS
© RICHARD BRADBURY
PAUL HARRIES ROCK MUSIC
JERRY GHIONIS WEDDINGS/PORTRAIT/FASHION
For Paul 2016 is set to be a busy year with a few books being released. “My Slipknot book Dysfunctional Family Portraits is having an official release in America early this year, so I am looking forward to flying out for some promotional events and also shooting Slipknot again when they return to the UK in February,” he says. “I also have a new book in the pipeline with the US band Black Veil Brides.”
“I’m at that point where I need a break. I’ve been shooting relentlessly for 22 years, teaching relentlessly for 15 years. We’ve got three conventions at the beginning of the year: SWPP, PPA and WPPI, then apart from a European trip in September I’ve knocked back every speaking engagement and I’m going to be staying put. So I’ve got seven or eight months when I’m going to be doing nothing but normal photography. It’s going to be a big re-invention year. I’ll be doing a lot more fashion, a lot more editorial, a lot more portraits, I’ve got some books I want to write and I will be shooting weddings – I can’t wait.”
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PETER DENCH REPORTAGE Peter is another pro who’s looking forward to putting on exhibitions this year, and he recognises the importance of having multiple revenue streams in case one subsides. “In 2016, I will be developing a new enterprise,” Peter says. “It’s called The Curators, a bespoke service sourcing, curating, installing and touring artwork by the most acclaimed established and up-and-coming artists, photographers and filmmakers in public, corporate and private spaces worldwide – these are exciting times!” peterdench.com 060 PROFESSIONAL PHOTO ISSUE 115
© RORY LEWIS
© PETER DENCH
© PAUL JORDAN
PAUL JORDAN INTERIORS
RORY LEWIS PORTRAITS
Paul is another looking to capitalise on recent technological advances. “I’m looking to include property video and drone photography into the business. I especially think the drone photography has current appeal and huge growth potential in the world of photography, I have a little experience in both so hope to develop this further within the business in 2016,” he tells us.
Rory’s determined to make 2016 a year of learning. “I really enjoy teaching, passing on skills and techniques I’ve learned to inspire others to create amazing portraits,” he says. “Continuing my partnership with Calumet Photographic I’ll be offering workshops throughout the UK. I will also be expanding my tuition business by touring the USA with portrait photography masterclasses.” While in America, he’ll also be working on a project to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Star Trek, photographing cast members.
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© DIXIE DIXON
© JAMES O JENKINS
JAMES O JENKINS PORTRAITS
DIXIE DIXON FASHION
James will be busy with various exhibitions. He’s co-founder of The Portrait Salon, which features work rejected from the National Portrait Gallery’s Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize. “Staging an exhibition is a lot of work, but thankfully we had a small army of volunteers which we definitely needed as we had 358 prints to hang at the Embassy Tea Gallery,” says James. “The exhibition is travelling to the Reminders Photography Stronghold Gallery in Tokyo, and it will be easier as we are projecting the selection and printing all the portraits smaller.”
Texas-based Dixie is hoping to create a more balanced lifestyle this year. She’s planning to make this happen “by hiring a full-time producer that will help me with not only job duties such as location scouting, casting, invoicing, etc, but the day-to-day tasks as well such as social media, blog scheduling and marketing/ advertising.” This will allow her to focus more on the creative side and spend more time shooting than on the nitty-gritty of running of the business.
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© TIM BOOTH
© LARA JADE
TIM BOOTH PORTRAIT/COMMERCIAL
LARA JADE FASHION
A new studio is on the horizon for Tim. “I’ve finally got permission to go ahead,” he beams. “It won’t be massive, about 6m high and 45m long, with my office on a mezzanine at one end. I can’t wait.” Tim will also be promoting his book A Show of Hands, and is speaking at The Photography Show at the NEC in March. “I’ll be putting on a couple of exhibitions too, so far there’s one planned for London and another more locally in Bridport.”
Lara is planning to spend more time at home – but that’s still split between New York and London. “It’s very exciting traveling for jobs and projects,” she says, “but I have realised the importance of staying in touch with clients and them having the knowledge that I am ‘in town’. Timing is everything with jobs – you always have to be available when clients need you. “I’m also planning to be more present on the speaking circuit too – working with broncolor, as well as Canon UK.”
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Pro lighting secrets !
D E L A E V RE CHRISTIAN HOUGH
Discover the tricks designed to capture perfect portrait shots every time
ortrait photography can cover a range of different genres, whether they be commercial, editorial, real life or even street photography. There are many great examples of classic portraits taken with natural light, capturing that unexpected moment or expression. However, throw in a couple of lights and the whole game can change, as it becomes difficult to remain unnoticed and choose the perfect point. This is where certain challenges and balances come into play and test the style and creativity of each photographer. In this monthâ€™s feature, we look at three photographers shooting for personal work, editorial and commercial, 065 PROFESSIONAL PHOTO ISSUE 115
and we gain an insight into how they approached each subject and lit each shot. It is fantastic to see a broad range of techniques and approaches from each photographer and how they have been applied. Regardless of planning and equipment, it is clear that each shoot presents its differing pressures, whether they be a matter of time, sensitivity or even commercial constraints. The key is how each photographer overcame these challenges using their inspiration and experience to achieve a great outcome. The question remains, do I shoot full fat or do I keep it skinny? Check out the approaches that each of the three talented photographers took. WWW.ABSOLUTEPHOTO.COM
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PHOTOGRAPHER ALEX MACRO PROFESSIONAL PHOTO: Interesting
EQUIPMENT: CANON EOS 5D MKIII, CANON 600EX-RT, YONGNUO 600EX-RT. CANON STE3-RT, MAGMOD GRID SET, MAGSPHERE. FSTOPPERS FLASH DISC.
portrait, Alex, tell me about it.
ALEX MACRO: This shot came out of a collaboration and like many opportunities, it came about by pure chance. My frame of mind is that photographers are always looking for interesting subjects, so when a guy called Pops came on a photo course I was running and informed me he did trainee makeovers (www.stylemequirky.com) I was interested in helping him out with images. This is what I love about this job, you never know who you’re going to meet. A few emails and chats later, we developed a project called Life’s a Drag which began to delve into and reflect individual life journeys and transitions, challenging gender perceptions held in what is becoming a fast-paced and fluid society. This particular shot is Kari (fem name) who says life begins at 40 and decided to go for it! PP That is quite an insight into a fairly private world. How did you break into this? AM Even though many are performers, they also remain shy, closeted and very sensitive about themselves. Not judging them, taking an interest in their outlook on life and talking openly is key to earning trust and respect. Without trust, there would be no photographs at all. There were also a few things I needed to think about. Firstly, I wanted the images to be sympathetic as opposed to raw and critical. The subjects are usually on a journey, so I wanted to capture the more feminine side of them. It is a case of where they are going as much as where they have come from. However, lighting for male and female subjects can differ in many situations and as the subjects were heavily made-up, I was mindful that they’d look more masculine, possess bolder features and lack feminine skin. I went with the idea of minimising the contrast, to reduce the unflattering effects of hard shadows, yet still retaining control over the light with the modifiers.
Was there a specific brief? Bit of both. There is always a brief to get the ball rolling and ours was actually a trashy drag night out with a fun theme. This shot however came out of what was happening on the day and was actually in a break between set-ups. I liked the raw nature of Kari sat there waiting for a new dress. To me it had a vulnerability and sensitivity. As with these shoots everything needs to happen fast as the clock is ticking. There is always an overriding idea to the shoot that pops, it is then a matter of seeing where that PP
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REFLECTOR WITH A DIFFUSER
SPEEDLIGHT WITH FSTOPPERS LIGHT DISC
“YOU CAN TRY NEW IDEAS, WORK WITH NEW KIT OR EXPERIMENT WITH YOUR LIGHTING” can go and how to expand upon it. That’s where the fun and creativity starts. PP Were there any challenges you faced? AM These shoots are paid for by the models and are limited in funding. This is one of the reasons I wanted to get involved. Don’t get me wrong I love the big jobs and appreciate the fact they pay proper fees, but the beauty of something smaller is that you can try out ideas, work with new kit or experiment with your lighting style. I can approach these shoots any way I wish and have been just using speedlights. It sounds counterintuitive for precision lighting, but I’m interested in the freedom and speedy results it provides, along with modifiers that fit in your pocket! This flexibility of approach and the size of the speedlights is a great benefit, especially as I am shooting live and in a varied work space. This isn’t to say that I don’t use studio flash, as there is ample room to position lighting stands, it’s more the speed and freedom. How did you go about lighting this shot? Traditionally these shots are done with two softboxes or a large octabox as these set-ups tend to be more flattering to the model. I decided on a mix of lighting, but wanted something more theatrical. I had three speedlights with various grids and softeners as well as studio lights for when I needed a little more power. This shot was a moment of PP
inspiration as opposed to planned like the remainder of the day. For this I had to drop one of the speedlights as it was shot to one side of a backdrop. I simply fitted a speedlight with an Fstoppers light disc and positioned this off axis at approximately 45°, which short-lit the face. I then added a second speedlight fitted with a Magmod reflector. I originally fitted the Magmod with a grid, but found this too hard, so added a diffuser. I angled the fill light slightly towards the background, which also provided fill for the subject, reducing the overall contrast on the skin. I wanted an ‘at home’ feel to the lighting. The light was always going to look like it was lit by a ceiling light and maybe a standard light, so needed to remain fairly flat. What post-processing went into the shot? This image was rather rushed and could have done with another light, or at least a reflector on the face. However, there are times when you need to simply grab an image, so can’t perfect everything. We were between shots and had two minutes whilst the designer altered the dress. I hate to say it but CaptureOne can do so much these days to help out. From there it went to Nik Silver Efex, and some wall screws were removed in Photoshop. The post was completed in no more than five minutes. PP
1/100sec, f/13, ISO 100
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1/125sec, f/7.1, ISO 100
PHOTOGRAPHER JON ENOCH PROFESSIONAL PHOTO: A very natural photograph, Jon. How did it come about?
JON ENOCH: This image was shot for
Sport magazine, which in terms of readership, remains one of the biggest magazines in the UK and is distributed for free in London and major transport hubs on a weekly basis. I have been shooting images for them on and off for a quite a number of years whenever a suitable job crops up, which is usually once a month or so. 069 PROFESSIONAL PHOTO ISSUE 115
So what was the editorial brief then? John Mahood, the art director at Sport is excellent and whenever possible he or one of his team attend the shoot. We have worked together a lot so we both know what each other wants and have a mutual understanding of what is and isn’t going to work in practice. Most of this type of editorial work is about using the location we are given and being able to think quickly – which is where the experience comes in. This image was shot for an opening doublepage spread, leaving tactical space so the art director has somewhere to place text, the top left of the image in this case. PP JE
So how did you plan this shoot? Generally I just get to the venue or shoot space as early as possible - in this case Ascot Racecourse. I will arrive hours before the subject is due to get there, and will then walk around to scope it out, working out where I can and can’t go and what my approach is going to be. To some extent this is when I take the pictures, by that I mean, when the subject gets there it’s really just a case of capturing what we have already decided, whilst incorporating a little bit of flexibility so that you can react to things that are not working or alternations in the environment. PP JE
EQUIPMENT: CANON EOS 5D MKII, CANON EF 24-105MM F/4L IS USM, ELINCHROM QUADRA
ELINCHROM QUADRA X2
“YOU ARE NOT GIVEN THE LUXURY OF WAITING FOR CONDITIONS TO IMPROVE SO MENTALLY I AM ALWAYS RUNNING THROUGH A PLAN B” the racecourse! I then progressed quickly to the second outdoor set-up and so on, so you’re actually spending in the region of four or five minutes shooting the images and the rest moving quickly between locations and setting up.
total control over the environment and have more flexibility with equipment. In this case, the editorial commission, there are more risk factors outside of my control which I have to foresee. How did you go about lighting the image? When you are shooting in a public space such as this, you need to work light and keep it skinny! I cannot afford to have cables dangling and there is no mains power, so everything has to be battery powered. For this shot, I used the Elinchrom Quadra, as it is reliable, reasonable powerful and very portable. Time shouldn’t be underestimated, as setting-up time can quickly eat into your shooting time! Sometimes, shooting with a spare spill kill can prove to be quite harsh on the skin and the shadows, so I made use of a double trace to help diffuse and soften the light. To be honest, it gives a similar effect to that of a small softbox. In this type of shot it is a matter of balancing the flash output with the environmental light. Dragging the shutter would risk motion blur of the subjects and background environment, so it is a case of adjusting the ISO and keeping the shutter quick enough to freeze the subject. PP
Were there any challenges you faced with the environment? JE For this set-up we had scoped the location out early in the day. But it was a race day so by the time Frankie got there the space was filling up by the second. The natural light was also continuously changing and shifting due to cloud cover coming and going. When it finally came to taking the shot, I had to be ready to react and adjust the lighting to compensate for the environment. If the cloud breaks, you need a totally different lighting set-up, so you have to consider everything within the environment that will impact on the shot, anticipating problems before they arise. Unfortunately, with this type of work you are not given the luxury of waiting for conditions to improve so mentally I am always running through a plan B and a plan C, etc. It is a case of having to take quality photographs with the minimum of fuss. If this had been an advertising shoot we would have had the time and budget to minimise the risk factors, exert near PP
Did you plan this shot with the client? It isn’t always possible to plan everything, especially within a fastpaced, bustling environment like Ascot Racecourse. Inspiration and experience play a large part in every capture. It is about using your knowledge and skill as a photographer to capture images within a very short time frame. Generally speaking I get around 20 minutes with the subject and in that time it’s expected that I will shoot at least three different set-ups. In this case I shot a more traditional studio-lit portrait for the cover first, which was actually a makeshift studio in a tiny room beneath PP JE
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PHOTOGRAPHER SIMON STOCK
and properly discuss all aspects of what became quite a complicated shoot. So what challenges did you face? Time and availability were the main challenges to begin with. As it happens, Chris Robshaw was only available for 45 minutes at a studio in west London as he was being shot for another part of the campaign, so we had to recreate the lighting and environment of the Twickenham tunnel in the studio, so when we finally shot the location elements they fitted together seamlessly. PP
PROFESSIONAL PHOTO: What was this shot for and how did it come about?
SIMON STOCK: This was a portrait of Chris Robshaw, the England Rugby captain. I was approached by London advertising agency FCB Inferno to shoot an ad for BMW and the Rugby World Cup. I have shot advertising campaigns for BMW in China, USA, UAE and Europe for more than 15 years. As with any work like this, there is a blend of ideas and creativity, following a comprehensive, pre-approved brief from the client. As a photographer, my job was to then take the idea and add my vision, creativity and expertise to bring the brief to life and make the shot a reality. What was the brief? The brief was to shoot Chris as he walks out of the tunnel at Twickenham stadium and create the lighting to look as if he is being lit by a BMW X5. The idea was to show how BMW is supporting the England Rugby team. This concept followed numerous pre-production meetings and even a tech recce at Twickenham stadium prior to the shoot. This really helped me and the team to get an insight into what was required PP SS
EQUIPMENT: NIKON D4S, NIKKOR 24-70MM, BRONCOLOR SCORO, HASSELBLAD H4D WITH 50MM 2.8 HC
How did you go about this? It wasn’t that straightforward! We began by laying a large area of AstroTurf in the studio and built a large green screen background to facilitate comping in the BMW X5 during post-processing. The set was then lit as if the BMW was back-lighting Robshaw. To perfect this we used a stand-in model to allow us to get a feel for the lighting. This helped us to begin shooting as soon as Robshaw was free, maximising the time with him. The other challenge we faced was being able to shoot fast enough to capture Robshaw walking towards camera. It isn’t always easy to do this, especially when he was walking towards the camera. This left a very narrow window of opportunity, where the PP SS
GREEN SCREEN BACKDROP
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BLACK POLY BOARDS 8FT HIGH
GREEN ASTROTURF FOR FLOOR
SCORO HEADS WITH BEAUTY DISHES & HONEYCOMB GRIDS
RIM LIGHT SCORO HEAD WITH GRID & BARN DOORS ON BOOM ARM
OCTA 8FT SOFTBOX
BLACK POLY BOARDS 8FT HIGH
SCORO HEAD WITH SOFTBOX TO RIM LIGHT CAR
SCORO HEAD WITH SOFTBOX TO RIM LIGHT CAR
perspectives and distances were correct for the finished composition. The perspectives and focal lengths needed to match those at the stadium otherwise the finished image wouldn’t blend. PP How did you overcome the challenge of shooting a walking subject in the studio? SS Being able to shoot at a rapid frame rate was the most important consideration for shooting the elements with Robshaw. We needed maximum captures to increase our chances of success, due to the limited time we had. It always takes a little time to get a subject working, so it was imperative that we shot as many variations as possible. To facilitate this, I decided to shoot with the Nikon D4S which has a very fast frame rate of approx ten framesper-second. However, I then needed a flash system that could match this output, so resorted to the broncolor Scoro packs, which have an amazing
STUDIO: 1/250sec, f/11, ISO 200 LOCATION: 1/125sec, f/11, ISO 100
recycling rate of up to 50 times per second! They’re both powerful and could sync together with multiple flash generators.
“WE NEEDED MAXIMUM CAPTURES TO INCREASE OUR CHANCE OF SUCCESS DUE TO LIMITED TIME”
How did you decide on the lighting? I wanted the final image to be very dark and brooding, as if it was shot at the start of a night match, plus wanted to have a very specific light source as if Robshaw was lit by the BMW’s headlights only. To achieve this we had the lighting heavily biased towards a backlit feel, so we used six Scoro 3200kW packs each fitted with a single flash head for maximum output. To create the feel and light of the stadium in the studio, I fitted one head with a 8ft octabox, which I positioned next to the camera. I then utilised two direct lights positioned behind the subject, fitted with beauty dishes and honeycomb grids to create a hard, yet controlled light. These were positioned on low stands which recreated the
headlights of the car. A further head was placed on a boom stand above the subject, to light the hair and shoulders, adding further separation from the background and drawing out the detail of the hair. Finally, two lights were used to rim light the BMW X5. It was important to recreate this contrast in the studio, so we added black polyboards along the sides next to where Robshaw was to walk. The camera was set on quite a fast shutter speed (1/250sec at f/11) to avoid any motion blur when Chris was walking. For the tunnel shoot at Twickenham stadium we used the same lighting setup and put the car in the tunnel with a stand-in model to give us the shadows we needed for the comp work. We shot
throughout the day and at dusk and had the stadium lights turned on to add some fill. A large smoke machine added a slight haze to the background which was a challenge as it was windy in the stadium. The haze helped refract and accentuate the headlight effect from the BMW. Tell me a little about the post-processing. The post-production consisted of taking the images of Chris in the studio and comping them with the location shots of the stadium, car and matching the lighting and feel. Once the elements were comped together and positions agreed for each of the layouts, we applied the necessary colour adjustments. PP SS
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THE FORCE IS WITH YOU! JO RUTHERFORD
Leave the Dark Side of stressful work and follow your dream to work as a full-time pro. Jo Rutherford did just that in 2013 and hasn’t looked back
ometimes, we just need a push to make the move from capable enthusiast to full-time working professional. In Jo Rutherford’s case that was the sad loss of her mum, but in less than three years she’s become a multi award-winning photographer with a business that’s booming. We spoke to her to find out just what it’s taken to make the leap.
LIVING THE DREAM JO RUTHERFORD GENRE PEOPLE PROFESSIONAL PHOTO: What prompted you to make the leap to full-time pro?
JO RUTHERFORD: I was working as a university lecturer (I’d previously been a physiotherapist) and the job was very stressful so I took up photography as a hobby, stress relief. It gave me a reason to head outdoors away from computers and marking assignments. Then the usual happened: I was asked to photograph family and friends and the occasional wedding and I also organised a number of photography get-togethers, inviting make-up artists, models and photographers to come together for informal workshops. There was an idea that maybe I could be a photographer part-time so I took redundancy from 072 PROFESSIONAL PHOTO ISSUE 115
the lecturing and went back as a physiotherapist part-time, to see if I could start building up a viable business. A combination of events then made me make the leap. My mum died very suddenly and I struggled to go back to working in a hospital. I also knew my temporary contract was not going to be renewed so I decided to become a full-time photographer. I was mainly an outdoor lifestyle photographer but realised I needed a studio to work full-time. I invested heavily in studio training and moved into my first studio in the summer of 2013. How did you choose your specialism? I always wanted to photograph people - I love getting a connection with the client and soon realised that my favourite group of people to photograph are young people. Children come without hangups, without fears, without preconceived ideas of how they should look on a photograph. PP JR
What initial set-up costs did you have? They were minimal. I had bought my camera kit while I was still working and so the little studio just needed painting and laminate flooring, and obviously rent and bills – I set a budget of £1000 and stayed within it. There was even money left for props! I already had a website. Lots of the initial work for the business had been PP JR
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done while I was still working and this really helped. Having the stability and a regular income while I was setting up was brilliant - with hindsight and in different circumstances I would have waited another year and built up parttime before going full-time. Did you do a business plan? I did a business plan initially, but the business was evolving and I wasn’t really sure where it was going to end up - I didn’t want to pigeonhole myself too much, at the risk of missing out on opportunities. So I just looked at covering my costs and aimed to photograph people, whatever they were doing: newborns, weddings, boudoir, families, some corporate work. This year, I finally feel able to look at the PP JR
“SOCIAL MEDIA IS BRILLIANT FOR GETTING HELP FROM FELLOW PHOTOGRAPHERS” 076 PROFESSIONAL PHOTO ISSUE 115
business with the experience of the last couple of years and will be writing a detailed business plan with financial goals and an outline of how I want the business to look over the next year. PP How much importance have you given to having an online and social media presence? JR I am very active online and on social media. I didn’t find that print advertising gave any return on the investment so looked at the cheapest way to get my images in front of as many people as possible. Social media is also brilliant for getting help and support from fellow photographers and the Alter Ego project could not have happened without Facebook and the networking I have been able to do. PP Tell us more about the Alter Ego idea - we love the results! JR I have always valued personal projects; they allow me to try new ideas and practise new skills. Last year I was looking for a new project with the aim of working towards my Fellowship - I wanted a theme, and asked on Facebook if there was anyone who used costume and would they like to be photographed?
ABOVE AND PREVIOUS SPREAD: Image from Jo Rutherford’s personal project, Alter Ego, which she shoots with a simple studio set-up
The response was overwhelming: Vikings, First World War soldiers, cosplayers all got in touch and after completing a large number of sessions for the project I now offer this as part of the business. Next year I’m going to start attending events to promote it. People love the idea of being able to come for a formal studio portrait in character and I have had children and families coming for portrait sessions in full kit. PP What are the mechanics of making the Alter Ego shoots work? JR I keep the portraits very simple often just a one light set-up always on a dark grey seamless paper. The key part of the session is getting to know the character, the person who has come for the session. I really appreciate the fact that this is not ‘dressing up’ - the people bring the characters to life, the attention to detail on their kit is incredible. The film characters do huge amounts of research to ensure their clothing is as authentic
YOUR WEBSITE’S ROLE IN MARKETING YOUR BUSINESS
as possible and the re-enactors look to history and archeological finds to ensure authenticity. I never thought my skills would include how to help a Stormtrooper get dressed! PP Looking back, is there anything you would have done differently? JR I would have not gone full-time when I did. It’s been a steep learning curve and a struggle to find my way, particularly in business. Taking photographs is the easy part; planning, getting regular business, standing out and developing a style takes time and a huge amount of effort. I have been BIPP Northwest Photographer of the Year for two years running, and now I feel that I have a viable business. I’ve just moved into a bigger studio and have plans to run and host training and workshops next year and make the studio a wonderful social space for photographers. I now feel that I understand how my business runs and what I can do to make it stronger over the next year or two, and I feel confident in the future now. It’s not a regret that I went full-time when I did. I think the push I received, with the loss of mum and the risk of losing regular work was what I needed and if this had not happened I might have stayed part-time for a lot longer and never had the amazing opportunities that this last couple of years have given me. Good things do sometimes come from dark times and I am starting 2016 with a lot of hope and excitement.
jorutherfordphotography.co.uk @Jorutherford jorutherfordphotography @PHOTOPROUK
IMAGES: Quite early on in her photography, Jo Rutherford realised she like shooting people so when it came to turning pro, her specialism was obvious
Last month we covered making sure your website reflects who you are. This month we look at how your site works for you in relation to your other marketing activities. It’s a mistake to think your website should always be the first port of call for a potential client. You want traffic, for sure, but you want traffic that has already engaged with you in some way or another. Word of mouth remains the most effective and economical form of marketing and promotion. There is no substitute for doing a good job and then having clients tell others. Word of mouth is an engagement between a happy client and a potential client, and engagement is what social media is all about. Once they have engaged with you in this way their arrival on your website has the potential client in a totally different mindset. They already know you do good work. Now they want to find out more. Once they arrive at your site then your brand and how the site represents you become key. Some photographers fall into the trap of thinking only about web traffic. Chasing Google rankings can be a time-consuming and costly business and, if done in the wrong way, can be detrimental. Efforts to trick Google into ranking your site will ultimately fail since Google has more skill and resources to prevent these efforts than the world can throw at them. Always target good organic search results, maintain a good presence on social media, and blog. Build these actions into your marketing plan. Correct marketing creates demand for your services. Using these channels to drive quality traffic to your website will bring you the right public.
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Rising Star: Nick Murray
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rising star NICK MURRAY
Nick Murray is living the dream, wedding photography is what he loves, his diary is bulging with bookings and his shelves are starting to bow with the weight of his awards ISSUE 114 PROFESSIONAL PHOTO 049
Rising Star: Nick Murray
PREVIOUS SPREAD: Natalie in a Welsh forest, the pink of her dress accentuated against the brown tree bark ABOVE: Light painting on a cold beach in Swansea RIGHT TOP: “Making the most of warm May sun with my beautiful friend, Kris” RIGHT MIDDLE: “I love dynamic movements to bring more interest to the frame.” RIGHT BOTTOM: “Shooting into the sun with a fortunate gust of wind to bring out the length of the veil” NEXT SPREAD: Coloured leaves either side of the lens brought vibrance to the image
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here’s something instantly likeable about Nick Murray. His soft Welsh lilt and cheery demeanour can only make you warm to him. There’s much for him to be happy about too, his diary is busier than ever with weddings and family photo shoots (the latter of which he does for the love of it to fill time in the quieter winter wedding season) and then there’s the awards. He’s worked his way up to Best Wedding Photographer of the Year for the Welsh National Wedding Awards and was even nominated for Rangefinder magazine’s top 30 Rising Stars in the World – he didn’t make the final cut, but having been considered was an honour. Photography comes as naturally to Nick as breathing, it’s second nature.
He’d not long been routing through his parents’ loft when we spoke and had come across a sheaf of old family photos. There he was, aged four or five with a dodgy jumper on – which he admits to still owning – and a camera in hand. And it’s been the same ever since, perhaps with an improved sense of fashion though. “My dad was in the RAF and we’d go to air shows,” recalls Nick, as the rummage at his parents’ jogs his memory. “He’d always let me have a go with his camera so I could take a few quick snaps.” Even through his masters degree is in film, it was the photographic element that he enjoyed most. “It’s only when I finished my degree that I realised it was the frames that I liked, not the moving image,” he recalls with the benefit of WWW.ABSOLUTEPHOTO.COM
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hindsight. Wedding photography wasn’t ever on the cards, and now four years into what is unarguably a successful career in the industry, he has his sister-in-law to thank for sowing those early seeds. “I was a graphic designer for ten years and I wasn’t enjoying myself,” he begins. “It got a bit stale to the point where I couldn’t offer the company any more. I shot my sister-in-law’s wedding whilst I was there, and I absolutely loved it. It was awesome. I turned up with a Nikon D40X and a little 18-55mm kit lens, and no idea what I was doing. My sister-inlaw wasn’t really that bothered, but I loved every single second. I put a couple of pictures on Facebook and it went from there. Everyone’s got to start somewhere and she was cool enough to let me have a go, so kudos to my sister-in-law.” @PHOTOPROUK
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Rising Star: Nick Murray
“IF IT’S RAINING I TRY TO APPROACH IT AS ‘GREAT IT’S RAINING, I CAN DO REFLECTIONS’”
Up until that point, wedding photography hadn’t crossed his mind as a career option. But he loved everything about his first taste: the atmosphere, the vibe, the people. It got to the point where it was do or die with his current work situation not working out, so he decided to switch careers. He’s an affable guy and it doesn’t surprise that he scored his second commission (for the ridiculously cheap sum of just £200) at that very first wedding. Couples become friends and weddings aren’t a job, they’re a personal affair and Nick’s more of a guest with a camera than a photographer. “I don’t think of it as going to work,” he says earnestly. “The time I start to think of it as going to work I’ll start to get formulaic about the creative aspect of it, which is something I’m mindful of. If you go into it joyful and relaxed, you’ll get a lot out of it I think.” For most couples, and guests for that matter, a wedding is likely to be their first brush with professional photography and there’s the worry of coming off awkward, which is not how anyone wants to be immortalised in a wedding album. “I always remind guests they’re there for a wedding, not a photo shoot,” assures Nick. “That’s a big worry for a lot of people, that they don’t like having their photo taken. The photos, whilst they’re super important, are an add-on, the day is about the wedding and the couple.” Dodgy jokes are his secret weapon, that and just having a laugh. Making sure people are enjoying the moment and not focusing on the phototaking is how Nick manages to create an intimate portrait of such a big day. He is relentlessly upbeat. Even when pushed about the tougher side of the
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business, Nick singles out the weather, but still he sees a positive in it. “You try and make the most of it,” he begins. “If it’s raining I try to approach it as ‘great it’s raining, I can do reflections, I can do stuff with water on surfaces’. Having that attitude can help you through the day.” Although he does concede that the early starts aren’t the best before joking about the effects of sciatica. I’m not so sure if he is joking come to think of it. When asked what he carries in his kitbag, the list is endless. Along with the usual accessories and bits of kit, he shoots primarily on a Nikon D750 and he’s loyal to the brand. His lenses are all Nikon too, including a 14-24mm f/2.8, a 24-70mm f/2.8, a 70-200mm f/2.8 and a 50mm f/1.4. “I’ve got a broken 50mm f/1.4 which I broke intentionally to free lens,” he adds. “I took it apart a few months back and opened it up with superglue and sellotape to jam it open so it’s wide open all the time.” His creative approach is also evident delving deeper into his gear bag where there’ll always be a couple of coloured bags. “If I was stuck in the middle of a field and thought it was quite boring, I would rip a little bit of the carrier bag off and put it in front of the lens to bring a colour tinge to a corner to make it a bit more interesting. I’d rather be prepared than not prepared.” The people are undoubtedly what makes wedding photography but there are other perks too. “I love photography and I work with some amazing people in some fab locations and the food’s amazing; four-course meals, dear me!” he exclaims. “I do get worried about moobs though, because I sit down editing plus all these meals, that’s another reason to keep my bag
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Rising Star: Nick Murray
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LEFT TOP: “The fourth attempt to get this nailed as the light just kept getting better and better as the sun set.” LEFT BOTTOM: The veil blends an etheral feel ABOVE CLOCKWISE: Walking back through a field just before a rain storm; Carly receiving the earrings she dreamed of; Jo on a dirt track in Swansea; The moving vehicle frames the shot BELOW: A smoke grenade brought texture to the image
heavy I suppose.” He has recently bought a Nutri Ninja though to try and counteract the effects of eating like a king on an almost weekly basis. As for plans for the future, it’s all about carrying on doing what he’s doing. “I’m really happy, I genuinely am. This is the best job I’ve ever had and I can’t imagine doing anything other than this now.” Being of the adventurous ilk, the idea of travelling abroad is something he loves and so far only a full calendar has prevented it. But by the looks of things, he’ll be jetting off soon enough after shooting for a couple from Hong Kong on a trip to the UK. “They loved the pictures so much that they’ve asked me to go over to Hong Kong to shoot their wedding,” he says. “Hong Kong is somewhere I’ve wanted to go anyway, so to be able to shoot there for a couple who I’ve already met and who love my photos, that’s a dream for me.” As the conversation draws to an end, I leave Nick to get on with some editing before he heads into town to get some free doughnuts in his home town of Newport, then playtime with his two young children. Sounds enviable. “Sometimes I’ve got to pick up editing during the night, the hours are insane especially during the summer, but there are trade-offs. To see my children and my wife every day is priceless.”
Since starting out by shooting his sister-in-law’s wedding, Nick Murray has won several titles including Best Wedding Photographer in Wales. nickmurrayphotography.co.uk nickmurrayphotographic @nickmurrayphotographer
CALLING ALL FUTURE STARS Are you a star of the future? If you think (and hope!) so, email rogerpayne@bright-publishing. com with your website, why we should champion your work and your three favourite images. If your portfolio is featured, you’ll receive a Samsung Pro Plus SDXC 64GB card.
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RISING STAR SHELLEY RICHMOND
Shelley Richmondâ€™s first year as a pro photographer has been nothing short of incredible; her dreamy, nature-inspired aesthetic bringing clients in their droves
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Rising Star: Shelley Richmond
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PREVIOUS SPREAD: Katie Altoft wearing Kate Beaumont – Winter Green shoot LEFT: Izzy – Summer Haze shoot for Kate Beaumont Wedding Dresses ABOVE: Emma and forestry work by Moss & Clover BELOW: Rebecca wearing Kate Beaumont – Spring Blossom
at in her recently acquired collaborative studio, Light Space Collective, in Sheffield, surrounded by other photographers and creatives, Shelley Richmond has come quite a way in a short space of time. In just a year, she’s shot an astonishing 57 weddings, numerous fashion and bridal fashion portraits and can name music legend and radio broadcaster Jarvis Cocker among her subjects. Coming from a background in art history, her career in arts education seemed more uncertain than ever with government funding cuts looming. Photography was more of a hobby at that time, but with the encouragement of family and friends and the industry she was working in on the decline, it was the extra push she needed to jump ship and take up photography as a full-time profession. One of those life-changing epiphany moments planted the seed of working towards becoming a photographer early on. With her friends just starting to talk about marriage, wedding photography seemed a bit lame. “I never used to like weddings, which sounds really bad for someone who shoots weddings,” Shelley says candidly. “I used to think that wedding photography was a bit dull.” All that changed when looking through
a colleague’s pictures – utterly creative and completely different from how she imagined wedding photography could be. The night after seeing those photos was a night spent researching other wedding photographers and looking up anything and everything related to the industry; to say it ignited a fire would be an understatement. Always having one hand in photography was to her benefit as she was able to convince friends and acquaintances to let her shoot their weddings for free, which, with her innovative style and fresh approach, went down a storm and led her to take up pro photography as a career. “There used to be a lot of stigma with being a wedding photographer,” says Shelley frankly, who herself wasn’t oblivious to the bad name the industry had been landed with after decades of stiff shots and predictable proceedings. “I’ve got friends who still say today ‘you’ve sold out and gone down the easy path’, but I don’t think it’s easy at all. It’s really hard.” There’s a little bit of every genre in wedding photography, from music and food to portrait, and getting it spot on first time is what’s expected of wedding photographers. “I think being a wedding photographer, not to sound big-headed or anything, is one of the hardest jobs in photography ISSUE 113 PROFESSIONAL PHOTO 083
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Rising Star: Shelley Richmond
PREVIOUS SPREAD LEFT: Katie wearing Kate Beaumont, florals by Moss & Clover – Winter Green shoot PREVIOUS SPREAD RIGHT: Melissa – Bridal Boudoir RIGHT: Britpop hero, Jarvis Cocker
BELOW LEFT: Shelley’s husband Paul and dog Autumn from her Staffie owners’ project BELOW RIGHT: Selfportrait FAR RIGHT: Rosie in the Peak District
because you’ve got so much variation going on throughout the day,” says Shelley, but now it’s all part and parcel of why she loves her job so much; she’s done a complete 180° and is now not able to get enough of all things wedding. Not wanting to pigeonhole herself, Shelley is open to all kinds of photography, including bridal fashion, fashion, and music photography. No matter which genre she picks up, it’s always working with people that piques her interest. “It’s the life that’s in them and capturing their personalities that I enjoy,” she explains. “It’s totally different when I work with people who are professional models as I can easily create something that’s beautiful, but I think it’s nicer working with people who don’t usually get to see themselves in that way, you’re showing them how beautiful they can be and that’s really important.” The other big passion in her life is dogs. As much as she enjoys shooting people, there’s always time to head down to the local dog rescue centre and use her talents to help the dogs find a loving new home – although she admits it’s as much of an excuse to spend a day with animals. After adopting her own dog, a Staffordshire Bull Terrier, and becoming aware of the stereotypes associated with the breed. Shelley, as well as working on her professional photography business, has also found time to fit in a photo project to help debunk the negative reputation these dogs have. Photographing owners with their Staffies, she’s hoping to release a book from the project. Her background in art history has naturally influenced her approach to photography, drawing inspiration from fine art compositions, but mostly she looks to nature as her muse. “Most of my inspiration does come from the outdoors, the colours in nature and the skies,” she begins. “I know it sounds ridiculously cheesy, but it’s the landscape and flora and fauna that influences me the most.” Her whimsically styled photos are testament to that and going behind the scenes she’s true to form, shooting with a minimal kit and making the best of what nature provides. A Canon EOS 6D is her go-to camera and with that she’ll pack along mostly prime lenses, definitely the 086 PROFESSIONAL PHOTO ISSUE 113
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Sigma 50mm f/1.4, the Canon 85mm f/1.8 and not forgetting her favourite pancake lens, a Canon 40mm. On-camera flashes rarely get used, only on an evening and only for weddings, and she steers clear of reflectors and lighting set-ups. “I tend to seek out locations to shoot based on the light that’s available,” says Shelley. “I don’t really like plain studio work that much, it’s not my cup of tea.” When a subject is in front of her lens, you won’t find Shelley shouting out poses and moving her subject around. The light is the only thing guiding her shoots and having a laugh is how she’s able to capture her subjects’ personalities so well. Her approach to photography is more intuitive than it is technical and she confesses she’d still be in the darkroom if it wasn’t for her technically minded husband. “He showed me the possibilities and opened me up to it,” she says. “Literally I would be watching VHSs on my big old TV and sat in the darkroom if it wasn’t for him.” The first year of going pro has been a whirlwind of non-stop photography and creative experimentation (when she’s not shooting professionally, she’ll be trying out new techniques or new kit), but amongst that there was one shoot to top all others. With just half an hour’s notice via email, she was asked to head into Sheffield to capture 90s @PHOTOPROUK
Britpop icon and frontman of Pulp, Jarvis Cocker. Being a big fan, the experience was nerve-wracking. “I was really lucky to be able to shoot my musical hero,” she says. “It took me a good half an hour to psych myself up to go and ask to take his portrait just before he left the studio after his broadcast. I loved that shoot just because I love him.” After year one in the business, lessons have been learnt and a plan for the future formulated. Less work is definitely the order of the day. “I think I went nearly three months without a day off,” she reveals. “I’m going to do less, but higher quality as well as focusing more on fashion and music work.” She’s already put plans in motion for a dream shoot too. “We’re planning a bridal shoot but as well as people there’s going to be horses, which is quite a dream for me,” says Shelley. Scoring a Lottery Fund grant, Shelley is planning on sharing her experiences of setting up a photography business with others who are in the position she found herself in a year ago, all as part of her newly formed Light Space Collective group which was set up after an inspirational visit to the SNAP photo festival earlier in the year. With a strong vision and an unbeatable determination, there are great things to come from this up-and-coming photographer.
With a background in the arts, Shelley Richmond is celebrating her first year as a professional photographer, shooting weddings, music, dogs and fashion. shelleyrichmond.co.uk lightspacecollective staffieowner.co.uk
CALLING ALL FUTURE STARS Are you a star of the future? If you think (and hope!) so, email rogerpayne@bright-publishing. com with your website, why we should champion your work and your three favourite images. If your portfolio is featured, you’ll receive a 64GB Samsung SD card.
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Rising Star: Nikka Lorak
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Fashion is one of the most difficult genres to break into but Belgian-born Nikka Lorak, who started out as a film-maker, is putting together an impressive portfolio and winning some big name clients ISSUE 115 PROFESSIONAL PHOTO 079
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PREVIOUS SPREAD: This sequence was shot by Nikka for an apron campaign that reflected an Italian feel LEFT: Russian celebrity designer Masha Tsigal. “I was delighted to capture her rock ’n’ roll sensual spirit” ABOVE: “Grunge meets high fashion” is how Nikka describes these dynamic portraits of Hollywood actor and model Ekaterina Zalitko
hese days we’re well used to seeing still photographers move across to the world of moviemaking, but it’s not so common for someone to be coming the other way. However, Belgian-born, London-based Nikka Lorak is an exception to the rule and, after graduating from the University of Westminster in 2012 with an MA in film and TV directing, she began making fashion videos and from there made the hop across into fashion still photography. It’s been an interesting journey to date and she’s taken many of her directing and filming skills across with her. “Film-making is still an important part of my life and it’s had a big impact on my photography work,” she says. “Just as I would if I were shooting film I try to bring an element of storytelling and an emotional journey to my still images. Additionally, film-making was a great training ground for both my technical and organisational skills: after managing a film set and organising preand post-production of possibly hours of footage, short photography projects feel like a walk in a park!”
Some of the major benefits that come attached to a background in film include the ability to work cohesively in a team, to value the input of others and to understand how to communicate ideas to those in front of the camera. “A strong image must convey a message, tell a story and resonate emotionally in the soul of a viewer,” declares Nikka. “The best models will project the personality of the character they’re playing, and they can either elevate a project with their performance or completely kill it. They are as important to a fashion shoot as an actor is to a film. “But it’s not just about the model: I love the whole process of collaborating with other creatives. I constantly hear about self-obsessed photographers who neglect the opinions of their crew on set and I think these individuals miss out on the opportunity to enrich their projects.” Looking for inspiration One of the crucial things any photographer moving into a fresh area should do is to look around at the work of others who are already successful in ISSUE 115 PROFESSIONAL PHOTO 081
Rising Star: Nikka Lorak
that genre to find points of inspiration. It’s not a case of slavishly imitating the style of others, but more about coming across fresh and exciting ideas and then adapting them in an original way to come up with a look that is very much your own. “In terms of photographers who’ve influenced me I look up to Nick Knight, whose controversial portraits feel very personal and informal, while I love Mario Testino’s commercial campaigns. Meanwhile Annie Leibovitz inspires me to unleash my imagination and create fantasy worlds where everything is possible. “Paolo Roversi for me is also a photographer who has managed to photograph a dream. His images are so delicate and sophisticated; his characters so vulnerable and fragile…
ABOVE: Nikka’s latest campaign, created for Sean Panella's 2016 campaign, which has a NYC vibe ABOVE RIGHT: This was shot as part of a project Nikka created to fuse tribal heritage and modern fashion. FACING: A Storm Model Agency beauty editorial feature.
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I’m also in awe of Helmut Newton, whose bold, sexual, often provocative style symbolises to me the aggressive sexuality of the 80s, which just so happens to be my favourite era of the 20th century.” Building a client list Already Nikka’s burgeoning fashion skills have landed her several useful clients, one of the biggest of whom is Elite Model Management, while she’s also working with other model agencies such as Storm in the UK, TWO and Wilhelmina in LA, Next in Miami and DNA in New York. Since last year she’s also been working with Guess Jeans TH, shooting their collection in Los Angeles, while other clients she’s done campaigns and look books for include Gravit8 in Moscow, and Krasimira Stoyneva and KTZ, both based in London. It’s an eclectic and very international line-up, and Nikka is also making her mark in the world of editorial fashion. “My recent publications include a cover and images in New Style magazine for an article on Stefan Siegel, the founder of the fashion platform ‘Not Just A Label’,”
she says. “My work has also been featured in publications such as Glass, Russian Roulette and NL magazine, while one of my portraits of Olga Balakleets, the remarkable pianist and ambassador of Russian culture in London, has been chosen to feature in an upcoming exhibition entitled Notable Women.” Along with the commissions Nikka is also setting herself personal assignments. One of her latest, Project Androgen, celebrates the sensuality she believes exists irrelevant of gender. “Androgen characters are emotional, sensitive and beautiful in their vulnerability,” she explains. “I’ve collaborated with Moscow’s trendy showroom Norka Store and intentionally cast male models from Russia, because it’s traditionally been a country famous for tough men.” Looking for hard light In terms of technique Nikka has taken on board advice from another of her fashion heroes, New York-based Oleg Ti, who’s also a mentor. “He’s always talking about how you should use as few lights WWW.ABSOLUTEPHOTO.COM
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“WHILE IT’S IMPORTANT TO BE ON THE SAME PAGE AS THE CREW I LIKE TO GIVE THEM CREATIVE FREEDOM” as possible,” she says, “and he stresses the importance of using hard light. I love working with hard light and hard shadows; I use a beauty dish to create deep shadows and my latest passions are filters and gels.” Nikka works with Profoto kit, both studio heads and with the B1 portable lights, which come into their own when she’s on location and electricity supplies might not be available. Lens wise her EF 24-70mm and 70-200mm lenses are the ones she uses the most: “The 24-100mm is an excellent overall fashion lens, suitable for both wide and narrow spaces, while I use the 70-200mm as a portrait lens, and it’s sharp and light. I also work with a 50mm lens, especially if I’m after a raw, 80s look.” Any fashion photographer has to have a good supply of models, and Nikka finds many of hers through the model agencies she works with. In the UK, along with Elite and Storm, she deals with smaller boutique agencies, such as AMCK, Profile and Leni’s. “I may also ask a stranger in the street who has an interesting face whether they @PHOTOPROUK
might be willing to shoot a test,” she says. In terms of clothing and accessories I completely trust the stylists I’m working with. While it’s important as a photographer to be on the same page as the crew I like to give creative freedom to those who are working with me because a fusion of different creative visions enriches a project.” Looking to the future Nikka is quick to identify what her ultimate dream assignment would be. “It would have to be a challenge on creative, personal and technical levels,” she explains. “I would be honoured to create, develop and shoot a campaign for an established fashion brand such as YSL, Chanel or Gucci, with a new, edgy, daring approach to it. “What excites me most is the chance to visualise a brand’s philosophy through images and to push the conventional boundaries, be it through unusual choice of models, experimental light techniques or controversial storytelling. Collaboration with top industry professionals is my ultimate career objective, and I’m hoping I’ll be able to reach that point at some stage.”
Formerly a film-maker, Nikka Lorak has successfully moved over into fashion photography and is now making her mark in this highly competitive arena. nikkalorak.com nikkalorakphotography @NikkaLorak
CALLING ALL FUTURE STARS Are you a star of the future? If you think (and hope!) so, email rogerpayne@bright-publishing. com with your website, why we should champion your work and your three favourite images. If your portfolio is featured, you’ll receive a Samsung Pro Plus SDXC 64GB card.
ISSUE 115 PROFESSIONAL PHOTO 083
Buyers’ guide: Studio lighting
The mains event ROGER PAYNE
Whether you’re upgrading or starting from scratch, this guide to mains studio lighting will plug you into the best kit for your needs
tudio flash lighting is the mainstay of many a professional’s day-to-day kit, so when you buy a system, you need to make sure it’s the right one for you. As with any sector of the equipment market, there is a huge range of mains
studio flash products to choose from with specifications and prices to match every need and budget; a fact that’s reflected in the products here. Naturally, power output is a key factor when it comes to making your choice – you don’t want to be let down by a lack of juice
at the crucial moment – but don’t forget to consider other important buying factors, including ease of use, connectivity and the range of compatible accessories on offer. Price is a factor too, of course, although you don’t need us to tell you that cutting corners now is a long-term false economy.
The Gemini range of monoblocs come in a variety of guises, but we would point you in the direction of the Pro derivatives. These offer more power, flash durations up to 1/2900sec (depending on which power output you choose) and the capability to use them anywhere in the world thanks to a voltage-seeking power system. There’s some serious power available as well. The lowest power version kicks out 500Ws, but there are also 750, 1000 and 1500Ws versions to give you some serious lighting punch. Smartly designed, simple to use and durable the Gemini Pro options are also compatible with a wide range of accessories and also work with the optional TravelPak, so if you do need to go on location, you only need buy a separate battery as opposed to a completely new system. If you only need the 500Ws version and don’t need the voltage flexibility or the shorter flash durations, the Gemini 500R is a lower priced option. In all cases except the 1500 Pro, the heads can be purchased on their own, or in kit form (as pictured). bowens.co.uk 100 PROFESSIONAL PHOTO ISSUE 113
Buyers’ guide: Studio lighting
If it’s monoblocs you’re after, Profoto offers a comprehensive selection in its D1 range. There are three power options – 250, 500 and 1000Ws, with all three versions available with the Air Remote radio trigger system. The 250 and 500 versions are also available without radio triggers. All models in the D1 range feature seven-stop power ranges and are designed to withstand years of daily use. Systems can either be configured according to your individual needs, or there are a selection of kits available from a basic two-head outfit through to three heads with accessories, lighting stands and carry case. For more power and versatility, consider Pro-B4 1000 Air and Pro-8a 2400 Air generators. These can be used in the studio or on location and offer some serious punch, when coupled with separate ProHead Plus heads. The Pro-8a is the range-topper with impressive build, a ten-stop power range and the capability to shoot 20 images a second. The Pro-B4 is lower powered, but features an 11-stop power range and can fire up to 30 flashes a second. Both feature the Air Remote wireless triggering system. profoto.com @PHOTOPROUK
Lencarta offers three monobloc options, but for professional use, we’d point you towards the ElitePro 2 and Superfast lights, both of which are available in 300 and 600Ws versions. The ElitePro 2 monoblocs offers fivestop power ranges and feature a bright, 250W modelling lamp, which dims as the flash recycles so you know when you’re ready to shoot again. The heads feature a tough aluminium exterior and are fancooled to avoid overheating. Triggering can be done through a conventional cable or wirelessly with the Wavesync Commander, which allows you to remotely control the power and is compatible with other Lencarta units. The SuperFast lights are designed for freezing action, and are claimed to offer flash durations as low as 1/20,000sec at their lowest power setting. Both versions can be used for conventional studio work. Both ElitePro 2 and SuperFast heads are available either on their own or in a variety of different kits, ranging from two heads, wireless triggers and two umbrellas with stands through to three heads with softbox, two umbrellas, wireless triggers and lighting stands. lencarta.com
While Westcott does offer mains studio flash in the form of the Strobelite range, the company’s Skylux range of LED lighting is getting more attention, with most of the new products getting introduced to this line-up. As well as offering WYSIWYG shooting from Skylux’s continuous beam, the heads offer one key benefit over studio flash in that they can also be used for video and offering daylight-balanced output and quiet operation for exactly these reasons. The Skylux heads themselves are solidly built and have a dimmable control, which varies output between 30 and 100%. Lifespan is claimed to be over 50,000 hours and, although there’s an internal fan to keep the unit cool, it’s quiet enough not to encroach into video recordings. A diffuser is included for shadowless lighting, and a range of accessories can also be attached. As with most studio lighting heads, the Skylux can either be purchased on its own or in kit form. The kits comprise head, stand and accessories along with either a 36in (XL kit) or 48in (XXL kit) Octa Rapid Box. fjwestcott.com ISSUE 113 PROFESSIONAL PHOTO 101
The story behind
Do you expect me to talk? No, Mr Bond, I expect you to pose! © TERRY O’NEILL
taken, not stirred
In 1964, Terry O’Neill was busy establishing himself as one of the 20th Century’s most iconic portrait photographers. He’d already shot many of the decade’s leading stars, including the Rolling Stones and The Beatles, when he was asked to capture some promotional shots for Goldfinger. Accepting the mission, he immediately became an integral part of the movie franchise that has gone on to gross £8 billion worldwide, and has shot compelling images of all the Bond’s right up to Daniel Craig, not to mention 25 Bond girls. A new book Bond And Beyond, published by Ransom and coming in its own seventies-inspired coffee table, brings together just a small selection of these images, including this one of Sean Connery on the set of Diamonds Are Forever in Palm Springs. Writing in the book, Terry describes the time in his life as ‘incredible’. “I was in the right place at the right time. The freedom I was given, on film sets, backstage and just rubbing shoulders with my mates who became these icons, simply isn’t allowed to photographers today,” he explains. “Now image is everything; the stars are brands and their managements control access and publication, so we never get to see them as they really are at work, rest or play.”
Bond and Beyond is supplied in its own coffee table and has a tablet with all the images in the cover! bondandbeyond. co.uk
106 PROFESSIONAL PHOTO ISSUE 115
Monthly photography magazine, designed between 2014-present (40+ issues) alongside in-house editors. Features new gear reviews, photo projec...
Published on Jun 10, 2016
Monthly photography magazine, designed between 2014-present (40+ issues) alongside in-house editors. Features new gear reviews, photo projec...