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Photoshop Masterclass with Jon Adams

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Michael FreeMan tips ebook caMera shopper gear buying guide photoshop ebook street photo tips cards


marCH 2017 187

everytHing you neeD to know about pHotograpHy!

Cover story

STREET PHOTOGRAPHY

Tips for shooting candid, spontaneous shots

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Take your photography skills out onto the streets as we reveals our top tricks and tips to shooting the concrete jungle. Plus: advice from three top pros!

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reader shootout Clevedon Coastline

Editor Ben Brain heads to the seaside to capture the iconic Clevedon Pier with two Digital Camera readers. See their take on the subject... www.digitalcameraworld.com

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photo proJeCts Get inspiration for 2017!

From taking the high road to shooting light through a prism, we reveal nine creative photo projects so you can start your new photographic year in style

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Group test BudGet telephoto zooms

We zoom in on eight affordable telephoto lenses to see which one performs best when shooting from a distance. See our comparative review for our expert opinion MARCH 2017

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Welcome to the March 2017 issue of Digital Camera

T

he city streets can be one of the most vibrant and exciting locations for any creative photographer. The possibilities are endless, whether you’re into urban architecture or a more classic-style street photography approach. For many of us, it’s also simply a case of stepping outside the front door – with no need to mount a full photo expedition hiking into the mountains for a pre-dawn shoot (although it’s fair to say that’s jolly good fun too!). If you’re brand-new to street photography and not sure where to start, we’ve put together some killer tips, tricks and advice in this month’s cover story. And if you’ve got the basics covered already, we also picked the brains of the some of world’s leading street photographers to get you inspired. Nick Turpin’s On the Buses project is a favourite of mine – turn to page 48 to see what I mean. If the streets aren’t your thing, read all about Quintin Lake’s epic adventure walking around the UK with his camera on page 92 – it’s an amazing story. And enjoy your photography!

this month’s star ContriButors…

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the BiG intervieW Clive arroWsmith

Think of a celebrity – Clive has probably photographed them!

92

Work eXperienCe Quintin lake

This landscape photographer reveals why he’s walking Britain’s coastline

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Ben Brain Editor, Digital Camera

Question master andreW James

Andrew has been busy answering all your technical photography questions

126

ps masterClass Jon adams

Jon makes his Digital Camera debut in surreal fashion

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imaGe analYsis mika linho

We put Mika’s wildlife shot under analysis to discover its effectiveness

130

liGhtroom maestro sean mcCormaCk Emulate an old-time portrait using a modern-day toolset

Win an iriX 15mm

l e n s f r o m p h oto 24 s e e paG e 9 7 UK residents only. Nikon-fit lens

72

portfolio Yasir mehmood

Yasir reveals why he loves macro wildlife photography

138

Creative maestro James paterson

Create a host of stunning multipleexposure results

www.digitalcameraworld.com


Free giFts every issue we bring you more Freebies tHan any otHer pHoto magazine!

MiCHAEL FREEMAn EBOOK In this free ebook from Ilex, renowned international photographer and author Michael Freeman reveals all the insider hints that most professional photographers don’t want you to know. Discover how to use your digital camera efficiently and creatively, and how to think and shoot like a seasoned pro. Here’s how you can claim your free ebook: 1 Visit http://ilexacademy. papertrell.com/redeem/101TT

9 all-neW street tips Cards As part of our 14-page street guide feature, we’ve created nine handy street-related tips cards so you can take our expert advice out and about. Included are three handy ‘Know your rights!’ cards so you can feel confident when shooting on the streets. www.digitalcameraworld.com

WatCh video

2 Follow the website’s on-screen instructions to create your free Ilex Academy account. (Please note: this is distinct from an Ilex Instant account.) 3 On your iOS or Android mobile device, download the free Ilex Academy app. 4 Sign into the app using your Ilex Academy account info. 5 You will be invited to download your free ebook. 6 To view the book, find it in your Library and tap it. The closing date for this offer is 30th April 2017.

www.bit.ly/ dc187video

doWnload the video www.bit.ly/ dc187bonus

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

65 minutes of video Blend eXposures eBook

Perfect your digital darkroom skills by following along with our in-depth video guides. This issue Photoshop maestro Jon Adams makes his Digital Camera debut as he starts his new series called Photoshop Masterclass. This month Jon gets surreal and shows you how to create a visual pun! You’ll find all the videos on a private YouTube playlist via www.bit.ly/dc187video

At Digital Camera we’re always keen to help you push your digital editing skills to the next level. This month, learn how to blend exposures. You can download this ebook as a PDF to your computer via www.bit.ly/dc187ebook

162-paGe BuYer’s Guide If you’re after some new kit this year, you won’t want to miss your free ebook with the best buying advice around. This issue of Camera Shopper is provided as a PDF ebook: download it to your computer via www.bit.ly/shopper15

MARCH 2017

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Contents

36,188

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

anotHer bumper issue Full oF pHoto Fun

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

EXPERT PRO ADViCE

10 Hotshots

Your best shots from around the world showcased to get you inspired

74 photo answers

Andrew James rates your pictures and solves your problems

18 in Focus

80 assignment

24

84

All the latest camera kit and photography-related news rounded up

photo projects

Nine assignments to get stuck into, including building a photo book

40 street special

Street life, it’s the only way we know! Read our 14-page guide now

54 back to basics

Learn about radio-controlled flash operation in an instant

58 image analysis

Double exposures, plus a wildlife shot put under analysis

66

shootout

72

portfolio

This month, we’re watching the tide roll away at Clevedon Pier

Yasir Mehmood shares his macro wildlife portfolio

Our candid portrait winners on show, plus an all-new challenge

Renowned editorial photographer Clive Arrowsmith

92 work experience

Quintin Lake is coasting his way around Great Britain

96 bluffer’s notes

Documentary photographer Jill Furmanovsky’s life’s work

125 Digital Darkroom

Improve your editing skills with our resident pros

146

back issues

148

Desert island D-slr

I don’t want to miss a thing! Turn to page 144...

Guiness World Record photographer Richard Bradbury

100 olympus e-m1 ii

tamron 150 108 -600mm 118 Cloud storage

104

group test: 120 110 budget telephoto zooms

zeiss milvus

Three lenses from this premium-quality range

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Our expert opinion on this versatile telephoto lens from Tamron

SubSCRibe AnD geT gReAT gifTS PAge 38 D i g i ta l C a m e r a

Film effect plugins

123 sD cards

Five speedy SD cards put to the test

exolens pro

Turn your iPhone into a swappable-lens camera with Zeiss optics

6

Access your images any time, anywhere

Give your images a retro film effect using a plugin

Eight zooms pitted against each other

MARCH 2017

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

interview

LATEST CAMERAS AnD GEAR A CSC packed with impressive specs, including 60fps fullresolution shooting

Editorial Editor Ben Brain ben.brain@futurenet.com

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

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

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

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

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

All contents copyright © 2017 Future Publishing Limited or published under licence. All rights reserved. No part of this magazine may be reproduced, stored, transmitted or used in any way without the prior written permission of the publisher. Future Publishing Limited (company number 2008885) is registered in England and Wales. Registered office: Quay House, The Ambury, Bath, BA1 1UA. All information contained in this publication is for information only and is, as far as we are aware, correct at the time of going to press. Future cannot accept any responsibility for errors or inaccuracies in such information. You are advised to contact manufacturers and retailers directly with regard to the price and other details of products or services referred to in this publication. Apps and websites mentioned in this publication are not under our control. We are not responsible for their contents or any changes or updates to them. If you submit unsolicited material to us, you automatically grant Future a licence to publish your submission in whole or in part in all editions of the magazine, including licensed editions worldwide and in any physical or digital format throughout the world. Any material you submit is sent at your risk and, although every care is taken, neither Future nor its employees, agents or subcontractors shall be liable for loss or damage. We are committed to only using magazine paper which is derived from well managed, certified forestry and chlorine-free manufacture. Future Publishing and its paper suppliers have been independently certified in accordance with the rules of the FSC (Forest Stewardship Council).

www.digitalcameraworld.com


187

viDeos

Wat C h t h e s e v i D e o s v i a w w w. b i t . l y / d c 1 8 7 v i d e o

Image-editing guides for Photoshop and Lightroom: see page 125 for contents

SE NE RI W ES

NeW series BY JoN aDams

Photoshop Masterclass: Let your imagination run wild and conjure up eye-catching images that give a creative twist to well-known sayings and phrases See page 126 8

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marCh 2017 187

viDeos

Wat C h t h e s e v i D e o s v i a w w w. b i t . l y / d c 1 8 7 v i d e o

CoNtiNUeD

Image-editing guides for Photoshop and Lightroom: see page 125 for contents

Lightroom Skills: Get the look of the earliest photos in your digital shots

Tool School: Explore the Channel Mixer for powerful mono and colour control (1)

Tool School: Explore the Channel Mixer for powerful mono and colour control (2)

Artist Insight: Add atmosphere and depth with a simple technique

Creative Spotlight: Create shots that are more than the sum of their parts

See page 132

See page 134

www.digitalcameraworld.com

See page 130

See page 132

See page 138

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hoTshoTs The besT phoTography from our readers around The world

lee eVereTT BRISTOL, UK “While battling intermittent light and sudden gusts of wind, I managed to capture this image of fading autumn. The warm pink tones bring a sense of fragility to the scene, while the blue haze evokes a feeling of solitude and impending winter.” Kit Nikon D7100 with Sigma 105mm f/2.8 lens Exposure 1/80 sec at f/6.3, ISO 100

SEND US YOUR SHOTS

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


www.flickr.com/photos/fgconclusion/

hoTshoTs


hhooTTsshhooTTss

Jorge danyau

ALBeRTA, CAnAdA “This picture was taken while on vacation this summer in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. This is the Fisgard Lighthouse, which is part of Fort Rodd Hill; it is the oldest lighthouse in western Canada.” Kit Nikon D70 with 18-70mm lens Exposure 1/320 sec at f/6.3, ISO 200

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www.facebook.com/fidodarmansyah

hoTshoTs

fido darmansyah KOdePOS, IndOneSIA “My little daughter asked me to take a photo of a silhouette of a mantis, so I immediately set up for an afternoon shoot. This photo was taken at 4.58pm, during the golden hour, at a location about 10 minutes from my place. The hardest difficulty I encountered was the late afternoon light conditions, which made shooting without a tripod susceptible to camera shake.� Kit Canon EOS 7D with Canon 100mm f/2.8 USM macro lens Exposure 1/200 sec at f/5, ISO 100 www.digitalcameraworld.com

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www.flickr.com/photos/131166170@N07

hoTshoTs

luis miguel de la Cruz MADRID, SPAIN “This photo was taken in the Parque del Capricho, Madrid, in a pond featuring an explosion of colours, shades and hues. It was a freehand shot, with no tripod; the light was a once-in-a-lifetime event, and I was worried about capturing it before it changed forever. The image is as it was was shot, without any retouching or artifice.� Kit Canon EOS 550D Mk III with Canon EF-S 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 IS lens Exposure 1/80 sec at f/5.6, ISO 100 14

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www.facebook.com/dodcrxphotography

hhooTTsshhooTTss

www.facebook.com/eribeirophotography

diarmuid o’donoVan LIMeRICK, IReLAnd “Here is one of my shots from the base of the Cliffs of Moher in County Clare, Ireland. It was shot on St Patrick’s day as the sun was setting on my right shoulder. I climbed down to the base of the cliffs to shoot upwards. I used a nisi polariser and a Haida 10-stop filter. The greatest difficulty was climbing back up with all the camera gear!” Kit Canon 5D Mark III with Sigma 20mm f/1.4 lens plus 10-stop filter Exposure 101 sec at f/10, ISO 250

emanuel ribeiro

IPSWICH, UK

“This year I went on holiday to Portugal. I was anxious to get some wonderful, dramatic skies, just the kind I love for long exposures. Instead, I got completely clear skies every single day. On the only day I managed to get a sky close to the ones I like, I took the opportunity to shoot the Lisbon Oceanarium.” Kit Canon EOS 7D with Sigma 10-20mm lens plus Lee 0.9 Hard ND grad Exposure 4 sec at f/16, ISO 100

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Photography news from around the globe 1

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The number of focus points has been bumped from 49 to 225, with a new joystick for shifting the active point(s) located near the thumbrest.

The touchscreen has a resolution of 1,620k dots, and there’s a 3,680k-dot OLED EVF.

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The GH5 has the 5-axis Dual IS 2 system, which Panasonic says gives up to five stops of shake supression.

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An AF upgrade means that the GH5 can shoot at up to 9 frames per second with continuous AFS focus and 12fps in AFS.

new flagship CsC

little ’mix

Panasonic’s Lumix Gh5 is a small camera with big ambitions riginally announced at the Photokina trade show last September, the new flagship in Panasonic’s Lumix G range of compact system cameras will hit stores in March. The GH5 will be available as a body only for £1,699, or in two kit configurations: the £1,899 M Kit, featuring a 12-60mm lens, and a £2,199 L Kit, packing a Leica 12-60mm lens. The GH5’s sensor boasts a 25% increase in pixel count over the GH4, from 16.05MP to 20.3MP. The new sensor also has its low-pass filter removed, enabling more fine detail to be recorded. As the new champion of Panasonic’s premium GH

O

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line, the GH5 retains the high-end features and build of its predecessors. According to Panasonic, the GH5’s weather-sealed magnesium alloy body is freeze-proof down to -10°C, while the shutter unit’s good for 200,000 releases. With the launch of the GH4, Panasonic became the first mirrorless camera manufacturer to offer 4K video recording; although the GH5 won’t grab the headlines in quite the same way, it does see several notable upgrades in video performance. Increases in the speed of signal readout in the new sensor (up to 1.7x) and signal processing by the new Venus Engine (up to 1.3x) allow for 4K recording at 60p/50p, for instance. The G5

is also capable of recording higher quality 4:2:2/ 10-bit video internally – something that the GH4 could only do to an external recorder via the micro-HDMI port. Another notable headline is the camera’s ‘6K Photo’ function, which enables you to save an 18MP still from a burst of video shot at 30 frames per second. 4K Photo has also been upgraded, allowing you to clip 8MP stills from video shot at 60fps. www.digitalcameraworld.com


What’s neW?

In focus

FOcaL POINT

rounding up what’s new and exciting

fresh lumixes

pAnny vision MeFoto RoadTrip Air This travel tripod is available in a range of colours; weighs a mere 1.13kg with its Arca-Swiss- compatible ballhead attached; and reaches to a maximum 155cm, but measures just 29cm when it’s all packed up. £139/$175 www.mefoto.com

in addition to launching the GH5 (see opposite page), Panasonic used this year’s CES (Consumer Electronics Show) in Las Vegas to announce an additional pair of new Lumix models. The 16MP GX800 (£499.99, lower left of images above) is a mirrorless camera available in a choice of silver, black, tan and orange finishes; and the 18.1MP FZ82 bridge camera (£329.99, higher right of images above) packs a 60x optical zoom. Both cameras can record 3,840 x 2,160 4K video at 30 frames per second and feature Panasonic’s 4K Photo mode. Both will be available to buy from March. www.panasonic.com

u p d at e d l e n s e s

n e w- l o o k x- m o d e l s

graphite Club

Canon W-E1 Wi-Fi adapter Similar to an Eyefi card, Canon’s W-E1 adds wireless functionality to compatible EOS cameras, enabling remote control and image transfer to an iOS or Android smartphone or tablet. £99/$120 www.canon.co.uk

Premium-edition versions of Fujifilm’s highly rated X-Pro 2 and X-T2 models are out now eica isn’t the only camera designer to bring out pricey special editions to tempt discerning photographers. Fujifilm’s getting in on the act with a Graphite Edition of its X-Pro 2 (£2149) and the X-T2 Graphite Silver Edition (£1649). The new version of the X-T2 comes with accessories to match – a premium leather strap,

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www.digitalcameraworld.com

aluminium hotshoe cover and matching EF-X8 flash – while the graphite X-Pro 2 is packaged with an 23mm f/2 lens and lens hood in the same colour. Additional black pigment has also been added to the top layer of the X-Pro 2, making it more dusky metallic than silver, and more suited to discreet (but still stylish) street photography. www.fujifilm.eu/uk

sTAblE MATEs Panasonic has certainly been busy this month. On top of revealing new cameras, it’s also unveiled a new Leica DG VarioElmarit 12-60mm f/2.8-4 lens (£879, below) that offers silent operation and Power OIS (Optical Image Stabilisation). It’s also updated four G lenses. The 12-35mm f/2.8 II, 35-100mm f/2.8 II, 45-200mm f.4-5.6 II and 100-300mm f/4-5.6 II all now support Power OIS, Dual IS, 5-axis Dual IS and 5-axis Dual IS 2. All five lenses are avilable to pre-order. www.panasonic.com

sony HX350 Available only in Europe for now, Sony’s bridge camera features the same 50x optical zoom, 20.4MP resolution sensor, tilting rear screen and built-in EVF as its predecessor. It does introduce a new 1080p Full HD movie option, though. €450 www.sony.co.uk

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In focus

what’s new? 2

1

A new Auto ND feature enables you to use longer shutter speeds without the risk of overexposure in bright light.

The G9 X Mark II features Wi-Fi and NFC for quick sharing and remote control via Canon’s app.

FOcaL POINT rounding up what’s new and exciting

new old film

FAll oF ’CHRoME? Camslinger outdoor This eye-catching camera bag is available through crowd-funding site Indiegogo. Made from 900D Nylon, it’s been designed with rugged outdoor photography in mind. From $69 https://igg.me/at/ camslinger-outdoor

CompaC t l ine-up

some like it shot

could we be about to see a vinyl record-like resurgence in the popularity of analogue film? Eastman Kodak clearly thinks so: it’s announced the relaunch of Kodak Ektachrome film. Discontinued in 2012, Ektachrome is expected to return towards the end of 2017. Not content with bringing a film stock out of retirement, Kodak has also confirmed that a new Super 8 camera movie is in the works. The Limited Edition Super 8 will be launched in the spring, with consumer versions to follow. www.kodak.com

canon updates its point-and-shoot range with a couple of PowerShots and a pair of Ixus…

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processor that enables continuous raw bursts of around 21 shots at up to 8.2fps. In-camera raw processing has been added, as has Bluetooth, improved AF tracking and Dual Sensing Image Stabilisation that’s said to buy you an extra 3.5 stops of stability. Next is a trio of point-andshooters: the Ixus 190 (£149.99) and 185 (£119.99), the slimmest models in the Ixus range, and the ‘mini-bridge superzoom’ PowerShot SX430 IS (£229.99). Each of the new cameras records 20MP stills, 720p HD video, features built-in Wi-Fi and Intelligent IS. www.canon.co.uk

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Both the Ixus 190 (far left) and the SX430 IS feature a Date button that lets you date-stamp your images.

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sevenoak Electronic ball Head pro Designed for creating time-lapse videos and panoramic photos, this head supports a load of up to 2kg and allows you to specify rotation times of 5, 15, 30 or 60 minutes and a rotation angle from 15 to 360 degrees. £83.94 www.kenro.co.uk

ZY Optics

ike Panasonic, Canon is staying in the compact camera game, and has lifted the lid on a small selection of new models, all due in coming months. First up: the PowerShot G9 X Mark II, pictured above. Available from February and priced at £449.99, Canon’s new premium compact packs a 1-inch type CMOS sensor and a 28mm wide-angle, 3x optical zoom into a retro-styled aluminium body weighing just 206 grammes. So, we say ‘new’ but, on the surface at least, it shares much in common with its predecessor. Under the hood there’s a new Digic 7

super maCro lens

Tiny TEMpTER Fujifilm Finepix Xp120 A rugged 16.4MP camera available in four colours, the XP120 packs a 5x zoom; is waterproof to 20metres; comes with Wi-Fi; shoots 1080p video; and can record cinemagraphs (stills with moving elements). £TBC/$229 www.fujifilm.eu/uk

iF you’ve outgrown life-size imaging with a 1:1 macro lens, a new Super Macro lens from ZY Optics might be just the ticket. The Zhongyi Mitakon 20mm f/2 4.5X enables you to capture images from 4x to 4.5x life size magnification, or 4.5:1. Available in Canon, Nikon, Sony, Pentax, Micro Four Thirds and Fujifilm X mounts, the lens is just 6cm long, weighs 230 grammes and includes six elements in four groups. It’s $199, and is available via the ZY Optics website. www.zyoptics.net

www.digitalcameraworld.com


In focus

what’s new?

Peter Dench / Verbatim

FOcaL POINT

Joel Santos / www.tpoty.com

Joel Santos / www.tpoty.com

Joel Santos / www.tpoty.com

Joel Santos / www.tpoty.com

rounding up what’s new and exciting

C o m p e t i t i o n r e s u lt s

o ly m p u s p r o s

Kenro film scanner You can use this scanner connected to a PC or Mac, or have your images scanned onto an SD card up to 32GB in size. The images are scanned at 14 megapixels and can be interpolated up 22 megapixels. £101.94 www.kenro.co.uk

STaTS OF The mONTh Kodak pixpro 4KvR360 Kodak’s new VR camera uses two 4K fixed-focus lenses housed on either side of the camera body to record 360-degree video The 4KVR360 features a 20MP CMOS sensor and uses a Micro SD card. Price TBC www.kodak.com

worlD-beater Winner named in 14th annual TPOY contest hat do the Euro 2016 football finals and Travel Photographer of the Year (TPOTY) have in common? The overall winners of both contests hail from Portugal. Joel Santos from Lisbon has scooped the top prize in TPOTY 2016 thanks to two portfolios he entered: one a drone-shot record of Ethiopia’s Danakil Depression, the other an insight into the life of a Ghanaian fisherman.

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We’re especially pleased to hear of Joel’s win, as he used to be the editor of O Mundo da Fotografia Digital, a magazine that Digital Camera has worked with extensively. So, nice one, Joel! The winning TPOTY shots will be exhibited at the UK City of Culture celebrations in Hull (18th May to 30th June), and at 10 Stockwell Street, London (4th August to 3th September). www.tpoty.com

march 2017

olymPus UK has added a clutch of photographers to its Visionary and Ambassador line-ups. Reportage specialist Peter Dench and wedding pro John Nassari both become Olympus Visionaries, while the Ambassador scheme is bolstered by macro photographer Marcus Clackson, portrait photographer Gavin Hoey, sports pro Mike Inkley, travel shooter Martina Govindraj and documentary photographer Jasper Wilkins. www.olympus.co.uk

110.79 The value, in billions of US dollars, that the global digital photography market is set to reach by 2021, according to a report by Zion Market Research (www. zionmarketresearch.com).

30 years

saramonic shotgun microphones Kenro is launching two new Saramonic mics in the UK and Ireland: the SRTM1 is a mid-range directional mic with a frequency range of 40-20k Hz, while the SRTM7’s range runs from 20-20kk Hz. From £227.94 www.kenro.co.uk

While not exactly happening this month, 2017 is the 30th anniversary of Canon’s EOS – Electro Optical Sytem – range. The system made its debut in March 1987, with the launch of the EOS 650 SLR. So expect (possible) lavish celebrations and wild parties.

www.digitalcameraworld.com


Photo Projects From shooting only one colour to capturing a landscape in a jar - get inspired!

Pop the sky! A simple trick to make the sky pop is to use a polarising filter, like Mikolaj Gospodarek has done here. A polarising filter works by simply removing polarised light, therefore reducing reflections and glares. This means the blues in the sky become bluer, and it also saturates the greens.

WITHOUT POLARISER

WITH POLARISER

Project 1

You take the high road...

Mikolaj Gospodarek shares his secrets for shooting stunning mountain scenes


often I stay in a hotel, which is 257m above sea level.” Mikolaj knows the importance of being on location at the right time, as mornings and evenings offer many shooting opportunites. Although the Grossglockner High Apline Road is an easy location to shoot because it’s accessible by car, Mikolaj says the biggest logistical challenge is the weather.

“Often at the beginning of September it’s snowing, and even in May it can continue. In July thunderstorms are common; autumn is short but by far the best season.” To take this shot Mikolaj used his Canon EOS 5D Mk III with a 24-105mm lens. To make the sky pop, he attached a polarising filter and a soft 0.6 ND grad. www.gospodarek.pl/en

Mikolaj Gospodarek

F the idea of shooting stunning mountain views fills you with inspiration, a trip up the Grossglockner High Alpine Road in Austria is a must. Mikolaj Gospodarek captured this cracking vista from the top of Edelweissspitze. Mikolaj, who has a love for the landscape genre, tells Digital Camera: “I love this place and very

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Benedetto Demaio

Photo Projects

enedetto Demaio can’t remember the first turquoise image he took, but he’s always been drawn to this cool colour. “This colour is my signature, it’s my fingerprint,” he says. “I now live in Milan, but I was born in a village in southern Italy overlooking the Tyrrhenian Sea. The colors of my childhood are turquoise: the gradients of the rough sea, and the shades of the sea bottom.” Benedetto’s images vary in approach, but the importance of objects or people is always constant. “The image that best represents me is ‘Art Attack’ (above, centre of middle row). In this photo I show my daily life through the objects that belong to me.” Benedetto is an art teacher, illustrator, painter, and also a self-described neat man!

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Pick a colour to reveal your world Benedetto Demaio reveals why he loves turquoise... 26

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When it comes to taking an image that’s destined to join his turquoise collection Benedetto has a clear process.“I always imagine it – actually, I dream about it. Every work is conceived from an idea, which shapes itself in a step-by-step process, up to the point where it materialises. It’s a process I love; it makes me feel fulfilled and alive. I don’t have a precise schedule to create the images; I do it whenever I’m inspired or whenever I feel the need to communicate something.” Benedetto says he doesn’t have an end of his project in mind yet: “I don’t like to put limits to creativity or to determine in advance when a trip will end. I prefer to leave it free; to live indefinitely as long as I’m inspired.” www.facebook.com/benedettodemaioart www.digitalcameraworld.com


Claire Gillo

Photo Projects

Project 3

capture a 360° tree Combine images together using Photoshop rees make a great subject to shoot at any time of year. Even in the winter months when the branches are bare, these great natural structures always have something new to offer the truly creative photographer. To shoot your own 360-degree tree, you’ll first need to shoot all the way around the trunk looking up. We found three or four images did the trick. Then we simply imported the final images into Photoshop and combined them into one file. Using the Opacity slider on each layer we adjusted accordingly to our taste. You can also use the Layer Mask feature to make partial adjustments if you want to remove one part of a layer. To finish we converted our image to black and white using a Black & White Adjustment Layer.

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Project 4

come fly with me Create a surreal levitating portrait

o create this effect you’ll need a step ladder, a model, balloons and a tripod – oh, and a touch of Photoshop at the editing stage! The trick is to keep all the frames in perfect alignment by using a tripod, and to make sure factors like lighting, exposure and depth of field stay consistent. Simply shoot the scene empty, then bring in your model and position them on the ladder. When you get to the editing stage, combine the images and use the Layer Mask feature to remove the ladder. Easy!

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Claire Gillo

Photo Projects

cience and photography have a strong shared history, so it only seems right to combine the two. White light shone through a prism creates a rainbow of colours that creates interesting shapes, which in turn make great subject matter to photograph. It’s easiest to use a stream of sunlight through a gap in curtains to get vivid colours – but it was overcast on the day of our shoot, so we opted to use a candle. This produced a more abstract effect. To edit our images together we used Photoshop and the Custom Shape tool to make the triangle and circle shape. As we shot the images by candlelight, we had to increase the Blue slider on the White Balance scale at the editing stage.

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make prism art by candlelight! Turn white light into colour through a prism 30

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How it works Let’s revisit that physics lesson! White light shone through a prism creates streams of red, orange, yellow, greeen, blue, indigo and violet light. Basically the white light is dispersed when shone through the prism into its component colours.

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Christoffer Relander

Photo Projects

Project 6

store a scene Bottle up the outdoors hen photographer Christoffer Relander found out he was going to be a father, he felt nostalgic for his childhood, but also anxious that it felt so far removed.

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These emotions inspired him to start an ongoing project called ‘Jarred and Displaced’. The idea behind the project was to ‘conserve’ important and meaningful places from the past in a jar. “Most landscapes from the project are from my childhood, where I grew up in the countryside in the south of Finland, and where my roots still lie,” Christoffer says. “The small house among the wintery trees (above right) is a house I moved to at the age of six. I hadn’t been there in over 20

years. It’s a very important place to me, as some of my early adventures happened in these woods.” Incredibly, Christoffer has created all of these images in-camera with no editing manipulation. “These are all made using double-exposures onto medium-format film,” he says. Christoffer then takes the exposed film of the jars out on location to fill with a landscape. Watch the process video at www.vimeo.com/191142013 www.christofferrelander.com

feel free to experiment and adjust your settings accordingly. Tweak the graph line further – pull down to enhance shadows. It really comes down to personal taste, so have a play around.

If your image is in the Grayscale colour mode, by the way, your Curves graph will work the other way around. Start with both Input and Output set to 100, and pull Output down to around 70.

Project 7

less is more Don’t boost – remove! t’s tempting with your blackand-white images to crank the contrast, and make your blacks darker and your whites brighter. Boosting the contrast in your black-andwhite shots can look effective, but for a different look and finish, it also works to go the other way and reduce it. There are many ways you can reduce the contrast in your images, but you’ll get the most control and the best results using the Curves Adjustment Layer option in Photoshop. To start, click on the yin-yang symbol in the Layers panel and select Curves from the drop-down menu. A window will appear. Simply start with Input and Output at 0, then push the Output slider up the graph. (Keep Input at 0.) You want to aim for Output to read around 60, but each image is different, so 32

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Claire Gillo

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Photo Projects

Project 8

Ben’s photo challenge! Go on a photo walk in your local neighbourhood Fter the huge success of last issue’s Big Photography Challenge Ben felt he was missing out on setting his own challenge. He was so impressed by your response to the range of challenges set by our pros that he figured he’d have a go at creating his own project for you to try... Ben says: “I was inspired by Quintin Lake’s Perimeter walk project (see Work Experience, page 92) and Willson Cummer’s concept of exploring locations close to your home. So I thought I’d go for a walk along the Avon from the far western edge of the city of Bath to the far east, near to where I live. Despite being famillar with the path, setting aside a whole day to slowly meander the river banks with a camera opened up a wealth of photo opportunities.”

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Go for a walk... Don’t get bogged down with heavy equipment, gadgets and gizmos. To keep things light, Ben just packed one camera and one lens (a Nikon D810 and a 24-70mm f/2.8) – and a sandwich, of course.

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Andrei Cosma

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Images in photo book: Maarten Mellemans

Photo Projects

ShAre your projecT

digitalcamera@ futurenet.com (subject line: Photo Projects) aking your own photo book is an excellent way of presenting a body of images. There are many services you can uses – but for this project we’re using WhiteWall (www. whitewall.com). When uploading your images to a book printing service, you need to consider image quality and size. To ensure our images would print at the highest quality we wanted them at 300dpi, but some of our images were too large for the

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make a treasured photo book Self-publish your images and create a professional photo book

Step

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Go to http://uk.whitewall.com/ photobook and click Create Now then Create Online Now. Pick the shape, size, paper, cover surface and page count of your book. Click Continue, and select Manual Layout, as this option gives you full control.

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Next, upload your images. Click Select Source and navigate to your images. They’ll appear on the left-hand side once uploaded. Next navigate to the Layouts tab; from here you can drag images onto the pages to see how each spread looks.

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browser and wouldn’t upload. If this is the case, resize that image and try again. We found images over 20MB in size struggled, but generally smaller files were fine. Before you start putting your book together, make sure all your images are in one folder and easy to navigate. The images featured in our photo book were shot by Maarten Mellemans for his project ‘Fools With Dreams’. www.foolswithdreams.com

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To go back to your images, click the Photos tab. To drag an image into a space on the template, simply drag and drop. You can then adjust the size, rotate, delete it and more using the pop-out controls. It will take some time to design the full book.

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Finally, add text where needed. Click Start in the top bar and select Add Text. Make sure you keep saving your book as you go. Go to My Projects (top bar). When complete, go to Add To Cart (bottom-left corner) and order your photo book.

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sHoot tHe stReets 10 practical tips you need to know to become a street photography master by laureN SCOtt

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hen you’re armed with minimal kit and a keen eye for detail, street photography can be a gutsy and fascinating way to spend a day. The aim is to reveal the everyday happenings of people and society, although – contrary to what the name suggests –images don’t have to include a street at all. Candids happen anywhere people gather and interesting behaviour unfurls. The challenge is remaining unnoticed to catch subjects off-guard. Once you learn how to blend in, the real fun begins. Taking photos in public is daunting at first, but once you get going you’ll

be hooked. It takes practice to know when to fire the shutter, so hone your instincts to capture the perfect moment. Whatever the subject, street photography is about stories, soul and humanity. Henri Cartier-Bresson famously said, “In photography, the smallest thing can be a great subject. The little, human detail can become a leitmotif.” He was considered a master of candid photography, but as you’ll discover here, there’s no reason why Take your free cards you can’t be too. out on location

YoUR 9 FREE stReet tips CARDs

Photo: Lauren Scott

CONteNtS

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10 street PHOtOGrAPHY tiPs.............................................. .page 42 PrO insPirAtiOn nick turPin ....................................................... .48 PrO insPirAtiOn AArOn berGer................................................... .50 PrO insPirAtiOn rOnYA GAlkA........................................................52

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Pa r t 1 S t r e e t w iS e t i P S 1 eQuiP yOurSelf Minimise your gear to keep moving and stay incognito

COmPaC t bODy

Almost any camera will give good results if you feel comfortable and familiar using it. Smaller models are more discreet, and practical to hand-hold for long periods. Get to know your camera’s button and menu layout inside-out, so that you can capture the instants and oddities of scenes on the fly.

Prime leNS

Prime lenses such as a 35mm or a 50mm are small and unobtrusive. Working with one focal length also means you’ll get to know it well, making framing and focusing more intuitive. The human eye sees at around 40mm, so both of these closely mirror our natural field of view.

lOw-PrOfile bag

Small messenger or sling-style bags are ideal for carrying kit, as they provide easy access. Allow space for your camera plus one or two lenses, and don’t take accessories you won’t use. If you can get away with it, forget a bag and keep items like memory cards in jacket pockets.

2 reSearCH t H e g r e at S Broaden your mind and perceptions BeFORe you hit the road, it helps to become familiar with both contemporary and classic examples of street photography. Even if you already know the history of the genre, delving a bit deeper means you’ll be able to see how your work fits in. Research the masters of street photography, but try to widen your general knowledge around current art, news and media too. Cultural references can pay dividends when you come to look for concepts and interesting subjects. 42

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3 P i C K t H e r i g H t l O C at i O N Put your plans into action it’s not just urban areas that make dynamic locations. Any public place can become the perfect spot if there’s a bustle of human activity. Consider tourist attractions, museums, markets, even beaches. There’s usually an optimum time to visit each individual spot: a train station will be manic at rush hour,

whereas a city market is likely to get the biggest footfall at lunchtime. When you find yourself shooting on crowded streets, a good technique is to walk against the flow of people, so that subjects are moving towards you. Observe them first from a distance, then fire the shutter as they walk past. www.digitalcameraworld.com


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4 bleND iN Staying unnoticed is an important part of taking candids Being invisible doesn’t require any super powers, just some simple considerations and common sense. When it comes to shooting, a good technique is to look behind subjects when actually taking their photo. If you pretend you’re focused on something else, they’re much less likely to feel alerted by your presence. It’s natural for you to feel conspicuous when you’re

taking photos of strangers, but even introverts are capable of fantastic results. Exude confidence – when you look like you’re meant to be somewhere, generally people will ignore you. If you’re really uncomfortable at first, keep your distance so that subjects are small in the composition. There’s no magic trick for getting over nerves. Just get out there!

KEEp quiEt

shoot FRom thE hip

DREss to un-impREss

By default, cameras make a lot of alert noises when you’re navigating them. These will give the game away, so the first thing to do here is turn off all beeps and sounds. Some models also have a silent shutter function. Activate this if it’s an option.

Try holding the camera at your hip with the strap on your shoulder. You’ll be able to snap away in a more casual manner. If your camera’s rear LCD screen flips out, use this as a waist-level viewfinder. It might initially seem awkward, but practice makes perfect.

Be smart about what you wear. Nondescript clothes are perfect for most surroundings, but you’ll stick out a mile in dark clothing at a colourful carnival. Swap your branded camera strap for a plain one, and cover bright logos on the camera with black tape.

5 Set uP yOur Camera By using semi-automatic modes you’ll be ready to shoot a wide range of scenarios

APERTURE PRIORITY Switching to Aperture Priority is a quick way to get up and running for general street shooting. Set your aperture and ISO manually depending on the conditions. On a bright day, start with around f/8 and an ISO of 400. Check the shutter reading you’re getting; faster than 1/200 sec is ideal.

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brighter than average, and -1 if it’s predominantly darker. As well as achieving the right exposure, you’ll also have to consider the best settings for focusing. Start by setting your camera to AI Servo (Canon) or Continuous (Nikon) focusing mode: this will keep moving subjects sharp within the viewfinder as you track them. Discover how to use manual zone focusing over the page.

Lauren Scott

meteRing systems handle most lighting situations with ease, but don’t rely on them completely. Instead, use a semi-automatic mode – you’ll still retain plenty of control, but won’t spend half your time fumbling with settings and missing fleeting opportunities. If your camera struggles in scenes of high contrast, introduce exposure compensation. Dial in +1 if the main subject is

SHUTTER PRIORITY Activate Shutter Priority to add in intentional motion blur (or when the light levels drop). To capture people walking or racing traffic, for example, start with a shutter speed of around 1/15 sec. An even longer duration will suit slow-moving subjects if you pan the camera throughout the exposure.

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quiCK tip

If someone realises you’re photographing them, try to engage them in conversation and take some subtle shots when they’ve relaxed again in your presence.

Acting comes in handy for capturing candids on the streets. Take on the role of a lost tourist or daydreamer – anything to make it look like you’re not taking photos!

6 CaPture uNguarDeD mOmeNtS

Images: xxxxxxxxxxxx

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POsed photos make for fine portraits, but  they don’t capture the authentic essence of that person in the way that a great candid should. If subjects are initially wary, you can try asking them general questions about their day or complimenting them on their clothing – anything that gets them to let down their guard. Some people will be chatty, and some won’t. (Never force a shot.) If street photography is all about humanity, emotions are key to making a shot interesting. People change expression rapidly – one minute they’re laughing, the next they’re frowning. When you decide to fire the shutter makes a real difference to the character you document. D i g i ta l C a m e r a

Shutterstock / elena castaldi vi

People behave differently when they know they’re being photographed

Close-up characters

Group interaction

social issues

Be on the lookout for interesting faces. When shooting people, try to include storytelling elements so that the photo becomes more than a travel portrait. Eye contact is a personal preference – sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t!

Human behaviour and relationships are always intriguing to show. When you find a busy spot, wait a while until something happens – even everyday activities such as sharing food, hugging and laughing can look dynamic.

Marches and protests can provide interesting street subjects. Find out if there are any political or social events organised in your intended location (or further afield). Plan ahead and shoot the action as it unfolds.

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7 try ZONe fOCuSiNg Get sharp photos quickly and discreetly without using the viewfinder sPeed is of the essence in street photography, but focusing on subjects can take time. If you faff around for too long, your decisive moment will soon become a missed opporunity. With zone focusing, the idea is that you switch to manual focus, set your lens to a determined distance away and shoot subjects when they fall into this range of focus. The technique is useful when you’re shooting from the hip and can’t look through the viewfinder. It’s also unobtrusive and very quick. There are free apps available to help you work out the focal range – search your app store for a depth of field calculator.

how to...

Zone-focus your lens Pre-focusing your camera will enable you to take pictures with accuracy and speed. Older lenses have markings on them to aid zone focusing, but you can easily work out the distance yourself. To determine the focus range (and change it), you’ll need to know the focal length of your lens, the aperture and the intended subject distance.

1 set up the camera

2 Calculate focus range

3 Get into position

Set an aperture of around f/8 or f/11 as a starting point. You can always tweak this value later if your shots are too dark. It’s best to use a prime lens such as a 50mm for this technique (and even better if it’s got a marked distance scale on it). Switch your lens to manual focus.

If your lens has a marked distance scale, use it to determine the focus range. If not, use an app such as DoFViewer. Input the camera model, focal length, aperture and subject distance, and it’ll calculate the near and far depth-of-field limits (the distances away where the subject will still be sharp).

Stand in place so that your subject falls roughly within the pre-determined range of focus. Narrow the aperture if you want a wider range, but remember to also re-adjust the lens and your new shooting distance. For moving subjects, fire the shutter when they enter the zone.

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8 S e i Z e t H e D ay The blue and golden hours provide light and subject diversity sUnRise and sunset is usually associated with landscapes, but incorporating dynamic natural light into your street work also has a big impact. A shaft of sunlight or a shadow can transform an otherwise plain image. Different hours of the day also present quirky characters, such as party-goers heading home after a wild night, or workers starting an early-morning shift.

When you make the effort to head out early or late, you see new characters, and opportunites that don’t present themselves in the midday crowds.

quiCK tip Above Including the whole subject is a more classic approach, as it provides the viewer with the subject’s surroundings. Getting in close (right) adds intrigue, leaving the narrative of the shot up to the imagination.

9 P i C K O u t D e ta i l S

Framing choices can make or break images. Move your feet to get closer to a subject, use a zoom lens, or crop after to shake up your compositions.

Less can be more with this approach Feeling uninspired by your portraits? When this happens, hone in or crop scenes to focus on visually interesting elements and objects instead.

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Your street photos don’t always have to feature someone directly: artefacts that indicate human stories and histories can be just as powerful as social documentary. A tight crop leads the viewer’s eye to a

specific part of the subject. Why not direct the attention of the composition to someone’s feet or hands? On this occassion, a telephoto lens such as a 70-200mm lens works well.

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10 five Street CliCHéS

(But you might still want to try them...)

CliCHé 1 HigH-CONtraSt blaCK aND wHite

Lack of colour can simplify a busy picture, add character, and make a feature of interesting light. Colour also conveys powerful emotional associations, however, so don’t use gritty monochrome just to recreate the look of an old photo. Why not shoot in raw and decide on the colour treatment later?

CliCHé 3 SilHOuetteS aND SHaDOwS

Silhouettes can add a sense of drama to street scenes, particularly when the composition itself is simple. Expose the shot for the highlights, and work in monochrome to see the full effect. Framing your subject against a brighter background really emphasises this technique.

CliCHé 2 Street PerfOrmerS

These are easy targets, because they stay in one place and generally don’t mind being snapped. If you are drawn to a busker, show what makes them unique. This could be their style, dance moves, or perhaps their instrument itself.

CliCHé 4 refleCtiONS

Mirrored surfaces are common in urban environments. Glass windows, metal structures or even puddles provide the perfect tool for creative compositions. Autofocus systems often struggle to lock onto reflective surfaces, so switch to manual if this is the case.

CliCHé 5 tHrOugH tHe wiNDOw

Windows are a physical barrier that allow you to shoot some great candids. They also add a new perspective to your images. Shoot from within or outside a building – swap the roles and see what you come up with. Frame window signs and include reflections.

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Pa r t 2 Street inspirations by laUreN SCOtt

NiCK tUrPiN

“Have confidence in your own decisions and be an artist and author of your own work”

espite having worked in fashion, newspapers and advertising, Nick Turpin says that shooting on the street with a small camera and standard lens remains his biggest photographic challenge. “That is what keeps

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attracting me back to it. All street photographers love a good moment and I am the same, but I also make pictures that are significant in a cultural way. “I like the images to be self-contained, but also to work together in revealing some truths. Being documents, street photographs also quickly form an archive of life at a certain time. Even pictures from the 1980s or 90s already look like history; life is changing so quickly.” Nick has always been interested in the aspects of life in modern cities, but found it hard to capture the daily commute in a new and intimate way – until his series On the Night Bus. “The commute is a major part of the lives of many Londoners. It wasn’t until I was sitting outside a cafe one winter

that I noticed how beautiful and mysterious the illuminated and frosted windows of passing buses were,” he says. “The bus commuters project really taught me the value of perseverance and patience when working on an idea.” Nick aims to blend into his surroundings, whatever the project. “I only carry a single camera much of the time, and use strategies that avoid being noticed. I never face my subjects with my body, usually standing at 90 degrees, and I never make eye contact. If I want to hang around and watch someone, I get out a map, my phone or eat an apple anything that gives me a different reason for being there.” Dealing with a diverse range of urban subjects – such as life in the financial district of London, the www.digitalcameraworld.com


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About NICK tuRPIN NICK is drawn to street photography on a personal level, fascinated by the things that he chooses to shoot without a brief. he established iN-Public, the first international street photographer collective, in 2000. NICK describes the majority of his streetbased work as traditional – single stand-alone images shot with a small discreet rangefinder camera. FIND OUT MORe www.nickturpin.com www.in-public.com

French and smartphone users – Nick believes it’s important to shoot both frequently and regularly to develop an original style. “The clichés in street photography seem to exist because they are the easiest to take. They are the early pictures you take while you are developing your own unique vision. Carry a camera with you everywhere, look at your images and pull out the ones that interest you in some way. “Work out what qualities they have that you like and want to achieve again. It might be colour, gestures, urban space, surrealist or ambiguous images that appeal. Have confidence in your own decisions, and be an artist and author of your own work. “Technology is changing all the time but great ideas remain the currency of success.” www.digitalcameraworld.com

This photo series is available in Nick’s new book On the Night Bus www.bit.ly/dc187nick

ThROUgh a glass DaRKly Most of Nick’s street-based work is traditional – single stand-alone images shot with a small discreet rangefinder camera. In this standalone series, London bus passengers were captured at night during winter, from a raised platform with an SLR and a long lens. Shots were taken hand-held at 1/40 sec.

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aarON berger

“Photograph only for yourself, not to impress anyone. It will be more original that way”

ARON Berger’s approach to street shooting is fairly simple: “I walk outside and react to things as they’re happening,” he says. “I don’t look for anything in particular,

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I don’t pick a spot and wait, and there aren’t pictures in my head that I’m trying to make.” Without making any plans beforehand, Aaron wanders around crowded places armed with a Leica M4-P, a 28mm lens and an external viewfinder. “I shoot this set-up every day, and would be happy to never change it.” Aaron found an affinity for working this way as soon as he got his first camera. “I was drawn to candidly photographing people before I’d ever heard the term ‘street photography’. I’m fascinated by how life looks in a photograph.” Feeling comfortable in public environments is what helps him to capture such unstaged results. “I think being at ease helps to blend

in more than anything else.” He’s less certain when it comes to including eye contact, though. “In some pictures, it draws you in and lets you wonder. In others, it pulls your interest away and falls flat.” Unlike many street shooters, Aaron isn’t looking to be a storyteller with his images. “Single photographs can’t work that way on their own. They describe very well, but don’t narrate,” he says. “There’s no beginning, middle and end in a photo; and that’s part of what makes them so wonderful. I’m only looking to describe. A well-described moment might suggest things, but the only narrative created is in your head.” Aaron doesn’t embrace what’s ‘popular’ and doesn’t worry about www.digitalcameraworld.com


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About AARoN bERGER aaRON Berger was raised in the Los Angeles suburbs, but has lived in New York since 2015. He shoots the streets of Manhattan nearly every day, working on colour film and developing his shots in his bathtub. he prefers mundane context, but takes pictures compulsively wherever he is, including grocery stores, trains and restaurants. aaRON has a significant Instagram following, and is also a member of the street collective iN-Public. FIND OUT MORe www.aaron-berger.com

ClOCKWIse FROM leFT Untitled, and all taken in New York, 2016.

what’s been done already. “A good picture will have something going on between its content and form; something that lifts the picture to be more than just the subject or style alone. I usually know which of my pictures are too easy, and I don’t like them.” Aaron ultimate tip is to think less when shooting. “Don’t think in terms of a genre or rules about how you should photograph”, he says. “React to whatever interests you. Photograph only for yourself, not to impress anyone. It will be more original that way,” he says. “Don’t photograph your cleverness; do photograph your most visceral gut feelings. Look at good work for inspiration. Shoot more – a lot more.” www.digitalcameraworld.com


r O N ya galKa

“To get the images that you are most proud of, you should listen to your heart when you’re out there”

OR Ronya Galka, shooting street is a personal experience. “I consider myself more of a storyteller. The common thread that runs through my pictures is that they are all dealing with

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human sentiments - the French call them ‘emotions fortes’. They make everyday life so magical: love, joy, sadness, friendship.” Visually, Ronya’s work is centred around the play between light and dark, and she shoots solely in monochrome. “Colour sometimes distracts the eye and pulls attention away from the important element. Black and white adds a certain timeless quality. Shadows, reflections, silhouettes and juxtapositions are all reoccurring ‘props’ that I use.” Ronya’s street photography shows a stark contrast with her commercial work (which includes editorial and fashion), and she views the unplanned nature of her style as a luxury. “99% of the time,

I start walking and see where the city and the light takes me, with no agenda, set route or idea of what I may encounter along the way.” She adds that reacting quickly and being attentive is one of the more challenging aspects. “Moving, fascinating and surreal scenes unfold in front of your very eyes everywhere you go. Blink and the moment will be gone.” Ronya likes to get close to her subjects, to isolate individuals scenes from the general hustle and bustle. “I find that a shallow depth of field helps me focus on the protagonist and blends out distracting elements in the background. People absolutely play the lead role here. As a general rule, though, I would never photograph www.digitalcameraworld.com


COver StOry

About RoNYA GAlKA RONya’s fine-art street photography has been exhibited at Liberty’s of London and the Pall Mall Gallery, and can be found in private collections around the world. she found a passion for street photography after moving to London from her native Germany in the 1990s. FIND OUT MORe www.ronyagalka.com

ClOCKWIse FROM leFT Night Encounters; Wish you were here; Bad Girls; It must be Monday morning; Lead me, follow me or get out of my way.

anyone in a compromised or vulnerable state.” She feels least conspicuous when immersed amongst the crowds. “I don’t use a zoom and generally shoot with either a 35mm or a 50mm lens. By moving with them, I find it easier to get close, take the shot and then move on.” Ronya’s advice to beginners is fairly practical. “Get a comfortable pair of boots or trainers, pack an umbrella, grab a couple of fullycharged batteries and get ready to walk. Pay attention to what is happening around you. Street is a wonderfully personal and subjective genre. To get the images that you are most proud of, you should really listen to your heart when you’re out there.” www.digitalcameraworld.com


B AC K TO BASICS TECH MADE EASY

THIS MONTH: rADIO-CONTrOllED flASH Free your flash photography using the latest wireless technology

grOup dynamics: Radio flash control gives you the freedom to arrange multiple lights cocooned in lighting modifiers around a location, then control them using a master unit on the camera.

n-camera flash might enable you to light up a scene, but it’s unlikely to light up your portfolio. Whether it’s an underpowered pop-up flash or a flashgun mounted on the hotshoe, camera-based flash gives sharp, directional lighting that creates harsh shadows and gives a ‘rabbit in the headlights’ look to portraits. Taking a flashgun off-camera enables you to control where shadows fall, and to more effectively introduce modifiers that soften and shape the light. There are two ways you can do this: working with a flashgun that’s tethered to

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the camera by a cable, or using wireless flash. There’s a lot to be said for the convenience of working wirelessly: it’s now become the standard way of working with multiple flash units. The thing to bear in mind is that wireless systems come in two parts: you need a transmitter or ‘master’ and a receiver or ‘slave’. The master unit typically sits in the camera’s hotshoe and tells the slave units to fire when you take a picture. Wireless flash has evolved substantially since the early days of optical flash triggers; these cheap and cheerful units simply caused slave units to fire when they detected light from the main flash unit – they’re still

available to buy now. These days, wireless flash comes in two flavours – infrared and radio – both of which offer substantially more control over slave units. Infrared wireless flash uses an optical beam of light, fired from the master unit, to trigger a slave unit. As a result, a slave needs to ‘see’ the light from the master or it won’t fire. Radio flash doesn’t have this shortcoming, which gives you the freedom to place the slave units where you like, as long as they are within operating range of the master unit. It’s for this reason that radio flash has rapidly grown in popularity in recent years. Radio flash isn’t a new > www.digitalcameraworld.com


radio-controlled flash

back to basics

o pt i C a l v s r a D i o Both systems fire remote ‘slave’ flashguns wirelessly but in very different ways…

optical wireless control

FlaSH plaCemeNt The IR sensor on a slave flashgun has to be able to see the beam from the master unit, whether that’s directly or indirectly (such as if it bounces off a wall or ceiling).

FleXiBle HeaD Many flashguns allow you to rotate the head, so you can aim the light at the subject while continuing to point the IR sensor at the master.

moDiFierS You’ll have to choose modifiers that enable the IR beam to reach a slave flashgun, such as a softbox that allows the flashgun to be mounted externally. FlaSHgUN CoNtrol You can use a flashgun or a transmitter, but a transmitter will need to be able to fire the optical beam to set off the other flashes, and this can restrict the position where you shoot from.

FreeDom! As radio control doesn’t require line of sight between the transmitter and the receiver, you can place flashguns inside sealed modifiers and behind objects.

radio wireless control

DiStaNCe Radio control works over a greater distance than an optically controlled system, so you can use longer lenses or stand further from the remote units.

www.digitalcameraworld.com

groUpS You can use a single slave unit or multiple ones, and assign these to groups, then adjust the power of each group separately.

maSter UNit You can use a compatible radio flashgun ‘master’ to control the slaves, but a transmitter unit is smaller and lighter.

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Back to Basics

radio-controlled flash

flASHguNS vs TrANSMITTErS When you’re choosing a master unit, should you go for a second flashgun or a dedicated trigger?

wireless radio flash requires two units: a master and a slave. Only one master unit is required to control a bank of slaves; it can be in the form of either a flashgun with master capabilities or a transmitter unit. Some SLRs can use their pop-up flash as the master unit in an optically triggered wireless system. The advantage of using a flashgun is that you’ll always be able to add a splash of extra light if you need it. The master flashgun doesn’t have to be fixed to the hotshoe either – you can use an off-camera shoe cord to position it in a more suitable position to light the subject, while still retaining its master unit operation. If you don’t need its light, you can set the flashgun to transmit the radio signal only. A wireless radio transmitter offers the same level of control and most of the features, but without additional light. It attaches to the camera’s hotshoe and it’s lighter than a flashgun. Here, you can compare the controls on the Canon 600EX II-RT and the ST-E3-RT Speedlite Transmitter…

technology, but what was once an expensive, exotic way to trigger a remote flashgun or studio light is now mass-market stuff. In the early days of radio triggering, it was PocketWizard that was the dominant force. Now, not only have camera and lighting manufacturers developed their own sophisticated systems, but there’s a wide range of affordable third-party options to choose from too, such as those from Phottix, Cactus and Yongnuo. You can use radio-controlled wireless flash over a greater distance than optically controlled wireless flash, particularly outdoors. For example, in radio wireless transmission mode a Canon 600EX-RT Speedlite has a maximum working distance of 30 metres outside, dropping to 15m or 56

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DiSplaYS The small screens pack a lot of information in. Here, the flashgun indicates it’s in optical slave mode (note the lightning bolt icon), while the transmitter is in radio master mode (indicated by the antenna icon).

liNK Up Linking the master and slave units is a simple case of tapping this button until the link lamp lights green.

less in optical wireless transmission mode. Some third-party radio options go much further: the PocketWizard Plus III which works up to 500 metres in ideal conditions. While you may be restricted to using fewer slave units in a radio-based set-up, you can typically arrange these in a greater number of groups or zones. A group can contain a single flashgun or multiple units, and is identified by a letter. You can control each group independently, increasing the ratio of power between the groups so that some produce a greater amount of light than others. Separate from this is the channel selection: if you’re experiencing interference, you can select a different radio channel. All of these changes are made on the master unit, whether it’s a flashgun or a

aUtoFoCUS Help Another advantage of using a flashgun as the master unit is that it can output an autofocus assist beam when shooting in low light. Not all transmitters (including this model) do this.

transmitter – you don’t have to run around adjusting each slave unit. For example, you can put a flashgun in a sealed softbox and alter the flash exposure without having to remove the diffusion panel.

What was once an expensive and exotic way to trigger a remote flashgun or studio light is now mass-market stuff

www.digitalcameraworld.com


radio-controlled flash

back to basics

THIrD-pArTY SOluTIONS

If you don’t want to splash out on a new, fully loaded wireless radio flash system, convert a flashgun you already own…

dedicated radio transmitters and flashguns from camera manufacturers tend to be on the pricey side and will, of course, only work with the manufacturer’s own flash system. Fortunately, there are plenty of fairly inexpensive third-party options that allow you to give radio

control a go. Most of these are in the form of a transmitter that attaches to the camera’s hotshoe and a receiver that fits to the accessory foot of a remote flash. Some units are known as ‘transceivers’ and can be used as either a master or a slave unit, depending on how they’re configured. There are also

flashguns that can act as the master unit or slave within these systems. You’ll need to buy a receiver or transceiver for each flashgun you want to use in your set-up. You can use a third-party system to add wireless radio capability to a flashgun you already own, as long as it’s compatible.

pHottiX oDiN ii Transmitter: £160/$210 receiver: £125/$160 Odin II transmitters are available for Canon, Nikon and Sony, and offer a range of 100 metres, High Speed Sync (HSS) and Group buttons.

CaCtUS V6 ii Transceiver: £89/$95 This controls Canon, Nikon, Olympus, Fujifilm and Panasonic flashes at the same time, and has an AF-assist lamp.

CaCtUS rF60X £170/$185 Cactus’s latest flashgun has a built-in transceiver, meaning its power and zoom setting can be controlled by the V6 II unit when in slave mode.

www.digitalcameraworld.com

poCKetWiZarD flexTT5 transceiver: £179/$237 MiniTT1 transmitter: £165/$215 The tiny MiniTT1 sits on the camera’s hotshoe – it has a

hotshoe of its own should you want to add on-camera flash – and is available in Canon and Nikon fittings. The FlexTT5 acts as the slave, but can also be used as a master.

MARCH 2017

nEXT mOnTH The highs and lows of incamera HDR

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oR k

a n Im Hy a a SH l g ot ys e S Is W W

SHOrt-eareD OWl name:

Mika Linho

locatIon:

Pori, Finland

KIt:

Nikon D4 with Nikkor 500mm f/4 VR lens

Close encounters

Getting frame-filling shots of small birds is often a challenge. Mika used his car as a hide, which meant he could get closer to this owl. “A patiently careful approach got me closer without disturbing the subject,” he says. Mika also cropped the image to make the final portrait feel more intimate.

eXPosURe: 1/400 sec at f/4.5, ISo 4,000 WebsIte:

www.linho.fi

Classic composition

Mika’s careful placement of the owl within the frame draws the viewer in. “It looks natural when the subject’s eyes are located in the golden ratio and it is looking at the centre of the photo,” he says. Mika also added vignetting for a more intense feeling and to ensure that the owl was the brightest area.

Colour palette

Mika altered the colour temperature in postprocessing to make the image look a little warmer than the original. This editing approach works wellecause of the golden tones in the owl’s eyes and the lichen. By tweaking the white balance, the owl’s plumage has also been reproduced accurately, as it would have appeared to Mika at the time of shooting. 58

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WHy SHotS WoRk

i m a g e a n a ly S i S

excellent eyes

In dynamic wildlife portraits, the sharpest point of the image is usually the subject’s eyes. Here, the owl’s eyes are the main focal point, which adds impact and directs attention to the key part of the frame. Although the conditions were cloudy, Mika used a high ISO (and shutter speed) to avoid motion blur from his telephoto lens.

extra dimension

The out-of-focus background is key to this shot, as it makes the subject pop out from its surroundings. “I always prefer to have a smooth background without any distractions,” Mika says. The wide aperture Mika used, combined with the long focal length of the lens, creates a sense of depth and concentrates the viewer’s eyes on a single area.

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Silhouette union

By filling this villager’s profile with his native landscape, Christoffer has linked them in the viewer’s mind. “My intention was to portray the animals and villagers within their natural environment,” he says.

Overlaying success This double exposure works so well because Christoffer carefully thought about the position of the two frames. “I wanted some parts of the house to cover his face and appear like a mask,” he says. “I also overexposed on the top of the building, to make the overall image more surreal and graphical.”

Villager & Village name:

Christoffer Relander

locatIon:

Raseborg, Finland

KIt:

Nikon D800E with 24-70mm f/2.8 lens and Nikon SB-910 flashgun

earthy tones

The gentle white background complements the earthy hues of the landscape, creating a rustic feel that’s evocative of the natural lifestyle Christoffer wanted to document. He used flash to overexpose the portrait background, giving a clear outline of the face to fill in the second exposure with.

eXPosURe: Double exposure: 1/250 sec (portrait) and 1/500 sec (landscape); both at f/8, ISo 100 WebsIte:

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i m a g e a n a ly S i S

WHy SHotS WoRk

golden timing

Low evening sunlight gives the fog layers depth; Nick accentuated this effect with some simple editing in Lightroom CC. “There was a bit of haze in the air and I wanted to make it pop with more contrast,” he says. “I also fixed a colour cast from the ND filter.”

FOg WaVeS Nicholas Steinberg

locatIon:

San Francisco, USA

KIt:

Nikon D810 with Nikkor 70-200mm f/4 VR lens plus Lee Filters 4x4 Big Stopper

eXPosURe: 30 sec at f/9, ISo 100

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The position of the horizon in the upper third draws the eye naturally through the frame. Nick shot with his camera’s native 3x2 landscape orientation, then cropped in to narrow the sides later. “[They] had too much width and my eye started wandering around.”

Compression effect

name:

WebsIte:

Crop factor

MARCH 2017

Telephoto lenses often work well for far-away landscapes. Because this landscape was at a distance from where he was standing, Nick used a focal length of 86mm for a tighter composition. This compresses the perspective of the wavy lines and layers of fog, really immersing the viewer in the scene.

www.digitalcameraworld.com


PHoto aCtiVe

Get Involved!

enteR todAY!

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

Enter this month’s assignment at www.photocrowd. com/a/current Closing date: 23rd February 2017

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

SHootoUt 66

Oh I do like to be beside the seaside!

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PORTFOLIO

Wildlife macro photographer Yasir Mehmood reveals why he’s fascinated by the tiny world around us

FaCebook www.facebook.com/ digitalcameraworld

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PHOTO ANSWERS Andrew James answers all of your technical questions and queries, and rates your photographs

twitter www.twitter.com/ digitalcameraw

ASSIGNMENT

We reveal the winning candid portraits, and set you a new shooting challenge that gets you back to nature

FliCkr www.flickr.com/ groups/digitalcameraworld

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! t u Shooto Camera readers l a it ig D o tw e g en ll a ch We assignment o ot h p st te la r ou in rt a to take p CLASSIC COASTLINE

Martin Parr shot one of the new BBC idents on the beach; now the Digital Camera Shootout entourage is sweeping into Clevedon, as two readers join Ben Brain for a day of creative coastline shooting… READER 1

G a ry Cl a rk

READER 2

Ma rk Croc ker

CameraS: Nikon D800, Fujifilm X-T1

CameraS: Canon EOS 5D Mark III, EOS 5D (IR)

loCation: Clevedon

loCation: Clevedon

by day, Gary works in the IT department of Somerset County Council, but by sunset he’s an enthusiastic seascape photographer. His favourite type of photography is long exposures, usually taken with the aid of a 10-stop ND filter. He shoots mainly with a full-frame Nikon D800,

but recently picked up a used Fujifilm X-T1 and three lenses. Gary says he’s finding this additional kit to be a great option when he needs to be a little more discrete or when he just wants to shed some weight from his camera bag. www.garyclark. photography

mark runs a local manufacturing company, but is an enthusiastic photographer too, having become hooked while attending a Lee Frost workshop in 2002. For many years he shot medium-format, 35mm and Xpan, and it was only with the Canon 5D that he really

converted to digital. His main interests lie in landscape and travel photography; despite the wonderful sunsets in Clevedon, he often visits Dunstanburgh and Bamburgh on trips to see his family in the North East. www.images throughalens.com

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

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CLASSIC COASTLINE

www.digitalcameraworld.com

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SHOOTOUT

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Challenge 1

Shootout

CLASSIC COASTLINE

Include the Victorian pier as a focal point

kit Nikon D800 with Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8 lens at 38mm Exposure 20 sec at f/16, ISO 100

G a ry WE began the day shooting Clevedon’s iconic Victorian pier, and returned at sunset to capture the structure against the stunning winter sky – which is when Gary bagged this winner. “With the tide at one of its lowest points, we slithered across the slippery rocks and seaweed for this classic vantage point,” he says.

Yes, long-exposure seascapes have been done to death – but, done well, a bit of blur in the water and sky can go a long way to lifting a coastal composition. If you’re using a square ND filter, check that the filter is in the slot nearest the lens, and make sure the viewfinder is shielded. Use mirror lock-up or Live View to prevent vibrations and fire the shutter with a remote release.

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Expe rt op in ion

p to it k

take it slow

“I would have liked to have been closer to the water’s edge to make use of some foreground rocks, but this was as far as I was going to go in my footwear! “I used my Lee Little Stopper and Hitech 0.9 ND SE Grad filters to extend the exposure time, help smooth out the tide, and capture the reflections from the metal structure of the pier.” Light levels were low and the colour was rapidly fading from this part of the Clevedon sky, but the file recorded by Gary’s D800 – and his restrained post-processing – has recorded the subtle hues beautifully.


CLASSIC COASTLINE

SHOOTOUT

kit Canon EOS 5D Mark III with Canon 24-105mm f/4 lens at 35mm Exposure 30 sec at f/16, ISO 100

Ma rk For this Shootout, both of our photographers lived close to the location. On paper, that might give them an advantage compared to participants who’ve had to travel for hours– or visit a different country – then spend a day hunting for the best that a location has to offer. But it’s not quite as straightforward as that. “Living only 10 minutes from Clevedon seafront, I usually shoot the sunsets and rarely shoot during the day,” admits Mark. “The day of the Shootout was made all the more challenging by not only being a cloudless sky, but very still.” Mark made the most of his day: not only did he shoot with his standard Canon 5D Mark III, he grabbed a few frames with

a 5D that’s been converted to infrared, as well as experimenting with his iPhone 6 and Hipstamatic app. We arrived in time for the late-morning high tide, which Mark used to capture a less frequently recorded view of the pier. Small in the frame it may be, but there’s no questioning the focal point of his set of pictures from this session. “With a tidal range of over 13 metres, the beach goes from pebbles at the top to thick mud when the tide is out,” Mark reveals. “But with a high tide that morning, I was able to frame the shot with pebbles on the beach. A long exposure of 30 seconds was achieved using a Lee Filters Big Stopper. “For the second shot, I used Canon’s 11-24mm f/4 lens to capture the full sweep of the tide. Despite being a very calm day, I managed to capture some movement by lowering the ISO to 50, using an aperture of f/16 and fitting

a neutral-density filter to the lens. In the end, the shutter speed was 1/4 second.” Mark used Lightroom and Silver Efex – now available free as part of Google’s Nik Collection – to convert both images to black and white.

Expe rt opin ion

Be ready for anything You might be going out with the intention of shooting landscapes, but it pays to be ready for anything when you’re shooting in a seaside location. It’s a place that often turfs up local characters that make for cool portraits. And we do mean cool. Despite it nudging zero degrees on the day, Clevedon’s sea swimmers were out in force, and Ben took the opportunity of grabbing a quick shot of Tom – one of the stars of the BBC’s new ident.

www.digitalcameraworld.com

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Challenge 2

Shootout

CLASSIC COASTLINE

Capture the stillness of Marine Lake

kit Nikon D800 with Nikon 16-35mm f/4 lens at 22mm Exposure 2.5 sec at f/16, ISO 100

G a ry A brisk walk along the seafront brought us to Marine Lake, which, in the breathless conditions, had taken on a mirror-like calm that was ripe for a spot of minimalist photography. Gary and Mark set to work with tripods, positioned at low height to take in the full expanse of the steely surface of the water

get down and dirty Shooting from a low angle enables you to effectively draw viewers into a picture: look for leading lines to pull the eye from the foreground through to the middleground and background. If your tripod doesn’t go low enough, use your camera bag as an ground-level support. Check that any verticals are parallel with the edge of the frame, and shoot slightly wider to take account of any lens corrections carried out later. 70

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and the clean lines of the walkways, steps and railings. “With no cloud cover and the water so calm, I decided that a monochrome minimalist shot would suit the conditions,” says Gary. “The structure of the location was crying out for a square frame too, so I shot this image with a view to carrying out a crop and black-andwhite conversion later in software. Shooting raw enabled me to select the Monochrome Picture Control and pre-visualise the shot in mono on the Live View screen while saving a colour image to the memory card.

“The water was so calm that I didn’t need the density of the Lee Big Stopper to achieve the effect I was looking for; instead I opted for a Lee Little Stopper plus a Hitech 0.9 ND SE grad to extend the exposure just enough and hold back the sky. Back home, I used Lightroom for the initial raw edit; then I ran the image through Alien Skin Exposure X2 to apply a classic Fuji Neopan 100 Acros film effect to the image. “It was great to be on a Shootout with another local and very experienced photographer. But, like Mark, I must admit I wouldn’t normally have gone out in the conditions we had for the shoot. Being faced with bright blue skies, sunshine and calm water might sound lovely to most people, but it was so different to the conditions I would usually choose to shoot in that it was certainly a challenge to get a few usable shots. That’s why I opted for a black-and-white treatment here – it produced an image that was much closer to what I would normally be looking for.” Gary’s exposure really does get across the stillness of the conditions; the shutter speed was just 2.5 seconds, but the silvery sheen on the water has all the classy hallmarks of a Big Stoppered 30-second job.

t tipop


CLASSIC COASTLINE

SHOOTOUT

neXt Month

A day out at the Haynes Motor Museum kit Canon EOS 5D Mark III with Canon 24-105mm f/4 lens at 60mm Exposure 1/200 sec at f/11, ISO 100

Ma rk MArk made use of the silky sheen on Marine Lake to capture this clean composition looking back towards Clevedon. “With such a calm day, the water provided a beautiful reflection, and the light was perfect.” Placed on the west coast of England, Clevedon benefits from some spectacular late-afternoon light and sunsets. Despite the peaceful scene, we

had to work relatively quickly, as one of Clevedon’s (can we call them crazy?) swimmers was warming up for an icy dip on the side of the lake. Once they were in the water, the calm would be shattered, so now was the time to forget about shooting drawn-out exposures. Both Mark and Gary ditched their tripods at several points, working hand-held with their respective Fujifilm and iPhone ‘back-ups’ and moving quickly around the lake to take advantage of the situation. It often pays to overshoot when presented with perfect conditions like this.

phone it in One way of killing time when you’re shooting a long exposure is to grab a few shots with your phone. Mark’s a fan of the analogue look created by the Hipstamatic app, something he used to capture the steps of Marine Lake (right). There’s a lot to be said for not having to faff around with pictures in Photoshop…

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Photo Active

Portfolio This photographer’s exploration of a miniature world reveals a display of precise beauty

Name:

Yasir Mehmood

LocatioN:

Islamabad, Pakistan

Subject:

Wildlife macro photography

equipmeNt: Nikon D5200, Tamron 90mm, Sigma 70-300mm with extension tubes, flash, focusing rail, shutter release, tripod WebSite:

www.facebook.com/yasirwildlifephotographer

PhotograPhy is as important as breathing to Yasir Mehmood. “I have to take a few clicks of my camera every day to keep my spirit satisfied and healthy!” he says. By profession Yasir is an interior designer, but when he’s not working, you’ll most likely find him searching in the undergrowth for some insects. Yasir is passionate about wildlife macro photography and the variety in nature it reveals: “I like to focus on the marvellous colour combinations of insects and their patterns of design,” he says. “My photography is not just an image taken close-up. I see insects as objects of beauty, which are as beautiful as any other element in nature, and worthy of being photographed. For me photography is not just a hobby: it’s systematic research into insects’ lives.” Yasir admits that it’s not always an easy task to find his macro subjects to photograph. “Going around the bushes of deep

thick forests, seashores and dried deserts is hard work,” he says. However Yasir’s ongoing interest in the subject helps him overcome these obstacles, and makes the hours and dedication he has to put into capturing his shots worth the effort. The most challenging image Yasir has ever shot – and his personal favourite – was of a ladybird, and is called ‘Surfing the Golden Path’. “The shape of the plant looks like a Fibonacci golden spiral,” he says. To eliminate any background distractions, Yasir framed the insect against a big green leaf. “I was using a Sigma 70-300mm lens with extension tubes, plus a remote shutter release to avoid image shake.” He adds that there was a breeze that day, which made that crucial timing of the shot even harder to execute. “I had been waiting a long time for the ladybird to reach this point!” he confesses. “But the end result is all worth it. This photo is simple, but the concept is strong.” It’s all about the little things!

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Kit Nikon D5200 with 18-55mm lens and Raynox DCR 250 Converter Exposure 1/50 sec at f/11, ISO 100 ‘Lets play football’. The details of this creature’s habitat are just as interesting as the insect itself.

Kit Nikon D5200 with 70-300mm lens Exposure 1/50 sec at f/16, ISO 200 ‘Friendship’. One day soon the caterpillar will turn into the butterfly. This one image shows the incredible journey this creature takes.

www.digitalcameraworld.com


NeXt moNtH

Fine-art portrait photographer Seanen Middleton

Kit Nikon D5200 with 70-300mm lens Exposure 1/40 sec at f/14, ISO 200 In this image, ‘Protector’, a spider and butterfly hang on opposite sides of the twig. The spider looks ready to pounce, showing the circle of life.

www.digitalcameraworld.com

Kit Nikon D5200 with Sigma 70-300mm lens plus extension tube Exposure 1/25 sec at f/11, ISO 100 ‘Surfing the Golden Path’ was a challenging shot for Yasir to capture: the timing of capturing the ladybird at the right point was crucial.

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Photo Active

Photo answers

Your tricky photography questions answered! ANDREW JAMEs Our expert photo advisor is here to help

hazy with histograms? annoyed over aberration? Send your question to digitalcamera@futurenet.com and let us provide you with a solution

Careful positioning can remove the tell-tale signs of shooting through a fence.

To the wire I shot through a fence and it showed on all the images. How can I improve my results next time? Adam Thomas

It’s possible to shoot through a fence and get decent results – but it’s not ideal, so you should avoid it wherever possible. If you have no other choice, there are certain things

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you can do in order to make sure you get a better photograph. I tend to leave the lens hood on so there is no chance of the lens being scratched by the wire; but with the hood on, hold it as tight to the fence as possible. The important thing is that the gap in the fence is in the centre of the frame. This restricts composition and means you won’t be able to track the vehicles, so it is best if the cars are coming around a corner. This lets you assess the racing line and pretty much compose your image in advance of the subject appearing. It might even be worth pre-focusing on the track where you expect the vehicles to be or switching to the centre AF points, as

they are invariably the most accurate and fastest to lock focus. Next, you need to find the right balance between focal length and aperture. Essentially, the longer the focal length and wider the aperture, the less chance there is of the fence appearing on your image. However, if you open up the aperture too far, you may not have enough depth of field in your image. I’d suggest shooting at a minimum of 200mm and f/4 or perhaps 300mm and f/5.6. Resist the urge to move the lens when the subject appears: you will probably just cut the fence wire across the frame. My example image (left) was taken at a racetrack where I had to shoot through a double fence. An aperture of f/4, a focal length of 280mm and careful placing of the lens so that any wire was right at the edge of the frame has resulted in a ‘clean’ image. As you can see on the wider frame (taken at 100mm and f/4), the fencing is clearly visible.

Keep the fence gap in the centre of the frame.

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Photo Answers

Photo Active

la gUYm iD an e ’s

The Lensbaby is an accessible way to come with some creative shots.

tilt-shift lenses

are they easy to use? They can take a bit of getting used to. You can shift them up and down, left and right as well as tilt them in various ways to alter the plane of focus. You’d certainly need to play around with them for a while to start to understand how it all works and what different effects you can get. why don’t more people use them? You won’t find a tilt-shift lens in every gear bag because they are expensive. However, they are still popular with professional architecture photographers and also more and more with landscape specialists. They are certainly an option for anyone who wants

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I tried to take an abstract reflection photo. Why couldn’t I get the autofocus to lock on? Joseph Barns

Control your perspective and plane of focus what is a tilt-shift lens? It’s a specialist optic that allows you to control some of the basics of depth of field and perspective in a way that a normal lens cannot. Traditionally it is used to either correct wide-angle distortion or to create interesting and creative effects with the plane of focus. They have been particularly popular with architecture photographers, who need to control the converging verticals that occur when you point a wide-angle lens up at a tall building.

Reflections

to try something different and add a creative twist to their photography. Can’t you recreate what they do in imaging software? You can to a degree – and this is certainly a more cost-effective way of either controlling perspective or creating that unusual ‘miniature’ effect that a tilt-shift lens can achieve when shooting from somewhere high up. Some cameras also come with built-in software that allows you to create the miniature effect in-camera. are there any other options that i could consider? If you like the creative effect of playing with the plane of focus, you could invest in a Lensbaby. This is a type of optic that allows you to distort the plane of focus in a similar way to that of the shift function on a tilt-shift lens. The results from a Lensbaby are less controllable and more unpredictable, so they aren’t ideal for all types of photography. However, as a fun accessory to experiment with, they are a great addition to anyone’s camera bag. Tilt-shift lenses aren’t cheap, but the results are impressive.

You weren’t doing anything wrong: there were just a lot of factors giving your aF system a headache. I don’t know what your reflection was made up of, but it’s important to remember that AF works on identifying contrast in the scene: without that, it will always struggle. Even a reflection with some contrast in it can cause problems, as the surface of the water is constantly moving; that alone can make even the most sophisticated AF system hunt around. There are several things you can do. First, make sure you’re not shooting in your camera’s Continuous focus mode. Instead, switch it to Single Shot focus, then try to aim a focus point at the most contrasting part of the scene. If your camera has it, use a cross-type AF point, which is more accurate. At the very least your central AF point will be a cross-type AF point, but the more recent your camera is, the more cross-type AF points it will have. A cross-type AF point is able to identify contrast on both a horizontal and vertical line, so you are doubling your chances of it locking on successfully. This is what I did ASK US A qUeSTion in my example shot (above), digitalcamera@ using the area marked as my futurenet.com point of focus, because the (subject line: contrast there was good. Photo Answers) If you are still struggling, simply switch AF completely and focus manually. This isn’t something we do very much these days, but in tricky situations like this, it can be the simplest option. MARCH 2017

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PHoto AnsweRs

Streaking lights I’ve seen images of roads where the car lights just streak. How can I try this out? Colin Prestwick

Late colour I recently took a few sunset shots, then packed up my kit. Later the sky seemed to have intensified. Should I have stayed longer?

You are talking about light trails. It’s relatively easy to do as long as you have a convenient and safe location where you can shoot a busy road. You need to shoot with the camera on a tripod, as exposure times could run into minutes, depending on the traffic. Safety is the primary concern. Make sure you aren’t standing somewhere that is dangerous – and equally important,

never have any of your equipment positioned directly over the road itself. You need to be in place as it starts to get dark so you can achieve the longer shutter speeds needed to streak the lights of the cars – both the red rear lights as cars move away from you and the white headlights as they travel towards you. I usually manually focus on the road, set an aperture of f/16 in Aperture Priority, and let the camera set the shutter speed. As it gets darker, you might find the shutter speed runs over 30 seconds, so then you can switch to Bulb mode, where the shutter opens and stays open until you choose to close it. A cable release that you can lock open is essential for this. If you work in Bulb mode, you can also cover the lens with a piece of black card whenever there are gaps in the flow of traffic so you build up the streaks showing in your shot.

Craig Hartnell YEs, yes, yes! I’ve seen this so many times when I’ve been out shooting and there have been one or two other photographers in the area. Quite rightly they shoot as the sun dips down towards the horizon and take a couple of quick ones once it has disappeared. Then they pack up and go, leaving me all on my own. You really answered your own question when you used the word ‘intensified’. If there is good colour in the sky, its richness can really come though a while after the sun itself has set. This doesn’t always happen, but it’s worth hanging around for – just in case! By this time you might find yourself working in almost complete darkness, so you either need to know your way around the camera controls by touch or invest in a head torch to help illuminate things. Admittedly I’ve been left in the middle of a field wearing a head torch wondering why I’d bothered to stay on a lot of occasions – but once or twice I have been rewarded with stunning colours, great silhouettes and a shot nobody else has got. Obviously in low-light conditions, you need to be using a tripod and a cable release so you don’t move the camera during the shot, as exposure times will extend to 30 seconds or more. 76

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A steady camera and tripod set-up helps you capture stunning light-trail images.

QUICK Q&A

Firm it up What is a firmware update? Do I need it?

Jane Hill

It’s basically an upgrade to the camera’s software. A firmware update may improve the operation of your camera or resolve ‘bugs’ that came to light after it was released. You can usually find firmware updates at the manufacturer’s website, where they can be downloaded onto a memory card then transferred into your camera. It is worth keeping up to date with firmware updates: check the number of the firmware version in your camera against that shown online to see whether your operating system is current or not.

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Foreground first I’ve just bought a wide-angle lens but my landscape shots seem ‘empty’. How can I improve the framing? Don Horsey Before

After

save shadows and highlights Make sure your shot is revealing every detail. Learn how to rescue shadow and highlight clipping in Lightroom 1

View clipped areas

On a very contrasty image like this, it’s quite likely the raw image will clip both highlights and shadows. To view the clipped areas, make sure you are in the Develop module and press J. The clipped highlights will show as red and the shadows as blue. If they are not completely over- or under-exposed, you can rescue them relatively easily.

into the Histogram 2 Go Click into the Histogram on either the very edge of the shadows (left) or the highlights (right), and use the mouse to drag in towards the centre. When correcting the highlights the Whites slider changes its settings; when altering the shadows, the Blacks slider will change. Drag until the overlay colour disappears.

the sliders 3 Use Now your image falls within the dynamic range of the camera. Don’t play around with the Black, White or Highlights sliders again, but you are free to tweak Saturation, Vibrancy or Clarity as you see fit. Here, I increased the Clarity, added a bit of Vibrancy and pushed the Shadows slider slightly right to lift the shadows a bit more.

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thINk ‘foreground, foreground, foreground’! With a wide-angle lens, this area of the composition instantly becomes much more important. Keep the overall image simple, so the viewer doesn’t have to work hard when looking at your image. The temptation is to cram the image with detail, but that can overpower the senses, so always look to simplify the elements as much as you can.

QUICK Q&A

Portrait space Where can I find space for my camera club to shoot a portrait session?

Chris Howells

ASK US A

qUeSTion thERE are a lot of digitalcamera@ studios you can hire futurenet.com out for the day with (subject line: backdrops, infinity curves Photo Answers) and, if you don’t have your own, lights too. You can either bring in your own model or ask the studio to arrange one for you as part of the cost.

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PHoto AnsweRs

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Photo aCtive

Phil green

this monochrome treatment shows a funfair in a whole new light

ANDREW sAYs: i think you should be applauded for trying something different and opting for a black-andwhite version of a subject that is typically shown in colour. I really like it. There’s a hint of film noir about the dark, moody world in the foreground, set against that dancing light of the fairground ride in motion. The chosen shutter speed has certainly meant there are lots of interesting light streaks and blurred figures that give the shot some energy. On the flipside, I think the foreground is actually too dark. It just needs a small and

GeT RATeD!

email your shot to digitalcamera@ futurenet.com (subject line: Rate My Photo)

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PhIL sAYs: i took the photo at a local fair using a tripod, my Canon eos 6d and an iPhone for the remote shutter switch. My goal was to try and catch motion blur and light trails. I moved around the fair for about two hours taking photos; this one was, I believe, the best of the night. I initially processed it in colour, but I like the black-and-white version better. My exposure was 3.8 seconds at f/11 and ISO 100. I processed the photo in Camera Raw.

MARCH 2017

subtle lift out of the shadows to balance the composition better. My main bugbear, though, is the black sky – not all of it, just the large empty space to the left: I feel it dominates the picture. This is where a colour image could come to your rescue if there was still some light left in that sky. A beautiful deep twilight blue, for example, would make it less empty.

NICeLy doNe Great use of monochrome for a typical colour subject Perfect shutter speed to get movement and energy

RooM FoR IMPRoVeMeNT The foreground is just slightly too dark The empty black sky on the left unbalances things

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Photo aCtive

m r Y a Ph te ot o

PHoto AnsweRs

tom Dullage Painstaking preparation made this candid wildlife shot possible

GeT RATeD!

email your shot to digitalcamera@ futurenet.com (subject line: Rate My Photo)

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toM sAYs: this was taken from an upstairs window, using my nikon d7100 and a 200-400mm f/4 nikkor zoom lens at f/5.6, 1/320 sec and iso 400. I have a log with holes drilled down two sides, filled with suet-based bird food; it’s set up around 25ft from the window and a few feet below window height. The picture was taken in the early afternoon, with the sun behind and to the left. The main problem I had was the distracting background, which contained lots of highlights. ANDREW sAYs: you’ve clearly gone to a lot of effort to encourage the wildlife into your garden and into a position that you can shoot from your house. Excellent! Of course, the birds then don’t want to appear when the light is perfect, so you have to take your opportunities and work with them as best you can. You’ve got a lot here to handle, from the dark feathers on the woodpecker to the strong highlights

from the background foliage – and you’ve done a good job. I’d be tempted to frame this shot as an upright, cropping it from the edge of the tree to just behind the bird’s head. That way you’d be reducing the amount of distracting background. I don’t know whether your tree is growing at a slight lean to the right; even if it is, I’d straighten it at the cropping stage.

NICeLy doNe Encouraging your subject into a position you can shoot from is excellent planning Your accurate focusing on the woodpecker is first-class

RooM FoR IMPRoVeMeNT Think about the composition a little bit more in future The lighting is harsh and cool, but hopefully he’ll be back in more favourable light

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Photo A p active

Assignment The winners of our ‘candid portrait’ contest – and essential details for this month’s natural challenge

EvEry issuE, we challenge you to take the most creative and arresting shot around a theme, and share it at the online community at Photocrowd (www.photocrowd.com). Here, you’ll be able to browse the entries and vote on your favourites. The best entries receive a critique from our judging panel – and one winner receives a special prize! Your mission in issue 185 was to capture candid portraits. There were thousands of entries to choose from: we had everything from gritty monochrome portraits of strangers on the streets to family portraits of loved ones. Enjoy the winners right here…

crowD vote

prADeep rAjA

Chosen by the voting community at Photocrowd. Kit Nikon D610 with 70-200 mm f/2.8 lens Exposure 1/640 sec at f/3.5, ISO 250

d owte C r vo

This month’s photo assignment is ‘forms in nature’! You can find all the details over the page…

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mAtthew DArtforD

Matthew has created a strong composition here, and the delicate black-and-white finish emphasises the child’s fragility and innocence. The child is completely engrossed in his own thoughts and appears to have a look of intrigue on his face, as well as being slightly daunted (in the reflection) by the passing world. Matthew has created space, which gives the impression that the boy is starting his journey towards independence – yet the window his face is pressed against reminds us that he is still protected from the complexities of the world. Kit Canon EOS 5D Mk III with 24mm f/1.4L lens Exposure 1/1,600 sec at f/2, ISO 100

WE sAy... “The delicate black-andwhite finish emphasises the child’s fragility”


Assignment

photo Active

TURN OVER!

This month’s assignment requires you to get outside and look for forms in nature

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rob luckins In second place, this candid street image caught our attention for all the right reasons! We love how it plays with the subject’s expression, and the arrow sign on the wall. The fact that the subject is walking in the other direction with a look of defiance in his eyes gives the impression of going against the system and making your own decisions. Rob has captured all these elements in a great composition. Kit Nikon D200 with 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5 lens Exposure 1/30 sec at f/4, ISO 1,000 www.digitalcameraworld.com

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prAnAb bAsAk

Well done to Pranab, who has captured this fleeting moment and great candid portrait. The use of colour in this instance works well, as the warmer tones in the child’s face stand out and contrast against the dark material of the surrounding women’s clothing. Pranab has created a strong composition and has used the negative dark space effectively to create a strong portrait. He has also made excellent use of the natural light, which is warm and soft in tone. No shooting information

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Photo active

Assignment

New ASSIGNMeNt

forms in nAture Get back to nature with your camera to capture natural formations, whether they’re close up or from a wider view in the landscape

Nature and photography go hand in hand. Many photographers enjoy combining both subjects, as there’s something meditative about getting back to nature. Whether you decide to get up close with a macro lens or take a wider angle, there are so many subjects that can be covered under this topic – plants, insects, rocks and landscape formations, just to name a few. So get your natural thinking caps on! If sculpture and photography grabs your attention, you may want to consider taking a Richard Long approach (www.richardlong.org). We can’t wait to see what you come up with. Good luck!

ENTER TODAY!

www.photocrowd. com/a/current closing date: 23rd February 2017

How to enter

Visit www.photocrowd. com/a/current and look for the ‘Forms in nature’ contest. (Registration is required, but it’s free to join.) Click Submit An Image to upload your entry. The closing date for this contest is 23rd February 2017. The creator of the best photo in the judges’ opinion will receive a brand-new Lowepro Photo Hatchback BP 250 AW II. The Crowd Vote winner also receives a special prize. A selection of the winning images will appear in issue 189.

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

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

www.lowepro.co.uk

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IntervIew

Clive Arrowsmith This prolific fashion and portrait photographer tells David Clark about art, The Beatles and photography’s ‘sacred moment’ 84

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Karen nude in the woods Clive photographed this model in the hills above Venice, Italy, using a Nikon F, a 35mm lens and Tri-X film.

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Left Fortnum & Mason shoot This promotional image for the iconic department store’s ice cream parlour was taken during an all-night shoot, while the shop was closed. Below left Adelle ‘Bonnie’ Lutz The costume designer, model and actress was photographed for Tatler. She had, says Clive, “the best bobbed hair ever”.

CLIVE ARROWSMITH

Fashion, portrait and commercial photographer Clive Arrowsmith was born in north Wales. He studied painting and design at Queensferry Art School, then Kingston College of Art. He began shooting fashion editorial for Vogue in 1970.

Above Pirelli Calendar, 1992 This image was shot in the searing heat of the Almeira desert in southern Spain, with the body-painted model representing the Year of the Rat in the Chinese zodiac.

His work has included fashion, beauty, celebrity portraits and advertising, for clients including Harpers & Queen, Vanity Fair, Pirelli and De Beers. iN 2016 Clive became a Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society, and his book Arrowsmith: Fashion, Beauty and Portraits was published. The National Portrait Gallery recently bought several of his images for its collection.

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H

AVE you always been a creative person? I loved painting and drawing as a child. My uncle told me I was born on the same day as Leonardo da Vinci: I became a fanatic about Leonardo and tried to copy his drawings. After I finished school, I did a foundation course in painting and design at Queensferry Art School in north Wales, and then I got a scholarship to Kingston College of Art. I stayed there as long as I could, and kept winning bursaries. I didn’t want to leave, because I didn’t think I’d get employed. I trained for six years in total. You knew the Beatles before they became famous. How did you meet them? While I was at Queensferry, opentop buses would be driven down to London once a year, to be used as

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stands to watch the Derby. We all paid £2/10s and went to London for two or three days, got ‘student drunk’ and spent all our money. We always went to the same pub, and that’s where I met John Lennon and Stuart Sutcliffe, who were both at art school in Liverpool. Stuart invited me to their squat in Gambia Terrace, where I met Paul and George. They were called The Quarrymen in those days. I could tell they were going to be famous, because they were so on it; they were devoted to music. I later worked with Paul many times, and shot the cover for Band on the Run. What were your paintings like? I was an outcast in art school. I was in love with the Italian Renaissance, and not the conceptual, pop art or abstract painting that was popular at the time. I used to paint in a highly detailed and realistic way, a very trompe l’oeil style. Each painting took

me two months to do. After I left Kingston, I painted for two years while earning a living by stoking boilers at the Surbiton telephone exchange and mowing lawns at the BBC. My paintings all sold, but it was not enough to support my family. I had to earn more money, because I already had three children by that time. How did you get into photography? I got a job as a graphic designer for the television maker Rediffusion, and started designing some of the opening graphics for the pop music programme Ready Steady Go! I wanted to include behind-thescenes pictures of the performers, but I couldn’t get anyone to take the pictures, so I decided to do it myself. That was when I first got interested in photography. They had a massive amount of equipment, and I used everything mArCh 2017

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IntervIew

Clive Arrowsmith

QuiCkfire Q&A Do you do a lot of post-processing? I do use Photoshop, but not to the extent where portraits look like over-retouched computer graphics or beauty shots with soft-mask overlays taken to extremes. I hate that. I aim to get pictures 99% right in-camera. Are there any pictures you’re particularly proud of shooting? I wouldn’t say proud, but I’m very grateful I had the opportunity to take portraits of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, which have been used all over the world to help the Tibetan people. Which other photographers do you admire? I admire Irving Penn, Richard Avedon, Albert Watson, Guy Bourdin and Ansel Adams, but I don’t really like many others. In the last 15 years, some photographers have become well-known because of the celebrities or famous models they’re photographing, not on the merit of the photographs.

Right David Bowie Clive photographed Bowie twice: once in 1969, before the singer was famous, and again in this 1980 portrait shoot.

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from Nikons to 10x8 cameras. I learned how to print by trial and error. That moment when the image appears in the glowing red light of the darkroom on paper, out of the rippling chemicals, was magical. I got obsessed with photography, left television, bought a secondhand Hasselblad and started working as a photographer. What was your first portrait assignment at this time? I went to Nova and begged them for a shoot. They said I should go up to Salford and photograph the painter LS Lowry in his house. After I’d taken the pictures, he said: “You’re a nice lad. I’d give you a painting, but the last time I gave one away, it was on sale in London six months later for £1,000.” I said, “I wouldn’t ever sell it,” and he said, “I know you wouldn’t, but I’m not giving you one. Do you want a cup of tea?” How did you get the chance to work on Vogue? I asked Town to let me have a go at shooting some pictures for them. This was in 1969, I think. They asked me to take pictures of a fashion show at the Royal College of Art. I shot the pictures with a Pentax and a 28mm lens. I didn’t expose them properly, but Town thought they were great. After that, I was asked to do some pictures for Harpers & Queen, which were seen by the editors at Vogue. Barney Wan, then the art director, and Grace Coddington, the fashion editor, came to my house to see my work. The next morning my phone rang and a voice said, “Please come in tomorrow to discuss your career with Vogue.” What was it like working for Vogue in the 1970s? They were very authoritarian in those days. You had to do everything their way, and there were a lot of arguments because they didn’t choose the pictures you wanted them to use. The editors used to wear black dresses and pearl necklaces, and smoke cigarettes in an affected way. I would roll into the Vogue office wearing a Stetson hat and a Russian Cossack coat with a sash and beads and bells. They saw me as someone who was mad, bad and dangerous to know; someone who did what www.digitalcameraworld.com

I wanted to do, rather than what they wanted. Do you think your artistic training benefited your work? Yes, because I didn’t know the photography world at all when I started. I didn’t look at other photographers’ work. I was totally free and didn’t know the rules. As the artist Degas said: “Painting is not very difficult when you don’t know how; but when you know – oh! Then it’s another matter.”

Clive’s kiT BAG Clive says: “I currently use the Canon EOS 5DS R. I prefer to use primes for the quality, and I’ve got about six lenses. I mostly use the 85mm f/1.2 and the 135mm f/2. I’ve always used Hasselblads; I use a Hasselblad H6D-50c. It has a 50MP sensor and it captures things in such detail. The quality is extraordinary – it’s my favourite camera.”

When you’re doing a fashion shoot, how do you relate to your models? I develop a rapport with them. If you make them laugh, after the smile fades from the face you get this beautiful memory of a joyful moment in their expression. That’s why people say my pictures have an amazing look about the face and eyes. You go into what I think is a sacred moment between you and the subject. Sometimes you don’t need to do anything, like when photographing Helena Bonham Carter for instance. But at other times you have to go >

Above Chandrika Casali This image, shot as part of a Vogue beauty feature in 1972, shows Casali with striking ‘shark’s fin’ hair by stylist John Frieda.

“You go into what I think is a sacred moment between you and the subject”

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IntervIew

Clive Arrowsmith

through the process of being daft and being the cabaret.

bowl offerings and meditate. That’s how I relax and level out for the day.

What’s been the most difficult assignment you’ve taken on? They’re all difficult. It’s never easy. One extreme example was when I shot the Pirelli Calendar in the Almeria desert in southern Spain in 1992. The temperature was over 100°F. I had a set built which ended up being blown down a ravine during a sand storm, and it was so hot that all the body paint on the models just ran off. Usually, taking the photographs is the easiest part. The rest of it is building the bridges and the infrastructure to get to that moment.

What work have you got in the pipeline? I’m doing some portraits; then I’m going to Sweden next month to do a fashion shoot with the designer Lars Wallin. I’ll be using the new 100-megapixel Hasselblad H6D. I’m also working on Rock, Fashion and Portraits, a book that is nearly complete and will be published next year; and a book and exhibition featuring my pictures of LS Lowry.

You were known for a wild and hedonistic lifestyle. When did that come to an end? Becoming a Buddhist stabilised me. Around 1991, when my son Paris was two, I remember looking at him asleep in his cot and I said to myself, “I’m not doing this anymore.” I stopped everything in one day. When I told my friends, they said: “You’re the worst one, you’re the maddest of us all.” They didn’t believe I could do it, but I’ve never had a drink, a drug or a cigarette since then. Every morning I go to a room at the top of my house, do seven water 90

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18-21 MARCH Birmingham NEC Clive Arrowsmith will be talking about his work at The Photography Show on Monday 20th March, 13.00-14.00 photographyshow.com

Are you still passionate about photography? I love taking pictures. It’s my life. Like many other photographers from the same era, like Albert Watson and Patrick Demarchelier, I still work because of my passion for photos. I feel I’m taking better photographs than I ever have, because of the methods I’ve developed. Some people say that we should throw away our cameras because everything’s already been done – but they say that because they haven’t really looked. My motto is “Everything’s been done; it’s the way you do it”. Photography is constantly changing as we find new ways of looking at things. www.clivearrowsmith.com

Above left Yamamoto designs A 2013 studio shot combining two pictures of the same model, and featuring creations by Japanese fashion designer Kansai Yamamoto. Above Sleep Clive’s sensuous and painterly image was taken for a Harper’s feature in 2001.

NEXT MONTH Celebrity, fashion and art with Albert watson

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find out more at www.myfavouritemagazines.co.uk/dcmmp01 or call 0344 848 2852 and quote DCMMP01 TERMS AND CONDITIONS: Prices and savings are calculated by reference to the value of Photo Club membership, which includes the cost of buying full-priced print issues at the UK newsstand and other member benefits. You will receive 13 issues in a year. You can write to us or call us to cancel your subscription within 14 days of purchase. Your subscription is for the minimum term specified and will expire at the end of the current term. Payment is non-refundable after the 14-day cancellation period unless exceptional circumstances apply. Your statutory rights are not affected. Prices correct at point of print and subject to change. Gift is subject to availability. Please allow up to 60 days for the delivery of your gift. In the event of stocks becoming exhausted we reserve the right to replace with items of a similar value. For full terms and conditions please visit: http://bit.ly/magterms. Offer ends 30th January 2017.


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WORK EXPERIENCE Quentin Lake is on an epic trek, taking his camera around the whole of Britain’s coastline. He tells Jeff Meyer what inspired him to start – and what keeps him walking

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What inspired you to walk the perimeter of Britain? When I was 20 I walked from Land’s End to John O’Groats, and was really inspired by the experience. More recently I started combining my love for walking with my passion for photography. It was about five years ago when I embarked on my first big project combining the two, walking from the source of the Thames to the sea. I took abstract photography on the back of that experience. It was great, because for the first time I wasn’t thinking about an audience for my images: I was only thinking about what I wanted to shoot. That led me to another long walk from the source of the Severn to the sea. It was during this walk that I became more interested in tidal landscapes. I was really surprised how varied the area around Bristol was. This eventually led to my idea to walk around the coastline of Britain. This project was also inspired by John Merrill’s book Turn Right at Land’s End, which has been on my shelf since I was a teenager. I always thought it was such an achievement that he walked Britain’s coastline, and was I inspired to do it too. 92

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This spread (clockwise from top left) Lynmouth, Devon; Port Talbot, south Wales; Brean, Somerset; and Laugharne, Carmarthenshire.

When did you begin your journey, and how long will it take? About a year and a half ago. If I can walk for two to three months a year, the whole journey will take about five years.

How are you funding the project? I’m self-funding it at the moment. I may change that. I’m camping most of the time, so it’s not expensive apart from the time involved. The reason I’m doing it self-funded is that it gives me complete autonomy and creative freedom.

Did you put your paid work on hold, or are you fitting in commissions during the journey? I’m fitting in commissions during the journey. I walk about five to seven days a month on average – a little more in summer and less in winter. The rest of the time I carry on with my other work. My architectural photography clients are my priority. They’re responsible for about three quarters of my funding. So if they need me on a particular date, I do it. I have a 10-day commitment per month on The Perimeter, which includes the walking and editing. The reasons I didn’t decide to complete the project all in one go are my commitments to my commercial clients and to my family, and the simple fact that you tend to get creative blindness after a while.

QUeNtiN’S WOrK

riginally an architect, Quintin Lake is now an architectural photographer with more than 300 clients. Quintin has also shared a life-long passion for walking. In April 2015, he took his first steps at St Paul’s Cathedral, London, on an epic trek around Britain to document its varied coastline. Here he explains the inspiration and practicalities of his project, The Perimeter, as well as what he is looking for visually in what will be a five-year epic project – which we will cover each month in Digital Camera.

How do you ensure you pick up exactly where you left off? I’m very pedantic about every single footstep. If I travel a certain distance,

> www.digitalcameraworld.com


www.digitalcameraworld.com

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PRO ZONE

Work ExpEriEncE

“Inwinterwithlimited lightIdon’twantto missanything important,soIplot eachrouteanddecide whereI’llcamp”

then go back home or off to complete a commission, I always make sure that I return to the exact spot where I left off.

What do you do with things like your house and car while you’re away? Because I’m only away a week or two at a time, my wife maintains everything at home. It is a bit of a strain on our marriage, but she believes in what I’m doing. She is also an artist. She designed the artwork for Coldplay, and I held the fort back then, when she was doing interviews and press circuits.

I carry around 12 to 18kg, depending on whether I need my full camping kit, and then however much food, water and fuel I need. When I’m wild camping I have a Terra Nova Laser Photon 1 tent, and I use B&Bs in built-up areas. Gear-wise, I shoot with a Canon EOS 5DS because I do large-print. My lenses are a 24-70mm f/4L standard zoom, a 70-300mm f/4-5.6L telephoto zoom and a 17mm TS-E f4L tilt-shift wideangle. I use a customised Gitzo tripod that only weighs half a kilo, but is waist-high and very rigid. A head torch is very important. I wake up in the dark and walk for three hours in the dark at night.

QUeNtiN’S WOrK

What gear do you carry with you, and how do you carry it?

How far do you walk each day? About 25 to 35km per day, which is quite a lot with all your photography gear!

Where do you stay? I love wild camping. It’s much cheaper, but I also prefer it creatively because you can position yourself so you’re in the right place for the best light in the morning. Also, when you’re wild camping the ground is softer and better sheltered.

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guide books. But my best work has always been chance encounters: beautiful light or the end of a storm. In winter with limited light, I don’t want to miss anything important, so I plot each route quite carefully and decide where I’ll camp.

What are you looking for visually?

What common themes have you noticed in your images?

I look for places on the map in advance, and research quite carefully on Wikipedia, Ordnance Survey maps and

I thought that my abstract seascapes would be a bad copy of Hiroshi Sugimoto, but as it happens I feel like I’ve built up

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a strong body of work on this theme. I’m also fascinated by industrial architecture on the coast: power stations, pylons, World War II stations. And then weatherscapes, where I can take a classic landscape like Durdle Door which is epically photographed, and show it in a new way. I like Turner’s paintings and how his landscapes have an amazing sense of weather in them. Also, I’m there in the moment and it’s quite a visceral feeling for me being in that weather, sleeping in that weather, www.digitalcameraworld.com


This spread (clockwise from above left) Stout Bay, Glamorgan; Oxwich Point, Gower; Laugharne, Carmarthenshire

How has the feel and tone of your images changed since you started?

that gives me a looser style to work with. I want people to see these images and say, “I didn’t know the UK coast was like that!”

It’s getting a bit harder to find unique images, but the landscape here is so varied, and that keeps me going creatively. I think I’m getting more minimalist rather than wider pictorial. Part of what I’m doing is documenting the changing landscape of the coast, and www.digitalcameraworld.com

How many images do you shoot? About 300 a day, and I edit down to 10 to 15. From that I’ll choose a couple to print. After each county, I’ll produce a series of 16, which I’ll promote as a portfolio set.

mOre iNFO • You can see some of Quintin’s favourite images from the journey so far and buy prints via www.bit.ly/dc187lake or follow his progress on his Perimeter blog at www.theperimeter.uk.

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not a pre-planned trip where I turn up in a vehicle. So the image that results has more meaning to me.

• Follow Quintin’s journey every issue in a new series starting next month. On sale 24th February

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Jill Furmanovsky

bl u no ff te er’ s s

Jill FuRMAnovsky The unassuming photographer who’s shot pretty much everyone who matters in rock

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gig at the Rainbow Theatre. The venue’s bouncers allowed her to stand with the professionals and she shot the band from close to the stage. Some after-concert networking resulted in her being offered unpaid work as one of the Rainbow’s in-house photographers. The next week, she was taking pictures of Pink Floyd, and a career on music magazines followed.

America. Her on-stage and behind-thescenes pictures (above) were exhibited and published in Oasis: Was There Then, A Photographic Journey (1997).

How did she start?

Was there a turning-point for her?

Where can I see more?

Born in Zimbabwe (then Rhodesia) in 1953, she emigrated with her parents and brother to England in 1965. Her father was a keen amateur photographer who introduced her to the magic of the wet darkroom. As a teenager, she was a keen Beatles fan and managed to take a picture of Paul McCartney outside his London home, using a Kodak Instamatic. It became her first published picture when it was printed in Beatles Monthly.

In 1991, Furmanovsky photographed Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts in a London hotel room. This black-andwhite shot, taken on a Hasselblad and lit with a portable flash, confirmed her photographic expertise wasn’t restricted to live concerts. The image won the Jane Bown Observer Portrait Award in 1992.

Who is she best known for shooting?

A selection of her images are at www.rockarchive.com, which she founded in 1998 and now includes shots by over 70 photographers. A collection of her earlier work has been published in The Moment: 25 Years of Rock Magnum photo Photography. journalist David Alan Harvey

Probably Oasis. She took her first pictures of them on-stage at the Cambridge Corn Exchange in 1994. She was attracted by Noel and Liam Gallagher’s “suppressed energy” and their famously volatile relationship. Shortly afterwards, she was invited to go on tour with the band to

Jill Furmanovsky will be talking about her work on the Super Stage at the Photography Show at 1pm on Sunday 19th March.

What was her big break? In 1972, while studying textile and graphic design at Central St Martin’s School of Art in London, she borrowed a camera from college and took it to a Yes 96

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Jill Furmanovsky

ill Furmanovsky is one of the best-known music photographers working today. In a 45-year career, she has shot most of the major musical artists of the era, including Bob Dylan, Pink Floyd, Amy Winehouse, Leonard Cohen (top), Queen, Miles Davis, James Brown, Eric Clapton, The Sex Pistols, Led Zeppelin, BB King and many more.

NEXT MONTH

www.digitalcameraworld.com


e i Z th Pr r

2 o W 2 £5

!

Win an irix 15mm l e n s F r o m P h oto 24 ! Yo u c o u l d W i n a b r i l l i a n t n i ko n - F i t W i d e -a n g l e l e n s

Worth

£522! T

he Irix 15mm f/2.4 Blackstone is a finely engineered wide-angle prime lens that’s just the hob for capturing sweeping landscapes. It’s a manual-focus lens with a magnesiumalloy skin, weather seals and fluorescent engraved markings. There’s also a finetuning mechanism to aid focusing, and the angle of view is 110 degrees. We reviewed the Irix 15mm f/2.4 Blackstone in issue 185’s group test of manual-focus lenses, when we said: “Image quality is excellent in all respects. It’s also neat that you can lock the focus setting to any preset position, thanks to a separate locking ring.” We gave the lens 4.5 stars and our Great Value award. The Irix 15mm f/2.4 Blackstone lens is available in a choice of Nikon, Canon and Pentax fits. The prize in this competition is the Nikon-fit edition. You could win this excellent lens courtesy of our friends at Photo24. Photo24 supplies the latest equipment from over 100 top brands at the best prices, with excellent conditions and a unique buying process,

delivering an online store together with more than 10 years of experience and thousands of satisfied customers. Photo24 offers reviews from professional photographers, sample videos, articles and product testing to help in the choice of the product, and an after-sales service committed to giving you the best possible service.

Please noTe • This competition is open to UK residents only. • The prize is a Nikon-fit lens for Nikon full-frame or APS-C SLR cameras with the Nikon F lens mount.

To find out more about Photo24, visit www.photo24.co.uk

HOW TO ENTER

For your chance to win this fantastic prize, visit www.bit.ly/dc187photo24 then complete the entry form. You’ll be asked to answer this simple question: What is the angle of view for the Irix 15mm f/2.4 Blackstone lens? A. 110 degrees B. 220 degrees C. 330 degrees We’ll contact the winner via email, so please double-check you type in your email address correctly! Please type the competition page address into the Location bar of your web browser. (Press Ctrl+L or Cmd+L to go there.) Google and other search engines will not recognise this web address.

Terms & conditions: The closing date is 30th April 2017. Under-18s must obtain parental consent to enter and be able to demonstrate this to Future’s reasonable satisfaction. Multiple entries will be disqualified. After the closing date, one winner will be drawn at random from the correct entries – please check you have entered your correct email address! Other terms and conditions apply; please see the competition web page for details.

www.digitalcameraworld.com

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Kit ZONe NeW gear / eXPert teStS / BUYiNg aDViCe

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OLyMPUS OM-D E-M1 II

A CSC packed full of impressive specs, including 60fps full-resolution shooting

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EIGhT BUDGET TELEPhOTOS

We take eight affordable telephoto zoom lenses and pit them against each other

CLOUD STORaGE

Access your images any time, anywhere (as long as you’re on Wi-Fi!)

also reviewed 104 ZEISS MILvUS LENSES Three quality Zeiss lenses tested, including a fast telephoto and two wide-angle primes

106 EXOLENS PRO

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FILM EFFECT PLUGINS

Add a retro film effect to your images as we test six of the best plugins for Lightroom and Photoshop

Turn your iPhone 7 into an interchangeable-lens camera

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SD CaRDS

Five speedy SD cards tried and tested by our expert reviewer to see how they handle

108 TaMRON 150-600mm Our expert opinion on this supertelephoto f/5 lens from Tamron

reviews you can trust

Scores explained

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

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

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

Forget it Below average Good for the price Very good all round An exceptional, best-in-class product

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

www.digitalcameraworld.com

For products that offer superb value for money

Given to products that receive five stars overall

Given to products that are innovative & groundbreaking

MARCH 2017

Given to products that merit very special attention

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KIT Zone

Olympus Om-D E-m1 II

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olympus om-D e-m1 ii

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£1,850/$1,999 (body only) With a 60fps full-resolution burst mode plus a new autofocus system and sensor, this CSC looks amazing SpeCifiCationS Sensor 20.4MP Micro Four Thirds Live MOS sensor (17.3 x 13mm) Focal length conversion on lens 2x Memory 2x SD/SDHC/SDXC (1x UHS-1, 1x UHS-II) Viewfinder EVF, 2,360k dots Max video resolution 4K (4,096 x 2,160) ISO range ‘Low’-25,600 Autofocus Hybrid phase/contrast detection, 121 points, all cross-type Max burst rate 60fps AF locked, 18fps with AF Screen 3-inch vari-angle, 1,037k dots Shutter speeds 60-1/8000 sec, Bulb Weight 574g, body only, with battery and memory card Dimensions 134 x 91 x 69mm Power supply BLH-1 lithium-Ion battery (supplied), 440 shots

The E-M1 II’s 60fps burst mode is a spectacular leap forward in highspeed shooting 100

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Olympus has played two aces with the E-M1 II. Its 60fps burst mode is a spectacular leap forward in high-speed shooting, and even though you have to step down to 18fps to get focus tracking with moving subjects, that’s still a poke in the eye for heavier, more expensive – and slower – pro SLRs like the Canon EOS-1D X II and the Nikon D5. This camera’s other party trick is its new all-phase-detection autofocus system – designed to prove that mirrorless cameras can match SLRs for tracking moving subjects. The AF system uses 121 on-sensor phase detection AF points arranged in a rectangular array that covers a much larger area of the frame (80% of the frame width, 75% of the frame height) than regular digital SLR systems. But let’s get back to that continuous shooting capability. The bald fact is the E-M1 II can shoot full-resolution, uncropped

mARCH 2017

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The E-M1 II’s smaller sensor format pays dividends with smaller, lighter lenses. 2

The electronic viewfinder has a high resolution (2.36MP) and a higher frame rate for less lag. 3

The fully-articulating LCD display is a step forward from the simple tilt mechanism in the original E-M1. 4

You’d hope that the E-M1 II would have a dedicated drive mode dial – instead, you have to press this button and turn the rear dial.

20-megapixel images at 60 frames per second, and it can keep this up for 48 frames (raw or JPEG) – long enough to be much more likely of capturing a key frame than a regular SLR. And if you’re not sure your reactions will be quick enough, there’s a Pro Capture mode that starts buffering frames as soon as you half-press the shutter release so that when you press it the rest of the way, you don’t just capture frames from that point on, but the preceding 14 frames too. All this happens using the OM-D M1 Mark II’s silent shutter mode. It has to lock focus and exposure at the first frame, but it’s designed to be used where the point at which the action will occur can be framed up in advance. The new camera is splash-proof, dust-proof and cold-proof down to 10 degrees Centigrade. It comes with a quoted shutter life of 200,000 shots and an optional new HLD-9 battery grip that doubles the battery life (always a sore point with mirrorless cameras) and has dedicated controls for vertical shooting. www.digitalcameraworld.com


1

Colour rendition

Olympus cameras are known for their nicelooking JPEG images. The Vivid style used here has added vibrancy to a dull, overcast afternoon.

Inside the body is a 20.4-megapixel Live MOS sensor measuring 17.3 x 13mm, with an ISO range of ‘Low’ to 25,600. It’s equipped with a newly redesigned five-axis image stabilisation system, which can work in conjunction with a new 12-140m f/4 IS lens, launched at the same time as the camera. The E-M1 II can shoot 4K video in both the C4K (4,096 x 2,160) and 4K/ UHD (3,840 x 2,160) formats – and this new lens is designed not only to offer a useful focal range for videographers (24-200mm equivalent) but to offer even better hand-held footage thanks to its own in-built image stabiliser. Olympus is claiming a 6.5-stop shutter speed advantage for this camera and lens.

Build and handling The E-M1 Mark II is the largest camera in Olympus’s OM-D range, but it’s positively diminutive next to a pro SLR. The smaller sensor size of the Olympus means it’s at a disadvantage for ultimate image quality, but it brings two big advantages: size and weight. www.digitalcameraworld.com

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Autofocus

The autofocus response is exceptional: the OM-D E-M1 II’s high-tech phase-detection system focused on this bird of prey in an instant.

It’s not just about the size of the body, but the lenses too. The 12-40mm f/2.8 Pro lens (24-80mm effective) is half the size and weight of a full-frame equivalent; this goes right across the board, right up to Olympus’s 40-150mm f/2.8 (80300mm equivalent) and 300mm f/4 super-telephoto (600mm equivalent). Despite the E-M1 II’s relatively small size, Olympus has managed to

Depth of field

The smaller sensor format gives greater depth of field, although it’s still easy to throw backgrounds out of focus with a fast prime lens.

squeeze on a lot of external controls without making them feel cramped. The key dials are on the right side of the top plate, and consist of a regular mode dial and two unmarked control dials whose function depends on both the mode you’re in and the position of a lever on the back of the camera, just to the right of the viewfinder eyepiece. This effectively doubles up on the >

Meet the rivals… The cameras taking on the Olympus Om-D E-m1 mark II…

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

Fujifilm X-T2 £1,399/$1,599 The X-T2 can’t quite match the E-M1 II for high-speed bursts, but its 24MP APS-C X-Trans sensor’s image quality and its AF system are first-rate. Reviewed Issue 185

panasonic GH4 £899/$1,198 It’s due for replacement, but the GH4’s specs still look special, with 4K video, continuous 12fps shooting and an innovative 30fps 4K Photo mode. Reviewed Issue 154

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sony Alpha 6300 £899/$998 With continuous shooting up to 11fps and a super-hightech AF system, the A6300 is more powerful than its understated looks suggest. Look out for the A6500 soon.

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ColoUr error Olympus E-m1 mk II

8.2

Fujifilm X-T2

16.1

panasonic GH4

5.6

sony Alpha 6300

SCoreS CloSer to zero are better

-3.7 -20

-10

0

10

20

It’s not the worst, it’s not the best. The OM-D E-M1 II’s colour rendition is more accurate than the X-T2’s, but the Sony A6300 and Panasonic GH4 are more neutral.

Performance The OM-D E-M1 II’s sensor is half the size of APS-C and around one-quarter the size of a full-frame SLR sensor, yet you wouldn’t know it from the images it produces. They are extremely sharp; the roll-off in bright 102

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50 40 30 20 10 HigHer SCoreS are better. raw reSultS uSe iMageS Converted to tiFF

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The Olympus doesn’t achieve the same performance as the X-T2 or, surprisingly, the rather good GH4. It did better than the Sony A6300 at higher ISOs, though.

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the quality at higher iSos falls behind aPS-C and full-frame cameras – but not by much. the five-axis stabilisation makes this a good low-light camera.

highlights is smooth and subtle; and lens aberrations like distortion and fringing are processed out so well that they effectively cease to exist. The OM-D II performs well at higher ISOs too, although largersensor rivals pull ahead here. The high-tech autofocus system is harder to judge. We got a mixture of duds and successful shots in our early tests. What’s obvious straight away is its static AF speed. It feels at least as fast in single-shot AF mode as any pro SLR. It hunts from time to time in low light, however, or with low-contrast subjects, but the speed at which it can refocus from infinity to a subject close to the camera and back again borders on the uncanny. The E-M1 II is a fraction of the weight and cost of a high-speed pro sports SLR, but it has an autofocus system which narrows or perhaps even eliminates the performance gap between mirrorless and SLR technologies – and can shoot at speeds that no SLR can match. Rod Lawton

Exposure Value

control dial functions – as long as you remember to set the lever to the correct position. This is a camera that you can easily get confused with, at least initially. Despite the array of external controls, it also relies heavily on its menu system and an interactive touch-screen control layout, activated by the OK button in the middle of the four-way controller. You don’t have to use the touch system – you can also navigate through the options using the four-way controller buttons and the control dials on the top of the camera. But what about the revolutionary continuous shooting and autofocus modes? These are key features that surely deserved a rethink of the camera’s external layout, with dedicated controls for each. Instead, the E-M1 II follows the same generic exterior layout as its predecessor, giving no real external clue to its enhanced capabilities. The actual shooting experience is hard to fault, though. The electronic viewfinder is crisp and clear with little lag, even in low light, and the shutter action is unusually soft – much softer than its predecessor’s. The feel of the materials and controls is first-rate – this feels such a finely made, high-precision device that you have to remind yourself it’s also been ‘ruggedised’ for outdoor conditions.

raW Signal-to-noiSe ratio

Decibels

with a continuous shooting rate of 60fps, the e-M1 ii can reliably capture moments that would require sheer luck with any other camera.

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400

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The Panasonic GH4 and Sony A6300 are the winners here, but the Olympus is not so far behind and maintains its dynamic range right through to higher ISO settings.

We SaY... We’d want to do more extensive tests before reaching any final decision about the E-M1’s continuous focus tracking performance, but it’s an extraordinary camera in every other respect. The image quality belies its small sensor, and its static autofocus and burst shooting modes are exceptional.

VerDiCt featUreS BUilD & HanDling performanCe ValUe oVerall

www.digitalcameraworld.com


Kit Zone

ZEISS MILVUS 2/135 SpeCiFiCatiONS

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Full-frame compatible Yes Mount options Canon EF, Nikon F Image stabiliser No Minimum focus distance 0.8m Autofocus type None Focus limit switch No Internal focus No Filter size 77mm Iris blades 9 Weather seals Yes Supplied accessories Metal hood Length (ZE/ZF.2) 132/129mm Weight (ZE/ZF.2) 1,123/1,059g

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SHarpNeSS 2,500

CANON ZE

NIKON ZF.2

Centre

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T E L E PHO T O PRIME L E NS w w w. ze is s .com

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f/4

f/2.8

f/4

f/5.6

f/8

f/11

f/16

Edge

2,000 1,500 1,000 500

A fast manual telephoto with a sunny disposition

Available in Canon (ZE) and Nikon (ZF.2) mount options, the entire Milvus range is beautifully crafted. The 135mm is less flared at the front end than its wideangle siblings, but is substantially bigger. In each case, the all-metal construction of the barrels is matched by metal hoods. Unlike many Zeiss lenses, the focus rings have a rubber coating, making them more comfortable to use in cold weather, and less slippery to the touch. Comprehensive weather-seals are incorporated.

HIGHER SCORES aRE bETTER f/2.8

2,500

£1,900/$2,200

Build & handling

500 0 f/2

Zeiss milvus 2/135 Zeiss lenses are steeped in history: the Milvus 135mm is based on ‘Sonnar’ design principles that date back to 1930. Taking its name from ‘Sonne’, meaning sun, the idea was to minimise the number of glass-to-air surfaces and create the fastest possible aperture rating. The design doesn’t really work in wide-angle lenses for reflex cameras, but has plenty of telephoto potential.

1,500 1,000

A notable difference between the Nikon-fit and Canon-fit Milvus lenses is that the Nikon editions have an aperture ring, complete with a de-click facility for stepless aperture control when shooting video. You need to remove the lens from the camera to change modes, but it’s a moot point for the Canon-fit lenses, in which the aperture can only be controlled from the host camera.

Performance When you set a wide aperture, the depth of field is very small so demands precise focusing. This lens’s electronics enable both focus assist and confirmation lamps in the camera viewfinder. Also helpful is the travel of the focus ring, which is much longer than in Milvus wide-angles. Even at small apertures like f/11, the depth of field markings are so close they’re largely superfluous. Sharpness and contrast are stunning, even at f/2. There are practically no chromatic aberrations and distortion is a non-issue. Matthew Richards

MARCH 2017

3

The Nikon-fit editions of all Milvus lenses have an aperture ring with a de-click mechanism, accessed via the rear of the lens mount.

f/8

f/11

f/16

FriNgiNg NEaRER 0 IS bETTER

f/2 0.48 f/8 0.62 f/16 0.59 Lateral chromatic aberrations are generally impossible to see, even in the corners.

DiStOrtiON NEaRER 0 IS bETTER

2

The inner barrel extends by up to 3cm as you shorten the focus distance, but the front element doesn’t rotate.

f/5.6

Sharpness across the whole frame is exemplary, even when you’re shooting at the widest aperture of f/2.

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Unlike in the Milvus wide-angle lenses, the whole front section of the barrel rotates during focusing.

HIGHER SCORES aRE bETTER

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The negligible amount of pincushion distortion is rarely noticeable in images.

We SaY... The Milvus 135mm delivers spectacular image quality and has sublime handling, but manual focusing can be a challenge with such a tight depth of field.

VerDiCt FeatUreS BUilD & HaNDliNg image qUalitY ValUe OVerall

www.digitalcameraworld.com


ZEISS MILVUS 2.8/15 & 2.8/18

W IDE-a NGL E PRIME L E NS w w w. ze is s .com

Zeiss milvus 2.8/15 £2,330/$2,700

SHarpNeSS 2,500

Centre

2,000

Open wide and say wow

1,500 1,000 500 0 f/2

Performance For such a wide-angle lens, corner sharpness is excellent even at f/2.8, although vignetting

www.digitalcameraworld.com

f/4

f/8

f/11

f/16

1,500 1,000

0 f/2

HIGHER SCORES aRE bETTER f/5.6

f/8

f/11

f/16

Corner sharpness in real-world shooting is very much better than implied by these lab results, based on close-range test charts.

In common with several current Zeiss wide-angle lenses, the barrel has a very flared design.

is very noticeable and, as with the 18mm lens, you need to stop down to f/5.6 before it completely dissipates. Barrel distortion is minimal and chromatic aberrations are almost non-existent, adding to the lens’s all-round optical brilliance.

We SaY... The Milvus 15mm delivers superb clarity, with astounding corner-to-corner sharpness even at wide apertures. The smoothness of the manual focusing is a delight.

VerDiCt OVerall

SHarpNeSS 2,500

Centre

2,000

A straighter, narrower path

One of the great things about the whole range of Milvus lenses is that they deliver similarly

f/2.8

f/5.6

500

Zeiss milvus 2.8/18 £2,000/$2,300

Performance

f/4

2,000

W IDE-a NGL E PRIME L E NS w w w. ze is s .com

1,500 1,000 500 0 f/2

HIGHER SCORES aRE bETTER f/2.8

f/4

f/2.8

f/4

f/5.6

f/8

f/11

f/16

2,500 2,000

Edge

if anything, the viewing angle of a 15mm lens can be a little too extreme, whether you’re shooting interiors or landscapes. This lens has a viewing angle of 100 degrees, falling neatly between the Milvus 15mm above, and the 21mm f/2 lens that we reviewed favourably in last issue’s group test. The 18mm is smaller and noticeably lighter than the 15mm lens, at about 700g. Again, it’s based on a Distagon design, well-suited to wide-angle lenses for reflex cameras. The rotational travel of the focus ring is a little more generous than in the 15mm, and manual focusing is equally enjoyable. It’s helped by an accurate distance scale and depth of field markings.

HIGHER SCORES aRE bETTER f/2.8

2,500

Edge

The widest of the Milvus lenses, this 15mm optic gives an extravagant viewing angle of 110 degrees, measured on the diagonal. You can get in really close as well, thanks to a minimum focus distance of 0.25m that enables you to capture images with amazingly exaggerated perspective. At nearly a kilogram, the lens is no lightweight. Based on a classic Distagon design, the lens features high-tech aspherical elements, ultra-low dispersion glass and T* coatings. Enormous depth of field is made available by the short focal length, and the engraved focus distance scale and depth-of-field markings enable easy zone focusing and use of hyperfocal distance.

Kit zone

1,500 1,000 500 0 f/2

Accurate focus distance and depth of field markings are useful for zone focusing and setting the hyperfocal distance.

excellent levels of sharpness across the whole image frame, as well as superb contrast. Barrel distortion is extremely minimal for an 18mm lens, making this an excellent choice for architectural photography. Again, colour fringing is negligible, and resistance to ghosting and flare is impressive.

HIGHER SCORES aRE bETTER f/5.6

f/8

f/11

f/16

In our lab tests, there’s very little drop-off in sharpness from the centre of the frame to the extreme borders.

We SaY... A little less extreme in its viewing angle, the 18mm produces even less barrel distortion than the 15mm lens, and is a fabulous ultra-wide lens choice.

VerDiCt OVerall

MARCH 2017

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

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Kit Zone

3

EXOLENS PRO 1 2

IPHONE ACCES SORY w w w.exol ens .com

exolens Pro with Optics by Zeiss for iPhone 7 Bracket, £60; lenses from £160

Adaptor plus lenses to turn your iPhone into an interchangeable-lens camera There’s no shortage of clip-on accessory lenses for the iPhone, but you wouldn’t usually expect much in the way of image quality from them. Yet the iPhone itself has a serious camera and a rather good built-in lens, and it’s taken seriously by a lot of pretty serious photographers. That’s the thinking behind this Exolens/ Zeiss tie-in, where Exolens provides the smartphone mount and Zeiss supplies the lenses. This solution comes in two parts – the iPhone adaptor you mount the lenses on, and a choice of lenses. Exolens has just announced an updated mounting bracket for the iPhone 7; the iPhone 7 Plus poses a different problem, of course, because it has its own built-in telephoto lens. Exolens says it’s working on it.

Build & handling The 0.6x wide-angle and telephoto use expensive ‘aspheric’ lens elements . It’s clear from the moment you pick them up that 106

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there’s serious glassware inside those nicely-finished barrels. The mounting bracket looks a bit crazy, but it’s a snug, secure fit. It has two other useful touches, including a ‘cold-shoe’ mount for attaching an LED panel or a microphone, and a tripod socket for long exposures. You attach your chosen lens via a screw thread with a fine pitch. If you’ve got cold fingers or you’re running short on patience, this can get a bit trying, so you just need to be a little slow and careful.

Performance We spent most time with the 0.6x wide-angle, since this is where we’d normally expect to see any optical compromises creeping in. However, it delivers sharp detail right up to the edges of the frame, with no observable distortion. This is rare even in an SLR lens, so to get this performance in an iPhone add-on is impressive. The telephoto lens is good too, and the macro lens is a lot of fun, despite the need to adjust the zoom now and again. Rod Lawton

MARCH 2017

1

iPhone bracket with Zeiss Mutar 0.6x Asph T* Wide-Angle lens. This gives the iPhone a distortion-free 17mm equivalent angle of view. 2

The Zeiss Mutar 2.0x Asph T* Telephoto lens is the most expensive of the trio, and provides a 2x magnification. iPhone 7 Plus owners already have a 2x camera built in, of course. 3

The Zeiss Vario-Proxar 40-80 T* macro-zoom lens has a variable zoom control and a translucent lens hood that lets the light through and gives a more diffuse illumination.

SPeCiFiCatiONS Compatibility iPhone 6/6S, 6 Plus/6S Plus, iPhone 7. Not compatible with iPhone 7 Plus Mounts Bracket, Edge (January 2017), iPhone case (2017) Wide-angle lens Zeiss Mutar 0.6x Asph T*, 17mm equivalent Telephoto lens Zeiss Mutar 2.0x Asph T*, 56mm equivalent Macro lens Zeiss Vario-Proxar 40-80 T*, 40-80mm equivalent Supplied accessories Lens hoods, lens caps, microfibre lens pouches

We SaY... It’s an expensive way to kit out your iPhone’s camera, but if you’re serious about your photography, you’ll quickly see the where the money’s been spent. The 0.6x wide-angle is our favourite: its optical quality is excellent.

VerDiCt FeatUreS BUilD & HaNDliNg PerFOrmaNCe ValUe OVerall

www.digitalcameraworld.com


Kit Zone

TAMRon SP 150-600MM f/5-6.3 Di VC USD G2 3

2

1

SPECiFiCAtiONS 4

Full-frame compatible Yes Effective focal length Full-frame, 150-600mm; APS-C, 240-960mm Image stabiliser Yes Minimum focus distance 2.2m Max magnification factor 0.26x Manual focus override Yes Focus limit switch Yes Internal zoom/focus No/Yes Filter size 95mm Iris blades 9 Weather seals Yes Supplied accessories Hood, tripod collar, pouch Dimensions (dia x length) 108 x 260mm

5

SHArPNESS 2500

£1,350/$1,400 Meet Tamron’s next-generation ultra-telephoto zoom

1500 1000 500 0 f/4.5

Wide

Mid f/5.6

Build & handling Tamron’s proprietary Vibration Compensation (VC) optical stabilisation system generally comes with a simple on/off switch, but this lens adds three selectable modes. The first is ideal for shooting stationery objects; the second is purely for panning; and the third applies stabilisation only during exposure. This makes it easier to track erratically moving objects in the viewfinder. Further new thrills include what’s claimed to be a faster 108

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autofocus system, and a closer minimum focus distance of 2.2m, compared with the original Tamron’s 2.7m. Surprisingly for a big lens that doesn’t have an internal zoom mechanism, zoom creep is well-restrained. Better still, as well as a zoom lock switch, you can lock the lens at any zoom setting by pushing the zoom ring slightly forward. The G2 lens also adds extra weather seals throughout the barrel. The lens is compatible with Tamron’s ‘Tap-in’ console for applying firmware updates from a computer via a USB link, as well as for customising the effects of autofocus and VC.

Performance The G2 proved less sharp than the original Tamron at the short end of the zoom range, although it’s still pretty good. However, while the older lens dropped off in sharpness at long zoom settings, the G2 steadily increases in sharpness from focal lengths of 400mm to 600mm, and is impressive at the long end. Matthew Richards

MARCH 2017

1

A fluorine coating is added to the G2’s front element, to repel moisture and make it easier to clean. 2

The optical stabiliser includes panning and exposure-only modes. 3

Weather-seals are applied to the metal mounting plate and to the barrel of the lens. 4

An autofocus limiter switch enables you to lock out the long or short ends of travel. 5

You can lock the zoom ring in any position just by nudging it.

f/11

f/16

f/22

f/11

f/16

f/22

2000 1500 1000 500 Wide Mid 0 f/4.5 f/5.6

Joining Tamron’s original ultratelephoto lens in the firm’s  line-up, the new G2 packs its enhancements into a leaner, lighter package weighing almost exactly 2kg. It’s much more comfortable for prolonged periods of hand-held shooting. Optical enhancements include three LD (Low Dispersion) elements, high-tech coatings to fend off ghosting and flare, and a fluorine coating on the front element to repel muck.

Tele f/8

2500

Edge

tamron SP 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USD g2

Centre

2000

T e l e pho T o l e ns w w w.t amr on .co.uk

Tele f/8

Unlike with many telephoto zooms, sharpness actually increases at the long end of the zoom range.

FriNgiNg (At F/8) nearer 0 is beTTer

Wide 1.16 Mid 1.3 Tele 1.91 Colour fringing is well-contained, generally remaining invisible even at the corners.

DiStOrtiON nearer 0 is beTTer

Wide 1.59 Mid 1.52 Tele 1.57 The slight pincushion distortion remains consistent throughout the zoom range.

WE SAY... Autofocus performance is fast and the G2 is better able to track moving subjects. The performance enhancements in the G2 make it a worthy upgrade to Tamron’s original.

VErDiCt FEAtUrES BUilD & HANDliNg PErFOrmANCE VAlUE OVErAll

www.digitalcameraworld.com


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Budget telephoto zooms Matthew Richards looks at appealing and cost-effective telephoto options or many of us, the purchase of our first compact system or SLR camera kit will be closely followed by buying a telephoto zoom lens. It’s an obvious addition, enabling extra telescopic reach that’s ideal for shooting anything from family fun to action sports and wildlife. Budget-friendly options are plentiful, but there’s been a shift in the market lately. Many of the latest ownbrand offerings from camera manufacturers are designed for ‘crop sensor’ rather than full-frame bodies. It makes

Sysasya Photography / Shutterstock

F

sense, because reducing the size of the image circle that a lens delivers enables a more compact and lightweight build. The physical size and purchase price are therefore more in keeping with entry-level APS-C format and Micro Four Thirds cameras. Meanwhile, Sigma and Tamron (the two main independent manufacturers) are bucking the trend. They both used to make budget telephoto zooms for crop-sensor cameras, but now only manufacture full-frame compatible lenses for this sector of the market. Let’s see how the main contenders compare.

the contenders 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS STM Fujinon XC50-230mm f/4.5-6.7 OIS II nikon AF-P DX 70-300mm f/4.5-6.5G ED VR olympus M.Zuiko ED 75-300mm f/4.8-6.7 II Panasonic 45-150mm f/4.0-5.6 ASPH OIS Pentax 55-300mm f/4.5-6.3 DA PLM WR sigma APO 70-300mm f/4-5.6 DG Macro tamron SP 70-300mm f/4-5.6 Di VC USD

£270/$300 £320/$400 £300/$400 £390/$450 £180/$250 £400/$400 £150/$200 £300/$450


BUDGET TELEPHOTO ZOOMS

MARCH 2017

Kit Zone

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Kit Zone

BUDGET TELEPHOTO ZOOMS

Mount option: Fujifilm X

Mount option: Canon EF-S

canon eF-s 55-250mm f/4-5.6 is stm

Fujinon Xc50-230mm f/4.5-6.7 ois ii

£270/$300

£320/$400

Small, light and affordable

Cross your palm with silver

bout half the price of Canon’s new full-frame compatible 70-300mm tele zoom, this ‘EF-S’ optic for APS-C format bodies is smaller, lighter and more affordable. It gives a powerful effective reach of 400mm at the long end of its zoom range; while at the short end, it picks up where an 18-55mm kit lens hits the end-stop. An upgrade over the previous IS II model, the STM lens features redesigned optics and a stepping motor instead of a basic electric motor for powering autofocus. As used in many of the rival lenses, a stepping motor enables smooth and virtually silent autofocus transitions that are well suited to both stills and video capture.

A

2500

2000

1500

1000

500 readiNgs takeN from ceNtre f/4.5

f/5.6

55mm

f/8 100mm

f/11

f/16 200mm

f/22

f/32

250mm

Crucially for a telephoto lens without a ‘fast’ aperture rating, sharpness remains good.

Fringing (at F/8) lower is Better

Wide 1.11 Mid 1.07 Tele 1.52 There’s very little colour fringing, which remains consistent throughout the range.

distortion Nearer 0 is Better

Performance

Outright telephoto reach falls short Wide -1.52 Mid 0.18 Tele 0.88 Slight barrel distortion at 55mm dies out at of some of the lenses on test, but mid-zoom settings. Pincushioning is slight. sharpness is maintained very well Verdict throughout the entire zoom range. The optical image stabiliser FeatUres also performs well, with an BUild & handling effectiveness of about 3.5 stops. PerFormance Handling is an improvement over previous generations of the lens, ValUe in that the focus ring no longer oVerall rotates during autofocus. 112

d i g i ta l c a m e r a

MARCH 2017

vailable in silver and black options to colour-coordinate with Fujifilm’s range of X-series bodies, this lens is practically identical in size and weight to the Canon. With a smaller zoom range and Fujifilm’s 1.5x crop factor, the maximum effective reach is a more modest 345mm. With the usual stepping motor autofocus, manual override of autofocus and fully manual focusing are available via an electronically coupled ‘fly by wire’ focus ring. Focus modes and operation of the 3.5-stop optical image stabiliser are selected via camera menus – the lens lacks control switches. As in the Canon and Nikon lenses, the mounting plate is plastic rather than metal. The overall build feels lightweight.

A

sharPness higher is Better

Performance Sharpness and contrast are good throughout most of the zoom range, even at the widest available apertures. Autofocus speed is pretty good under decent lighting but, coupled with our X-T10 body, we had a lot of autofocus hunting and false positives for focus acquisition in dull conditions.

sharPness higher is Better 2500

2000

1500

1000

500 readiNgs takeN from ceNtre f/4.5

f/6.7

50mm

f/8 100mm

f/11

f/16 135mm

f/22

f/32

230mm

It starts off well, but sharpness drops off in the 135-230mm sector of the zoom range.

Fringing (at F/8) lower is Better

Wide 1.00 Mid 0.6 Tele 0.43 There’s very little fringing at 50mm, and it reduces at mid to long zoom settings.

distortion Nearer 0 is Better

Wide 0.12 Mid -0.01 Tele -0.16 With corrections applied automatically, there’s practically no distortion to be seen.

Verdict FeatUres BUild & handling PerFormance ValUe oVerall

www.digitalcameraworld.com


BUDGET TELEPHOTO ZOOMS

KIT Zone

Mount option: Micro Four Thirds

Mount option: Nikon DX

nikon aF-P dX 70-300mm f/4.5-6.5g ed Vr

olympus m.Zuiko ed 75-300mm f/4.8-6.7 ii

£300/$400

£390/$450

Smoother autofocus with Pulse AF ikon is the latest manufacturer to jump on the stepping motor bandwagon: it’s used for autofocus in this AF-P (Pulse) lens. It’s available with or without VR (Vibration Reduction); the edition without stabilisation is a little cheaper to buy. Both are fully compatible with D3300/3400, D5300/5500/5600 and D500 bodies, but completely incompatible with many older Nikon cameras like the D7000, where autofocus and even manual focusing are unavailable. The 300mm focal length and 1.5x crop factor of Nikon’s DX format gives an effective reach of 450mm, overtaking the Canon and Fujinon lenses. It’s physically bigger and heavier, and relies on a camera menu for switching off stabilisation. This can’t be done in some ‘compatible’ Nikon cameras, even after a firmware update.

N

Performance In our lab tests, the non-VR version of the lens proved slightly sharper than the VR edition. However, the four-stop stabiliser is particularly effective in hand-held shooting, with the VR lens yielding more consistently sharp images. www.digitalcameraworld.com

sharPness higher is Better 2500

2000

1500

1000

500 readiNgs takeN from ceNtre f/4.5

f/6.5

70mm

f/8

f/11

135mm

f/16 200mm

f/22 f/32 300mm

It’s good overall, but sharpness tails off in the 250-300mm sector of the zoom range.

Fringing (at F/8) lower is Better

Wide 2.37 Mid 3.21 Tele 4.07 The Nikon is an underachiever, relying on automatic corrections in recent cameras.

distortion Nearer 0 is Better

Wide -0.74 Mid 1.49 Tele 1.22 There’s slight barrel distortion at 70mm, and pincushion peaks at mid-zoom settings.

Verdict FeatUres BUild & handling PerFormance ValUe oVerall

It’s like a tiny super-telephoto oosted by the 2x crop factor of the Micro Four Thirds system, this 75-300mm lens delivers a monstrous effective zoom range of 150-600mm. That’s super-telephoto territory in full-frame terms, from a lens that’s slightly smaller and heavier than the Nikon 70-300mm. Build quality feels a little more robust than in some of the lenses on test, with a metal rather than plastic mounting plate. A stepping motor enables quick yet smooth autofocus transitions, along with electronically coupled manual focusing. There are no on-board switches or controls, other than the zoom and focus rings. Unlike all the lenses we’ve covered so far, the Olympus has no optical image stabiliser, instead relying on in-camera, sensor-shift stabilisation.

B

sharPness higher is Better 2500

2000

1500

1000

500 readiNgs takeN from ceNtre f/4.8

f/6.7

75mm

f/8 100mm

f/11

f/16 200mm

f/22

f/32

300mm

Scores based on close-range test charts are poor, but real-world results were better.

Fringing (at F/8) lower is Better

Wide 1.08 Mid 0.31 Tele 0.42 Lateral chromatic aberrations are tuned out by the camera automatically.

distortion Nearer 0 is Better

Wide 0.21 Mid 0.93 Tele 1.24

Performance On an OM-D E-M5 II body, image stabilisation equated to four stops, so the lack of an optical stabiliser isn’t a concern. Autofocus is fast and accurate, and manual focusing is precise. Image quality is pleasing, although sharpness at the long end of the zoom range proved disappointing in our tests. MARCH 2017

Pincushion distortion is a little noticeable towards the long end of the zoom range.

Verdict FeatUres BUild & handling PerFormance ValUe oVerall

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KIT Zone

BUDGET TELEPHOTO ZOOMS

Mount options: Micro Four Thirds

Mount options:

Panasonic 45-150mm f/4.0-5.6 asPh ois

Pentax 55-300mm f/4.5-6.3 da Plm Wr

£180/$250

£400/$400

Comes up a bit short

Clever design, quality build

ooking every inch like a ‘standard’ zoom but smaller than most, the Panasonic lens is incredibly compact and light. Indeed, at just 62 x 73mm and 200g, it’s only about half the length of most competitors, and only a quarter of the weight of some in this test. The downside is that maximum telephoto reach is similarly small. Applying the 2x crop factor of the Micro Four Thirds system, you still only get an effective focal length of 300mm at the long end. Even so, the Panasonic equals the maximum reach of a traditional 70-300mm budget tele zoom on a full-frame SLR.

L

Testing the lens on a Panasonic G7, we found autofocus to be fast and reliable. The optical stabiliser is worth about 2.5 stops, so doesn’t compare favourably with the non-stabilised Olympus MFT lens on a late-generation Olympus body with sensor-shift stabilisation. Image quality is pretty good on the whole but, despite its modest zoom range, we found that the Panasonic is actually quite soft at the long end. d i g i ta l c a m e r a

sharPness higher is Better 2500

2000

1500

1000

500 readiNgs takeN from ceNtre f/4

f/5.6 45mm

f/8

f/11

75mm

f/16 100mm

f/22 f/32 150mm

Sharpness is good at 45mm, but lacklustre in the mid to long sector of the zoom range.

Fringing (at F/8) lower is Better

Wide 0.56 Mid 0.25 Tele 0.27 Automatic corrections for colour fringing are applied in both raw and JPEG modes.

Performance

114

Pentax K

distortion Nearer 0 is Better

Wide 0.08 Mid 0.75 Tele 0.68 Automatic corrections are applied in-camera, so these scores are flattering.

MARCH 2017

Verdict FeatUres BUild & handling PerFormance ValUe oVerall

or a ‘budget’ lens, the build quality of the Pentax feels particularly good, and it’s the only lens in the whole group to feature weather seals. It’s big on zoom range, equating to 82.5-450mm on a Pentax APS-C format body, yet physically small when stowed away. This is thanks to a clever retractable design that enables the lens to collapse down to just 89mm in length. Even so, it’s the joint longest here, along with the Tamron, when it’s used at its maximum zoom setting. Like all the lenses apart from the Sigma and Tamron contenders, the Pentax features a stepping motor autofocus system, the nearsilence of which is an improvement over some of Pentax’s notably noisy lenses. There’s no optical image stabilisation, with the lens instead relying on in-camera stabilisation.

F

Performance The autofocus system is quick and highly accurate. Testing the lens on a K-70 body, we found stabilisation to work well, with a four-stop effectiveness. Despite having the outright biggest zoom range of any lens in the test group, image quality is excellent.

sharPness higher is Better 2500

2000

1500

1000

500 readiNgs takeN from ceNtre f/4.5 f/6.3 55mm

f/8

f/11

100mm

f/16 200mm

f/22 f/32 300mm

There’s impressive sharpness and contrast throughout the zoom range.

Fringing (at F/8) lower is Better

Wide 1.83 Mid 0.32 Tele 2.26 Negligible at mid-zoom settings, fringing only rises a little at each end of the range.

distortion Nearer 0 is Better

Wide -1.68 Mid 0.92 Tele 1.29 Barrel and pincushion distortions are well controlled at short and long zoom settings.

Verdict FeatUres BUild & handling PerFormance ValUe oVerall

www.digitalcameraworld.com


BUDGET TELEPHOTO ZOOMS

Mount options: Canon EF Nikon FX

Pentax K

Sony A Sigma SA

KIT Zone

Mount options: Canon EF Nikon FX Sony A

sigma aPo 70-300mm f/4-5.6 dg macro

tamron sP 70-300mm f/4-5.6 di Vc Usd

£150/$200

£300/$450

Great value but relatively crude ith a classic 70300mm zoom range, the effective reach of this full-frame compatible lens is boosted on an APS-C format camera. It’s available in Canon, Nikon, Pentax and Sony (A-fit) mount options. In all cases, a switch on the lens barrel enables shorter focusing in the 200300mm sector of the zoom range, with a macro magnification ratio of up to 0.5x. That beats any other lens on test. The APO (apochromatic) edition is claimed to produce less colour fringing than the standard version of the lens. Even so, it’s quite basic in some respects, with a noisy electric motor for autofocus. It’s the only lens in the group in which the focus ring and the front element rotate during focusing, and there’s no optical stabilisation.

W

Performance Image quality is a little lacklustre compared with all the other, relatively new, designs of lenses. Sharpness and contrast are both disappointing, especially when shooting wide-open. The lack of a stabiliser can be a real problem in Canon and Nikon bodies, which lack sensor-shift stabilisation. www.digitalcameraworld.com

A stickler for tradition

sharPness higher is Better 2500

2000

1500

1000

500 readiNgs takeN from ceNtre f/4

f/5.6 70mm

f/8

f/11

100mm

f/16 200mm

f/22 f/32 300mm

In tests and real-world shooting, the Sigma gave the worst performance in the group.

Fringing (at F/8) lower is Better

Wide 1.32 Mid 2.18 Tele 3.78 Colour fringing is well controlled at 70mm, but gets worse at mid to long settings.

distortion Nearer 0 is Better

Wide 0.41 Mid 3.02 Tele 2.33 Pincushion distortion is quite noticeable in the middle sector of the zoom range.

Verdict FeatUres BUild & handling PerFormance ValUe oVerall

he Tamron is very conventional, but it follows the traditions of high-end rather than budget telephoto zooms. As such, it has a ring-type ultrasonic autofocus system that enables full-time manual override, and not just when the stepping motor is being powered by the camera body. It also means you get a physical, mechanical link for manual focusing, which operates with smooth precision, complete with a focus distance scale beneath a viewing window. Switches are fitted on the barrel for AF/M focus modes and VC on/ off. The Vibration Compensation system is Tamron’s proprietary form of optical stabilisation, and is fitted to both the Canon and Nikon mount options of the lens. The Sony A-fit version of the lens relies on in-camera stabilisation instead.

T

Performance

sharPness higher is Better 2500

2000

1500

1000

500 readiNgs takeN from ceNtre f/4

f/5.6 70mm

f/8

f/11

100mm

f/16 200mm

f/22 f/32 300mm

Sharpness only drops when combining the longest zoom setting and widest aperture.

Fringing (at F/8) lower is Better

Wide 1.12 Mid 1.42 Tele 2.23 Even in the corners, colour fringing is well controlled throughout the zoom range.

distortion Nearer 0 is Better

Wide -0.34 Mid 2.01 Tele 1.97 Very minor barrel distortion at 70mm, and pincushion is controlled at longer lengths.

Autofocus is fast and effective and, throughout testing on Nikon D7200 and D750 bodies, we found the stabiliser had an effectiveness of four stops. Image quality is very good overall, matched by top build quality that combines sturdy barrel parts with a metal mounting plate. MARCH 2017

Verdict FeatUres BUild & handling PerFormance ValUe oVerall

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KIT Zone

BUDGET TELEPHOTO ZOOMS

the Verdict

Pentax powers ahead The Pentax 55-300mm f/4.5-6.3 DA PLM WR is a worthy winner erhaps it’s splitting hairs to say that the Pentax has the biggest outright zoom range of any lens in the group. What’s more important is that it delivers excellent image quality, has refined handling characteristics, and is very robust for a ‘budget’ telephoto zoom, complete with weather seals. The Canon and Nikon lenses are good choices for APS-C format bodies. The Canon isn’t overly generous in telephoto reach, while the Nikon is only compatible with a limited number of recent cameras. For both Canon and Nikon cameras, we

P

how the leNses compare

prefer the Tamron lens, which has superior build quality and performance, as well as being full-frame compatible. For Micro Four Thirds, the Olympus 75-300mm wins out over the compact Panasonic 45-150mm, not only for its extreme telephoto reach, equivalent to 600mm, but for its sharper image quality. For Fujifilm shooters, the XC50-230mm is a smart buy at the price and delivers pleasing image quality, but we had a few autofocus problems. The Sigma APO 70-300mm is an antiquated design that seems past its sell-by date, and is in need of a revamp.

Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS STM

Fujinon XC50-230mm f/4.5-6.7 OIS II

Nikon AF-P DX 70-300mm f/4.5-6.5G ED VR

Olympus M.Zuiko ED 75-300mm f/4.8-6.7 II

Panasonic 45-150mm f/4.0-5.6 ASPH OIS

Pentax 55-300mm f/4.5-6.3 DA PLM WR

Sigma APO 70-300mm f/4-5.6 DG Macro

Tamron SP 70-300mm f/4-5.6 Di VC USD

www.canon.co.uk

www.fujifilm.co.uk

www.nikon.co.uk

www.olympus. co.uk

www.panasonic. com

www.pentax.co.uk

www.sigmaimaging-uk.com

www.tamron. co.uk

Street price

£270/$300

£320/$400

Mount options

EF-S

Elements/groups

15/12

Diaphragm blades

7

Min aperture

Contact

£300/$400

£390/$450

£180/$250

DX

MFT

MFT

13/10

14/10

18/13

12/9

14/11

14/10

17/12

7

7

7

7

9

9

9

f/22-32

f/22

f/22-32

f/22

f/22

f/22-32

f/22

f/32

Optical stabilizer

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

Yes

No

No

Yes (C N only)

Autofocus motor type

Stepping motor

Stepping motor

Stepping motor

Stepping motor

Stepping motor

Stepping motor

Electric motor

Ring-type ultrasonic

Internal zoom/ focus

No/Yes

No/Yes

No/Yes

No/Yes

No/Yes

No/Yes

No/No

No/Yes

Min focus distance

0.85m

1.1m

1.1m

0.9m

0.9m

0.95m

0.95m

1.5m

Max magnification

0.29x

0.2x

0.22x

0.24x

0.17x

0.3x

0.5x

0.25x

Filter size

58mm

58mm

58mm

58mm

52mm

58mm

58mm

62mm

Mounting plate

Plastic

Plastic

Plastic

Metal

Metal

Metal

Metal

Metal

Weather seals

No

No

No

No

No

Yes

No

No

Included accessories

None

Hood

None

None

Hood

Hood

Hood, soft case

Hood

Dimensions (diameter x length)

70 x 111mm

70 x 111mm

72 x 125mm

69 x 117mm

62 x 73mm

77 x 89mm

77 x 122mm

82 x 143mm

Weight

375g

370g

415g

423g

200g

442g

550g

765g

X

£400/$400 K

£150/$200 EF FX

K

A

£300/$450 SA

EF FX

A

FeatUres BUild & handling PerFormance ValUe oVerall oVerall

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MINI-TEST

ClOUD StOrage

Back up your images securely and gain access to them wherever you happen to be...

Amazon’s Prime Photos and Unlimited Storage plans offer all the space you need.

Dropbox is very handy for photos but is really designed for all file types.

Flickr gives you 1TB free storage, but even the Pro version doesn’t support raw files.

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Dropbox

Flickr

1

amazon Drive £55/year / $60/year Windows & macOS

AmAzon’s cloud storage comes in two options: Prime Photos, which is part of the Amazon Prime service; or Unlimited Storage. Prime Photos offers unlimited storage for photos including raw files (a full list of compatible cameras can be found on the site) and up to 5GB of storage for all other file types, including movies. Unlimited Storage enables you to store unlimited files of any type. Both options enable you to upload either directly through your web browser or through the Amazon Drive app, which is available for MacOS, Windows, iOS and Android. Once it’s installed on your desktop machine, you can set the application to watch and upload files from selected folders automatically, ensuring that your files are always backed up. Once the images are in place on the server, you can access and download from any another device you log in to. The simple Amazon Drive interface reflects the folder structure of the machines or devices that you’ve backed up. It also has full support for all common image files, giving you a preview of the file. Selecting to download or share files is equally easy.

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2 £7.99/month £79.99/year

3

Dropbox has been the go-to storage choice for many years. It gives you 2GB free – after that you need to upgrade to the Pro version at £7.99 a month, which offers 1TB of storage. The interface enables you to drag the files you want to store online into a Dropbox folder on your machine; these are automatically stored in the cloud as a reflection of what is on your machine. If you delete files from your computer, they are also removed from Dropbox. You can set up the folder structure inside your Dropbox in any way that you want, and access everything from a web browser as well as your own computer or mobile device. Once the files are in place, they can easily be shared with anyone of your choosing. Using the mobile app is equally easy and enables you to again preview, download and share your files easily. Although Dropbox doesn’t offer a dedicated imaging application, the simple folder structure design will appeal to those who like to have full control over the way their files are stored and organised.

Flickr has built its name as the key online location for photographers. It has tools and galleries that have been designed to enable you to share and communicate with other photographers. Flickr as a storage platform is quite different from the other cloud storage solutions on test. You get 1TB of photo storage for free; if you upgrade to the Pro Plan, you get the same 1TB of storage, along with ad-free pages, a Desktop Uploadr (sic) program and 20% off Adobe’s Creative Cloud Photography Plan. Flickr doesn’t support raw files or any file that isn’t an image. There are desktop and mobile apps to quickly upload your files, as well as Lightroom and Aperture plug-ins that enable you to upload directly from those programs. Flickr is really the only solution with a firm social network foundation rather than storage. But with the rise of Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, along with the cloud offerings of the other systems on test, Flickr as a platform is looking dated, both visually and in its support for files and workflows.

$9.99/month $99/year Windows & macOS

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£5.99/month £49/year $5.99/month $49/year Windows & macOS

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MINI-TEST

Kit ZONe

Five things to look out For…

1

Free vS PAid Most online cloud solutions offer a free initial plan, giving you a good idea of what you can expect.

2

SUPPort Not every service offers full raw support, so while they will store the files, you won’t be able to browse them.

3

UPloAdS All services offer automatic uploads; you can highlight folders to be automatically uploaded to the cloud.

4

deSktoP All services operate online, but they are all supported by desktop applications too.

5

BAck-UP vS StorAge Most cloud services offer automatic back-up and more traditional file storage.

Google Photos offers intelligent search and unlimited storage for JPEGs up to 16MP.

iCloud integrates perfectly with Apple devices, but storage costs rise quickly.

OneDrive is an effective storage solution, but you’re also paying for Office 365.

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google Drive & Photos

iCloud

microsoft OneDrive

4

Drive, $1.99-$99.99 /month; Photos, free Windows & macOS

GooGle offers a huge range of products and services that all tie into one huge, often bewildering, ecosystem. This is often bewildering: there are so many parts that dissecting what’s free from what’s paid for can prove quite complicated. There are basically two parts to Google image storage: Google Photos and Google Drive. Google Photos is designed to store and organise your images. It’s also by far the cleverest of all systems and is free for unlimited JPEGs, but does not display raw files. For these you’ll need Google Drive, and they will count towards your storage limit. Google Drive is a huge cloud storage solution that enables you to store any file type and has a sliding fee scale depending on the services and the size of storage you want. Google search is what Photos is really about. When you enter a search term such as ‘tractor’, in seconds Google will filter the results using visual analysis and ‘machine learning’, with no need for manual keywords.

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£0.79-£13.99/month $0.99-$19.99/month macOS

Apple’s icloud service has adapted over the years and, as with google and Amazon, it offers a complete back-up solution for all your photos and other files. Every iCloud user is initially allocated a small 5GB allowance free of charge. After that, additional storage is charged according to how much you require: Apple offers a series of plans from £0.79 a month for 50GB to £13.99 for 2TB. Once activated, the folders you have selected are uploaded to the cloud automatically, freeing up space on your computer automatically. If you delete a file from your machine, it will also be deleted from the cloud. This makes it an intelligent back-up solution for all files, not just photos. Apple uses its successful Photos application to view and download images; and this is available across different Apple devices as well as through a web browser. This enables you to quickly access, organise, download and share all your images in one of the most streamlined interfaces available.

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£1.99-£5.99/month $1.99-$6.99/month Windows

microsoFt’s onedrive is another all-encompassing system with plenty of additional features and solutions for services and apps. The Photo section is just one part of OneDrive; like Google Photos, it’s able to automatically recognise the content of your images and tag them, so finding things later is as easy as typing the phrase into the search box. OneDrive also has extensive raw support and enables you to quickly view and download files through a browser as required. The desktop app creates a folder on your machine, and any file that is dropped into this folder is automatically uploaded and stored. OneDrive offers 5GB of storage for free. The Basic plan offers up to 50GB for £1.99 a month; if you subscribe to OneDrive + Office 365 Personal you get 1TB for £5.99; upgrade to the Business edition for £7.99, and you can use Office products on up to five phones and tablets. The full subscription to Personal gives you access to Microsoft’s popular office apps. This would be a good solution but Google offers its own Office apps, which are free.

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MINI-TEST

Film eFFeCt PlUgiNS Whether you’re a hipster or a bona-fide film fanatic, indulge your analogue nostalgia

1

Exposure X2 offers 500 presets, which you can customise with the help of simple slider controls.

FilmPack 5 is also available as a Standard Edition for £68/$83, but the range of presets is significantly reduced.

Colour effects are controlled by six sliders that let you adjust the luminance and saturation of the colour channels.

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DxO FilmPack 5 elite edition

macphun tonality

alien Skin exposure X2 £121/$149 Windows & macOS

ExPosurE is aiming to be more than just an effects plug-in, as you can also use it to cull and organise your photos. New features in version X2, like spot healing and lens distortion correction, further add to Exposure’s versatility. But it’s Exposure’s huge range of over 500 effect presets that impresses most. The selection on offer includes numerous emulations of real colour and monochrome film stocks, as well as a decent selection of generic retro looks. All of these can be extensively customised to adjust everything from colour and detail to grain and vignetting, while a Brush tool allows you to selectively adjust a specific image area or stack multiple effects. Despite the vast array of effect thumbnails, we found general navigation to be slick, with previews loading almost instantly. It’s a pity Exposure lacks image layering, but it’s nonetheless a highly accomplished film effect plug-in. Works with • Lightroom 6 and CC 2015 or newer • Photoshop CS6 and CC 2015 or newer

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2

£110/$134 Windows & macOS

FilMPack gets off to a good start with one of the cleanest and most intuitive interfaces here. It’s easy to learn and runs as smoothly as Exposure X2, though you’ll have to do without any selective editing features. FilmPack offers 121 film effect presets; of these, around 80 are emulations of real analogue film stocks, including a good range of iconic and more niche films. DxO has digitally replicated each film with scientific accuracy, although we noticed its rendition of the famed Fuji Velvia 50 seemed unusually muted. Aside from this, DxO’s film expertise shines through, with an interesting information panel accompanying each preset. You can still extensively tweak each preset. Add a frame, a light leak, or even the grain characteristics of a film. Works with • Lightroom 3 and CC 2015 or newer • Photoshop CS3 and CC or newer • Photoshop Elements 9 or newer • Aperture 3 or newer • DxO OpticsPro 10 or newer

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3

£53/$70 macOS

Mac-only Tonality is billed as a black-and-white plug-in, but it can also create some quite striking colour effects by tweaking the colour sliders in the manual controls. Even so, Tonality is still primarily set up for monochrome transformations. 160 presets are available, including 19 film emulations, which together give a good but not outstanding selection of retro looks. Each preset is applied impressively quickly, though; and if it looks a little strong, you can easily wind back the percentage with a slider at the base of the preset’s thumbnail without re-introducing the colour in the original. Tonality’s presets may be a bit limited, but its manual controls are anything but. Add texture overlays, grain and photo frames, or tweak clarity and structure – and that’s just scratching the surface. There are even built-in effects layers and masking tools that enable localised editing and effect stacking. Works with • Lightroom 4 and CC or newer • Photoshop CS5 and CC or newer • Photoshop Elements 10 or newer • Aperture 3.2 or newer

OVerall

www.digitalcameraworld.com


MINI-TEST

Kit ZONe

Five Things To look ouT For…

1

Don’T oWn a hosT app? No problem. All these apps can go it alone or have separate standalone versions.

2

selecTive eDiTing Some plug-ins enable you to brush in effects and use layer masks to target results.

If you fancy additional black-and-white film looks, the Nik Collection also includes the Silver Efex Pro plug-in.

3

liTTle exTras Extra features like cropping tools and image management may not be much use if you have Lightroom.

4

User preseTs A plug-in with the option to save customised effects as new presets will store it for future use.

Want more than just film effects? Photo Raw also packs in HDR looks, glows and lens effects.

5

poWer play Most of these plug-ins need serious processing power to preview and load effects quickly.

Dfx lets you add different effects to separate layers, while the EZ Mask tool makes light work of masking out objects.

w w w. g o o g l e . c o m / n i k c o l l e c t i o n

w w w. o n 1 . c o m

http://software.tiffen.com

Nik analog efex Pro

On1 Photo raw 2017

tiffen Dfx 4 Photo Plug-in

4

Free Windows & macOS

5

£98/$120 Windows & macOS

6

£122/$150 Windows & macOS

analog efex pro is just one of seven apps in google’s free nik collection. It lacks any real-world film emulations, instead opting for generic retro looks grouped into categories like Classic Camera, Toy Camera and Wet Plate. Each includes only a handful of presets, but they’re all varied and extremely eye-catching. Expect strong vignetting and colour casts, while many presets also make extensive use of light leaks and faux film frames. Each preset can be easily toned down, or you can apply individual elements like lens distortion, dirt and scratches separately. It’s also possible to tune an effect in a specific image area using the refreshingly simple Control Point tool. Ultimately Analog Efex is tailored to producing stylised rather than realistic film effects. It’s slower and less comprehensive than most rival apps, but it’s nonetheless a decent option.

oncE there was perfect photo suite; now there’s photo raw. On1 is touting it as an all-in-one raw processor and photo editor, and it lived up to its name by opening raw files from recently released cameras that other apps rejected. You’re then greeted by by enough preset effects to rival Exposure X2, including 48 real film emulations, plus plenty more generic retro looks. In addition to the extensive selection of preset adjustment sliders, you’ve also got a layers section, masking features, an intelligent eraser, clone stamp and batch processing tools, and much more. This is a plug-in that can easily cut it as a stand-alone image editor – but its extra features also make it the most intimidating option here, with a cluttered interface and multiple workspaces. Photo Raw is also a touch slower in operation than some rivals, despite On1’s claims that this release is faster than ever.

at its heart, Dfx digitally replicates many of Tiffen’s own glass filters and gels. But dig deeper and you’ll find a huge range of colour and mono film stock emulations, plus many more generic old-school filters. Each can be adjusted to varying degrees, but those with more extensive customisation require you to negotiate a long list of tightly packed sliders to adjust techy parameters like Gamma and Saturation across each colour channel. Some cryptic navigation and view icons steepen the learning curve. In fact, the interface as a whole could do with an overhaul, having remained largely unchanged for over five years. Underneath all this, however, is a fast, powerful plug-in with plenty of potential. You get layers and blend modes, plus smart masking tools for easy targeting of localised effects. A batch-processing feature seals the deal.

Works with • Lightroom 3 and CC or newer • Photoshop CS4 and CC 2015 or newer • Photoshop Elements 9 or newer • Aperture 3.1 or newer

Works with • Lightroom 5 and CC 2015 or newer • Photoshop CS6 and CC or newer • Photoshop Elements 13 or newer • Apple Photos

Works with • Lightroom 3 and CC 2015 or newer • Photoshop CS5 and CC or newer • Photoshop Elements 9 or newer • Aperture 3 or newer

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PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHY BIGGER. BOLDER. BETTER.

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

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

MORE PHOTOGRAPHY, MORE INTERVIEWS, MORE EXHIBITIONS... MORE OF THE THINGS YOU LOVE


MiCRo-TEST

Kit ZONe

UHS-i SD CarDS Five fast SD cards for flawless 4K recording and burst shooting

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Kingston SDXC UHS-i U3 64gB

lexar Professional 633x SDXC UHS-i 64gB

Samsung Pro+ 32gB

£23/$34

£23.50/$30

£25/$25

It may only have a UHS Class 1 speed rating, but this card’s read rates are a match for the competition. Write speeds of 53MB/s with video and 36.7MB/s with images trail the pack, though.

The Pro+ turned in the fastest outright image write rate of 58.2MB/s, but not without some minor speed fluctuations. Read performance is faultless, however, as is video write speed.

Kingston’s fastest SD card managed a whopping 84.1MB/s when writing video, though transferring multiple image files resulted in a mediocre 42.8MB/s, with lots of speed fluctuations. OVerall

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WHat tO lOOK FOr 1

MAXIMUM SPEED Usually quoted in MB/s, this is the highest speed the card can achieve, but not necessarily sustain. It’s most relevant for stills photography. 2

ClASS rAtIng The minimum sustained speed – very important for video. The new UHS speed ratings are Class 1 (minimum 10MB/s) and Class 3 (30MB/s).

We tested these cards’ read/write speeds for both images and video, recording overall transfer times and read/write fluctuations which could result in dropped video frames. All these cards are UHS-I types, with a single row of contacts on the back. UHS-II SD cards have a second row of contacts, offering up to three times the theoretical speed, though you need a compatible camera.

w w w. s a n d i s k . c o m

SanDisk extreme Pro 32gB

transcend SDXC UHS-i U3 64gB £25/$28

£25/$20 SanDisk’s contender produced a blistering 83.3MB/s video write rate, and it wrote images at a sustained 56.4MB/s with no speed dips, making it the smoothest performer here. OVerall

www.digitalcameraworld.com

www.transcend-info.com

Despite sharing the same speed class ratings as SanDisk’s entry, this card only managed an erratic 36.8MB/s average image write speed. 64MB/s when writing video isn’t too shabby, though. OVerall

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THE NO.1 MAGAZINE FOR CANON USERS ON SALE NOW

THE NO.1 MAGAZINE FOR

CANON USERS!

100%DSLR 100%CANON The only magazine for Canon DSLR photographers www.myfavouritemagazines.co.uk/photoplus


GET STARTED Explore the Channel Mixer tool in Photoshop CC See page 132

NeW SerieS BY JON aDamS

PHOtOSHOP maSterClaSS 126

Jon makes his debut with a surreal twist!

Transform your photos with our easy, effective guides 130

Lightroom Skills

Sean McCormack shows you how to emulate an old-time portrait using a modern-day toolset

134

Artist Insight

James Abbott reveals how your can easily add mist and smoke to your images with realistic results www.digitalcameraworld.com

132

Tool School

Discover how to use the Channel Mixer for both monochrome and colour control

138

Creative Spotlight

Create a host of stunning multiple exposures using various blend modes and layer controls mArCH 2017

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

125


SE NE RI W ES

Get surreal by creatinG visual puns in photoshop

JON ADAMS

Photographer and writer Jon is a photographer and writer, and also provides individual and small group tuition in digital SLR and Photoshop skills. jon@jonadams media.co.uk

Photoshop

Let your imagination run wild and conjure up eye-catching images that give a creative twist to well-known sayings and phrases

SOFTWARE Photoshop CC GET IT FROM www.adobe.com

watch viDeo www.bit.ly/ dc187video

DownloaD the viDeo www.bit.ly/ dc187bonus

GET START FIlES FROM www.bit.ly/dc187files

BE

AF

FO RE

TE R

O

ne of the great joys of making composite images is that your imagination is the only restriction. Provided you can visualise an idea, all you need are the building blocks and a copy of Photoshop to put it together. This surreal image is a case in point. It stemmed from a phone conversation with a friend, who was telling me that a particular place was “just after the fork in

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the road”. An amusing picture sprang to mind, and the building blocks I required – a fork and a road – were easy to find for a highly literal interpretation of this saying. The techniques required to create this surreal, visual pun involve making selections, changing the size of elements, creating new skies, adding shadows and using lots of layers. While this may sound complicated, these steps are

actually really easy to do when broken down, and following them through is like a miniature Photoshop course in itself! I’ve provided the start files I used so you can put your own version together immediately – but give the surreal composite concept a whirl with your own shots too, and put your stamp on it. Find an attractive street, raid the cutlery drawer, and see what magic you can conjure up! www.digitalcameraworld.com


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

photoshop Masterclass

1

RT PE P E X TI

Use the Pen tool like a pro Tips for making accurate selections The Pen tool is the ultimate choice when you want really accurate cutouts. You can use it to simply click around a subject; but by dragging as you click an Anchor Point, you can shape the path created into a smooth curve. By holding the Ctrl key (or the

Cmd key in macOS), you can move an Anchor point to tweak its position, and you can adjust the two control arms by holding Alt and dragging them in different directions. Moving these arms will alter the shape of the curve in the path that you created.

get syMMetrical Click on the copy layer you made to make it active, then press Ctrl/ Cmd+T. A bounding box will appear with eight control handles around it, confirming that you’re in Free Transform mode. Drag the control handle in the middle of the left-hand edge all the way over to the blank right edge of the picture. This will flip the copied layer, turning it inside-out, and give you a perfectly symmetrical image. Press Return to set down the changes, then hit Ctrl/Cmd+ Alt+Shift+E to merge the two layers as a new layer.

www.digitalcameraworld.com

3

2

Make the background To create your symmetrical background, open up a street scene into Photoshop (or use Street.jpg from the start files). You need to find a good centre line to flip the image, so select the Crop tool and drag it so it ends right down the middle of the door in the distance. Press Return to confirm the crop. In the Layers panel (Window > Layers), press Ctrl/Cmd+J to duplicate the pic on a new layer, then select the Background layer. Go to Image > Canvas Size; in the dialog box that opens, set the units to Percent and make sure Relative is ticked. Set Width to 100, leave Height at 0 and click on the left-middle square under Anchor. Click OK and the canvas will expand to the right.

delete the sky The sky is rather dull; to replace it, grab the Quick Selection tool and drag over the white sky until it’s selected. Go to Select > Modify > Expand, enter 2px and click OK. This will increase the size of the selection to take in all the edges of the buildings. Once you’ve done this, go to Select > Modify > Feather and enter 1px to soften the edge of the selection; click OK. Now press Backspace and the sky will be deleted. Switch off the two layers beneath by clicking on their ‘eye’ icons, and you’ll see a checkerboard pattern where the sky was. Press Ctrl/Cmd+D to lose the selection lines.

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4

RT PE P E X TI

Disguise your symmetry Don’t give the game away! When you’re flipping scenes to create a symmetrical finish, look out for small details that will give the game away, like the lettering on street signs, logos and car number plates. If you can’t avoid them, make a selection of the ‘correct’

lettering from the other side of the image, and copy it with Ctrl/Cmd+C. You can now press Ctrl/Cmd+V to paste it onto a new layer, then use Free Transform to reshape it and finally place it over the back-to-front sign.

5

6

Make soMe clouds Click the Create A New Layer icon in the Layers panel, then drag this layer to beneath the top layer in the layers stack. With the Rectangular Marquee tool, create a small oblong selection in the middle of the pic. (Between the chimneys is ideal.) Press D to reset your colours to black and white, then click the black swatch and choose a sky-blue colour from the Color Picker. Go to Filter > Render > Clouds to fill the selection with a mottled pattern. Press Ctrl/Cmd+T, then Ctrl/Cmd-drag the corner handles to stretch the clouds over the sky. Click the top layer then press Ctrl/ Cmd+Alt+Shift+E to merge the sky and street into a new layer. Press Ctrl/Cmd+D to get rid of the ‘marching ants’.

cut out a fork Open a well-lit picture of a fork (or use Fork.jpg from the start files) and zoom in tight on the edge. Select the Pen tool and click right on the edge of the fork. Hold the space bar and drag to scroll along the fork. Click again on the edge, this time dragging the mouse in the direction of travel. Two control handles will appear; by dragging, you can alter the curve formed by the Pen tool to make it fit the edge of the subject. Keep doing this all the way around the item, but cut off the base of the fork straight, avoiding the curve at the end. With your path complete, right-click the path and choose Make Selection. Add a small Feather radius of 0.3px, then click OK to see the fork selected.

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Position the fork Press Ctrl/Cmd+C to copy the selection, then Ctrl/Cmd+W to close the fork image. Back in the main pic, press Ctrl/Cmd+V to paste in the fork. To adjust its size and position, press Ctrl/ Cmd+T and drag the handles of the bounding box. To rotate the fork, hold the mouse outside the bounding box and drag. Hold Shift while doing this, and you’ll restrict the rotation to 15-degree increments, so it’s quick and easy to make it vertical. Once you’re happy with the fork’s position on the image, press Return to set down the changes, then press Ctrl/Cmd+D to lose the selection lines.

www.digitalcameraworld.com


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

7

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photoshop Masterclass

Make a new sun To add a light source casting the shadow, create a new layer, drag it to the very top of the Layer stack, and fill it with black (Alt+Backspace). Set the Blend Mode to Screen, then go to Filter > Render > Lens Flare. Use the 50-300mm Zoom option and a Brightness setting of 100, and click in the centre at the top of the preview screen. Click OK and your lens flare will appear on the image. It’s on a separate layer so, if needed, you can fine-tune its position using Free Transform.

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add a shadow Create a new layer with Ctrl/Cmd+Alt+Shift+N and drag it beneath the fork layer. Ctrl/Cmd-click the fork layer thumbnail to select its contents of the layer but leave the new blank layer active. Press D to reset the colours, then Alt+Backspace to fill the selection with black. Press Ctrl/ Cmd+T to enter Free Transform; pull the top handle down to create a shadow. Once this is positioned, press Return, then go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur. Use a Radius of about 40px to diffuse the shadow. In the Layers panel, change the Blend mode to Multiply, then reduce the Opacity to 75%. To reinforce the contact point at the base of the fork, create a new layer and paint a small shadow using a black, soft-edged brush. Use Multiply and a 75% Opacity on this Layer, too.

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defocus the distance To create a sense of depth and make the fork the full focus of the image, click on the merged layer with the background picture (this should be layer 4) to make it active. With the Rectangular Marquee tool, draw out an oblong selection that takes in the street, the walls and the sky behind the fork. A Click the Select and Mask button, and set the Feather slider to 200px for a really soft edge. B Click OK, then press Ctrl/Cmd+J to punch the selected area into a new layer. Go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur and use an Radius of around 6px to give a natural-looking fall-off in sharpness. C With your image complete, you can save it with all the layers intact by going to File > Save As and choosing the Photoshop (PSD) format.

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Photographer and writer

lightroom

Sean McCormack teaches you how to successfully emulate an old‑time portrait using a modern‑day toolset in Lightroom...

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

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Create a vintagelooking portrait in lightroom

OLD-tOne styLe The first part of the process is to create a black and white photo with an old-style tone. Select Black and White in the Basic panel. If you want, you can tweak the tones further in the B&W panel, but clicking Black & White in Basic will suffice for now.

vintage tOne To add a vintage tone, go to the Split Toning panel. Choose a suitable Shadow tone. Between 35-45 Hue and 15-20 Saturation works well.

Processing photos by hand isn’t for everyone, but it’s still possible to get the look for your digital photos using Lightroom. To really make the images shine, it’s best to shoot something that looks like it may be from that era. Here’s something that I’ve done since learning the practical side of this look...

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hOLD in pLace One thing I learned from making real plates is that the images have to be held in place. This holding means that the corners are lighter than the photo. You need to use a Graduated Filter at 45 degrees on each corner, set to +4 Exposure. Bonus: You can save the corners as a preset.

faDe it The next step is to fade the image. Go to the Tone Curve. Click the Point Curve icon. Click a single point about a third of the way along the RGB curve. Now hold Shift and drag the bottomleft point up a little in order to reduce the blacks and make the photo look a bit faded.

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make a vignette The next step is to create a vignette. (Old lenses weren’t great, and naturally darkened around the edges.) For speed, use a Radial Filter. (Press Shift+M to access one.) Leave Invert Mask off, and set Exposure to -0.5 stops. Drag a filter over the subject. Move the handles to let the edges darken, but leave the subject alone.

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aDD grain The final part is to add Grain. Go to the Effects panel and bring Amount up to 25. In reality, wet plates are fairly grain-free, but it’s a nice touch on the photos anyway.

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Create your own imperfections Fake light leaks, dust spots and scratches can add to the effect To really make this look antique, you can add some light leaks and scratches. Usually this is done in Photoshop, but you can cheat a little. For the light leak, use a Radial Filter with Invert Mask on, set to +4 stops Exposure. Drag a few filters over the edge of the image. For the scratches, use the Brush tool. (Press K to activate.) Set the brush

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size as small and hard as possible (0.1 Size, 0 Feather). Set Flow to 60. Set Exposure to 1.20 and draw a series of parallel lines near the centre of the image. Click New, then increase Exposure to 4. Click a few dots around the photos to create fake dust spots. Squiggle a few lines to make them look like hairs.

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JAMES PATERSON

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

get in the mix and control colours in photoshop Photoshop

Is Channel Mixer the best black and white tool Photoshop has to offer? Discover how to use this powerful tonal tool for both mono and colour control

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step by step Create beautiful monoChromes Learn how to convert to mono with the Channel Mixer, then add a colour tint

Convert to mono Open an image in Photoshop, then go to the Layers panel and click the Create Adjustment Layer icon. Choose Channel Mixer. Tick Monochrome, then experiment with the three colour channels. Each changes the brightness of the colour within the black-and-white mix. Keep the total around +100.

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Add A tint You can also use Channel Mixer to tint your mono image. Add another Channel Mixer Adjustment Layer, but this time leave Monochrome unticked. Choose different output channels using the dropdown, then alter the colours slightly to add a tint. Here we set Output Blue: Blues +93, Output Red: Reds +104.

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Tool school

PhotoshoP anatomY adjustMent layers

Is Channel MIxer best?

Channel Mixer can be applied directly to an image layer using Image > Adjustments, but adding it as an Adjustment Layer instead gives you far more control. As well as letting you change the settings at any time, you can add a mask to restrict the effect to certain areas for a colour change like this, as well as use it in combination with other layer controls like Opacity or Blend modes.

Channel Mixer offers three colour sliders, while the other two best black-andwhite methods – the B&W Adjustment Layer and Camera Raw’s HSL/Grayscale Panel – offer six and eight respectively. Far from being a hindrance, the simplicity offered by Channel Mixer can be of benefit, as the others occasionally lead to a break-up in pixels, especially if colours are pushed too far.

blaCk and whIte COnversIOns

Tick Monochrome and you can use the channel sliders to change the brightness of the three colour channels that make up the image. By using different combinations, you can alter the contrast between colours and create all kinds of black-and-white effects. For example, you can lighten or darken skin in portraits by altering Red, as skin tones comprise more red than green or blue.

Output Channel

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The three colour sliders let you alter the balance of each output channel. So if the output is set to red, the three sliders let you increase or decrease each colour’s contribution to the red channel. It’s usually a case of experimenting with each output channel to perfect the mix. When you tick Monochrome the output automatically switches to Gray.

Each of the three sliders can be dragged to a negative or positive value, but if you want to maintain a similar level of brightness to the image, you should aim to keep the combined value of all three around or under +100. The Total box helpfully tots things up for you as you drag and alter the values. You will notice that there is a handy warning sign that appears if it goes over +100.

Channel slIders

The Channel Mixer can be used either to alter colours like this, or – more often – as a black-and-white converter. Each slider can be dragged to a positive or negative value. If you set a different colour mode like CMYK, channel sliders will change to cyan, magenta, yellow and black.

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Creating colour infrareds Make a classic infrared look with the Channel Mixer An infrared image is created either using a dense, lens-mounted infrared filter or a modified SLR, like the Nikon D3S used to shoot this. The resulting photo usually has a severe red cast [1], but you can use the Channel Mixer to give it the classic ethereal infrared look with

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glowing white leaves and deep blue skies. All you have to do is swap the colour channels. Click the Create Adjustment Layer icon [2] and choose Channel Mixer. In the Properties panel, click the Output Channel dropdown [3] and choose Reds, then go to the boxes next to

the sliders. Input Red 0 [4], Blue +100 [5] to swap the channels. Next, select Blue from the Output dropdown, then set Blue 0, Red +100. If you like, you can save this setting as a preset in the flyout menu [6] for use on other infrared images later.

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JAMES ABBOTT

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

Create realistiC smoke and mist in any image Photoshop

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utumn and winter are magical seasons that can provide some truly amazing weather conditions for photography. Mist is just one phenomenon that helps to define these seasons, by creating some of the most atmospheric scenes of the year. But not every day is foggy – and how can you also take advantage of mist in your 134

Adding atmosphere to scenes isn’t the easiest task – they either have it or they don’t. But with this cool technique, you’re in complete control

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portraits? The answer is simple: use a cloudy sky. For the initial mist or smoke shot, you just need an image of a cloudy and overcast sky. Because of the way the technique works, this can be taken on literally any camera – the sky image that I am using here was actually taken on my mobile phone. The best thing about this

approach is that you practically always have your phone with you. So next time you see a dramatic overcast sky, make sure you grab a shot or two on your phone – or your camera if you have it handy of course. Let’s take a look at how you can transform cloud shots into realistic mist or smoke. www.digitalcameraworld.com


3 Change the Blend mode At this stage you need to add a degree of transparency to the image, so go to the dropdown Blend mode menu in the Layers panel and select Screen. Next, click on the Create New Fill Or Adjustment Layer icon – the half-white half-black circle at the bottom of the Layers panel – and select Curves from the list of options.

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This technique works best with images made up of darker tones; it’s just one of the unfortunate side effects of the way the effect works. However, there’s a trick you can use to make it work with medium or light-toned images too. When you’ve completed step 4, you’ll need to create a Levels

refine the Blend When the Curves dialog box opens, click to place a point, then drag it down and to the right. Place another two points to create a smooth backwards-L-shape curve. This will darken off the cloud layer to make it look more like smoke or mist. If at any point you want to delete a point, click and drag it off the curve.

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Add mist to lighter-toned shots with a single tweak

transform the Clouds If you’re pasting a portrait-format cloud image onto a landscape-format image, or vice versa, you’ll need to rotate it. Press Ctrl/Cmd+T; when the bounding box appears and hover the mouse near a corner control box. When a curved arrow appears, click and rotate. You can now drag the control boxes on any of the four sides to adjust the size. Press Enter.

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Copy and paste Open your main image and the shot of a cloudy sky in Photoshop. Click on the tab for the cloudy sky shot so it’s visible in the main window. Press Ctrl/Cmd+Shift+U to desaturate the image. Press Ctrl/Cmd+A to select all, Ctrl/Cmd+C to copy, click on the tab for your main image, and press Ctrl/Cmd+V to paste the clouds as a layer.

Working with lighter images

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Adjustment Layer above the Curves Layer you just created. You’ll also need to clip it to the layer below. Next, drag in the white point inwards until the mist looks right for the image, then continue with step 5. Just be careful not to push the white point too far.

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5 7 Create a layer mask At this stage everything is looking good; for most images, step six could be the last. With portraits however, masking out parts of the mist can work very well. Click on the cloud layer to make it active. Next, go to the bottom of the Layers panel and click on the Add Layer Mask icon, which is a rectangle with a circle in the centre.

Create an atmospheric mist effect in your landscape shots

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The great thing about this simple technique in Photoshop is that it can be applied to a whole range of different images, including landscapes and cityscapes. When you add the effect to these types of images, however, it’s often best to do some more work at step 2 of the walkthrough – that’s the

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reveal faCes Zoom into the image by pressing Ctrl/ Cmd and the plus key. Now press B to activate the Brush tool, and the set brush size to around 200px. Select a soft-edged brush using the menu that’s second from the left, at the top left of the Photoshop window, and set Opacity to 50%. Set the foreground colour to black and paint over any faces in the image.

point at which you transform the cloud layer. After rotating and resizing the cloud layer, you need to drag the top of the Transform bounding box down so that the clouds only occupy the lower area of the image. This mimics areas of low-lying mist beautifully, creating a more realistic effect.

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Apply the effect to landscapes

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Burn in the BaCkground With the Background Copy layer still active, press O and select the Burn Tool. The image here is dark, so I set Range to Shadows and Exposure to 50% for a strong darkening effect. Using a large soft-edge brush (something around 1,000px is perfect) brush around the edges of the image to darken it. If you make a mistake, press Ctrl/Cmd+Z to undo.

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darken the image Screen is a lightening Blend mode, so you need to adjust the brightness of the main image. Click on the Background layer and press Ctrl/Cmd+J to make a copy – this new layer will be active. Now press Ctrl/Cmd+M to open a Curves dialog box, and then click on the centre of the curve before dragging down and to the right. Click OK when you’ve finished.

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Double Down your exposures JAMES PATERSON

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

Photoshop

Discover how to create a host of stunning multiple-exposure effects using the various available Blend modes and layer controls

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When it comes to making double exposures, the big advantage that digital photographers have over our film-shooting predecessors is that we can fine-tune the positioning of each element to create the perfect blend. For this, use the Transform command (Ctrl/Cmd+T or Edit >

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Master the Transform command to shape your images in any way you like

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Perfect the positioning

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Transform), which gives you full control over the shape of the layer being blended. While transforming, you can right-click for lots of options – including Warp, which is what we’ve used here to bend fairground lights into flowing curved lines.

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blend a sky The basics of double exposures are simple. Copy one image on top of another (use the Move tool to drag an image in from another document), then go to the Layers panel (Window > Layers) and change the Blend mode from Normal to Screen. This multiplies the brightness values of the pixels, creating an accumulation of light in much the same way as traditional film-based double exposures. Press Ctrl/Cmd+T to fine-tune the position of the top layer, and finish off with any tonal adjustments you like.

Multiple Montages Why not try combining several images? In the past, photographers would intentionally under-expose frames so the result wouldn’t be too bright, so darken down your start images. It can be a challenge to make images gel, but you can cheat a little by hiding messy patches: add a new layer above the image layer, then right-click it and choose Create Clipping Mask. Paint with black to dull down areas you don’t want. Finally, a Black And White Adjustment Layer on top of everything here helps to simplify things.

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Create natural patterns The nature of double exposures means white areas will stay white, so if you choose bold shapes silhouetted against a bright backdrop, you can constrain the effect to the shapes. Here we’ve copied and flipped a single tree for a symmetrical pattern. Make a rectangular selection over it, press Ctrl/Cmd+J to duplicate, and change the Blend mode to Multiply. Press Ctrl/Cmd+T to transform, rightclick and choose Flip Horizontal. Move it to the other side. Press Ctrl/Cmd+E to merge and blend with the portrait.

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go beyond photos Why not try blending your starting image with something other than a photo? Here we’ve used a painting of flowers by Diego Valentin Diaz (found on the Wikimedia Commons website). As well as paintings, pictures of graffiti or graphic designs can also work very well. Once again the two images are blended using the Screen blend mode. With Screen, pixels can only stay the same or go brighter, never darker, so often the overall effect will need darkening down slightly. Here we’ve used a Curves Adjustment Layer.

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Master your camera now! Your complete starter guide to camera and photography basics / 2017 competitions and judges’ tips / Canon 1300D vs Nikon D3400 / Trevor Leighton interview / Free 2017 wall planner / 47 minutes of video

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Outdoors special full of landscape and wildlife tips and techniques / 30 wildlife photo cards / Art Wolfe / Jonathan Chritchley / Telephoto lens test / Canon 7D Mk II vs Nikon D500 / Raw and JPEG basics / 80 minutes of video training

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

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

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

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

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

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22-page creative portraits guide: settings, lighting and more / Portrait lenses on test / Jerry Ghionis interview / Angle of view basics / Nikon D5 & Canon 80D reviews / Wedding shoot tips cards / Master Retouching ebook

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Night photography skills and gear / telephoto zooms on test / Alec Soth interview / Aperture basics / 2016 Digital Camera Awards / Nine ways to light a potato / 34 Amazing Photo Tricks ebook / Nine tips cards / 11 videos

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See Richard’s talk Extraordinary Images of Extraordinary People at The Photography Show!

Behind the Lens Theatre Sunday 19th March 13.00-13.40

DESERT ISLAND D-SLR

Richard Bradbury

Advertising, editorial, and Guiness World Record photographer www.richardbradbury.com

The first photographer who comes to your mind? Gregory Crewdson. He’s a living legend and a true genius.

You can invite anyone to a dinner party – who do you choose? Muhammad Ali or David Bowie… Yes, it’s been a tough year!

How do you relax after a shoot? I ride fast motorbikes on racetracks.

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What’s on your memory card? A new shoot for the next Guinness World Records. I can’t tell you any more, as all the images are secret until the book is launched... It’s a really cool record though! Who would you most like to thank for getting you where you are today? Photographer David Kilpatrick gave me a job as studio assistant, with no experience or qualifications, in 1982. He’s the reason I am here today. What was your first camera? A Minolta SRT100X. I still own it. What did you want to be when you were five years old? A tawny owl. 148

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If you weren’t a photographer, what would you have done? Motocycle racer… Yeah, right. Be honest – what kind of photography are you bad at? Paparazzi and press. I hate it if people don’t want me to be there. What book should every photographer read? The Work of Hipgnosis: Walk Away René. Who has influenced you the most? Storm Thorgerson, for that Work of Hipgnosis book. How many pictures do you shoot a year? 49,400… approximately. I just worked it out!

What is top of your bucket list? I���d like to fly in a Spitfire. What photo gadget or feature do you want to see invented? ISO 2,000 with no visible grain. What words of wisdom would you give to aspiring photographers? Arrive early, leave late, shoot loads. What’s your unfulfilled ambition (as a photographer)? The Taylor Wessing Prize. You’ve found a time-travel machine. Where do you go? 2 Place Lamartine, Arles, France in 1888, to help Van Gogh set up the Yellow House studio. It’s 2020. What are you doing? Still shooting, still riding motorbikes, and enjoying my new house in the West Country (assuming I’ve bought one by then). What is your Desert Island DSLR? The Canon EOS-1D X Mk II. It’s practically indestructible! www.digitalcameraworld.com

Illustration: Andy McLaughlin

hat’s your current mood? Bloody marvellous! I won AOP Editorial Photographer of the Year in 2016.


Your exclusive digital camera street photographY tip cards

PhotograPhy and the laW

shooting from the hiP

bold colours and backgrounds

Wait for the light

shadoWs and silhouettes

use reflections

staged Portrait

PhotograPhing in Public

PhotograPhing buildings

Visit www.digitalcameraworld.com for more great photo tips


Your exclusive digital camera street photographY tip cards Know your rights!

Know your rights!

Know your rights!

PhotograPhy and the law

PhotograPhing in PuBlic

PhotograPhing Buildings

The law Police in the UK have no powers to stop you taking photos in a public place, however there are other laws you can be arrested for. An officer may wish to search you in connection with the ‘stop’, but they can only do this if they suspect you’re carrying drugs, weapons, stolen property or items that could be used to commit a crime, an act of terrorism or cause criminal damage.

Model release You don’t need a model release to take photos of people on the street, unless you want to use the image commercially. Photographing the police Police can’t arrest you for photographing police officers involved in the course of normal duties and incidents, but they can question you if you appear to be taking photos of a member of the force.

Planes Airports are private property, but offer viewing areas for photographing planes.

use reflections

staged Portrait

For your First shot, try...

For your First shot, try...

For your First shot, try...

Exposure mode Aperture Focus mode ISO

to iMProVE your shot… Hold your camera by your hip and shoot as your subject passes by.

Use elements in the reflection to create a strong composition.

Don’t look immediately at the LCD screen, as you may get caught out by your subject.

If your autofocus is having trouble focusing through the glass, switch to the manual focus setting. toP tiP: Having a theme such as ‘reflections’ will give your street shoot direction and a good starting point.

to iMProVE your shot… For a staged look get your subject to stare directly down the lens. Often you’ll only get the chance to take a couple of shots, so make sure your exposure settings are spot-on. Convert your image to black and white.

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Don’t worry about a wonky composition: it can give your shot a more dynamic appeal!

toP tiP: As you’re shooting blind, it helps to increase the aperture setting so the depth of field is larger, so that you can be less accurate with your focusing.

Exposure mode aperture Priority Aperture f/2.8 Shutter speed 1/400 sec ISO 400

manual f/5.6 manual 400

to iMProVE your shot… Coffee shops and restaurants are perfect locations for this type of set-up.

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toP tiP: Photographing a stranger is a daunting task, but the results are worth it. Don’t be shy – just ask with a smile! The worst they can do is say no.

wait for the light

use Bold colours

shadows & silhouettes

For your First shot, try...

For your First shot, try...

For your First shot, try...

Exposure mode manual Aperture f/5.6 Shutter speed 1/250 sec or faster ISO 800

Exposure mode aperture Priority Aperture f/3.5 ISO 400 Focus mode autofocus

Exposure mode Aperture Shutter speed ISO

to iMProVE your shot… It’s not just the main subject that’s important: the background is also a vital component of your composition.

to iMProVE your shot… Find a spot where the light is good and the background is interesting, then simply wait for your subject to walk into the frame.

manual f/2.8 1/250 sec 3200

to iMProVE your shot… Look for interesting shadows and silhouettes on the street to photograph.

Look for bold colours in the scene to make your street portrait pop.

People wearing an accessory such as a hat or umbrella, or even someone smoking, will make a better subject.

Shoot when the light is low and soft, as this will get pleasing results.

Be careful with your composition. It can be easy to miss that street lamp sticking out of your subject’s head!

Convert your image to black and white to help enhance the shapes in the scene.

toP tiP: To create an engaging image, it helps to connect the elements together in the scene to your main subject.

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Set your focusing mode to the tracking feature to ensure your subject stays sharp.

toP tiP: To soften the background, close your aperture and bring your subject further forward.

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Trains You can take photographs at train stations for personal use. (A flash and tripod may require permission.) Commercial photography requires prior permission.

shoot from the hiP Exposure mode aperture Priority Aperture f/8 Shutter speed automatically set ISO 800

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Obstruction You can be arrested for obstruction (like placing a tripod in a busy street). More details at www.bit.ly/dc187rights

Private land If you’re on private land and the owner asks you to leave, failure to do so will be classed as trespassing. They can use reasonable force to make you leave.

DCM 187 • Fotolia

Security guards Security guards have no powers to stop and search, but can ask you to leave private land (and use reasonable force).

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Section 44 and 43 Searches carried out under Section 44 of the Terrorism Act 2000 have been banned, but an officer can still stop and search you if they have a ‘reasonable suspicion’ that you’re a terrorist, under Section 43. Deleting images Police can’t delete or ask you to delete images during a search under Section 43.

Public places You don’t need a permit to shoot in public places. You can shoot private buildings or property as long as you’re standing on public land.

toP tiP: To get effective results, backlight your subject. This image was taken in front of a lit advertisement.

Visit our shop at www.myfavouritemagazines.co.uk/photo


PHOTOSHOP GUIDE

Blend exposures

Get your Free photoshop action www.bit.ly/dc187files

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Merge Traffic Trails

Boost your nighttime traffic trails by combining several frames into one

How to shoot it Simply set your camera on a tripod and use a slow shutter speed to capture passing cars and buses as glorious neon-like ribbons. Shoot several frames for varying patterns, and capture buses or lorries to add height to the lights.

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How to process it Open all the images into layers (see the box below) then go to the Layers panel (Window > Layers). Hold Shift and click from the top layer to the bottom to select them all, then click the Blend Mode dropdown at the top of the Layers panel and choose Lighten. Genius tip Load into layers As is often the case when opening a series of images that are to be blended together, the easiest way is to select all the images, then open them as a layered document. To do so, either select them in Bridge, then go to Tools > Photoshop > Load Files Into Photoshop Layers, or go to File > Scripts > Load Files Into Stack in Photoshop. This also gives you the option to automatically align the layers, which can be useful if the alignment is off between frames due to slight camera movement.


Make draMaTic skies

Balance land and sky by combining two exposures with a simple layer mask How to shoot it Put your camera on a tripod and set your camera to Aperture Priority mode. Take a shot and make sure that the land is correctly exposed. This will over-expose the sky, so use exposure compensation to dial in a stop or two of under-exposure and take a second shot in which

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the land looks dark and the sky looks just right. How to process it Open the two images as layers, then grab the Gradient tool and choose a black-towhite linear gradient. Click the Add Layer Mask icon, then drag down from the sky towards the land to add a gradient.

Genius tip

Layer mask painting

A simple black-to-white gradient applied to a layer mask works well if the horizon in a scene is perfectly straight without anything jutting upwards into it. But if there are parts of the image that break the horizon, then these will darken too. This will look odd and spoil the effect, so you may need to fine-tune the layer mask. This is easy to do, however. Simply select the Brush tool, highlight the layer mask’s thumbnail in the Layers panel, and paint with black to hide areas of the top layer, or white to reveal them. It’s often best to paint gradually at a low opacity so that the blended areas look more natural.


Blend skies wiTh lighTen... Use the supplied Action to blend an entire time-lapse sequence into a single frame How to shoot it Set up your camera to record a timelapse sequence so that it fires a shot every five seconds or so. If your camera doesn’t have a built-in intervalometer, attach a separate one. Use Aperture Priority mode so the exposure varies as the sky changes.

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How to process it Use the Lighten Blend Mode to combine all the frames from the time-lapse sequence into a single image. Of course, opening hundreds of images to combine them will take far too long, so use the handy Action we’ve provided to do the job for you.

Genius tip

the Lighten Blend Mode

The Lighten Blend Mode is one of the most useful of Photoshop’s 30 or so Blend Modes. It works by allowing only the parts of a layer that are lighter than the corresponding pixels below to show through, which makes it the perfect choice any time you want to place a light object against a dark background, such as adding fireworks to a night-time sky. In this image, for example, it enables the lighter parts of the clouds and vapour trails from each photo in the sequence to show through, showing their slow passage across the sky as beautiful staggered patterns.


...or Blend TheM wiTh darken The Darken mode can transform a time-lapse sequence into a moody, apocalyptic scene How to shoot it Set up your camera for a time-lapse sequence (as described on the previous page). You may need to dial in a stop or two of under-exposure using exposure compensation, so that the sky is well-exposed and the foreground and birds are captured in silhouette.

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How to process it Use our Timestack Darken Action to blend all the frames with the Darken blending mode. This means that the only parts of a layer that will show are those that are darker than the corresponding pixels on the layers below – ideal for placing multiple dark objects on a light background.

Genius tip

use the timestack Action

We’ve supplied an Action that does the job for you of combining a set of images with either the Lighten or Darken blending modes. The Action is compatible with Photoshop CS5, CS6 and CC for Windows or macOS. As well as effects like this, you can also use it to blend star trail images. To install it, either drag and drop the timestack.atn file on an open Photoshop window, or go to the Actions panel, click the flyout menu and choose Load Actions. Once done, open the Actions panel and run either Timestack Lighten or Timestack Darken, then follow the instructions in the Action.


creaTe high dynaMic range iMages

Merge a bracketed sequence of exposures to expand your camera’s dynamic range How to shoot it Set up your camera to take a series of bracketed exposures, so that you capture detail in the highlights and shadows. You’ll need three exposures or more if the scene has lots of contrast. Use Aperture Priority so the depth of field remains constant throughout.

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How to process it Open the image sequence using Photoshop’s Merge To HDR Pro command or alternatively use dedicated HDR software like Photomatix Pro or Nik’s HDR Efex Pro. Genius tip

ideal subjects for HDR

When it comes to giving scenes the HDR treatment, some subjects work better than others. HDR is ideally suited to high-contrast scenes, because it means you can expand the dynamic range of your camera to record detail at the extremes of the tonal range. So bright sunny days with fluffy white clouds work well, as do interiors with light shining through large windows.


creaTe sTar Trails

Genius tip

Record the circular movement of the earth by turning your camera on the night-time sky How to shoot it Use a cable release and set your camera’s drive mode to continuous. Select Manual mode, use a wide aperture and set the shutter speed to 30 seconds. Lock the shutter with the cable release so the camera takes a continuous series of 30-second exposures.

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How to process it Like with the Timestack cloud effect earlier, to create these wonderful circular star trails you need to blend the entire sequence of images using the Lighten blending mode. The Timestack Lighten Action we’ve supplied will automate the task for you, saving you loads of time.

try lighting the foreground

For the best night sky you need to be away from built-up areas, and keep ambient light in the scene to an absolute minimum. That said, you can sometimes get a good result by illuminating the foreground with a flashgun or with a torch during one of your long exposures.


Make MulTiple personaliTies

Genius tip

Shoot a person in a variety of positions, then combine all the frames into one incredible scene How to shoot it Use a tripod and keep exposure and focusing consistent between frames. Position the subject in different ways around the scene while trying to visualise how it will all look when put it together. Shoot a variety of poses. With careful placement you could even get your clones to interact with one another.

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How to process it Open all the images as layers, then hide all but the bottom two layers. Grab the Lasso tool and drag a rough selection around the subject, then click the Add layer mask icon to hide the rest of the layer, revealing the figure on the layer below. Repeat for the other layers, then add a tonal effect on top of everything.

shallow depth of field

If you want to take a subtler approach to multiplicity portraits, why not try blurring the clones in the background? Simply fill the frame with your main portrait, focusing on the eyes to keep them sharp, take a shot, then reposition the person in the background. For a shallow depth of field use Aperture Priority mode and open the aperture to about f/4.



Digital Camera World - March 2017