NZ CameraTalk To p r o m o t e t h e w i d e r e n j o y m e n t o f p h o t o g r a p h y
T H E O F F I C I A L M A G A Z I N E O F T H E P H OT O G R A P H I C S O C I E T Y O F N E W Z E A L A N D I N C
December 2020 /January 2021
In this issue PRESIDENT Moira Blincoe LPSNZ t. 027 473 3038 e: email@example.com
Karen Lawton t. 021 143 7764 e. firstname.lastname@example.org
WELCOME TO THE final edition of CameraTalk for 2020. We are pleased to bring you another packed edition. In fact it is the largest edition published in 2020 and the index takes up so much space that this introduction has to be brief. The issue includes a special feature on Intentional Camera Movement, updates from Council and reviews on the final four PSNZ workshops.
Key Dates for the Diary
An Update from Council
PSNZ Workshops 2021
New Member on the Honours Board
Letters to the Editor
Convention News Confessions of an Exhibition Organiser Special Feature: ICM
2021 Judge Training
Changes to Regional Boundaries
The next CameraTalk deadline is
PSNZ Workshops Reviews
Find a Mentor
PSNZ Honours - One Personâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Story
Review Nikon Z 5
Canon Online Results
Review Panasonic Lumix S5
Obituary - Stan Long FPSNZ
Photographers dealing with COVID
TREASURER Mark Lawson PO Box 462 Timaru e. email@example.com
SECRETARY Patrice Nilsen 8 Raroa Terrace, Tawa, Wellington 5028 t. 04 232 1565 e. firstname.lastname@example.org
EDITOR, ADVERTISING & LAYOUT
In October I had the opportunity to play with the latest full frame mirrorless cameras from Nikon and Panasonic and you can read my full reviews.
Paul Whitham LPSNZ Editor
Paul Whitham LPSNZ PSNZ Councillor t. m. 021 644 418 e. email@example.com
SUBEDITOR Lindsay Stockbridge LPSNZ 14 Poynter Place, Whanganui 4501 t. 06 348 7141 or m. 027 653 0341 e. firstname.lastname@example.org
1February 2021 Email your contributions to the SubEditor at his email address. Editorial should be sent as Word or .txt files. JPEG images generally should be saved at 300 dpi, compressed to high to medium quality. Include return postage if you wish material to be returned. The opinions expressed in this newsletter are not necessarily those of the Editor or of the Council of PSNZ.
On the cover Hans by Leanne Silver, shot during the Portrait workshop in Hamilton. See page 32 for a report on the workshop.
AS WE ENTER the final month of a year that turned us all upside down, it is a good opportunity to pause for a moment and reflect on all the positives in our lives. Sure it has been one of the hardest years I can remember, but when you consider how we as a country have fared compared to many others, we are thankful that we live here, ‘Down Under’. Who would have thought that a small nation such as ours, surrounded by the ocean, would be at the forefront of the world in shutting down this nasty thing called COVID? One of the most important lessons I have learned through this year, and especially the first lockdown period, is to be ‘grateful’ and to give thanks or show ‘gratitude’. I’m grateful for that ocean and I know it is difficult for so many with the borders closed, but I am very appreciative that I have explored as much of the world as I have been fortunate enough to do. Now it is time to explore our own country. It is so easy to get bogged down and dwell on many of our problems that the news presents, while sometimes forgetting that there is still a lot to be thankful for. 2020 has been a difficult year for Council and sadly, by cancelling the two key events of our calendar year, it did stall us in our tracks for a while. However it wasn’t too long before we picked up momentum, the emails and communication started flowing back to a normal level and we began to see traction in our work. A significant highlight for me has been the successful completion of the second year of the PSNZ Workshop Series and knowing that 111 members attended a workshop of their choice or for some, several workshops. When we launched the Workshop Series in 2019 it was viewed as a three year project:Year 1, introduce;Year 2, tweak and deliver a better series;Year 3 – we’ll soar.
A Note from the President Organising the workshops demands an enormous amount of time and I am truly indebted to the vision and commitment James Gibson APSNZ, EFIAP Councillor for Membership has given to developing and driving the series. James has been supported by the super-efficient and organised Nicole Tai of Hokitika and has now been joined by Sandra McCoy APSNZ for implementing the 2021 series. We are excited for the 2021 programme and have increased the number of workshops to eight which means even more members will be able to experience these outstanding workshops. More about the 2021 series will be unveiled soon. Meantime, I hope those members who attended a workshop have been able to get out and practise what you learned, expanded your repertoire and are now seeing some good results.
The unseen work behind the scenes by many never ends and members should take heart that we do have a committed number of volunteers that assist in so many capacities. However, like all organsiations, we do need new blood to step up to the mark. The opportunity exists before the AGM for those who have the skills and time to dedicate to the Society, to give consideration to submitting your nomination when the call comes in February. I know we will all benefit. As always I am happy to have a conversation with any member who may have an interest in joining Council or being on a sub-committee. While the work has been relentless I know that the Society is in really good shape and I believe it has gone from strength to strength thanks to the enthusiasm of our members, the support from our trade partners and the vision and energy given by Council. That vision has also been embraced by the Chairpersons of the Honours Board and the Judge Accreditation Panel and I believe those two programmes are also in a good position. The goods in what I call the ‘engine room’ or processing plant, i.e. Dropbox where all our rules and regulations, Bylaws, manuals etc. sit, are in a sound state having all been reviewed, updated and reformatted in a modern presentation in the last two years. Last week Bruce Girdwood FPSNZ, Chair of the Honours Board hosted three ‘Q & A’ sessions on the PSNZ honours system. During these sessions he covered in detail what is required for each separate distinction level (Licentiate, Associate and Fellowship); what the Board is looking for and how each set is assessed, whether print or digital. It was good to see the number of participants in each session and the range of questions asked and responded to by Bruce. I’m confident these sessions will give members a greater understanding of the requirements needed in compiling an honours portfolio.
I would also like to thank and acknowledge all previous Council members with whom I have worked over the past 10 years. One of the best parts of being on Council has been the opportunity to meet and work alongside a myriad of members. To my fellow current Councillors I really appreciate everything you have done in supporting me, for caring about your own portfolios and working hard to deliver the services that we offer our members. Being a volunteer is no mean feat, especially in today’s world. We are at the beck and call of others; we rely on others to complete most parts of our particular project, but for most it is about giving back to a voluntary organisation that we are passionate about and most of all, the people that make up the Society and the benefits that we receive and enjoy. In closing, I wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and may 2021 be a year filled with hope, peace, positivity and love. Keep safe, take care and continue to embrace kindness and gratitude. I heard this quote recently and it really resonated with me: “Counting our blessings is far better than recounting our problems” Russell M. Nelson
Warmest wishes, Moira Blincoe LPSNZ
Key Dates for the Diary 2020 December 1 December 25
Entries for Interclub competitions open Canon Online Round 6 closes
2021 January 16 January 17 January 20 February 1 February 25 February 28 March 1 March 1 April 15-18 April 25
Honours Submissions open Registrations for National Convention open Last day to submit images for FIAP Colour Projected Images Entries for Sony National Exhibition open Canon Online Round 1 closes Honours Submissions close Entries for Sony National Exhibition close Entries for Interclub competitions close National Convention Christchurch Canon Online Round 2 closes
FIAP Distinctions Although we have had a stressful year with lots of cancellations and our processes have needed to be reassessed, three of our members have been granted FIAP Distinctions. They are • Trish Brown AFIAP • Trish McAuslan EFIAP/b • Julia Home EFIAP/b Congratulations and best wishes to these members.
FIAP News Publication FIAP have revamped their news publication, FIAP News. It now has many more interesting articles and members’ photos than it did previously. Take a look at the last one for this year, Issue 12, at this link: www.fiap.net/en/fiap-news. You can download it as a PDF to read at your leisure.
An Update from PSNZ Council by Moira Blincoe LPSNZ
I’M TAKING THIS opportunity to update you on Council’s October announcement of the intention to introduce a ‘two-year image capture’ policy for the SONY National Exhibition and NZ Camera submissions. Since the announcement we have received feedback and email communication regarding this decision, specifically for the SONY National Exhibition entries. There was a small representation of members who expressed their dissatisfaction with this announcement on the Society’s closed Facebook page. The number of members of the FB group is not even fifty percent of the membership; therefore most other members would not be aware of the comments posted. Council has taken this feedback into consideration as our discussions have continued. Equally, we received many emails from members who supported the decision. Not a day has gone by when Council has not been discussing this issue. Included in recent feedback from one member was the recommendation to still retain a time limit, but to push out, or increase the number of years. Again, Council took this into consideration and after further discussion, I wish to announce that Council will extend the time frame to ‘five-year creation’ for the SONY National Exhibition ONLY. We feel that this is a reasonable length of time to be able to select an image that you feel worthy of entering into the national exhibition, if you haven’t created any images you wish to enter, in the preceding 12 - 24 months.
This means that every element of an image submitted must have been created by the photographer in the previous five calendar years for the SONY National Exhibition. By introducing this policy, we were not trying to be the picture police by telling you how you must shoot your images, or that you must present works in a certain style. In my previous article, I had used the words ‘current trends’ referring in part to why the decision was made. I realise that ‘current trends’ come and go, just like a fashion fad. When bell bottom jeans came on the scene everyone rushed out to buy a pair. When HDR processing became trendy, all we saw were heavily saturated and over processed works. We do not want that. Ideally, we want our photographers to be encouraged to shoot and submit their latest work and not simply drag from historical, back catalogues. This change will come into effect for the 2022 SONY National Exhibition.
NZ Camera Council has agreed that the two-year capture timeframe for submissions to NZ Camera will be retained. This means all components of a photograph must have been created in the two years prior. With entries for the 2021 NZ Camera publication due to open approximately 1 March 2021, all entries must have been created from 1 January 2019.
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Preview for 2021 By James Gibson APSNZ EFIAP
AS 2020 DRAWS to a close and I look back at what for us all has undoubtedly been an incredibly difficult year, I find myself thinking fondly of those moments when we have been able to enjoy our hobbies and pastimes and really make the most of the freedoms we are able to enjoy within New Zealand. I am especially grateful that we were finally able to hold the 2020 Workshop Series events, for the friends (and images) made on these trips and for the pleasure we have all experienced from being able to get out with our cameras and learn new skills. In 2021 we are intending to extend the series to eight workshops. These will be open for registration in two blocks, and you will be eligible to sign up for one workshop in each
block. You may add your name to waitlists for as many workshops as you wish; any empty places will be released approximately one month prior to the workshop date. We are trying to maximise the availability of places on these workshops to as many of our members as we can; you may be able to attend more, but you won’t find out if you have a place until close to the workshop dates. All things going as planned, we shall open the first block of workshops for registrations late in January – watch out for further details of the exact date. The second block will open towards the end of May. Here’s a rundown to whet your appetites:
Block 1 • MATT LEAMY LPSNZ will start us off with an exploration into Macrophotography: techniques, gear, image capture and postprocessing (Whakatane, 27 March). • GRAHAM DAINTY FPSNZ will be leading a weekend-long Landscape Photography workshop in Central Otago over Anzac weekend - for the beautiful autumnal colours (Alexandra,24-26 April).
Vivianne Baldwin APSNZ
• JUDY STOKES APSNZ takes her incredible talents south, looking at ICM and Creative Photography (Hokitika, 15 May). • LEITH ROBERTSON comes back to host a second Astrophotography workshop. This time we shall be heading to the Central Plateau to photograph the stars over stunning mountain scenes (National Park, 11-13 June). Frank Hopfler
Block 2 • AARON KEY will again be leading a Portrait Photography workshop, this time with a focus on dance and movement (Invercargill, 17 July). • MEGHAN MALONEY joins us to explore the beauty of Long Exposure Landscape Photography in the Coromandel (27-28 August). • CRAIG MCKENZIE will again be hosting and sharing his skills in Bird Photography in the first of two back-to-back workshops, the first in the North Island at Cape Kidnappers (2 October).
Paul Whitham LPSNZ
• CRAIG MCKENZIE’s second Bird Photography workshop, the following weekend, takes him to Kaikoura, where our series will finish for the year (9 October). Toya Heatly APSNZ
So, which ones take your fancy? Over the next few weeks, you will see some additional teaser text as we hone the details and prepare for registrations. Based on the feedback we’ve received, several workshops run for more than just one day. As such, these workshops (and those with additional external costs such as tours, model fees etc.) have increased attendance costs, so please check when you register. Payment for all workshops will be made via the Paypal system (either debit or credit card) to help simplify administration – this means that if you register for a workshop and receive the confirmation email, your place is confirmed.
I would like to finish by thanking all of you who attended or hosted a workshop this year; the efforts you all put in by attending and participating made them the enjoyable experiences they were. I would like to especially thank Nicole Tai for her incredible organisational efforts - dealing with registrations and refunds, all the while being ceaselessly enthusiastic and efficient, and also to Sandra McCoy APSNZ who joins us to help with behind-the-scenes organisation of venues, catering and much more.
The PSNZ website has just received a complete overhaul. Check out the new look at www.photography.org.nz
Master Photographer Joins PSNZ Honours Board By Moira Blincoe LPSNZ
ON BEHALF OF PSNZ Council and the Honours Board it gives me great pleasure to announce the appointment of PSNZ Fellow and FIAP Master photographer Ann Bastion to the Honours Board. Six members make up the Honours Board, each serving a term of three years. Ann takes up the ‘seat’ vacated by Meg Lipscombe FPSNZ following her completion of three years in July 2020. Both Council and Bruce Girdwood FPSNZ Chair of the Honours Board were in unanimous agreement that Ann’s photographic abilities and personal credentials made her the right choice to complement the current board. She joins the assessment panel who next meet in Invercargill in March 2021. Ann’s photographic accomplishments are extensive and she achieved her PSNZ honours distinctions in very quick succession. Not one to sit idle, she simultaneously pursued many FIAP distinctions with equal commitment. In early 2019 Ann quietly announced to me that she had been made a Master of Photography in the Fédération Internationale de l’Art Photographique (FIAP). She is only the second New Zealand photographer to achieve this highly regarded and difficult to achieve status. Ever the humble photographer, Ann said she was ‘quite thrilled’ when Bruce called her to invite her onto the Board and ‘didn’t need time to consider an answer’. As a former member of the PSNZ Council, Ann continues to be the FIAP Liaison Officer and also provides ongoing consulting advice on the 4Nations competition to Council and Craig McKenzie, Councillor for National Competitions. Congratulations Ann, your expertise and experience will be an asset to the Honours Board.
Remember submissions for 2021 Honours must be received by the secretary by 5pm on 28 February 2021. As Stephanie lives in Invercargill make sure that you courier your prints in plenty of time. 11
Editorial : Do you nature photographers have it easy ? By Paul Whitham LPSNZ
BEFORE I BEGIN this editorial, letâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s start with a disclaimer. I am not a nature photographer, nor do I really have a desire to be one. Over many years, and many attempts, I have come to the conclusion that I like to be in control in my photography. I do not have the patience to spend hours trying to get images of creatures who have no intention of cooperating with me. That is not to say that I cannot take nature images. I can, and have actually received honours with them in club competitions. I can appreciate the efforts that nature photographers put in to capture great images. I do not suggest that nature photographers have it easy when it comes to actually taking the photos. However I do believe that nature photographers have a slightly easier road, than those who shoot other genres, when it comes to their entries in both the national exhibition and the honours system. Firstly, nature is the only genre that has its own category in the national exhibition. Images in all of the other genres have to compete against each other to be selected. Nature images can be entered into the open category, as well as nature, meaning that photographers have two cracks at getting images accepted. This also means that nature photographers have a greater chance of winning the Ron Willems medallions as these are based on the number of acceptances gained and medals achieved.
Now I know that the entry of nature images in the open category is to allow post processing, but it still creates an advantage. Secondly, there appears to be a difference between the ways that nature images are assessed compared to open. Within the nature guidelines, used to assess images in both national exhibition and honours, you find the following statement: â&#x20AC;&#x153;The storytelling value of the photograph must be weighed more than the pictorial quality while maintaining high technical quality.â&#x20AC;? Furthermore, nature honours sets do not appear to have to show a diversity of photographic approach that is required in open sets. Diversity of approach is one of the principal reasons why sets are unsuccessful, especially at the APSNZ level. The notion of storytelling does not appear in the open category - so why is it specifically included in nature? My suspicion is that nature images are deemed harder to control and therefore leeway was created.
This may have been valid in the days of film when you were really limited in what you could shoot and had no idea what the result was at the time. With modern cameras you can shoot thousands of images and you can see at the time whether you are getting the shot. It is my belief that it is time for nature images to be assessed in exactly the same way as open ones. I have no doubt that the true nature photographers will disagree with me and that is the nature of opinion pieces.
All cameras on the beach at the ICM workshop at Muruwai. Photo by Karen Triggs
Letter to the editor The Two-Year Rule Dear fellow members of PSNZ, In the last issue of CameraTalk, it was announced that certain exhibitions and competitions would no longer accept entries made more than two years ago. This came as an unwelcome surprise to many of us, and it is our hope that this position might be reversed. I accept that the Council has been elected to govern, and has no constitutional obligation to consult on every issue. This decision, however, is of such magnitude that it might have been wise for the Council to gauge the level of member support before deciding to impose it on the Society at large. The stated rationale for the proposed change was to support the priority of “showcasing current photographic trends”. I utterly reject that priority. While there are many who disagree, I have absolutely no interest in showcasing any kinds of trend. I am a member of PSNZ for the simple pleasure of making and sharing photographic images. While I appreciate any and all advice offered for improving my images, I deeply resent anyone attempting to coerce me into being a follower of trends. There are few days on which I don’t press the shutter at least once. This naturally results in a fairly large catalogue of saved images. I have no illusions of being a prize-winning photographer, but somewhere in my 90,000 or so saved pictures, there are a few that I would not be ashamed to show. I do not accept that they cease to have merit just because two years have elapsed since they were made. Nor do I accept that someone else’s images are intrinsically better merely because they follow the latest trends.
It would be preferable that the images are judged purely on their photographic merit, rather than on their adherence to current trends or the date on which they were created. I want the judging panel to say whether the image has merit for the arena in which it is being assessed. In my opinion, the two-year image capture rule is a solution in search of a problem. There is no barrier that prevents anyone submitting their latest work or showcasing the latest trends. Nor should there be any rule that says only the most recent and trendy images are worthy. If the selection panel judges the “on-trend” image to be worthy, without having to check the metadata, then it should succeed on its own artistic merits. A substantial number of PSNZ members choose not to use social media and would thus have missed the flurry of objections raised in the society’s Facebook page. I gained the impression that there was a considerable body of opposition to the new rule. Accordingly, I am seeking indications of support (or otherwise) for a recommendation to the council from the next AGM that the decision be reversed. Let me be clear that, while I think the Council reached a bad decision, they have done nothing wrong. I very much regret that the backlash on Facebook was upsetting to council members. They are generally deserving of our support. However, it would be unrealistic to expect the membership to agree with them all the time. We should understand that not even the AGM has the power to make the Council conform to any motion. Nevertheless, while it is Council’s prerogative to make, amend or rescind bylaws it would be unwise go against the wishes of members at an AGM.
Accordingly I wish to discover whether or not there is merit in proposing a recommendation to the AGM. If you are interested in this, one way or the other, please email a brief statement of your position to email@example.com. Thanks for your attention. Brian Harmer LPSNZ
Editor’s comment: Please note that Brian’s letter was received some time ago and he was not aware of the changes outlined on page 6.
What will 2021 bring? By Aaron Key, Digital Imaging Product Specialist, Sony NZ
WE WILL CONTINUE to see all leading camera brands focus primarily on their mirrorless product lines, with further development and innovation in mirrorless technology. While we can’t reveal any information about specific Sony products that are in development, it’s highly likely that in the future we will see improvements in many areas, such as •
Better image quality for both stills and motion
Faster and more accurate autofocus
Updated AI algorithms
Enhanced digital image stabilisation
Even more advanced movie functionality
Locally, Sony NZ will continue to support a wide range of photography industry events in 2021, including the PSNZ National Convention and National Exhibition. We’re also looking to expand our Sony Scene learning platform (scene.sonyanz.com) by bringing onboard more Sony Digital Imaging Advocates. This will allow us to host a greater variety of photography workshops and seminars in more locations around New Zealand.
Letter to the Editor (The words and opinions shared here are a personal response to recent FaceBook commentary, not endorsed by the PSNZ Council.)
policy. It all reminded me of how very easy it is to criticise unconstructively, to pour water on the sandcastle.
Council is ALWAYS seeking volunteer help – to ease the burden (and yes it can be a burden) on Councillors whose governance roles invariable get blurred into administration to implement policy, quite simply because we do not have enough hands on deck to implement the day to day reality of governance decisions. We have repeatedly advertised, cajoled, at times almost begged for people to step up and give back to their Society. To so very often come up empty handed is also disheartening and demoralising, to the state where Council has seriously questioned the viability of PSNZ going forward. Questions about the future relevance of the Society are often top of mind.
I have served on the PSNZ Council for four years, for the last three years as Vice President with responsibility for the Partnerships portfolio. My role as Vice President (VP) involves a great deal of (often behind the scenes) support for our President, Moira. As such, I have insider knowledge of the amount of time and effort Moira contributes every week to PSNZ. Equally, I have a clear idea of the substantial time committed by other Council members in their respective governance roles. In my opinion, these past four years have seen a great deal of productive, forward thinking, change initiated and then brought to fruition, not least of which was the approval of PSNZ’s current Constitution. The amount of hard graft that went into the initial creation and subsequent iterative versions of that Constitution, all by unpaid volunteers to the Society, was hugely significant. Beyond that, Council has worked diligently to support the rejuvenated Honours Board, update and modernise all PSNZ By-laws, introduce new member benefits such as the very well received Workshop series, recruit volunteers and generally keep the ship afloat for the benefit of our Society’s membership. The recent vocal discontent expressed on social media about the ‘two year capture’ governance decision made in good faith by Council – that very same Council that is elected by members and given the devolved responsibility to govern the Society – was extremely disheartening. Moreover, I suggest that very little constructive comment was made by those vociferously opposing the
To those PSNZ members who are quick to criticise governance decisions made by your dedicated, selfless, hardworking, volunteer Council (and their invaluable helpers) I would say – please show Council the respect it is due. If you disagree with a proposed policy implementation, come up with constructive suggestions whose validity may assist Council in refining that policy. Think beyond your own horizons and consider that policy changes are made with the vision of PSNZ always to the fore. “Helping Photographers Grow” backgrounds all Council decision-making. We are doing our best, and obviously Council decisions will not please everyone all the time. Consider that constructive support, and the volunteering of your precious time could be the most valuable resource you – in turn – could offer to help guide PSNZ into whatever its future may turn out to be. Karen Lawton
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E for Effort; S for Service; T for Thank You! By Moira Blincoe LPSNZ
THERE IS SO much going on in any PSNZ calendar year which is all organised, implemented and hosted by volunteers. All of these people give so much time not only to helping photographers grow individually but equally so to helping our affiliated camera clubs grow. Most people who volunteer do so because of the passion they have for the ‘product’ and in this case it’s photography. They also possess unique ‘service’ or leadership qualities. Sometimes they are just the quiet, behind the scenes organiser, versus the person who is seen out front or making the loud calls and announcements. A bit like the squeaky wheel gets the oil. I think many members forget that there is a way that some of these hardworking volunteers can be recognised, and I want to remind you that we, the Society, do have a formal way of acknowledging our volunteers and saying, “Thank You”. PSNZ offers four special Service Awards for this very purpose. I would like to encourage all PSNZ members and members of affiliated clubs to read the details about the “PSNZ Service Awards” on our website and, if you know someone who you think is worthy of receiving a service award, then read all the information and take it a step further. The official nomination form can be found on the PSNZ website and should be submitted to the PSNZ Honours Board before 28 February 2021. All nominations are reviewed and presented at the Honours Board’s annual general meeting which is held immediately following the assessment of the honours distinctions. The next meeting will be in March 2021. All nominations, with the exception of the Emma & William McPherson Award, must be submitted by a proposer and two endorsers. The nominations must also be accompanied by a detailed citation outlining the background of the nominee, their volunteer commitments and the contributions they have made to the Society and/or photography. If the nomination is supported by the Honours Board, it is then forwarded to PSNZ Council for the final decision. The different awards recognise different levels of service, so it is very important that anyone making a nomination, understands the requirements. It is also unreasonable for members to ask other members to make a nomination on their behalf. No nomination can be made for any current members of the Honours Board or PSNZ Council. You can find more information including the guidelines for nominating a member and the actual nomination form at https://photography.org.nz/psnz-service-awards/.
29th FIAP COLOUR Projected Images BIENNIAL Invitation to Enter
PSNZ invites members to submit images for consideration for selection into this year’s PSNZ entry to the FIAP 29th Projected Images Colour Biennial being judged in France in January 2021. The theme for the PSNZ entry is: Our Water Landscape Only NZ scenes with water as the main part of the scene. Possible suggestions: • Milford Sounds • Moeraki Boulders • Soft flowing water • Waves breaking over rocks as part of the wider scene • Waterfalls • The Wanaka tree • Sunsets over water • Winter water scenes with ice and snow • Reflections of mountains in lakes The Details: It is FREE to enter and we are asking for up to four images per person. • The images must not have any signature, text or distinctive marks on them. • Files should be in JPG, sRGB, 300 dpi. • Image size: 2400 pixels minimum and 3500 pixels maximum on the largest side. • Maximum file size 6 MB. • Landscape orientation please, no super slim panoramas or portrait images as the set needs to have all its images the same orientation and shape to keep a coherent feel. • File name: Fred Dagg-Lake Tekapo Morning Sunrise. Our entry will be a portfolio of TWENTY colour PI images, with a maximum of two (2) photos from the same author. Each person who has their images selected for the set will receive a PDF catalogue. Please enter via the PSNZ website members area NO LATER than 20 January 2021 If you have any queries then contact Ann Bastion. firstname.lastname@example.org
Vision-21 is fast approaching The end of the PSNZ calendar year is drawing to a close so now itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s time to turn our attention to what is in store for next year. Now is a good time to start planning your southern roadie to be part of the 68th National PSNZ National Convention. Visit vision21.org.nz for all the information.
We suggest that members begin to make their travel plans, book flights and accommodation and lock in the dates in their calendars. While it is hugely disappointing that the closed borders prevent our international keynote speakers from attending, the committee has secured some fantastic local talent to fill the gaps.
Vision - 2021, The Art of Seeing, will be held in the garden city, Christchurch from 15 to 18 April 2021. Planning for the convention is going well. The range of workshops, field trips, speakers, exhibitions, trade displays and social functions is looking very attractive and exciting, and will develop and hone your creative and photographic skills. 20
Workshops fill up fast, so you need to think about what youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d like to take part in before registration opens on 17 January 2021. You will get three priority selections for workshops. Some people like to strengthen and deepen their knowledge and skills. Others choose workshops that give them an opportunity to try something completely different. The workshops will run on all three days, both on-site and off-site. They offer delegates a choice from a wide variety of activities. Whatever your interest is, from portrait photography with Sony specialist Aaron Key to Photoshop or making creative composites with Helen McLeod FPSNZ. There really is something for everyone.
Key Dates Registrations Open: Sunday 17 January at 10.00am Convention Dates: Thursday 15 April 6.30 pm until Sunday 18 April 2.30pm Pre-Convention Full Day Field trips Thursday 15 April CR Kennedy Honours Banquet: Saturday 17 April at 6.30pm at the Christchurch Transitional Cathedral
Speakers Thanks to COVID the speakers at the convention are nearly all Kiwi. Our lineup for Vision-21 is formidable. Collectively the presenters offer us an enormous range of national and international expertise and experience. We are all hoping for the miracle that allows for Julieanne Kost to make her way to Christchurch, however we are not really expecting that to happen. Instead she will join us virtually to give us a taste of what is to come when she eventually gets here.
COVID-19 Response Plan If you are anything like us, we live with the constant hope that all will be smooth sailing through our summer months, and our national convention will not be affected by a resurgence or outbreak of community COVID cases. In the October issue of CameraTalk we outlined what our response plan would be in the event of a COVID outbreak. Please read this summary so that you fully understand the course of action we will be taking, should any changes occur.
Pre-convention Field Trips There are two pre-convention field trips scheduled for Thursday 15 April. Both excursions will depart early morning at 8.00am and will return at 4.00pm, in time to complete registrations and the opening of the convention. The first field trip is to Akaroa with great wildlife possibilities, fascinating local history to learn and the giant volcanic sea cliffs.
The second field trip is west to Arthurâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Pass via Castle Hill. Both areas offer stunning natural beauty and amazing opportunities for landscape photography.
Our Kiwi presenters include PSNZ stalwarts, local commercial icons, fine art photographers and southern adventurers.
Both field trips incur additional costs; please read all details on the links to the website. 21
Speed for the sharpest shooters Capture natural beauty at up to 10fps and 61MP with silent shutter.
Photographer: Craig Parry Location: Chobe National Park, Botswana
Camera: Alpha 7R IV Lens: SONY FE 600mm F4 GM OSS Settings: ISO 400 / F4 / 1/2500s
Confessions of an Exhibition Organiser By Craig McKenzie, Councillor for Salons
IT’S TIME TO get something off my chest, possibly from the night I was driving home from a selection meeting in Mosgiel. Speeding up at the start of the motorway a flickering caught my eye. A glance in the rear mirror revealed numerous white apparitions floating above the open deck of my ute. The increased wind had dislodged prints from the cartons that hadn’t been closed properly. All I could do was slow down and get as many as possible to land on the deck and continue slowly until I could repack and continue home, dreading how I was going to tell people that I had lost their prized prints. That is not really what this confession is about though. It’s more about the joy when packing prints for return that you find a return address label in the box, needing only to be attached to the outside. Even better is turning over the address card on those purpose-built boxes to find the return address. I’ll also confess to not enjoy puzzles when opening prints in many times used, homemade parcels with multiple layers of tape along every edge - so you have no idea how best to open them. What pleasure it is to find one where the sender has been kind enough to write “cut here” and draw a line indicating where to cut. Another puzzle arises when packing prints ready to be returned. There is no way to remember how the contents of every box were arranged. It is so much easier to repack the prints sent face to face with a simple protective sheet between them. They arrive in equally good condition as those individually wrapped and taped, and are so much easier to deal with. Finally, what a relief it is to find the information entered in the entry form spelt correctly with capital letters in all the right places. This means the data can be used for the catalogue without having to spend valuable time editing. These are a few things to keep in mind when entering the SONY National Exhibition or Interclub Competitions. SONY National Exhibition opens on 1 February 2021 and closes on 1 March 2021. Interclub competitions are open now and close on 1 March 2021. I couldn’t believe it on packing day when all the packages were complete, with no one complaining about not being able find a print. Fortune smiled on me that day.
Image by Neil Gordon APSNZ
Intentional Camera Movement - Painting with Your Camera By Judy Stokes APSNZ
Intentional Camera Movement (affectionately known as ’Blurry Shite’) is for me a way of playing behind the camera – a way to find that joy and sense of wonder we had as kids – a way to explore the unexpected and feel a bit of magic touch our day – simply a way to have FUN!!
The Stacks at Muriwai
So, how do we create these photographic images that look like paintings? For me the recipe for making an ICM (Intentional Camera Movement) image is a little like making a curry or wholesome stew – it definitely is not like making a perfectly baked cake where everything is measured and weighed precisely and steps are carefully followed! I find it’s more of a ’throw in a bit of this and that – and ooooh let’s add some of this today!’ Every time it is a bit different, depending on what ingredients you have in front of you and depending on the mood of the cook!
The Essence of Flight
A Mood of Muriwai ii
There are two things that are consistent for me - firstly, it is shutter speed that is the most important variable I play with (I usually go 1/30 sec or slower) and secondly, a tripod is not in sight!
Other ingredients I throw into the mix are -
Shoot while walking
Zoom as you press the shutter
Pan as you shoot
Shoot from a moving car
Go out and shoot in any weather
’Shake Rattle and Roll’ that little black box while you take the shot!
There are also a couple of things I find that disturb the mix of ICM images and kill the flavour! Firstly, I find constant chimping (looking at the images in the camera) while shooting really disrupts my flow. Instead I just enjoy the actual act of taking the images and keep my head in the journey and process. Every image for me is a ’..oooh what happens if I try this now…and … mmm… look what that light is doing now!!…ahh….if I lie in the sand and wriggle this way, look at the cool angle I get!! ..and now how am I going to shake my camera while in this position?! I do all of this with the camera to my eye and without looking at the results I am getting.
The second ingredient I find that kills an ICM image is trying too hard! I have had many people on workshops with a definite picture in their head that they want to create! Yes, this certainly works for other genres of photography, but I find with ICM it just doesn’t work like that – I find it’s the one genre of photography where taking your camera out for the pure pleasure of it, taking your camera out knowing that today you are going to allow yourself to just play, and not knowing what you are going to get, gives you the right type of headspace where magic can happen. For some people this lack of a plan and preconceived structure is very hard and for others it comes as naturally as a duck taking to water.
The Freedom to Be
ICM photography, like other forms of photography, also takes practice – the more you do it the better your ’hit’ rate gets. You get to figure out which subject matter and which scenes work better than others for you – I find for me, flowers don’t naturally lend themselves to ICM whereas birds and water do. I also find consistent practice gets my creative juices flowing. If I haven’t picked up my camera for a while I can literally feel the rust, and everything I do feels clunky. If I am shooting every day – even for a short time, I just start seeing differently and creativity kicks in much more easily. When I go out I never look for shots – I wait until they jump out and grab me. Sometimes I don’t take a single one – or just a few – other times hundreds!
A Twist of Flight
As an extension of ICM shooting I continue this sense of play when I do post production of my images – again I don’t force the process but let it take me on a journey – I never know what the finished product is going to look like but play in Photoshop. Sometimes I will spend five minutes on post processing a photograph – perhaps just a crop and a wee tweak – sometimes an hour. I will often combine a couple of ICM photos with each other, as well as combining ’straight‘ shots with ICM shots.
Windmill in the Wildflowers
Intentional Camera Movement photography for me beats any form of meditation hands down. While I am behind the camera I become totally absorbed and the world melts away. The post processing then carries on the good work. While I am post processing I think of the things that have been nagging me in my head and work them out putting them into the photographs I am creating.
I can highly recommend giving this form of photography a go. I love many other genres of photography too, but for me ICM has something a little different and special – I find it sits a little closer to the other forms of art I love. I find it is a comfortable place to break the rules and create something a little unique with a flavour of its own every time! If you want a hand at getting started or at shaking off the rust – feel free to contact me at judystokesphotography.com. I do workshops and two-day photographic retreats at Muriwai. I also work with Gail Stent FPSNZ, giving Wild Child Photography workshops around New Zealand, where ICM is one of the components of a Creative Photography Weekend, and I am looking forward to holding a second PSNZ ’Painting with your Camera‘ workshop in 2021 in the South Island. Let Someone Hold Your Hand
Thoughts from the Industry by Ken Newell (Lacklands)
WELL THAT WAS a year, wasn’t it? We’ve all been tested, including us in the photo industry. We have seen friends close their businesses, and lose their jobs. Good people leave the industry to prioritise their families. We’ve learned to maximise our time with teleconferencing and telecommuting. We’ve done the hard yards. We’ve done more, with less. Your local photo store has hopefully endured and now needs you, just as you have needed their straight advice and help over the years. The costs of employing good people, carrying stock and being available to help when things go bad haven’t changed, but their revenues have, and the next 12 months will be critical for many in photo retail. They are our lifeblood in the wholesale photo industry, and we really do need your help to sustain them, help them rebuild and ensure there is a local photo industry for years to come. So get out there, explore everything that our beautiful country has to offer this summer, and here’s to a positive new year for photography in New Zealand!
Judge Training Weekends for 2021 By Shona Jaray APSNZ
THREE JUDGE TRAINING weekends will be held in 2021. These are: Auckland 12 - 13 June 2021 at The Centre Franklin Room, Franklin, Pukekohe. Taupo 28 - 29 August 2021 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; venue to be confirmed. Dunedin 30 - 31 October â&#x20AC;&#x201C; venue to be confirmed. We ask for a minimum of 20 people attending with a maximum of 30. Running this programme is a cost to PSNZ. From 2021 there will be a fee of $25 for attending the full weekend workshop. This must be paid in advance and will secure your registration but is non-refundable in the event that you decide not to attend. The cost for non PSNZ members remains at $60. To register for one of the training weekends, please go to https://photography.org.nz/salonsgalleries/judge-training-weekend-registration/ and fill in the registration form.
Images by Neil Gordon APSNZ
Changes to Regional Boundaries in the North Island THE PSNZ COUNCIL is considering amalgamating the two current regions in the North Island into a single region and is inviting comments from members that would be affected by this change.
Background New Zealand is currently split into three regions: Northern, Central and Southern. These are defined in Bylaw 9 which is focused on regional conventions. Bylaws 18 and 19 also relate to regional interclub competitions, however they do not define the regions themselves. Regional salons do not have a Bylaw of their own but instead are governed by the requirements specified in the regional salon manual. The most pertinent one is that entries are restricted to members of that region, or those who attend the relevant regional convention.
Changes already happening The current Bylaws are based around the historical arrangement of a host club organising the event on behalf of the Society. To reduce the burden of effort placed on host clubs we are moving towards a system where a central PSNZ subcommittee will organise the conventionâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s main activities and a local club will be contracted to provide support on the ground during the event. For the regionals this will start with a central regional convention planned in Taupo in 2021 and then the 2022 national convention. Members in the Northern Region will be well aware that a regional convention and regional salon has not been held in that area since 2014 as the planned 2015 Waiheke Island event was cancelled.
New Zealand from Space, shot by NASA
Proposed changes We currently have a guideline that says that there will be no regional convention in the region where the national convention is being held. In order to reduce the work of the sub-committee, we propose to amend this to read that “each year there will be a national convention in one island and a regional convention in the other, alternating each year.” The most practical way to do this is to combine the two regions in the North Island.
Effect of the change In terms of the convention we view this change to have minimal negative impact for the following reasons. 1. Within the North Island, only the Central Region has held conventions in the last five years, and it appears unlikely that a Northern Regional convention will occur in the future under the current arrangements. 2. There is already no restriction on members attending conventions outside their area; the proposed change will not affect anyone in this regard. 3. While some in the Central Region may say that it will increase the distance that they need to travel in the North Island, we should point out that the distance from Invercargill to Nelson (973km) is greater than the distance from Wellington to Kerikeri (903km). Therefore people in the Southern Region already have to travel greater distances. The major change will be in the regional salons held in the North Island. These will be held every two years and open to all members in the North Island. This is unlike the current situation, where members in the Northern Region can only enter the Central Regional salon if they attend the convention. The new region will be called “North Island” rather than Northern to reflect the fact that it is a merger. All current trophies in both regions will be retired, and new ones sought.
Next steps All of the changes required to change the regional boundaries are contained within the Bylaws, so Council has the authority to change them. However, as this change affects over two thirds of the membership of PSNZ, we are seeking feedback before any final decision is made. We welcome any feedback on this proposed change. Comments should be sent to email@example.com by 31 January 2021.
LIKE EVERYTHING ELSE COVID-19 played havoc with the 2020 PSNZ Workshop series. Fortunately once restrictions were lifted we managed to get all of the events off the ground. Over the next 12 pages the PSNZ Council members who were assigned to each session report on what happened at them.
Aaron Key â&#x20AC;&#x201C; A Portrait Workshop By Colin Kropach, Councillor for Events
A WARM SATURDAY in early November saw twelve PSNZ members meet at the Dancewell Studios in Hamilton to attend a portrait workshop. It was run by Aaron Key, an Auckland-based fashion and portraiture photographer who also happens to work for SONY as a Digital Imaging Product Specialist. The participants were treated to a master class in portrait photography and portrait lighting. Aaron had arranged for six lighting setups in the dance studio, three in the morning and three in the afternoon, and had brought an extensive set of lighting equipment (thanks, SONY) and backdrops for each of the sets. He had also arranged for four models, Rose, Lisa, Alannah and Hans, to pose for the PSNZ members.
The photographers were split into three groups of four and were assigned to one of the three sets. Each group was then split into two, with one shooting portraits and the other acting as the assistant. Each group had 40 minutes with each model, and individual photographers had 10 minutes shooting at each of the sets, posing the models and setting up the lighting, This setup ensured that everyone could get the shots they wanted. The morning session consisted of three sets with Rose, Lisa and Hans (dressed as a cowboy, complete with rope, gun and stubble!) as models. In the afternoon Alannah joined us while Hans had a shave and changed into a dinner suit for James Bond, Secret Agent poses.
Aaron ran through the various lighting setups at each station and took a few shots of the models at each to demonstrate how changes in lighting can impact the end result. He had brought a wide range of strobe lights and modifiers and taught everyone how to use soft boxes, umbrellas, beauty dishes, flats and backdrops to produce stunning portrait images. All images unless stated by Colin Kropach
During the morning a street fayre was running outside the dance studio which provided a street photography opportunity for people who were waiting for their turn to shoot the models. While I did not shoot any of the models, my key takeaways were • working with your models to see what look they are after • how to pose the models • selecting the correct white balance • moving lights or modifiers to add/remove background shadows • changing background colours with coloured gels over lights, and • why photographers wear black (it reduces colour cast). Based on feedback on the PSNZ Facebook page, everyone enjoyed the workshop and came away with some great tips and techniques to improve their portrait photography.
Image by Rachel Hume LPSNZ
Comments from the Attendees Leanne Silver The Workshop Series portrait session with Aaron Key was postponed twice due to COVID-19 so it was wonderful to finally make the trip down to Hamilton for the day in early November. As someone who is fairly new to photography, the opportunity to spend a day in a relaxed environment learning from an expert about how to use different lighting setups was of huge benefit. Aaron Key was very generous with his expertise, knowledge and equipment, and the hands-on experimentation de-mystified the whole process. Having patient models and six different setups to explore the effects of various lights and modifiers was invaluable and I went home inspired and keen to explore lighting options further. It was also lovely to meet and chat with other photographers over the course of the day. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m very excited to see what the Workshop Series coordinators will have lined up for 2021. Thanks again PSNZ, SONY NZ and Aaron Key.
Rose by Leanne Silver
Judy Alley LPSNZ I liked that there were three different sets with different lighting set-ups and a model for each. It was a great day.
Hans by Judy Alley
An eye for detail Achieve pixel perfection with a 61MP sensor.
Photographer: Mark Galer Location: Lady Elliot Island, Australia sony.co.nz/resolution
Camera: Alpha 7R IV Lens: SONY FE 135mm F1.8 GM Settings: ISO 320 / F1.8 / 1/2000s
Nature on Kapiti Island By Paul Whitham LPSNZ Councillor for Publications
THE GOAL OF PSNZ is ‘helping photographers grow’. I suspect there was a certain element of wisdom in assigning the councillor who shot the least number of nature images to oversee Nature on Kapiti Island, the final event in the 2020 PSNZ Workshop Series. Having said that I was more than willing to go as I’ve driven past the island numerous times but never once ventured onto it. In a year so affected by COVID-19 it was nice to be able to hold an event on the weekend when it was originally planned. It proved to be a very popular event and the 30 spaces were filled up very quickly, with people coming from all over the country. The weekend started with a briefing session on the Friday night, in the chapel of the El Rancho camp, where Craig McKenzie ran through his tips on how to shoot nature. He is a firm believer in the use of tripods, the one piece of photographic equipment I had not bothered to include. Most of the other participants however must’ve already got the message.
On Saturday morning we were up early to catch the boat which was leaving at 7.30am from the beach at Paraparaumu. Everybody was eager to go, judging by the fact that they were all on time. After going through a bag check and receiving our packed lunch, we headed up the gangplank onto the boat that was sitting on its trailer, in the car park. It certainly was an unusual way to start a sea journey.
Images by Neil Gordon APSNZ
The day had started cloudy and the sea was quite choppy as we headed across the 5km from the beach to the island. When we disembarked the guide took us to the shelter that would be our base for the day and proceeded to tell us about the island’s history and the birds that we could expect to see.
Craig demonstrates long lens techinue - image by Paul Whitham
Image by Neil Gordon
We had been led to believe that we would be on the island until 3.00pm so when he said that we needed to catch the boat at 1.15pm it was something of a shock. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m not sure how we ended up with this difference in timings but by 12.30 it appeared that most people had started to flag and we were happy for the boat trip back. The day had also become cloudless so the light was no longer the best for photography. Kapiti is quite a difficult island to photograph on. The regenerating bush is dense so, while you could hear the birds, getting to photograph them was something else. The island is also quite steep. The guide had told us that there was a hihi (stitchbird) and tieke (saddleback) feeding station about 30 minutes up the track to the summit. Quite a number of us headed up to it but not all made it to the actual location. The guide had warned us that the weka and kaka would both try to steal food from us and that it was quite possible that kaka would land on us. Sure enough, when we got to the station we were greeted by a pair of weka, and a very friendly kaka arrived shortly after. He (or she) landed on several people and tried to get into their backpacks. For a reasonably large bird it was remarkable how little they weighed.
The briefing - image by Paul Whitham
Image by Neil Gordon
As it turned out photos of the kaka were the only reasonable images I took in the entire day, which I guess was not surprising as it was the only bird on the island that was willing to pose for the camera. One of the rarest birds on the island is the takahe. Fortunately they were feeding just off the track when we arrived, so a number of people did manage to get good images of them.
Image by Neil Gordon
By 1.00pm the majority of people had assembled back on the landing beach but there were other people there from later boats. When our boat arrived the guide and I tried to make certain that only members of our party got on. We were both doing a headcount but Takahe by Karen Moffatt-McLeod LPSNZ
I lost count when one of the party lost a lens cap over the side of the gangplank and went out to retrieve it.
Photographers did not have to go far to find the birds. A welcome swallow nesting inside the shelter drew a lot of attendtion. Image by Paul Whitham
The guide assured me that he had counted 32 people, the number we were expecting. On that basis we didn’t bother with the headcount. It wasn’t until the boat actually pushed off that Julia Home APSNZ EFIAP/b AAPS GPSA PPSA realised that Karen MoffittMcLeod LPSNZ was not on board. We alerted the skipper and we tried to make contact with Karen. The boat had to circle a number of times until Karen eventually got to the right beach, but by then it had been agreed that she was going to be coming on the next boat. The plan, when we got back from the island, was to head up to the Waikanae Estuary and photograph the birds there. Craig had done a ‘recce’ on the Friday afternoon and ascertained that there was plenty of birdlife there.
Photographers on the Kapiti bird workshop ‘walking the talk’ as per Craig’s recommendations. Image by Wayne Smith
With the boat getting back much earlier we reached the estuary much earlier than planned. People headed off in small groups, in all directions, and then drifted away when they felt the need. By 4.00pm there were about 15 left and we headed to the local watering hole for social time, with a much smaller group staying for a meal afterwards. The general opinion was that everyone had enjoyed the trip and were very positive about the efforts of PSNZ, particularly Councillor James Gibson APSNZ EFIAP, in putting the workshop series together.
Robin by Carolyn Elcock ANPSNZ EFIAP QPSA FAPS
North Island Robin by Greg Whitfield
Weka by Terry Harkin
Comments from the Attendees Terry Harkin The workshop included a technical session on the Friday night where Chris ran through a number of subjects about taking successful bird photographs and the gear required etc. It provided some great learning and Chris was able to show examples in the presentation and answer all of our questions. On Saturday morning at 7.00am, we all turned up at the Kapiti Island transfer depot to check our bags to ensure we were not taking any unintended pests across to the island, and picked up our packed lunches for the trip. Upon arrival we were given a talk from the local DoC Ranger who gave us some great insight into the history of the island and what we could expect to see there. Then we all set off to walk the various paths, hearing the constant noises of our native birds. My highlight was arriving at the feeder station where there were a couple of wekas checking us out, and then a kaka arrived and after looking at my bag on the table flew up onto my shoulders! He presented us all with a bunch of photo opportunities. We left the island at 1.15pm and those that wanted to then went to the Waikanae Estuary with Craig to get some more bird shots. Overall it was a fantastic workshop. Craig is so generous with sharing his knowledge and experience, and itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s always fantastic meeting fellow PSNZ members from throughout New Zealand.
Painting with your Camera or Intentional Camera Movement By Moira Blincoe LPSNZ
WHAT IS COMMONLY referred to as ‘blurry sh*t’ took on a whole new meaning when I was fortunate enough to sit in on Judy Stokes’ “Painting with your Camera” workshop in October. Despite the delay from lockdown, everything was on Judy’s side when it came time to host her workshop, set in her lovely studio at Muriwai. With the garden, bush, beach and gannet birds on her doorstep, the delegates didn’t have to wander very far to put into practice the theory that Judy shared in the morning. Her passion for her craft is infectious. The morning sessions covered the various styles of ICM and how to achieve the look or capture the feelings at the time of creating the image. ICM is all about suggestions of movement depending on what one wants to achieve – which is all subjective and personal – you can try for abstract, impressionism and expressionism – in colours, form and subject. By the time we were let loose in the bush, people couldn’t wait to start ‘painting’. While it might look an ‘easy’ technique to use because really, the camera settings are quite straightforward, it is actually harder than you think! With a slow shutter speed and slight or gentle movement of the camera, many a time when I thought I had captured the leaves of a tree as how I ‘visualised’ the image to be, when I checked the back of my camera, all I saw were silver streaks across a blur of green! There was definitely no ‘chimping’ on my part. After an enjoyable lunch, Judy shared her post 40
All images on page by Moira Blincoe
processing techniques, which were again, straight forward, minimal, but produced great results – when you know the ‘look’ you want to achieve. When we went to the beach to practise with more moving objects – people, dogs, surf, kite surfers and birds – I noticed a heightened enthusiasm and energy from everyone, mainly because they could see they were achieving the results of the classroom theory. Suddenly there was more abstract, the ability to express ourselves a little more because of the variation in colours in front of us: black sand; blue and white waters; grey rock: white, yellow, black and red of the birds. There was definitely lots of ‘chimping’ at that stage. Judy’s was one of the final workshop in the 2020 workshops series. It was fantastic to see our members soaking up every piece of knowledge Judy shared. A true artist, Judy is as passionate about sharing and teaching her craft as she is creating her own masterpieces. Since the workshop, I have practised ICM on many occasions and am getting ‘more delighted’ with some of my results. There are still a lot of deletes though! As with everyone who has attended a workshop and a love of learning, I’m very much looking forward to getting another genre under my belt in 2021.
Gannets soaring at Muriwai beach by Moira Blincoe LPSNZ
Interclub competitions are now open for entry.
Image by Anne Riddle
Image by Jude Carter
Image by Sarah Caldwell APSNZ
Image by Colleen Sayer
Up Close and Personal By Karen Lawton
ONE OF THE PSNZ workshops to go ahead after the COVID-19 lockdown period was the Macro Workshop held in Nelson in October. Twenty attendees were treated to a very professional and intriguing morning presentation by Tauranga-based Matt Leamy. Drawing on images taken in his day job, Matt illustrated the magical world of macro imagery. Matt works in the Plant Health and Environment laboratory (PHEL), Biosecurity New Zealand which is part of the Ministry for Primary Industries. PHEL’s role is to provide the science support for biosecurity and advise government. His role is creating visual media, informational and promotional videos, training videos, general photographic work, some scientific imaging and and getting involved in communications work. He took the mystery out of focus-stacking images and challenged us to think outside the square in terms of subject matter, presentation and processing. We learnt about magnification, working distances, exquisite framing, and dealing with the unique vagaries of depth of field as it pertains to the macro world. The afternoon session saw attendees getting up close and personal with flowers, bumble bees, leaves and all manner of indoor macro subjects for an hour or so, followed by a great processing session. Several people tried out focus-stacking – Zerene Stacker (http://zerenesystems.com/cms/stacker) has a free one-month trial version. Anyone who was interested but didn’t already have focusstacking software was able to download and trial this too.
All images by Moira Blincoe LPSNZ
Trade partner Olympus very generously supplied a wide range of loan gear for the workshop session, giving participants a great opportunity to trial new camera bodies and specialist macro lenses. Macro photography really is one of the most rewarding genres of photography â&#x20AC;&#x201C; the way it allows expression of a minute world is often magical. The knowledge shared during this workshop resulted in a very rewarding and highly recommended experience.
Find a Mentor By James Gibson APSNZ EFIAP WITH THE UPDATE to the PSNZ website now up and running, you may notice a few changes here and there – one of the most recent changes you will find in the Member’s area. As you scroll down you will find a link to “Find a Mentor”. We have been working on how to implement a mentoring process for some time and have had several requests from members over this past year. To help put people together we have created a simple form for both mentors and those looking for help. Simply fill the form saying what you would like help with, or if you are willing to offer help – likewise, if you are happy to mentor on some topics, and are also looking for guidance in other areas, just fill the form in twice! It is not intended to be a prescriptive process – we are not defining *anything* about how you receive feedback, nor will we be expecting you to pass an exam or fulfil certain criteria to be accepted into the mentoring program. All we are going to do is try to match up those offering help with those asking for it. • The way the mentor and mentee communicate with each other is entirely flexible; you can chat over the phone, by email, zoom/skype, or at a coffee shop if you happen to be nearby (though we are not matching people geographically). • If you have a specific goal in mind, write it on the form as that will be a big help to us and your mentor… even if you find the goals move over time. • Clearly there’s no guarantee that you will meet your goals – like everything in life you only get out what you put in, so you’ll need to keep working and learning to improve. Having said this, if you and your mentor feel it’s not working out for some reason, you just have to let us know. Clearly, this process will only work if we have enough members looking for and offering mentoring, so please get involved if you are able to help! PSNZ’s role is purely to administer the scheme and try to ‘match you up’, so please bear with us as we develop our processes around this. Roughly every six months we’ll check in with you to see how things are going, and as the scheme develops we may ask for your thoughts or help to improve things and help photographers grow.
This image by Rachel Hume LPSNZ is being used as the button on the form.
2020 PSNZ Honours – One Person’s Story By Stephanie Forrester APSNZ, Secretary PSNZ Honours Board
I HAD THE privilege of seeing 110 submissions of beautiful Honours sets during the 2020 PSNZ Honours process. I had many communications with those submitting their sets due to the disruption of COVID-19. The story of one set stands out for me and with the author Louise Savage’s permission I thought that this was one story that PSNZ members would like to hear. Louise was successful in gaining her APSNZ with this set of images titled My Country Life.
Louise’s Story “I wish there had been an opportunity to tell the story behind my set. They are all pictures taken of my everyday life on a sheep and beef station in the hill country of Gisborne. In 2017 my husband died unexpectedly, and I had to leave the farm with my two teenagers so a manager could move into our house. It was traumatic at the time as we lost not just him but our neighbours, school, community, dogs, horses, chooks and entire way of life. Two years down the track I started searching through my pictures to put together my set, and it was a wonderful experience to relive all those memories of just the day-to-day things you do on a farm. Once I have the pictures back I will hang some of them in the house I live in now. The set is a memento of many years of my farming life that are now over for ever.”
Expand your creative playground.
I N T R O D U C I N G T H E Z 5 , T H E L AT E S T E N T RY- L E V E L F U L L - F R A M E M I R R O R L E S S C A M E R A F R O M N I KO N 49
Review - Nikon Z 5 Mirrorless By Paul Whitham LPSNZ
IT IS HARD to believe that two years have gone by since Nikon introduced their first full frame mirrorless cameras. In August this year they announced a new addition to the range, the Z 5, which many commentators refer to as their entry level full frame mirrorless camera. Through the support of Lacklands and Nikon New Zealand, I was loaned a Z 5, along with a 24-50mm lens and the FTZ mount adapter. The mount adapter retails for $538.20 and enables you to use all of your existing Nikon lenses. As I found with the December 2018 review of the Z 6, the mount adapter works extremely well, and I did not notice any loss of performance when using it. I was fortunate enough to have the camera for a fortnight. That gave time to use it in a number of situations, as well as giving me time to become familiar with the various settings that I could tweak. Having said that, it is entirely possible that some of the issues I found (particularly the autofocus) may be the result of me not choosing the most appropriate setting for the circumstances. This review is about how the camera performed in real life situations, and I am not going to go too much into the technical details
The table below shows how the Z 5 fits in with its stablemates in terms of megapixels, storage, frames per second and price. Slightly confusing is that both the Z 6 and Z 7 have now received upgrades, but you can still purchase the original model.
First impressions If you have not seen the Nikon Z range before, the first thing you will notice is that the camera is much smaller than the equivalent entry level DSLR. Initially I thought that it was smaller than the Z 7 but when I got one to compare, discovered that it is exactly the same size. At first appearance the Z 5, Z 6 and Z 7 are identical, apart from the top. The Z 5 does not have a digital display on the top of the camera, and the select wheel is on the other side. The lack of this quick display is a major change to all of the Nikons I have shot with in the past and took a little getting used to.
2 x SD UHSii 1 x XQD/CFExpress
Price (body only)1 $2,877 $3,190
Z7 Z 7ii
1 x XQD/CFExpress 1 x SD UHSii 1 x XQD/CFExpress 1 x XQD/CFExpress 1 x SD UHSii
1 All prices obtained from PhotoWarehouse website on 1 November 2020
or pixel peeping, as there are plenty of reviews about that.
Having said that, all of the information is available on the screen at the back of the camera, and most of the settings can be modified by clicking on the screen. What I found unusual is that the exception to this was the file format. The other major difference between the Z 5 and the other two original mirrorless cameras is that it has two card slots. Like many other photographers I felt that Nikon had made a
Front view of the Z 5 (left) and Z 7 (right)
significant mistake in introducing a camera with only one slot. This omission has now been fixed with the second generation of the cameras. The main Nikon menu structure is essentially unchanged from that used in the DSLRs, making it relatively easy to navigate for anyone moving from another model.
The Z 5 (left) compared with the D810 (right)
Top view of the Z 5 (left) and Z 7 (right)
The quick display of settings
The structure of the detailed menu will be familiar to Nikon shooters
In the field In order to test the camera, I went out on a number of shoots over several days to see how the camera would handle various lighting situations and the shooting scenarios that I felt would be most appropriate for CameraTalk readers. I used the 24-50mm Z lens that is sold as an option with the camera, as well as my 105mm f2.6 macro and 70-200mm f2.8. The latter two used the mount adapter. Here are my findings:
Dynamic range and colour quality Nikon cameras have long had a reputation for handling colour well and the Z 5 continues that tradition. When I first received the camera, I was not sure whether Lightroom would be able to read the RAW files, so on the first day I shot in RAW plus JPG. While I am firmly in the RAW camp, I was really amazed at the quality of the JPGs that came out of the camera.
All of these images are JPGs straight out of camera.
This is made easy by the fact that you canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t see what you are going to get on the back of the camera; therefore, you know if you are heading for problems. The first set of images were shot late in the morning on a cloudless day to see how the camera handled a wide dynamic range. It passed with flying colours. The clear skies continued into the evening, so I took the camera to the base of the Remutaka Ranges to see how it would perform when shooting Astro images. The tilt screen came in handy here as I had the camera mounted reasonably close to the ground. Personally, I have found electronic viewfinders harder to use than optical ones when trying to focus in the dark. I did manage to get some images that I was happy with. I concluded that the camera was suitable for anyone who wanted to try Astro photography.
Shutter speed The camera has a maximum shutter speed of 1/8000s as well as image stabilisation that lets you hand hold at much slower shutter speeds than was traditionally possible. 1/8000s is fast enough to effectively freeze water, providing that the light is sufficient to do so. With a clear day this was easy to do at f5 and ISO500.
At the other end of the scale, I was able to obtain a sharp image at 0.5 second, handheld.
Low light (ISO Performance) This is one area where the camera absolutely blew me away. In recent years a lot of the development in camera manufacture has been in handling higher ISOs which enables them to operate in much lower light. However, we all know that too often we can’t reach the maximum range of the camera and still produce usable images. The Z 5 has a native ISO range from 100 to 51,200 and I have found that you can use the whole range. The first shot I took used a setting that you probably wouldn’t use, f2.8 1/8000s and ISO 51200, and while there was noise in the image it cleaned up fairly quickly in Lightroom. In fact there was less noise in the image than in the same image taken on my D600 at ISO6400.
Shot at f2.8 1/8000s and ISO 51200, this is what the image looked like straight out of camera.
Noise is mainly an issue in the shadows, so to really test it I went into Old Saint Paul’s in Wellington. This is a lovely old church with lots of timber and very subdued lighting. While I was able to shoot a good image at 51,200, I decided to settle on 20,000 to see what results I would get at that setting. I had the camera in Aperture Priority (at f6.3) and was particularly interested in what the shutter speeds would be. Depending on how much light was coming in from the windows I ended using between 1/80s and 1/320s. This gave me total confidence that I would be able to use the camera when shooting a wedding without needing flash. Furthermore, the camera handled the extreme lighting conditions well with minimal blow out.
This is the file after exposure and noise reduction in Lightroom.
Shot with the D600 at ISO6400. A close up of the vase.
Shot at ISO20000 in Old Saint Paulâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s. The image right is zoomed in to see how clean the image is after minimal noise reduction.
Creative Modern cameras have a number of functions built in to help you create interesting images without the use of a computer. The ability to make double exposures has been in Nikon cameras for a while, but as it has developed, it has become much better. My D600 only allowed you to take two images, one after another, and only exported a single file. Since that camera was produced many more options have been added. The Z 5 allows you to select the first image in a sequence and then to take another nine images to create the final result. You can even determine how the images will overlay on the others, in a similar way to the way layer modes work in Photoshop. You also have the option to create a single JPG image, or to create that image plus all of the individual shots that were taken to make it up. Furthermore, with the Overlay Shooting option switched on, you see a transparent version of the starting image in the viewfinder to help line things up. I am able to line up the image and save the separate files; this is extremely useful to people shooting composites, and not solely reserved for double exposures.
Autofocus While this review has been mainly favourable to the camera, we now reach the area where I was really disappointed in how the camera performed. I really struggled to obtain consistent autofocus when using anything other than the single area option and moving the point to the part of the frame that I wanted it to concentrate on. In the initial shoot in the gardens the camera failed to focus on what I thought would be the dominant element in the scene. While the focus points cover a significant part of the sensor, I would not recommend allowing the camera to set the areas it wants to focus on. With portraits, the eye detection function seemed to work well once the camera achieved focus and once the camera recognised that it was looking at a person. Once it did that it tracked the eye when I moved the camera around.
However, the function did not work too well when the subject was moving around. I had my model Sian skip around a park to mimic shooting kids at play. Of the 55 images taken, only seven had Sian sharply in focus. I will admit that if I had thought more about the scenario, I should have increased the ISO to bring up the shutter speed, as what I was getting may have been movement blur rather than focus issues. Given that the camera only shoots 4.5 fps I would not recommend it for anyone wanting to shoot sports. I will admit that you do need time to become used to autofocus systems and choose the best one for each scenario. The results I achieved may have improved given more time. I guess I was expecting more in this area. I should also say that none of the online reviews I have seen on the camera seem to have encountered the same degree of focus issue.
Despite the fact that there was a strong colour difference between the tulip and background the camera struggled to find focus until I clicked on the display to focus it.
While the eye detect worked well at tracking a subject when you were recomposing the shot (below), it really struggled to produce sharp images from a moving subject.
Final thoughts To be honest, I have mixed feelings about the way the camera performed, mainly influenced by the autofocus issues. I think it is a great entry level full frame for somebody who is already in the Nikon family, primarily shoots landscapes or portraits, and wants to move across to the smaller format mirrorless from the equivalent DSLRs. If you are a nature or sports photographer, I would skip this model and pay the extra to buy either a Z 6 or Z 6ii as these models shoot at much higher frame rates.
I have been informed that the autofocus on the Z 6ii and Z 7ii is better than on the Z 5. Nikon New Zealand is running a special offer until 24 December where you receive a free FTZ adapter if you purchase a Z 6ii or a Z 7ii. I thank David Galbraith of Lacklands, and Nikon New Zealand, for the opportunity to play with the camera.
PSNZ Canon Online Results from Round 5, 2020 THE WINNER OF the fifth round is Bryan Lay Lee with his image Cookie Time. The judge for this round was Phil Yeo MA (Photography) BA (Hons) ANZIPP – and he had a tough job. The number of entries was down a little from previous rounds but the quality was at another level – outstanding. Bryan is a born and bred Aucklander living in Mangere Bridge. He joined Manukau and Auckland photographic societies 10 years ago, and PSNZ in 2016. He says he dabbles in all genres, especially macro, landscape and nature. He has had the odd ‘top ten’ in Canon Online but winning a round is a first. Bryan explained the thinking behind Cookie Time. “Cookie Time” was taken as part of the Auckland Interclub Shootout competition in the category “Looking In”. My idea was to shoot into a shop window, hopefully to capture something intriguing within. We were at Alert Level 2.5 at the time, so we were restricted to shooting in our local area. That for me was the Mangere Bridge village. To avoid crowds of people I ventured out late one night. The place was devoid of people other than the odd homeless person and security guard on patrol. A deathly silence pervaded and an eerie light emanated from the shop windows. I thought it was a perfect reflection of our COVID-19 experience. To capture all the elements I needed, “Cookie Time” is a three-image, in-camera multiple exposure. It’s a snapshot of a time and place in our new coronavirus world. With just one round left in this year’s competition the top five are
Member Julia De Cleene LPSNZ Deborah Martin LPSNZ Peter Rodgers LPSNZ Bryan Lay Yee Karl Tretheway LPSNZ
Points 26 22 20 19 17
Paul Willyams APSNZ AFIAP MNZIPP Canon Online Coordinator
Comments from the Judge Well done to all participants in this round of the Canon Online competition. With such a high standard it took days of repeat viewings to whittle these down. You should all be proud of your entries. Judging offers me a break away from my career, shooting for Rocket Lab, Getty and my Fine Art work. The connection to the wonderful creativity within PSNZ is always inspiring and these images are a perfect example. Thank you for the opportunity. Nga mihi nui. 1st Cookie Time by Bryan Lay Yee A wonderful composition and layering of elements within. The poignant commentary of the Covid experience and subtle references, offering a sense of place create a truly astounding photograph. A standout from my first viewing and the obvious winner for me. I compliment the author for his observation. 2nd Carpark in Infrared by Peter Rodgers LPSNZ This is an example of stunning visual communication. The juxtaposition of nature and the constructed world, the ability to create interest from the mundane and the successful colour treatment, all merge to create this beautiful image.
PSNZ Canon Online 3rd Standing Alone by Bob Pullein The artist has created a truly captivating image. The success is in the simplicity. Such simplicity allows the mind to wander around and in turn create wonder! An excellent exposure that offers detail throughout the tones. Well done.
4th Fly Me to the Moon by Dianna Hambleton LPSNZ The author has elevated this image through the use of the multiple exposure technique, creating movement and energy. Subtly applied, the composition is not too busy and the energy experienced is fully grasped.
5th Fire and Ice Tasman Lake by Karl Tretheway LPSNZ An absolutely stunning landscape. I particularly enjoy the rich colours, and the artist has done well to preserve these. The rich contrast and successful composition add to the overall impact of the work.
6th Kaka by Deborah Martin LPSNZ Such poise from the kaka. A quintessential example of a well timed moment. The cheeky kaka seems to be looking straight at the lens. Enhanced by the oval presentation, an image worthy of any wall.
PSNZ Canon Online 7th Persephone by Penny Kennedy LPSNZ A truly emotive piece. The modelâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s pose, coupled with the interesting layering, culminates in a pleasing image. It is a soft, well toned work that provokes investigation. I particularly enjoy the ethereal atmosphere.
8th Time Travel by Julia De Cleene LPSNZ A wonderful example of conceptual creativity. This is a well executed composite image that evokes memories of Daliâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s surrealism. It has a notion of authenticity which truly ignites the imagination. 9th Calm Waters by Mark Davey This image offers a sense of serenity. The composition is well crafted with a strong focal point holding the eye. The colour tone is both natural and timeless. I can imagine the work adorning the wall.
10th Iced Bubble by Wendy Pemberton A wonderful macro image and a sublime example of the interest this genre holds. The power of the square composition is exemplified perfectly and the touch of warmth offered by the golden light enhances the depth within the image.
Entries for Round 6 close on 25 December
Image by Anita Ruggle-Lussy from the Portrait workshop
Review Ěś Panasonic Lumix S5 by Paul Whitham LPSNZ
PANASONIC HAVE A long history of producing great cameras in the Micro 4/3 (M4/3) range but it was not until February 2019 that they entered the full frame market with the S1 and S1R. In September 2020 they announced a new addition to the range, the S5, which many commentors refer to as their entry level full mirrorless camera. Through the support of Andrew Reid at Panasonic New Zealand I was loaned a S5, along with a 20-50mm f3.5-5.6 lens (sold as the kit lens). I was fortunate enough to have the camera for nearly a month, providing time to use it in a number of situations, as well as giving me time to become familiar with the various settings that I could tweak (of which there are many). This review is about how the camera performed in real life situations, and I am not going to go too much into the technical details or pixel peeping as there are several reviews about that online already. If you want to see some from a New Zealand perspective, check out Auckland photographer Richard Wongâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s YouTube channel at https://www. youtube.com/c/PhotoByRichard/videos. The table below shows how the S5 fits in with the other Panasonic full frame mirrorless cameras in terms of megapixels, frames per second and price. Panasonic cameras have long been used in video work and so they have developed models specifically for that market, as well as ones primarily aimed at stills photographers. Model S5 S1 S1R S1H 64
MP 24.3 24 47 24
Primary market Stills/Video Stills/Video Stills Video
FPS 7 6-9 6-9 9
The S1 falls into their category of hybrid camera, meaning that it shoots stills and video equally well but does not favour one over the other. As we are primarily still photographers, I did not go into the video capabilities of the camera.
First impressions I first picked up a Panasonic Lumix S1 at the Hutt 2019 convention and was shocked at the size of it. It was no smaller than a SLR, which went against the notion that mirrorless cameras were smaller. With the S5 we are back to more of a size that you would associate with mirrorless. In fact, it is nearly the same size as my G9 which has a M4/3 sensor. Before giving me the camera, Andrew Reid from Panasonic told me that it would feel very similar to my G9, and that was certainly the case. It would be a very easy transition for anyone moving up from M4/3. The menu system is extensive, but it is not that difficult to work your way around. The body contained a number of programmable buttons and there was a screen that showed easily what each one was set up to do. The buttons are set up in such a way that holding them down for a couple of seconds opens up the section of the menu where the functions are set. Unlike the other full frame versions and the G9 there is no display panel on the top of the camera. Personally, I like having this feature but after using the camera for a while I did not really notice its absence. Price (body only)* $3,498 $3,840 $4,785 $6,690
* All prices obtained from PhotoWarehouse website on 1 November 2020
It may seem like a minor issue, but I particularly liked how the on/off switch was well protected in the body. The one on the G9 wraps around the shutter and on a number of occasions has been tripped when put back in the camera bag. There is nothing more frustrating than discovering that it has been ‘on’ when you thought it was ‘off’.
The S5 (right) compared with the S1 (left)
The flip-out screen
As with other models the rear screens flips out to the side. This is great if you want to do selfies or are working in difficult situations.
The S5 (right) compared with the G9 (left)
THe custom button display screeen
The flip screen is great for getting down low. Photo by Dave Roberts
In the field I reviewed the S5 in the same way that I did the Nikon Z 5 (page 50) so you will see that many of the images are very similar. I have assumed that you have looked at that review first, so I have not repeated information that related more to the scene setup than the camera. That being said, the review is limited to those circumstances where I knew I could use the camera with the one lens available. Therefore, you will not see any sports, nature or macro images as the lens was not one that you would normally use in those circumstances. Here are my findings:
Dynamic range and colour quality As often happens with new models, it took some time for Lightroom to enable me to look at RAW files. In fact, I worked with the camera for three weeks before I could process them, so all I had to go on were the JPGs. The camera handled a wide variety of lighting conditions, which during the day was helped by being able to see what the camera was expecting on the back. On Panasonic cameras the feature to see the exposure is called ‘Constant Preview’ and is not turned on by default. It gives a true representation of what the scene will look like if you to press the button, but that also includes blur if you move the camera, so it can be a little off-putting when trying to compose a shot. I actually turned the function off. When I was able to process the shots, I found very
little difference between the RAW files and JPGs. With the evening astro shots I was even able to push a JPG by three stops in ‘post’ and come up with a useable image. I would not recommend doing this as I was still much more limited in terms of what I could achieve when compared to the RAW file.
Shutter speed The camera has a maximum shutter speed of 1/8000s on the mechanical shutter, which I know is fast enough to effectively freeze water providing that the light was sufficient to do it, so I didn’t bother to test it. The camera has five stops of image stabilisation built in so I concentrated on that instead. As expected, I was able to obtain a sharp image at 1/5th second hand-held. I later discovered that the lens I was supplied with did not have its own stabilisation, and that I would have been able to slow the shutter down even more. The camera frame rate is between five and seven frames per second (fps) depending on the focus mode used. This means that it is not a speed demon when used in its normal mode; however it is consistent with the rate that a lot of equivalent cameras shoot at. I did find that shooting RAW and JPG at the same time pushed it too far to keep up with my shooting, and the camera told me that it was having issues. Having said that, the cards I was using were quite old and not ones you would choose if you wanted really fast write speeds. It handled it fine when shooting just in JPG mode. Like other cameras in the Panasonic range it can also shoot in 4k or 6k photo mode. This is essentially a high definition movie from which you can extract individual JPG images. This gives you speeds up to 60fps. Given the quality of the JPGs I was getting from the camera I would have no problem using this method.
The JPG (left) compared to the unprocessed RAW file straight out of camera
The JPG image (left) was pushed three stops in Lightroom as compared to a similarly adjusted RAW file.
Handhand image at 1/5 second
Low light (ISO Performance) The S5 has a native ISO range from 100 to 51,200 and I have found that you can use the whole range with a caveat that it needed more noise reduction in ‘post’ than I found with the Z 5. With the ridiculous setting of f3.5, 1/8000s and ISO 51200 there was more noise than the Z 5 produced when both were given the same amount of noise reduction. With the shoot at Old Saint Paul’s in Wellington I found a very similar result to the Z 5 in that while I was able to shoot a good image at 51,200, it was better to work at lower ISOs. What really amazed me, though, was that when I looked at the comparison of the RAW to the JPG, the camera had done a really good job at noise reduction in the JPG. I decided to settle around 16,000 to see what results I would get there.
I had the camera in Aperture Priority (at f6.3) and depending on how much light was coming in from the windows I ended up with shutter speeds between 1/30s and 1/80s. While I knew that the camera would allow me to hand hold at those settings, it was a little slow in terms of eliminating motion blur. Knowing that I did have scope to move on both aperture and ISO gave me total confidence that I would be able to use the camera when shooting a wedding without needing flash. Furthermore, the camera handled the extreme lighting conditions well with minimal blow-out.
ISO20,000 - JPG (left) and unprocessed RAW straight out of camera
Autofocus The S5 has several focus modes that you can deploy in addition to single and continuous focusing. These determine how much of the sensor comes into play and can be fine-tuned further, depending on the type of shooting you are doing. Given the lens combination that I had I mainly tested the face/eye option as this is what I use 90% of the time. While the option is called face/eye it is actually much wider than that as the system starts with recognising a body; it then switches seamlessly to the face and then the eyes. It gives you the option to include animals as well.
Not picking up a body. Focusing on bank
Switching to face detection
The function also works well when the subject is moving around a lot. When Sian skipped around the park, to mimic shooting kids at play, of the 59 images taken only 10 were out of focus. Even when Sian was not facing the camera it held focus. I will admit that you do need time to get used to autofocus systems and choose the best one for each scenario. I was quite happy with the results I got, especially knowing that with more time I would have been able to improve them further, especially when coupling the camera with a faster lens.
Picking up the body
Swiching to eye detection
High resolution mode While the S5 shoots at a native 24mp, it does have a function that enables you to generate a much larger file, 96mp to be precise. The camera does this by shooting eight images in rapid succession, while moving the sensor between each image. Obviously, this requires the camera to be fairly stable and therefore a tripod is recommended. It also works much better on subjects that are not moving. While the resulting image may not look all that different it is the ability to crop that makes the difference.
This function is already available on the G9, but as I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t shoot landscapes I have never had much of use for it. My wife wanted me to scan an old photo, restore it and then print it up large, and I decided to try it. It was perfect for doing this. The original image was 25cm x 20cm while the native size of the 96mp file is 80cm x 64cm. This meant that there was plenty of detail to work on in the restoration, as well as being able to print it to A2 size.
At full size there is little difference between the 24mp (left) and 96mp (right) until you zoom in.
Using the function to restore and increase the size of an old photo.
Other features not tested
There are a couple of functions on the S5 that I want to mention, although I never actually tried either out; they are called Live Composite and Overlays.
I found the S5 an excellent camera to use and it would make a great entry level to someone wanting to make the move to full frame. To me it outperformed the Nikon Z 5 that I reviewed at the same time. For anyone currently using a Panasonic M4/3 the transition of look and feel is very smooth.
Live Composite was introduced in the G95, allowing for easier recording of night scenery, astrophotography, star-trails, light-painting and more. Much like Olympus’ implementation (which was demonstrated at the 2019 Southern Regional), the S5’s Live View Composite mode is like a more sophisticated Bulb Mode. The camera will continue to “record” new light as it hits the sensor, but it won’t simply gather and record light across the frame continuously, as this would eventually result in an overexposed image. With Live View Composite, you can watch the scene build in real-time on the screen and then stop the image capture with another press of the shutter button. The camera does all the image compositing work in-camera. Overlays are used in multiple exposures and let you see the previous frame in the viewfinder so you can line up the next shot.
However, anyone who has looked at the move to mirrorless will know that in all brands of full frame cameras their older DSLR lenses do not fit the mirrorless bodies. To remedy this issue lens adapters have been produced, either by the companies themselves or by third parties. Panasonic was not in the full frame market until last year, and the micro 4/3 lenses will simply not work on the full frame cameras. This is similar to what you face with other brand crop sensor lenses as well, so it is not a unique issue for Panasonic. For anyone with existing full frame lenses, Sigma do produce an L-Mount adapter that works with Canon EF-Mount lenses. For Nikon, both Metabones and Novaflex produce F Mount adapters, but not all offer full functionality in terms of autofocus. Ultimately, anyone making the move to full frame mirrorless will want to upgrade their glass to make the most of the new systems. Panasonic is part of the L-Mount alliance with Leica and Sigma so there is already a much greater range of native lenses on the market than currently available for either Nikon or Canon. I thank Andrew Reid from Panasonic for the opportunity to have a serious play with this camera.
PSNZ New Members We have great pleasure in welcoming the following new members of PSNZ, who joined (or rejoined) between 1 October and 30 November 2020. Jan Abernethy
Dr Charlotte Johnson APSNZ
Photo by Anita Ruggle-Lussy
Obituary for the Late Stan Long FPSNZ WITH THE ADVANCEMENTS in technology and most people using emails, there is a small number of members who do not use emails and rely on traditional snail mail or NZ Post to communicate. Such was the case of a former longstanding PSNZ member and member of the Stratford Camera Club, Stan Long FPSNZ, who was one of a handful of PSNZ members whose subscription renewal notices were printed and put in the mail. As a result of his member subscription renewal invoice being received by his family recently, his daughter advised the database coordinators that sadly, Stan had passed away on 15 March this year, just two weeks shy of his 93rd birthday. Andrea Linwood advised us that as a self-taught photographer and a Taranaki farmer Stan did “okay” with his photography. He held two PSNZ honours distinctions and when I checked the database I saw he gained his APSNZ in 1997, quickly following with his FPSNZ in 2000, which according to Andrea was a “significant high point in his life”. He also had several photos in NZ Camera over the years and says, “I miss critiquing the NZ Camera book with him already. Photography was his passion and a significant part of the Dad I knew.” Andrea sent in a couple of photos of her Dad and cautioned me on the quality of the black and white photo, which is a photo of a photo . . . “but says it all” about her Dad. The other, more recent . . . “glass flare and eyes not sharp,” said Andrea. RIP Stan Long FPSNZ.
The Late Stan Long FPSNZ
Photographers Dealing with COVID-19 By Paul Whitham LPSNZ
DESPITE THE FACT that we can’t really travel much outside of New Zealand, life here has returned to a degree of normality. The same can not be true in other parts of the world.
My older daughter lives in Melbourne and every year she gets a photo taken with Santa. She does this every year (even though she is now 36). When she looks back though her images 2020 is going to scream “Social Distancing”. In America those that are taking it seriously are finding doing shoots somewhat difficult. If you watch YouTube you will notice how mask wearing is becoming way more prevalent. But what do you do when you are a professional model and your work has all but dried up? Model Samantha Mathias, who is based in Indiana, realised that as it was possible to remote control a camera close up, it might be possible to do it over the internet. And that is exactly what she does. She positions the camera which the photographer controls remotely and then uses Zoom for the two to communicate. You can read more about and see a video of it in action at https://petapixel.com/2020/04/17/ model-lets-photographers-control-her-dslr-over-zoom-for-long-distance-photo-shoots/
PSNZ Membership Benefits Helping Photographers Grow As a PSNZ member you can enjoy a range of benefits, including: • Expert advice to help improve your photography. • The opportunity to achieve a higher Society distinction (APSNZ, FPSNZ). • A complimentary copy of New Zealand Camera, and the ability to submit your images for selection in this annual publication. • Access to member only resources, including a member only PSNZ Facebook page for social chat and updates with other members. • The opportunity to enter the Canon Online Competition, with trophies for each round and for the overall winner each year. • Discounts for Society activities, such as the annual PSNZ national convention, special workshops, international competitions and much more. • The opportunity to participate in regional club meetings and events, including the PSNZ Workshop Series. • A copy of our bimonthly magazine – CameraTalk, with news, reviews, events and some of the best photography around. • The opportunity to exhibit your work in exhibitions such as the PSNZ Canon National Exhibition, Regional Salons and other member only online competitions. • Access to judge training workshops at a reduced rate for PSNZ members. • Ability to promote your website on our website. • Receive our regular blog posts to stay up to date with the latest news on events, activities and special offers. • Product discounts and savings when they are offered from our corporate partners and associated companies. • Discounts for major NZIPP events as a PSNZ member.
Final Thoughts On behalf of Lindsay and myself we hope you have a great Christmas with family and friends. If 2020 has taught us anything is that we can’t take anything for granted and that life can change quite dramatically in a very short period of time. For those travelling over the period, drive safely and everyone will have a happy New Year. Finally, don’t forget to take your camera and take those family shots that an assessor may call a “snapshot” but you would call “priceless memories”. Paul Whitham LPSNZ
The Last Image
Christmas mince pies on sale in the South Melbourne market in 2019 by Paul Whitham