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Oh Cr op! Issue 1: January 2011

Chi’s Challenge:

Jacob Walfridsson: The Enthusiast

How to create a panosphere

Photography Masterclass:

The Rule of Thirds

Cover image by Chi Lau.

Photo by Chi lau

In Oh Crop! this month..

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Chi’s Challege Every month Chi will have a challenge for you to complete... This month try creating your own little world! Photography Masterclass Every month there will be a Photography Masterclass to teach you some important new skill or technique in photography! This Month Chi teaches us the most important rule in photography... The Rule of Thirds Reader Photos Oh Crop! is about promoting work and so each month we will include photos sent to us by our readers. If you want to take part then email us at the email below right. Reader Profile: Our first reader profile is of Jacob Walfridsson! Stay tuned every month as we bring you another reader profile! Beginner Canon Cameras James Murphy gives us more information on beginner/entry level Canon Cameras... We will cover ever major make so keep a look out!

So this is Oh Crop! Magazine’s first ever issue... It took a month of planning and organising but I managed to get everything sorted! I never really thought about making a magzine but I was late for a lecture one day and suddenly thought of making one... I mean why not?! It would not only teach other people to improve but also would help me to understand what I already know! But I guess at the end of the day Oh Crop! Magazine is only a guideline, if you really want to improve your photography skills then read what we teach and tell you,do your own experiments and just go out and take loads of photos until you improve. However if you want constructive criticism then my team and I would be glad to help, if we can... we are, after all, only intermediates ourselves! So stick with Oh Crop! Magazine every month and we’ll do our best to “teach and to promote”


Contributors: Chi Lau Danielle Starr Annabelle Latter James Murphy And a special thanks to Jacob Walfridsson, Sam Stockley and Sarah Jackson. Find us on Facebook! Just search for “Oh Crop! Magazine” And if you have any questions, comments or photos you’d like to share please send them to chi.lauphotography@hotmail.co.uk

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Chi's Challenge:



very month Oh Crop! Will teach you something new and ask you to try it out yourselves! The only way to improve is to try yourself and afterwards we really want to see what you’ve done because it could help us to improve and help you as well, so please send us your finished Challenges to us! This month’s issue: Panospheres. Ever thought about having your own little world?! Well now you can… Sort of! All you need to create this wonderful image are things: •A digital camera (obviously…) •A n editing software (e.g. Photoshop or Paintshop Pro) •A tripod and a wide angle lens useful but are optional. Once you have these the rest is simple. For this Challenge we’ll be using Photoshop CS3. But you can still use any editing software such as Paintshop Pro.

1) First you take a 360 degree p a n o r a m i c in portrait orientation. This is because you want to capture as much of the ground and/or sky as possible. Overlap the photos so that the editing software has a point of reference for it to stitch the images together. Try to keep the horizon as straight as possible and shoot with your elbows tucked into your chest, this allows you to keep a roughly straight horizon (don’t worry if it’s not perfect as your editing software should make it work). TIP: Make sure that you manually expose the image so that the

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expose is equal throughout the image. 2) Now comes the easiest part… Once you have all the photos you need (and you’ll need roughly 20 photos) upload them and go to an editing software program. Click “File” and scroll down to “Automate” and click “Photo merge”. This will bring up a new window with an upload file table. Upload all your images and once it’s done you’ll have a 360 panoramic… well done! 3) If you don’t use a tripod, the 360 Panoramic may have some jagged edges where the editing software has moved your images about. That’s perfectly fine, just crop (Oh Crop!) them out. TIP: If you have really blue skies then consider cropping more of the image and using the “Clone Tool” to edit more sky in. 4) Rotate your image 180

degrees so that it is upside down. Then go to “Filter” and “Distort” and click “Polar Co-Ordinates”. The names of these filters/effects should be the same throughout the different editing software. Once you have this new window up make sure that it’s set to “Rectangular to Polar” before clicking ok. 5) Now you should have an

image that looks like a mini world. But before you’re done resize the image so that it is a perfect square… Now you have (hopefully) just made your first Panosphere! So now that you know how to make a Panosphere please send us your images so that we can display them for the rest of the readers to see! Please send them Page | 5

to chi.lau-photography@hotmail. co.uk with your name. If you have any questions or problems with this challenge post them on our Facebook Page and we’ll get back you real soon! Photography and words by Chi Lau.


Photography Masterclass:

The Rule of Thirds With Chi Lau


ne of the world’s most influential photographers in the 20th century, Edward Weston, said “Consulting the rules of composition before taking a photograph is like consulting the laws of gravity before going for a walk”… need I say more? Composition in the photography world can turn an average photo into an amazing on and so should never be underestimated. The Rule of Thirds is simple. Before you take a photo split it up into 9 separate and equal squares (like a noughts and crosses grid!). The idea is that roughly where the lines meet, in four places, is the most appealing to the eye. As well as this the rule states that the 2 horizon lines are good guide lines because a centrally place horizon isn’t always as appealing. However the Rules of Thirds are just rules and rules are made to be broken sometimes. So how can you use it in a photo? As you can see from the photo of

a boat in Langstone Harbour, the horizon has been placed at the upper line giving less space for the sky but more for the interesting foreground. The boat is placed mainly on the bottom left part of the Rule of Thirds thus creating more impact in that area. In order for you to get that impact place the object that you want to have

the most attention in any of the four points. For example a lone tree in the photo can be placed in one of the four points giving maximum impact and attention to it. Try and take into account leading lines too, by placing them along vertical lines it draws the viewer towards a particular point. Rules are made for breaking: The rule of thirds is a rule, not a law, and so it can be broken should the situation require it! Try having the main object in the centre of the image so that all the attention goes toward that central point or having converging lines that run towards the middle. If a photo is symmetrical is creates a sense of balance and framing allowing the image to still look good without the rule of thirds. So all in all just experiment and see how it goes!! Dot dot dot... Etc. Lalala. Filling white space. HI. Okay. Bye. :) Photo (left) by Danielle Starr.

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Photo by Chi Lau

Photo by Anders Bergstrรถm

Photo by Annabelle Latter

Photo by Annabelle Latter

Photo by Chi Lau

Photo by Chi Lau Page | 7

Photo by Hannah Smith

Readers’ Photographs

Photo by Anders Bergström

Photo by Danielle Starr Page | 8

Photo by Nichola Shaw

Photo by MarinaHauer

Photo by Chi Lau

Photo by James Murphy

Photo by Emma Smith Page | 9

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Reader Profile:

Jacob Walfridsson The enthusiast


acob Walfridsson is one of the most passionate and enthusiastic photographers anyone is likey to come across, Danielle Starr went to meet him...

Hi. Tell us a bit about yourself and what equipment you use. Hi! I’m a 22 year old Swede doing one exchange semester in Portsmouth, as a voluntary part of my business course back home. I’m one of the unloved Sony users, but I proudly defend my A350 whenever I need to. With that I have one 18-70mm, one 55200mm and one 50mm lens, plus an external Sigma flash.

When did you first become interested in photography? I remember buying a disposable camera during a family vacation in Paris when I was twelve, so that was my first encounter with photography. But it wasn’t until my parents bought their first digital cameras a few years later that I didn’t feel restricted by the cost of film, obviously, which made me learn the basics while experimenting. I bought my first compact camera three years ago and my SLR just over a year ago. So I guess you could call me a slow starter.

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Who inspires you and what is your favourite thing to photograph? I haven’t got certain idols or anything; I can borrow ideas from pretty much anything I like. I recently joined Flickr, which is an endless source of inspiration. Almost too endless, there are so many good photographers out there! If I have to choose, I would probably say that my favourite thing to photograph is urban environments, because of the rawness and contrast they often have.

Is photography a hobby for you, or would you like to turn it into a career? It is a hobby for me, even though I’ve during this autumn realised that you don’t have to be a professional to earn some extra cash. But I think I will stick to using my photography for my home university’s magazine and private Your animal photos use. I’m a bit of a canvas addict are really good. and got several of them in my flat How did you get that close? Or in Sweden, so that’s a great use. did you use a specific lens? I’m a brave guy, who grew up Tell us something random about with lions and killer whales as yourself. I enjoy cooking neighbours, so it’s no biggie for me. No, and singing, that’s a lie. I normally sometimes both use my 55-200, which at the same time. performs extremely well for its low price. If you could go When it comes to anywhere and animals I think that take a photo of coming close is important in anything; what would it be? order to capture the raw feeling It would be either somewhere on of nature. Especially when you’re Iceland, or Yellowstone National in fact at a zoo. Park in the US. The nature just wine red tone because of the city lights, and I took a 30 second exposure, which is a thing I love to do. I was, however, forced to edit the photo quite a lot to create the same feeling in the image I had when I took it.

I’m a brave “ guy, who grew

up with lions and killer whales as neighbours.

Your “Cemetery Winter” photo is really interesting. How did you create the wonderful effects? Oh, thank you. It was midDecember, and back home I happen to live just by a cemetery, which has got really nice lighting at night. The sky had a special

You don’t “ have to be a

professional to earn some extra cash.

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seems amazing! My camera would probably be exhausted afterwards. Is there anything photography advice you would like to give to our readers? To a beginner I would say: Don’t think too much about all the “rules” of photography, do what you feel like instead, and I’m sure you’ll get better as long as you try depicting different things in different ways. Make it your own thing! Excellent, well thank you for taking the time to talk to us, we’ll look forward to featuring some of your awesome work in the future...

If any of you would like to see Be sure to check out next month’s more of Jacob’s work you can reader profile where we’ll have visit his Flickr at: more inspiring work to show you! www.flickr.com/photos/ jacobwalfridsson Page | 13

Canon Cameras for Beginners


With James Murphy

kay, so you want your first D-SLR. Canon’s Rebel-range of cameras all look and sound pretty similar – but at £340 for a 1000D and £650 for a 550D, there are going to be a few differences. Let’s take a first look at the flagship of the range: the 550D 550D The 550D, at little under a year old, is the latest iteration of the Rebel series. Combing an 18 megapixel sensor, high ISO (up to 6400) and full 1080p video at 24fps, it is in many ways similar to the semi-professional 7D. In fact, its nickname is “baby 7D” because it’s so similar – the 550D employs an almost identical sensor and same processor; the differences lie mostly in the features department. The 550D comes with Canons better-than-expected kits lens: 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS. For beginners, this lens can be very powerful – autofocus is fast and doesn’t hunt too much in low light, the range is standard for crop-bodies and the IS is very useful, especially in low-light situations. Image quality is also surprisingly good – images are sharp, colours and contrast is accurate and chromatic aberrations are most prominent at each end of the range. The body itself is made from stainless steel and polycarbonate resin with glass fibre (fancy plastic), which will easily provide enough protection for the average user – stainless steel is pretty tough! The 550D will provide beginners with an immensely powerful piece of kit – with a high con-

tinuous shooting speed, a sensor that raises the bar for rival entrylevel cameras and a more-thanadequate kit lens, this camera truly deserves its flagship status.

500D Canon’s 500D is, in more ways than one, almost identical to the 550D. They use the same viewfinder, autofocus system and ISO range, plus they’re almost exactly the same weight, size and look. However – there are a few important differences. The main thing you’ll be missing out on is flexibility – for example, the 500D has a lower ISO, a 15.1 megapixel sensor and fewer choices when it comes to recording video. The 500D also lacks the HDMI output port – not really an issue, since these ports are rarely used anyway. One of the major differences is the metering system that the 500D uses – because it’s an older camera, the metering system is much less sophisticated than the 550D. Despite all these seemingly negative qualities, none of this mean that the camera isn’t any good – the 500D is still available and in production at the moment, offered by Canon as a cheaper alternative to the 550D. 1000D The 1000D has come under a lot of flak from photographers for being “the worst camera Canon have ever made”. This is completely not true – it’s the “worst” camera Canon currently produce, granted, but that doesn’t mean it’s a bad camera. The amount of features and quality of images you get with the Page | 14

1000D when compared to the price make this a very, very desirable camera. For only £320 (as seen on Amazon UK) you can buy this camera brand new, with the new 18-55mm Canon kit lens. The 1000D feels light, cheap and basic – that’s exactly what it is. Who says that’s bad? For a beginner photographer who isn’t sure whether or not they’re going to take up the hobby, this camera is ideal. It offer just enough features to enable anyone to try their hand at any type of photography – macro, landscape, portrait or night time, this camera will have a good stab at any of them. The 10 mega-pixel sensor, 7-point auto-focus points and 3 frames per second continuous shooting should provide plenty for a first-time photographer. Canon marketed the 1000D as a step-up from the 400D but a step below the 450D – this explains why the difference between the 400D and 450D is so large. The 1000D introduced live-view, a feature that allows the user to use the screen as the viewfinder (but sacrifices autofocus as a result). The build quality of the camera isn’t great, but one can’t expect any more without increasing the price of the product. Next month: Nikon cameras by Dan Smyth.

Profile for Oh Crop! Magazine

Oh Crop! Issue 1  

Oh Crop! Magazine January issue

Oh Crop! Issue 1  

Oh Crop! Magazine January issue