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THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO

INSPIRATION The world’s best shutterbugs tell you how to stay creative and motivated in 2018

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BRILLIANT IDEAS, PROJECTS AND PRO TIPS

TECHNIQUE GUIDE

METERING MODES EXPLAINED Surprising macro subjects to shoot Top phone apps for editing on the move Improve the accuracy of your selections

TESTED PANASONIC G9 CANON G1 X MKIII LEICA CL & MORE

Plus! Find the perfect portfolio website Cover image by Rezus


Welcome Learn from the best

WATCH FREE VIDEOS! Visit our YouTube channel at youtube.com/ ppmagazine to enjoy more than 80 brilliant how-to camera and editing videos.

PP’s new deputy editor is a hugely experienced writer, editor and fashion photographer. His CV includes Dazed & Confused and ID. Join him on p100

Daisy Gilardini Taking the wildlife genre to its sub-zero extremes, Daisy has joined more than 60 expeditions to the Polar Regions and is widely published. Read more on p112

MARKUS VARESVUO

Richard Collins

VER HEARD OF THE 10,000-hour rule? It’s the idea that you can’t truly call yourself an expert until you’ve invested this much time in your chosen subject. Of course, there are those who dedicate their entire lives to mastering a skill and are quite rightly considered legends (Sebastião Salgado and Annie Leibovitz spring to mind). Yet even these veritable superstars need a shot of inspiration from time to time. With this in mind, we asked 27 of the world’s best photographers to tell us how they plan to stay inspired this year. Starting on page 36, this massive 18-page guide will provide you with all the creative fuel you need to make 2018 your best ever. Some ideas are surprising, some are thought-provoking, all are brilliant. It’s been a labour of love – we hope you enjoy it.

E

36 Stay inspired with 27 ideas, projects and techniques

58 Discover three surprising macro subjects to shoot

Ben Hawkins, Group Editor 146 The mirrorless mediumformat heavyweights do battle

Andrew Curry Taking his love of street photography to Japan’s neon-lit capital, Andrew has amassed an array of fascinating images that show a different way of life. See p124

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144

March On the cover 146 38 120 58 102 82

Fuji GFX 50S v H’blad X1D Ultimate guide to inspiration Metering modes explained Surprising macro subjects Top phone editing apps Improve your selections

Skills&ideas 08

Beyond the lens

Light painting, hammerhead sharks and Gitzo competition winners.

22

10 clicks

A brace of brilliant photo ideas to keep you shooting through winter.

36

Inspiration guide

The world’s best shutterbugs share their plans for staying inspired.

58

Surprising macro

Discover three unusual subjects to shoot up close and personal.

100

Know your stuff

The zone system, smartphone apps, wildlife fieldcraft and much more.

112

Polar explorer

Daisy Gilardini lives among the wildlife of the Arctic and Antarctica.

124

112

Tokyo after dark

Andrew Curry explores Japan’s neon-lit capital city in search of images.

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Regulars 06

Student showcase 162

Who needs a camera when you’ve got Vicky-Michelle Squire’s photograms?

HDR software worth £72, 60 minutes of videos and more.

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Your free gifts

Guy Richardson

When the going gets tough, top pros get motivated.

35

Simon Roy

Find out how simple natural world fieldcraft can get you even closer to great wildlife.

120

Camera know-how

Get to grips with your camera’s various metering modes.

4 PRACTICAL PHOTOGRAPHY


Subscribe

Photoshop Genius

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68

NEW! 32-PAGE EDITING GUIDE

Save money with the latest reader offers See p56

Use Lightroom’s toolbar

Learn to crop, straighten, remove dust spots and add filters to landscapes.

72

Edit your macro images

Discover a trio of simple editing tricks that can enhance your close-up shots.

76

Relocate objects

Use the Contact-Aware Move Tool to nudge your focal point into a better place.

78

95 Apply a Noise Reduction filter in Photoshop to clean up landscapes

Turn photos into paintings

Add a realistic hand-painted effect to a portrait using this simple process.

82

Improve your selections

Draw around every strand of hair using the Select and Mask functions.

84

Create dynamic movement

Shoot and edit your ND filter images with this ‘take and make’ Lightroom project.

90

Photo fixer

Photoshop ace Dan Mold edits four reader images to a professional standard.

FREE! HDR software 96

72 Discover a trio of editing tricks for enhancing your macro images

Download HDRsoft Photomatix Pro 5 and create tonally rich HDR images.

GetIntoGear 138

Panasonic Lumix G9

Boasting the world’s fastest AF speed, this new CSC is built for action.

124

142

Canon G1 X MkIII

Meet the premium compact camera that offers near-DSLR image quality.

144

Leica CL

It certainly looks the part, but at o £3000 can this CSC ever justify its price

146

Fuji GFX 50S v H’blad X1

The mirrorless medium-format behemoths face off in this in-depth test.

152

5 best website portfolios

Show off your work to a worldwid audience without having to learn HTML.

154

Mini tests

Tamron’s 100-400mm, B+W ND filters, Benro tripod heads and much mo

100 Find out why Ansel Adams’ zone system is still relevant in the digital age 142 Canon G1 X MkIII review


Your FreeGifts

Enjoy a landscape masterclass video, HDR software worth £72, three Photoshop tutorials and much more.

60 MINUTES OF EXPERT ADVICE

The top gear for landscapes The team head into the wild to test out a variety of gear for outdoor photography and come up with inspirational ideas for capturing the very best landscapes... QDan is down on the stunning Dorset coast, looking into the practical approach to long exposures and explaining the use of neutral density filters in landscape photography.

Expert tuition Gear tips

QLouise hits the beach with three different lenses, taking in the view with a wide-angle, focusing on details with a telephoto and getting creative with the amazing Lensbaby.

Pro hints & tips

QKirk gets the chills in a frozen Peak District, trying out four cameras with four different sensor sizes and seeing which one comes out on top in a head-to-head shoot-out.

Contact us if you have any problems with your free gifts practical.photography@bauermedia.co.uk

Shooting advice

Plus More free photo gifts Camera Buying Guide Unsure about which camera is best for your needs? Whatever you shoot and whatever your budget, our e-book will guide you with reviews, spec and prices for every camera available right now.

Photomatix Pro 5 Get the most out of your photographs by taking control of tone and detail with this free copy of HDRsoft’s amazing software for PC and Mac, worth £72! Q See page 96 for more.

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THREE BONUS VIDEO GUIDES

Photoshop video lessons Learn how to edit your photographs in Lightroom, enhance shots with three Photoshop tricks, and create dramatic landscapes with long exposures.

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The stories behind the world’s greatest shots

Light painting in Nevada by Eric Paré O We’re always on the lookout for interesting foregrounds and backgrounds for our tube light painting shots. This place in Nevada was perfect – we were right by the road, but there were never any cars. To get this effect, we simply put a flashlight inside a plastic tube and then attached a sparkler to the end. These tubes can easily be bought at hardware stores, or if you can’t find any, simply roll your own using acetate (laminating sheets). Canon 5D MkIV | 14mm | 2sec | f/6.3 | ISO 800

Eric Paré uses unique light painting techniques to create incredible images with dancer and performer Kim Henry. His work has been featured worldwide in many publications. ericpare.com

PRACTICALPHOTOGRAPHY.COM 9


Hammerhead sharks by Gabriel Barathieu O We were only just at the beginning of our dive when we saw dark masses in the distance. I immediately knew that it was a huge hammerhead shark bank. I quickly paddled towards them while changing my settings for a backlit shot to avoid burning out the sun. I then used my remote submarine ashes to light the sharks. Canon 5DS | 16mm | 1/100sec | f/22 | ISO 320

Gabriel Barathieu is the 2017 World Underwater Photographer of the Year, and has been published in National Geographic, Dive, Tauchen and more. underwater-landscape.com

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BeyondTheLens

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The lighthouse by Santiago Pascual O I like to create landscapes that speak of loneliness, in an intimate and almost dreamlike way. To do this, I use a technique of photographic sweeping, which consists of slow and fluid camera movements during a long exposure. For this image, I took two shots – one with the this technique, and one with a model placed in position. I then combined these images in Photoshop. Nikon D4 | 14mm | 3sec | f/3.5 | ISO 100

Santiago Pascual is an awardwinning landscape photographer who is currently hard at work on his current series, ‘Return to Nowhere Lands’. santiagopascual.es

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BeyondTheLens

PRACTICALPHOTOGRAPHY.COM 13


BeyondTheLens

Dandelion by Stanislav Istratov O This photo was taken on a shoot for the beauty brand Vivienne. We were working in a studio, but the stylist asked me to make the lighting as natural as possible, so I tried to mimic big windows when setting up my lights. We used lots of yellow paper to make the owers and then set them up on the background. While it only took me about half an hour to test and shoot this look, the overall preparation took between seven and eight hours. Pentax K-5 | 77mm | 1/180sec | f/7.1 | ISO 80

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Stanislav Istratov is a professional fashion photographer who specialises in studio and advertising photography, as well as providing test shoots for models. exdreams.com


PPMAR18


Gitzo anniversary competition results Back in November we launched a travel-themed competition to win a limited edition Gitzo 100 Year Anniversary Edition Tripod worth £1250. There were also two runners-up prizes – two Gitzo Century Traveler Messenger bags worth £180 each. What better way to celebrate Gitzo’s 100th birthday! The three winning images were chosen for their impact, sense of place and, in Robert’s case, a cute dog playing footsie with a Buddha statue. It’s a niche genre, but one that shouldn’t be overlooked. Congratulations to them all. QVisit manfrotto.co.uk/gitzo for more product info.

1ST PRIZE

100TH YEAR ANNIVERSARY EDITION TRIPOD VALUE

£1250

2ND PRIZE

TWO GITZO CENTURY TRAVELER MESSENGER BAGS VALUE

£180 EACH

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BeyondTheLens

Gitzo Competition Results

Runner-up Robert Child On a natural history tour of Sri Lanka to visit the national parks and spot blue whales, our guide suggested the occasional cultural stop. One such stop was a Buddhist temple. I saw the dog posed at the feet of the large Buddha statue and took a number of pictures. It was only as we were leaving the temple complex that I noticed that the dog had lifted its paw over the Buddha’s toes, which dramatically improved the image, adding a slightly humorous touch. Sony _58 | 40mm | 1/125sec | f/7.1 | ISO 100

Winner Vicki Horrigan I took this shot on Cable Beach, Broome in Australia’s far northwest. It was a shot I’d tried to capture on visits over the previous two years, without much success. On this trip, the elements finally all came together – a low tide, wet sand, sunset, the camels in just the right spot and, to top it off, a storm to the south of the beach. I processed the image in ACR, boosting the shadows, reducing the highlights and adding some clarity.

Runner-up Derek Poulton

Nikon D810 | 16mm | 1/100sec | f/9 | ISO 64

Canon 5D | 60mm | 2sec | f/29 | ISO 50

Knowing what a photographic paradise Iceland is, my wife and I took a self-drive holiday around the south-east corner of the island. Starting at Reykjavik we took in wonderful sites including the Skógafoss waterfall. After an initial rainy visit, we decided to return to the waterfall in the evening when the crowds had gone. I set my camera up on a tripod and used settings for a 2-second exposure, blurring the water. I took shots from various angles but this image with the figure was my favourite, as it gave scale to the waterfall.

PRACTICALPHOTOGRAPHY.COM 17


CAPTURING NEW DIMENSIONS


Photography: Manish Mamtani

Find out more at phantom.dji.com


Kn wledge THE

The latest news from the world of photography

TIBOR KERCZ

COM PETITION

You’re having a giraffe!

OLIVIER COLLE

BENCE MATE

amusing moment, Kercz won a trophy, a Kenyan safari, a Think Tank bag and the coveted title of Comedy Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2017. Behind the laughs, this competition was actually created by Paul, and co-founder Tom Sullam, to raise awareness about serious conservation issues. As such, they’ve partnered up with the excellent charitable organisation Born Free. To aid further in this goal, there is an accompanying book, which is available to purchase online and features the best of the best, as well as some unseen images. If you want to support a good cause, as well as win the very prestigious title, you’ve still got time to capture a winner for the 2018 awards, which have yet to be announced. comedywildlifephoto.com

KATY LAVECK FOSTER

The brilliant, and very hilarious, Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards has announced its winners for 2017. This moment of levity is one of the highlights of the photographic calendar, and drew entries from 86 countries. Seasoned wildlife photographer and awards founder Paul JoynsonHicks MBE said: “It’s been a real success this year. The quality of images has improved substantially and we have had more entries from even more countries.” In true comedy spirit, he went on to add: “One of my favourites was the fox peeing in the golf hole – I know there are lots of people who feel the same way about golf!” Amid a raft of sidesplitting entries, the overall winning shot comes from Tibor Kercz, who captured a series of photos showing an owl losing its footing on a branch. Thanks to this

FL A SH

Flash your Fuji Fujifilm produces amazing cameras, but until now they haven’t been supported by any dedicated flash transmitters. Broncolor, home of premium lighting solutions, has just created the RFS 2.2 F transmitter specifically for Fujifilm X Series cameras. It’s the same unit that’s already in production for Nikon, Canon

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and Sony systems, and now offers the same full functionality for the mirrorless system. The RFS 2.2 supports HS (high speed sync) flash at up to 1/8000sec for many of the higher-spec X Series, such as the X-T2 and X-Pro 2. It’s retailing for £96 and is available now. manfrotto.co.uk/broncolor


News

RumourMill BARRY JACKSON/LOUISE MOSS

Hotly-anticipated products we can expect in 2018...

Olympus Pen E-PL9 We’ve heard that Olympus has plans to update its travel-sized CSC, the E-PL8. As well as including all the selfiecentric tech you’d expect, such as the tilting screen, we’d also like to see a jump up in sensor size, preferably at least a 20MP Micro Four Thirds, as well as adopting 4K video. Expect this to retain the fashionable feel of its predecessor, by allowing you to switch between customised cases. olympus.co.uk

W ILDLIFE

RSPB introduces new photo hide in Rainham Marshes The RSPB has opened a new purpose-built photography hide in Essex, offering the perfect chance for wildlife fans to get up close with a host of woodland birds. To maximise the potential number of shots on offer, a feeding station has also been placed nearby to encourage a wide variety of birds, along with a number of natural perches. Rates start at £25 for a half day, or £35 for a full day, with discounts available for RSPB members. If you’ve always wanted to shoot birds, but aren’t sure of the finer details required to nail the perfect image, one-to-one tuition is on offer for all sessions for an additional fee. Bookings are currently being taken up until March. rainham.marshes@rspb.org.uk

Sony _9R Above The RSPB’s hide has been designed specifically for wildlife photographers.

CA M ER A

Light releases 52MP camera The revolutionary L16 camera has finally left its two-year production phase and is now available to order. The bizarre-looking device is fitted with 16 13MP sensors, each of which is given a dedicated focal length between 28mm and 150mm, and produces a massive 52MP equivalent file. It also gives you a 5x optical zoom, equivalent to 28-150mm, and lets you recompose your depth-offield after capturing your shot, similar to Panasonic’s 4K/6K Post Focus mode. It’s retailing for £1850. light.co

SOF T WA R E

Lightroom 6 comes to an end Sad news for anybody still dodging the Adobe subscription service. The editing giant just released the final update for Lightroom 6. This update doesn’t include any new features, but simply adds compatibility for the latest cameras and lenses. If you don’t fancy the £10 per month Adobe Photography plan, including Photoshop CC, you can use the free DNG converter on any unsupported RAWs. adobe.com

The rumour mill recently let slip that Sony may be cooking up a stillsorientated full-frame mirrorless in the form of the Sony _9R. The source said they were expecting to see a 75MP sensor CSC, with a reduced burst speed of 5fps. It’s also speculated to boast 4K video at 30fps, Sony’s SteadyShot image stabilisation and accept Dual XQD memory cards, which are a lot faster than standard SD, though also more expensive. Fingers crossed we hear more about this at the upcoming CES show. sony.co.uk

Canon 135mm f/2 L lens The current 135mm f/2 L is a stunning lens, even if it’s over 20 years old. The good news is that Canon should be releasing a brand new version, with a massive tech boost. We’ve seen that image stabilisation, internal autofocusing motors and more advanced optics are all on the list. Expected in the first half of 2018, this is the kind of lens which should find its way into any self-respecting portrait photographer’s kit bag. canon.co.uk

PRACTICALPHOTOGRAPHY.COM 21


10Clicks What to shoot with your camera right now

MACRO

#1Shoot a frosty close-up OWith winter in full swing, and a dearth of insects and flowers to photograph, you may be thinking that it’s time for your macro lens to go into hibernation. However, before you pack it away, why not experiment with this fun photo idea like Rian Krenzer (500px. com/riankrenzer). “I mostly shoot nature, with a special interest in macro. My specialities are insects and flowers, so during the winter

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months I always have to look for other subjects. After seeing pictures and videos of freezing soap bubbles on the internet, I was fascinating by the delicate structures and wanted to try it for myself. First I had to find the right mixtures for the soap liquid, and after some trial and error I found a mix of water, sugar and dish soap that worked well enough. “I then experimented with finding the right size of bubble, the

best lighting conditions and the general setting for the photo. I spent quite a few hours in the freezing cold over a few days until I got the results I wanted. “I’m especially pleased with this image. It was a cold day at the start of December, and the morning sun was giving a wonderful, soft light. I placed the bubble on a fallen leaf, as I felt that the brownish-red gave a really nice contrast to the blue of the ice.”


TIP SELECT YOUR FOCAL POINT Even at f/16 or f/22, you’re never going to get front-toback focus with a macro lens, so use selective focusing to direct the viewer’s eye.

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10Clicks TIP SHOOT IN SHORT BURSTS Select your camera’s continuous autofocus (AI Servo or AF-C) and burst modes when working with moving subjects for a higher hit-rate.

PETS

# 2 Road trip with your pooch O Want to find a subject that will always instantly capture your viewers’ attention? Look no further than your favourite furry friend. Photographer John Wingfield (instagram. com/milliethegolden) has travelled far and wide with his dog to capture amazing shots. “In 2013 my girlfriend Bridget and I adopted our dog, Millie. We’ve always loved the outdoors, but having a dog to accompany us makes our

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adventures so much more fun. Millie’s first cross-country road trip was from Alaska to Maine. We drove down the West Coast, making lots of stops at scenic locations along the way. This trip sparked our love for travel and photography. “Over the next few years we acquired lots of professional photography gear, and our casual hobby became more of a passion. Every summer we save money in order to allow

us to spend our winters travelling and living out of our car with Millie. We’ve visited 26 states and seven provinces, exploring dozens of national and state parks. Millie loves the ocean and the mountains, both of which are easily accessible in this part of the country. It makes us happy to see Millie enjoying herself in the outdoors. We feel that every dog should get to live an adventurous life like hers.”

Above Use a wide-angle lens, such as the Sigma 24mm f/1.4, to capture as much of your scene as possible.


PORTRAITS

# 3 Capture effervescent bokeh OAs night falls, the soulless grey windows of city office blocks are suddenly transformed into glittering lights that are perfect for capturing with your camera, just like Ignacio Gonzalez (500px.com/nachozitsev). “I love portraiture, as I like to be able to express feelings or situations in an image. Sometimes my shots are staged, but other times they’re 100% natural. I usually prefer taking portraits in nature, but I wanted to challenge myself by instead venturing into the city for this shot. “I asked my model to sit inside a cafe near the window, so that I could photograph her through it. This was quite difficult, as I was using automatic focus, which struggled to latch onto her face through the glass. I used a really shallow depth-of-field, as I wanted to capture the amazing bokeh that was being reflected in the window. “I always like to direct my

models, but it probably looked a bit comical on this shoot. I had to direct everything without being able to talk, because I was in the street and she was in the coffee shop, so I could only communicate through my gestures. “I used a lot of post-processing in order to get this style. I edited in Adobe Camera Raw to enhance the colours, and then used the Dodge and Burn tools in Photoshop to paint in some more contrast. I used complementary colours in the edit in order to make my image stand out even more.” Urban portraiture is uniquely suited to after-dark situations, as you always have an ample supply of interesting lighting. For the best results, aim to shoot with your model in the blue hour. This will mean that you’ll still have some ambient light to contrast with the yellow tones of artificial lighting.

Above If autofocus struggles, switch to manual focus and use the manual focus ring. Left Use an aperture of f/1.8 to create the most attractive bokeh.

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10Clicks

TELEPHOTO

# 4 Zoom into fascinating details O The beauty of telephoto lenses is that they allow you to celebrate small details that you wouldn’t ordinarily notice in a larger picture. Szilard Simko (formaline.hu) used a 70-300mm lens to capture this fantastic shot of a horse mid-canter. “My daughter has loved horses ever since she was a little girl, so we started taking her to horse riding lessons

26 PRACTICAL PHOTOGRAPHY

when she was four years old. Fortunately, the riding hall is really close to our home so we went there almost every day to admire the beauty of the horses. My camera was always with me on these trips, as I’d been working as a professional photographer for four years at that point. “I’d had an idea for an image in my head for a while – I wanted to capture the

movement of a horse’s legs in golden hour. Unfortunately, I had to wait for the right occasion. However, one day we were visiting and the hall was bathed perfectly in the light from the setting sun. “I could only take photos from outside the fence, as I didn’t want to disturb anyone. This meant that I had to find a spot where I was the appropriate distance from the

horse, where my lens could fit between the fence boards and the sun was lighting my shot at the right angle. No mean feat! “The horse only ran past me five times in the 15 minutes of great light that I got, so I didn’t have loads of time to take tons of photos. However, I was able to grab a few good shots. I love the harmony of the composition, lighting and movement in this one.”


TIP USE A FAST SHUTTER SPEED A shutter speed of 1/1000sec means you can freeze fast moving objects mid-motion. This may mean you have to increase your ISO to compensate.

STILL LIFE

# 5 Celebrate pure colour

Above Tamron’s 70-300mm f/4-5.6 lens is perfect for shooting action.

OA soft black background is often the perfect backdrop when you want to showcase the intense colours of a still life subject, such as this vibrant Slinky. Magda Indigo (magdaindigo. co.uk) created this set of images as an extension of her main project that focuses on the beauty of flowers. “I’m fascinated by how light and colour can affect how people perceive things. Colours photographed under natural sunlight may appear differently than when seen under a tungsten light bulb. I always shoot objects against my signature black background, mostly using continuous LED light sources. I like to guide the light so that it softly wraps around the subjects, bringing them to life. I perfected my lighting over the years with flowers as my main subject matter. However, in this project I wanted to try and transform the mundane into something extraordinary. “Equipment isn’t really important to me. I always say that I make the photo, not the camera. Visualising what you want, knowing your subject inside out and being able to use light are the most important aspects of photography. For me, the main thrill still comes from seeing the finished image.”

Above Fill the frame to emphasise the abstract patterns available in a colourful Slinky.

PRACTICALPHOTOGRAPHY.COM 27


10Clicks

TIP SECURE THE FLOWER In order to stick the flower onto your model’s face without it falling off, use lash glue (usually meant for fake eyelashes) to keep it in place.

BLACK & WHITE

# 6 Shoot an intimate portrait OThere’s nothing more striking than a beautiful black & white portrait, particularly when the eyes hold the viewer’s gaze. Silvia Mazella (500px.com/silviamazzella) shot this incredible image to celebrate the unique beauty and strength of women everywhere. “I began my current series, ‘Strong Opulent Woman’, in

28 PRACTICAL PHOTOGRAPHY

2016, and it’s still in progress today. It includes pictures, drawings and words on women’s weaknesses, strengths and their love. “I knew the model in this shot through social media, and I met her in my studio on a summer afternoon. I used the natural light that was filtering through the window. I also introduced an orchid

into the photo to represent her insecurity and beauty. The flower became a part of her, with the discolouration on the petals intermingling with the freckles on her face. “I love shooting portraits because I enjoy looking through the eyes of different people. I’m fascinated by the individual quirks that each human has.”

Above Use a 50mm prime lens, as this is considered the most flattering for portraiture.


F A N TA S Y

# 7 Capture epic drama OIf you want to capture the drama of conflict and the whimsy of costume, consider visiting a role-playing event with your camera, like seasoned LARP veteran Roy Smallpage (500px.com/roysmallpage). “I’ve been shooting Live Action Role-Play (LARP) for 47 years now, and have only recently started to see other photographers out in the field as well. This genre is actually quite similar to sports photography, except rather than a football pitch you’ll be working in a forest, a sand dune or even a maze of underground tunnels. An event can sometimes have thousands of characters, so there’s plenty of opportunity to capture a winning shot. It’s a cross-country, free-form theatre, with action happening in lots of different places at once.”

Above Back-button focusing will allow you to focus quickly and accurately.

LANDSCAPES

# 8 Use blur creatively OMost landscape photographers are keen on capturing as much detail as possible in their vistas. However, by using blur in your shot you can create an abstract landscape, just like our very own Louise Carey did in this month’s Learn Photography Now show. “When I saw this shipwreck on Hunstanton beach I immediately knew that I wanted to set the very small area of focus on the little pillar at the front of the boat. I realised that this would draw the viewer’s attention, and then let them wander their eyes through the shot. Getting the right focus was a little tricky, but practice always makes perfect.” QWatch Louise in action on this issue’s LPN show.

Above We used the Lensbaby Spark to get this ultra shallow depth-of-field.

PRACTICALPHOTOGRAPHY.COM 29


10Clicks

INSECTS

# 9 Create an impression OMany of us associate macro photography with pin-sharp focus, but by stepping outside of the box you can create something truly unique, just like photographer Rob Blanken (rbblphotography.com). “I took this shot early in the morning near my home town in the north of the Netherlands.

I was outside on a cold morning when I saw this dragonfly resting in the grass, covered in dew. I immediately knew that these were the perfect circumstances for a macro shot. I used an old lens from East Germany (Meyer Trioplan 100mm f/2.8). It’s also known as the bokeh

monster, as when it’s set at its widest aperture there are special rings of light around the reflections in the water droplets, especially when backlit. I used an extension tube with the lens, as otherwise I wouldn’t have been able to get the right minimum focus distance.”

Above A shutter speed of 1/4000sec froze the dragonfly.

N AT U R E

#10 Look for beauty O Capturing an incredible photo doesn’t always mean hours of

preparation. Sometimes the best images come from your own back garden, just as Atul Saluja (500px.com/asal1976) discovered. “As an amateur photographer, I’m always looking for ready subjects that require minimal upfront preparation. Couple that with the fact that I’m a nature lover, and this means that I often find myself wandering in my back garden looking for that perfect moment. On this particular morning, I’d been searching in vain for an hour or so when this azalea plant caught my eye. I was fascinated by the interplay of the overnight frost and the warmth from the rising sun.”

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GUY RICHARDSON ADVENTURES OF A WILD LANDSCAPE PHOTOGRAPHER MR MOTIVATOR HETHER IT’S A LOSS OF CREATIVITY, A lack of locations to choose from, or poor weather conditions, there are many elements that can prevent us from staying motivated. It takes a great deal of dedication to be able to take on the travelling, lack of sleep and physical challenges that landscape photography can throw at you throughout the year. So here are some of my top tips to help keep you motivated when the going gets tough… While the initial excitement of discovering a new location is a great motivator, it can soon wear thin after only a handful of trips, especially if those trips don’t go your way. So, mix it up and alternate between locations if you can. This will give you the impetus to keep your portfolio fresh, as well as keeping you sane. Focus on collating a series of images of one location. It might be your local beach or an entire national park. Think more about the images working as a portfolio rather than just one-offs. Take a closer look at the details you find there – rock formations, plants, trees and even the human impact of a location. Another great example is recording seasonal changes from the same position. This is a great way of not just creating some impressive images, but also gaining in-depth knowledge of how the weather and climate can affect the flora and fauna of an area. Rather than getting bogged down visiting the same locations, why not visit somewhere new over a few days. Planning a trip can be a hugely enjoyable experience in itself, from researching for potential locations to gathering inspiration from books. It’s a great way to immerse yourself in landscape photography and something to do on those rainy days.

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Ambition is the biggest motivator for many of us, but knowing how and where to focus your efforts can be challenging. So why not produce a book, organise an exhibition or create a calendar? Strive to be different and do something truly unique with your photography. Rather than simply visit and take the same photographs of a popular location, get out a map and find somewhere new instead. You’ll be amazed how many great photographic opportunities there are around and they don’t have to be in the middle of nowhere, or require an arduous trek to find – most can be only a short distance from a public road. Workshops are a great catalyst for improving your photography and, similar to planning a trip, they give you something to look forward to. They provide you with the opportunity to visit somewhere new, the chance to meet other like-minded photographers (some workshops will even provide you with the opportunity to try out new gear), all guided by someone that knows the area well. And talking of gear, a new bit of kit is a surefire way of getting those motivational juices flowing. It doesn’t have to be a new camera or an equally expensive lens, it might even just be a new lens cloth. Something that will make your shooting experience more enjoyable will go a long way to deciding not to hit that snooze button for sunrise.

“A NEW BIT OF KIT IS A SUREFIRE WAY TO GET THOSE MOTIVATIONAL JUICES FLOWING...”

Guy Richardson is a professional landscape photographer and time-lapse filmmaker. His images are used by some of the UK’s largest tourism and conservation groups, including Visit Britain and The Woodland Trust. guyrichardson.com

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SIMON ROY ADVENTURES OF A WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHER FIELDCRAFT INSIGHT NE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT TOOLS IN wildlife photography is fieldcraft. This is a general term which covers the skills needed to find, approach and eventually photograph wildlife. At an advanced level, this includes the ability to track animals through their natural habitat without them being aware of your presence. To stalk and photograph roe deer in local woodland I take certain measures to increase my chances. Deer have a superb sense of smell, so I shower without soap and wear clothes that are clean but not freshly washed. I arrive at the location before sunrise and move slowly and silently into an area where I expect the animals to be. I camouflage myself and my gear and use trees and foliage to blend in. For most subjects and situations, extreme fieldcraft skills are unnecessary – especially in nature reserves, parks and gardens where wildlife is more accustomed to human activity. Although these creatures can be less wary, they won’t behave naturally if they feel intimidated, so a certain amount of craft is still required. Ensure that your subject doesn’t see you as a potential threat. Wear muted colours, move slowly and be as quiet as possible. I also use a scrim net, to fade my form, even in the garden where the birds are totally relaxed with me. This is enough for common species, but if you want to capture something more exotic then you need to be hidden. I recently established a feeding station at a small wood close to where I live. My first step was to contact the landowner and then explore the location to see if it had potential, the main considerations being possible subjects, light direction, and backgrounds. On my first visit, I was pleased to see lots of wildlife

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and found a clearing that would be well lit throughout the day. I started by making some squirrel-proof feeders and set these up close to a dense hedge that bordered the woodland. The hedge had a little hollow in it and this was sculpted into a snug, natural hide. The most important function of a hide is to disguise the human form, with shelter and comfort being secondary needs. Over the following weeks I visited the site regularly to maintain the feeders and spent some time observing the activity from a distance. The action was hectic with all the usual suspects coming in, but no sign of the nuthatches and woodpeckers that were my target species. I knew these birds were about, as I had seen and heard them, so I assumed that my presence was the cause. A short time after, I decided to try a morning session, mostly out of curiosity, as I wanted to see what would turn up. The light was good and the leaves on trees beyond the feeding area created a very pleasant background. I was barely in the hide when a gang of smaller birds descended on the feeders and soon I heard the distinctive ‘kek’ of a woodpecker. I have now had several successful mornings with some lovely visitors, including nuthatch, bullfinch and woodpecker. My simple hide has been very effective and I hope it will give me more opportunities through winter and into spring.

“I WAS BARELY IN THE HIDE WHEN A GANG OF BIRDS DESCENDED ON THE FEEDERS...”

Simon Roy is an award-winning wildlife photographer based in Yorkshire. His images have been highly commended in both the British Wildlife Photography Awards and International Garden Photographer of the Year competitions. simonroyphotography.co.uk

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T H E U LT I M A T E GUIDE TO

Creativity is a process that needs feeding and nurturing. To start you on your journey, we asked 27 of the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s best photographers to tell us how they plan to stay inspired this year in 100 words or less...

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27

BRILLIANT PHOTO IDEAS, PROJECTS AND TECHNIQUES FOR 2018

#1 Wanderlust

PLAN THE PERFECT PHOTO ADVENTURE Nothing keeps me more inspired than planning a new trip and designing the perfect itinerary for my photography. I kick-start every year with the promise of travelling as much as I can, both to places I’ve already been to and to others I’ve never stepped foot in. I usually find most of my inspiration among the mountains and in remote places, which is also where I take most of my pictures. I try to visit at least one new place every year (I would love to see Greenland in 2018!), but I also enjoy returning to some of the places I love, such as Patagonia and the Dolomites, thanks to the workshops I’m guiding. Q MARCO GRASSI IS AN ITALIAN LANDSCAPE AND TRAVEL SPECIALIST MARCOGRASSIPHOTOGRAPHY.COM

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Landscape inspiration Reinvent this timeless genre with a wealth of brilliant ideas...

#2 History

TURN YOUR PASSION INTO A BOOK PROJECT A personal project has been bubbling away for several years and it’s morphed into a collection of images that I think will work well as a book. The project is based around landscapes, but infused with my love of history and interest in architecture. Identifying the last few locations and planning the shoots still gives me a buzz, even after all these years (I’ve been a professional for 29 years!), and the added excitement is talking to designers and printers and figuring out budgets and costs. I like the idea of a landscape telling a story rather than just being a pretty picture. Q JEREMY WALKER SPECIALISES IN LANDSCAPES AND LOCATION PHOTOGRAPHY. VISIT JEREMYWALKER.CO.UK

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Above The remote ruins of Ardvreck Castle have overlooked Loch Assynt since the 17th century when it was attacked and captured by the Mackenzies.


Inspiration Guide

#4 Astro

TAKE ADVANTAGE OF NEW TECHNOLOGY AND UNLOCK NEW SUBJECTS My kit is usually smaller and lighter than that of my colleagues, and I don’t think that any of my photographer friends would call me a ‘gearhead’. I usually skip at least one generation of digital camera, but having spent some time working with the Nikon D850, I’m inspired. The camera is a joy to use, and the image quality – especially for long exposures in extreme low light – is extraordinary. I can’t wait to start making truly large prints from those 45MP images. We are living in the golden age of night photography! Q LANCE KEIMIG IS AN ACCLAIMED NIGHT PHOTOGRAPHER AND WORKSHOP LEADER. SEE MORE OF HIS WORK AT THENIGHTSKYE.COM

#3 Impressionism

EXPERIMENT WITH UNUSUAL CAMERA TECHNIQUES I plan to delve further into the magical worlds of intentional camera movement (ICM) and exposure blending. I’ve used ICM on and off for quite a while and love the freedom of expression that it gives, but have only dipped my toes into exposure blending. I’d like to create a specific project around these disciplines, quite likely using natural elements, like trees, and create a portfolio of them in their different guises throughout the

TIP CONTROL SHUTTER SPEED ICM is all about getting the exposure times right so switch to manual mode and select a shutter speed of 1/20sec or slower. Shoot in bursts.

year, giving me something to look back on with regards to both the natural transition of them as subjects, and also my own transition in learning. Q PHIL STARKEY IS A LANDSCAPE PHOTOGRAPHER BASED IN PLYMPTON IN DEVON PHILSTARKEYPHOTOGRAPHY.CO.UK

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Inspiration Guide

#6 Viewpoint

LOOK FOR FRESH WAYS TO SHOOT FAMILIAR SUBJECTS Even though millions of photos are taken every day, you can still find ways to take unique images of well-known locations by getting creative with your angles. I got as close to this tiny pebble as possible with my 14mm lens, with the front element only an inch or so away, to create the illusion of the pebbles being much larger than they really are. This angle, combined with a 0.6-second exposure to blur the incoming waves (that were about to hit my camera!), led to a unique image of the iconic Durdle Door. Q JAMES GREEN IS A UK-BASED LANDSCAPE SPECIALIST. SEE HIS WORK AT JAMESGPHOTO GRAPHY.COM

#5 Innovation

PUSH YOUR CAMERA AND EDITING SKILLS TO THE LIMIT I’m always looking for ways to innovate. Right now, I’m recuperating from workshops, but have already started a new project. It’s very technical and is really fuelling my imagination. The plan is to merge several images to create the ultimate nightscape portrait. The model is lit with flash, and I also shoot a 4-8 second exposure of the model, plus 15-second exposures for the sky and sometimes the foreground too. These are then carefully blended so that the final image uses some of the flash exposure and some of the grainy one to create a sharper model while retaining natural night grain. Q OLLIE TAYLOR IS A PRO ASTROPHOTOGRAPHER OLLIETAYLORPHOTOGRAPHY.COM

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TIP KEEP YOUR DISTANCE Always check your lens’ close focusing distance, which tells you how close you can get before you lose focus. You’ll find this spec on the front ring.


#7 Composition

CHANGE THE WAY YOU FRAME YOUR SCENES

TIP CHANGE ASPECT RATIO I’ve long been a fan of the square format and find composing for it an excellent way of stimulating creativity, as it encourages you to look beyond the standard ‘rules’ of framing. It often suits more symmetrical compositions, with the main subject in the centre and the horizon bisecting the frame. So, to keep myself motivated in 2018, I’ve decided to shoot as many square images as possible. Rather than look for images in post which might crop to a square, I’ll be shooting them square in-camera. Luckily, my camera allows me to set numerous aspect ratios, including 1:1.

All modern DSLRs, CSCs and compacts allow you to change aspect ratios. Delve into your menu and choose between 3:2, 4:3, 1:1 and 16:9.

One tried and tested way of trying to get the creative juices flowing is to impose some artificial restriction on your photography – perhaps limiting yourself to shooting with just one focal length, or only shooting monochrome images or only shooting handheld. Q MARK BAUER OFFERS WORKSHOPS AND TUITION MARKBAUERPHOTOGRAPHY.COM

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Inspiration Guide

#8 Persistence

RETURN TO THE SAME PLACE AGAIN AND AGAIN Early 2018 will see the launch of my third book, Photographing South Wales. It has been my sole focus for the last three years, visiting locations across my homeland and capturing images across the seasons. The journey over this time has made me fall even more in love with Wales and has urged me to showcase its diversity throughout the year. I included a good variety of locations in this book, however those places that I didn’t visit will now be my focus in 2018. The planning has already begun… Q DREW BUCKLEY IS AN ACCOMPLISHED LANDSCAPE, WILDLIFE AND COMMERCIAL PHOTOGRAPHER. SEE MORE OF HIS WORK AT DREWBUCKLEYPHOTOGRAPHY.COM

TIP SHOOT YOUR FIRST VIDEO To get started, flick to video mode, select a movie recording size of 1920x1080 (Full HD) at 25fps, and make sure you’re in manual mode.

#9 Videos

DEVELOP YOUR FILM-MAKING SKILLS WITH YOUR EXISTING KIT The way in which we consume content is changing. DSLRs and mirrorless cameras have blurred the line between photography and videography, allowing us to seamlessly switch from shooting stills to high-quality video in an instant. However, video requires a different skill set to photography that takes time to develop. I’ll be using the Nikon D850 – this is the first camera beyond the Sony _7R series that has stills and video capability for my needs. Being able to shoot in 4K will help with editing, and 100fps at Full HD will allow for great slow-motion footage too. Q GUY RICHARDSON IS A PRO LANDSCAPER AND FILM-MAKER GUYRICHARDSON.COM

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Portrait inspiration

#10 Depth-of-field

RECREATE A CLASSIC STYLE USING THE LATEST LENSES Since swapping full-frame for Micro Four Thirds, the one thing missing has been the ability to achieve a super-shallow depth-of-field. My style developed from large- and medium-format film cameras and I’m happier, visually, when I have the option to render a background as a soft, impressionistic blur. Olympus’ 25mm and 45mm f/1.2 lenses have reawoken long-dormant projects, and dreams of woodland fashion shoots in the dying embers of late winter light are back on the agenda. It seems counterintuitive to be creativity-led by equipment, but in this case, it’s as good as a guiding star. Q ANDREW FARRINGTON IS A PORTRAIT AND FASHION PHOTOGRAPHER BASED IN MANCHESTER. SEE MORE OF HIS WORK AT ANDREWF.COM

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TIP REDUCE THE ZONE OF FOCUS For even less depth-of-field, use a longer focal length, get closer to your subject, and/ or increase the distance between subject and background.


Inspiration Guide

#12 Self-reflection

KNOW WHAT YOU WANT TO SAY AS AN ARTIST I’m going to spend some time learning who I am and what I want to say as a photographer. Staying inspired isn’t always about following the work of a great artist or trying out the latest cameras. In fact, as I get older, certain philosophical elements seem more important. This isn’t just about photography – it’s about the human desire to share, learn and understand – it’s about the human desire to support and the need to laugh and cry. Understanding what I’m trying to say and how I want to communicate is more important than which camera brand I use. Q DAVE KAI PIPER IS A BRITISH FASHION AND PORTRAIT PHOTOGRAPHER. SEE MORE AT DAVEKAIPIPER.COM

#11 Music

INVOLVE YOUR SUBJECTS IN THE PICTURE-TAKING PROCESS I’m going to push on with my ‘For the record’ project, which involves photographing musicians with their favourite albums. The first artist to lend his support was Duran Duran’s John Taylor. John shortlisted three albums for his shoot – Four Tops by The Four Tops, Young Americans by David Bowie and Risqué by Chic – and I shot him

with all three records. The shoot took place in John’s private study, and I hope to capture other artists in equally unique settings. The goal is to also produce a short video, with each artist talking about their chosen records. Q CARSTEN WINDHORST SPECIALISES IN PORTRAITS, REPORTAGE AND MUSIC. FRONT-ROWS-PITS-AND-PAVEMENTS.COM

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Inspiration Guide

#14 Philanthropy

OFFER YOUR SERVICES TO A CHARITY AND FEED YOUR CREATIVE SOUL I recently visited South Sudan and properly fell in love with Africa. One of my plans for the next year is to go out and shoot further personal work on that wonderful continent. I’d like to explore and see much more of their traditions and cultures. I would also like to shoot additional charity work, like I did in Syria a few months back. Shooting work like this helps me appreciate my life, enabling me to give something back and helping me to overcome problems, as photo shoots like this are never plain sailing. Q TOM BARNES IS ONE OF THE UK’S LEADING EDITORIAL AND MUSIC PHOTOGRAPHERS. VISIT TOMBARNES.CO

#13 Craft skills

MAKE PROPS TO MATCH YOUR STYLE

TIP TAKE A MORE DIY APPROACH Websites like craftsy.com and themakery.co.uk offer loads of brilliant craft materials, projects and classes for indulging your DIY side.

As a newborn photographer, I love using so many different props. These range from headbands, pants and little bonnets to blankets, bowls and crates. I love to use items that are one of a kind and suited to my style of photography, and prefer not to use objects that will distract from the baby I’m photographing. I decided to have a try at making my own little headbands and pants, and they look lovely, so this year I’ll be creating not only gorgeous images but also beautiful props to reflect my style. Q SALLY JOSKO IS AN AWARD-WINNING MATERNITY, BABY AND CHILD PHOTOGRAPHER WHO SPECIALISES IN NEWBORNS. SEE MORE OF HER WORK AT SALLYJOSKO.CO.UK

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#15 Travel

EXPERIENCE EXOTIC NEW CULTURES Travel inspires me. I have 20 years and 90 countries’ worth of personal scrapbooks taken while on the road (mostly taken on film, but now with an iPhone). Last year I went to Senegal and met a band called The Last Poets – the drumming was out of this world! This year I’m going back there, as I want to document Creole music and possibly make a short film. Going somewhere with a different culture and way of life opens your mind and keeps me loving life – it inspires me to tell positive stories about people’s lives. Q AMELIA TROUBRIDGE IS A LONDON-BASED PORTRAIT PHOTOGRAPHER AMELIATROUBRIDGE.COM

#16 Reportage

DOCUMENT THE PASSION OF GRASS ROOTS SPORTS Last year I started a new project, one that explores ‘what it takes’ to be in GB Park & Pipe, the freestyle ski and snowboard development team for the Olympic Games. I followed the team from the icy quarters of Quebec to the spring glaciers of Switzerland, via skate parks in Scotland and dry ski slopes in England. This year I’ll be gearing up to join the team in Pyeongchang, South Korea for the 2018 Winter Olympics. This project focuses on Olympic hopefuls, but the passion in grass roots sports is just as vibrant across the UK. Why not give it a go? Q SAM MELLISH IS AN AWARD-WINNING EDITORIAL AND DOCUMENTARY PHOTOGRAPHER AND THE AUTHOR OF SIX PHOTO BOOKS. CHECK OUT HIS WORK AT SAMMELLISH.COM

Above Katie Ormerod, captured during spring training at Lake Silvaplana, Switzerland, is a GB Park & Pipe contender for Pyeongchang 2018.

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#17 People skills

GET BEHIND THE MASK AND FIND THE REAL PERSON When my phone stops ringing, I invent jobs to stay creative. My new project is called ‘This is me’ and my brief is to shoot people as their real selves, rather than what they’ve become. I want to look at what really makes people tick and why. So far, I’ve photographed a stockbroker who gave it all up to become a farmer, a bookbinder whose TIP true passion is Harley LEARN FROM Davidsons, and a lady who works for the THE BEST Chartered Institute of Observer legend Jane Bown Ecology who only carried just one camera and experienced her ‘This is lens in her handbag... and me’ moment when she she shot some of the got her first allotment. world’s most famous Next week I’ve got a rugby faces. fanatic and a sea kayaker… who knows what’s next! Q PHILIP LEE HARVEY IS BEST KNOWN FOR HIS AMAZING TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHY. TAKE A CLOSER LOOK AT PHILIPLEEHARVEY.COM

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Inspiration Guide

#18 Experience

LIVE FOR THE MOMENT AND SHARE YOUR ADVENTURES I used to set up shots. Take my time, imagine an image, style it, and then take the photo. There’s nothing wrong with this – I just needed a change. So, I’m moving into taking photos that are more authentic. Spontaneous in-the-moment pictures tend to tell a more complete story. Challenge yourself to go out and experience something and take photos of that. Recently I climbed Mount Baker in Washington. I took photos of a fellow climber learning crevasse rescue skills. This is the result...

TIP JOIN A LOCAL GROUP Rock climbing too extreme? Why not join Ramblers (ramblers.org.uk), a charity that promotes walking and other outdoor pursuits.

Q MORGAN PHILLIPS IS A SEATTLEBASED ADVENTURE AND LIFESTYLE PHOTOGRAPHER. SEE MORE OF HIS WORK AT MORGANPHILLIPS.CO

#19 Ingenuity

PLAY WITH COLOURS AND SPECIAL EFFECTS I like to create lists of ideas when things pop into my head, such as a beauty editorial with paint, using prisms and even taking a Quality Street wrapper and cutting shapes in it. I recently tested the Quality Street idea out during a beauty editorial and it created one of my favourite images of 2017. The effect it created was unique and brought some colour to a simple shot. I plan on experimenting with this idea further and even trying it out for a fashion editorial. Not every idea will work out, but you never know until you try. Q LISA-MARIE MCGINN SPECIALISES IN FASHION, BEAUTY AND PORTRAITURE LISAMARIEMCGINN.COM

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Wildlife inspiration From abstract puffins and fluffy kittens to hard-hitting conservation projects...

#20 Contre jour

SHOOT INTO THE LIGHT FOR MAXIMUM DRAMA I’ve built a super-long DIY lens hood for when I’m shooting directly into the light and need to reduce glare as much as possible. Initial trials were successful enough – I shot dramatic images of displaying black grouse at a bog while the sun was rising and hitting the birds at a low angle – and have whet my appetite for more. I’ve spoken to a manufacturer and am now waiting for my prototype 70cm lens hood. I can’t wait to explore this theme further in 2018. Q MARKUS VARESVUO IS A RENOWNED FINNISH WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHER WHO CAPTURES THE DAILY LIVES OF BIRDS IN THEIR NATURAL HABITATS. VISIT INSTAGRAM.COM/MARKUSVARESVUO

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TIP RETAIN JUST ENOUGH DETAIL

When shooting contre jour, always meter with the sun or main light source just out of the frame so as to retain detail in the subject matter.


Inspiration Guide

#21 Animals

TELL A STORY IN THE MOST RELAXING OF ENVIRONMENTS My idea is to really make more of home environments. There’s a great image waiting to be discovered in every home, using the territory where pets are at their most relaxed. So, move the furniture, open the curtains, close them again, move the lights, turn them on and off, see which nooks and crannies come alive or have no atmosphere. Then find a reason for the pet wanting to be ‘in the zone’ and take the image. Q PAUL WALKER IS A PRO PET PHOTOGRAPHER AND THE BRAINS BEHIND THE AWARD-WINNING PAWS PET PHOTOGRAPHY PAWSPETPHOTOGRAPHY.CO.UK

#22 Creative eye

TAKE A MORE ABSTRACT LOOK AT THE NATURAL WORLD My challenge is to find alternative ways to photograph Atlantic puffins. Their comical appearance and universal appeal means that these are perhaps the most photographed seabirds in the UK, so it’s increasingly difficult to come up with distinctive images. I live

close to the Farne Islands, but with little more than a couple of hours per day trip, I need to go prepared. Many ideas are based on ‘near misses’ from previous trips, but they can also occur when editing images. For example, I’ve recently been experimenting with heavily cropping

images, rendering compositions often showing only parts of the birds in an abstract way. Q LAURIE CAMPBELL IS ONE OF SCOTLAND’S LEADING NATURAL HISTORY AND LANDSCAPE PHOTOGRAPHERS LAURIECAMPBELL.COM

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#23 Conservation

DOCUMENT THE HORRORS OF POACHING In the past three years 100,000 elephants have been lost to poachers. In South Africa alone, an average of three rhinos are killed every day. The statistics are bad and would have been worse if it wasn’t for the members of anti-poaching units who put their lives on the line to fight the poachers and protect the wildlife. My aim is to tell their story. My work will document the current situation, uncovering TIP the true problem CHOOSE A behind poaching and discussing REAL-LIFE STORY the implications Global warming, pollution, of no change to extreme poverty, disease, both animals nuclear weapons, terrorism, and people as computer intelligence... told through the you’ll never be short eyes of the of subjects. rangers who live it every day. Q CHRIS WESTON IS A SELF-STYLED WILDLIFE ‘STORYTELLER’ CHRISWESTON.PHOTOGRAPHY

#24 Originality

FIND A SUBJECT THAT’S NEVER BEEN CAPTURED Perhaps the greatest challenge we face as photographers today is originality. In a world of smartphones and DSLR proliferation, finding new subjects seems next to impossible. Yet it’s this that drives me. After spending six weeks in the Peruvian Amazon last summer conducting camera trapping research, I will turn to the DSLR phase of my project. My goal will be to capture the intimate lives of the secretive and little-known short-eared dog. Very few, if any, DSLR images of this rare canid exist today. This year I hope to change that! Q DAVID ROSENZWEIG IS AN 18-YEAR-OLD STUDENT FROM LONG ISLAND, NEW YORK, WITH A PASSION FOR WILDLIFE AND CONSERVATION DAVIDRPHOTOS.COM

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Inspiration Guide

#25 Personal challenge

REFOCUS ON YOUR OWN DEVELOPMENT My biggest problem is always time – I’m so busy writing, organising and running Dedicate at least an hour trips, giving a week to your photography. tuition or Practise new techniques, shooting read books, flick through commissions magazines, start that my own a scrapbook... photography and creativity is often neglected. This year is my 40th birthday and this is a timely reminder that I need to refocus and concentrate on my own development and journey as a photographer. I was thinking of setting myself some sort of very personal project – maybe to take 40 photographs in my 40th year that are completely different to my previous work; different subjects, locations or techniques to the images that already feature in my portfolio. I haven’t quite organised my thoughts on this yet, but the image below is one of my first attempts and may well lead to something more intriguing.

TIP SET ASIDE YOUR PHOTO TIME

Q ROSS HODDINOTT IS ONE OF THE UK’S LEADING LANDSCAPE AND CLOSE-UP PHOTOGRAPHERS AND AN ACCLAIMED AUTHOR. VISIT ROSSHODDINOTT.CO.UK

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Inspiration Guide

#26 Movement

SLOW IT DOWN F0R MORE INTERESTING PHOTOGRAPHS I’ll be experimenting a lot more with slower shutter speeds. While slow panning is nothing new, I want to play more with movement of subjects without panning, capturing interesting and unique shapes. I’ve already tested the technique out on pigeons in flight (see right), with some success, and will look to build upon that. It will be a challenge, as it will only suit specific situations, subjects and lighting, but by practising more I’ll be able to recognise those conditions more effectively, which should increase my hit-rate.

TIP CREATE MOVEMENT Shutter speeds around 1/8sec and 1/15sec are slow enough to create a sense of movement while retaining just enough detail in the subject.

#27 Education

INCREASE AWARENESS OF RARE SPECIES

I’m not so arrogant to claim that my images can change the world, but I want them to make a difference, however small. This year I’ll be pursuing what is probably Britain’s most difficult animal to photograph – the Scottish wildcat. Getting this little-known creature into the public consciousness is important not only to me, but to its wider conservation. It’s almost impossible to ask people to care about something they can’t relate to – that’s where photography comes in. Camera traps will be the tool of choice, endurance will be key, the future of this magnificent cat my motivation. Q PETER CAIRNS IS AN ACCLAIMED PHOTOGRAPHER, AUTHOR AND DIRECTOR OF NORTHSHOTS PHOTO ADVENTURES. SEE MORE AT PETERCAIRNSPHOTOGRAPHY.COM

PIXDELUXE

Q RICHARD PETERS IS A UK-BASED WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHER AND NIKON AMBASSADOR. RICHARDPETERS.CO.UK

NEXT STEPS TELL US HOW YOU STAY INSPIRED

Whether you’ve been inspired by one of our experts’ ideas, or have committed to a 365 project (where you shoot a photo a day for a whole year) or similar, we’d love to hear how you plan to stay super-creative in 2018. Visit facebook.com/practicalphotographymagazine and post your ideas and images to our timeline, or tag us in your own posts and we’ll send mystery goody bags to our favourites.

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8

PAGES OF ADVICE FOR SHOOTING AMAZING MACRO!

COM PL ET E GU I DE

S H O OT S U R PR I S I N G

M ACRO PROJ ECTS Macro photography provides us with a multitude of exciting possibilities. However, if you want to step outside the box and capture something truly extraordinary, why not select one of our unusual macro ideas? Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll show you how to shoot a cute pet close-up, capture a fantastic sartorial vista, and raid the toy box to recreate a famous movie scene. 58 PRACTICAL PHOTOGRAPHY


Three creative photo ideas to try...

Project 1 Produce an adorable close-up pet portrait

Project 2 Invade your wardrobe for a beautiful vista

Project 3 Use mini ďŹ gures to recreate a movie scene PRACTICALPHOTOGRAPHY.COM 59


BEGIN N ER

Shoot an adorable pet close-up HE MAGNETIC draw of a crisp animal close-up is easy to understand. Each scale, hair and pore is rendered in stunning detail, demanding your viewers’ attention. However, while there are plenty of amazing insect macro images littered across the photographic world, you don’t need to go burrowing through the undergrowth to capture something enticing. Instead, turn your attention to your living room instead, and photograph your favourite furry friend when they’re in a relaxed and sleepy state.

T

Choose your lens Many lenses will market themselves as macro when this may not necessarily be the case. If you’re in the market for a macro lens, and

60 PRACTICAL PHOTOGRAPHY

you want to ensure that you get exactly what you’re looking for, keep an eye out for the phrase 1:1 in the specs. This means that it’s a true macro, and is able to reproduce a life-sized image of an object onto the sensor. For example, if a bee is 3cm long in real life, then it will take up 3cm of the sensor when shot through a true macro lens. However, if you want to get even closer, you may want to reach for a camera with an APS-C sensor rather than a full-frame. While the crop sensor won’t actually give you any more magnification, it will have a magnifying effect due to the smaller sensor size (of course, this technique will only work with a full-frame lens). Therefore, your image will appear more zoomed in and you can grab a ‘closer’ shot.

FULL-FRAME

APS-C

FULL-FRAME

Above A life-size bee placed onto a life-size full-frame sensor v crop. As you can see, the bee fills more of the crop sensor.

Set up the camera The main challenge you’ll have when shooting this technique is that you won’t be able to rely on a tripod. Many macro shots are taken with a tripod because it allows you to use a narrow aperture to

APS-C

reduce background blur. Just as a telephoto lens compresses the perspective of far away hills, and lets you get away with a wider aperture than usual for a large depth-offield, a macro lens is so close to its subject that the depth-

“A 1:1 MACRO LENS CAN REPRODUCE LIFE-SIZED OBJECTS ON THE SENSOR...”


Surprising Macro Projects TIP USE LIVE VIEW ON YOUR LCD For an accurate focus, press Live View and then set your focus point with the D-pad. Zoom in with the magnify button and focus manually.

of-field becomes exaggerated. This means that an aperture of f/4 may create so much background blur that even slightly moving your hand could knock your focus point. However, as you’ll be working with a moving animal, you’ll need a shutter speed fast enough to eliminate camera shake. We recommend you don’t go below 1/125sec. You’ll also need to try to keep your aperture fairly narrow to reduce background blur. This may mean that you’ll have to increase your ISO. Try not to go above 1600, especially if you’re working with a crop sensor (as these tend to have worse low light performance than full-frame sensors). Shoot in RAW, as this means you can slightly underexpose your shot and then bring out the shadow details later when editing.

Expert advice Work with your pet for fantastic results You may find that this is a project of opportunity rather than a scheduled afternoon of fun. Make things easier on both yourself and your furry friend by waiting until they’re happily snoozing away before breaking out your camera kit. You’ll require lots of light for this technique, as you need to avoid a high ISO. It’s best to save this project for a bright sunny day where you can capture lots of natural light streaming through the windows. If your pet is sitting in direct sunlight, creating harsh shadows, don’t panic. Expose for the highlights, as you can bring out the

shadow details later. Frame up on the most interesting aspects of your pet’s body, ie the eyes, nose, or paws. You want something instantly recognisable, so that your viewer knows what they’re looking at and can appreciate the closer view. Once you’ve

composed your shot, simply focus on the part you want to highlight and press the shutter. Alternatively, if your pet has an interesting pattern on its fur, then you may want to focus in really tight on that to create an abstract photograph instead.

PRACTICALPHOTOGRAPHY.COM 61


INTER M EDI ATE

Capture an epic sartorial landscape HROWING YOUR clothes into a heap on the floor may bring about a long-suffering sigh from the designated ironer of the household, but at least you have a worthy excuse (this time). They’ll be amazed at the magical way you can transform an ordinary crumpled-up jumper into incredible rolling hills, all with the power of a humble macro lens.

T

Go full-frame In the last project we advised that you use an APS-C sensor in order to be able to ‘zoom’ in

as much as possible. This meant that you could really pick out the fantastic amount of detail available in your pet’s face or paw. However, you don’t really need that same level of closeness in this project, as a slightly wider field-of-view will allow you to capture more ‘mountain’ detail. Therefore, if you’re weighing up your options and able to decide between the two, we’d recommend that you relinquish the tighter crop and take full advantage of the better image quality that’s offered with a camera that houses a full-frame sensor.

Arrange the fabric In order to create a believable landscape you’ll need to have lots of peaks and troughs in your composition. These will mimic hills or mountains, and provide the realism that you’ll need to sell the concept to your audience. No matter how you arrange your fabric, it’s always best to periodically get level with it while you’re working on the shapes, as this will allow you to ensure that your shot looks natural rather than contrived. If you’re feeling particularly creative, why not experiment with other clothing elements, such as zips or seams? Try

“TRANSFORM AN ORDINARY JUMPER INTO INCREDIBLE ROLLING HILLS...”

62 PRACTICAL PHOTOGRAPHY

TIP SELECT THE FABRIC WISELY Choose greens and browns for realistic landscape colours. You may also want to use a relatively smooth textile for the best results.

recreating a wandering path by meticulously arranging a zip to meander through your landscape. Alternatively, you could even mix different fabrics together in order to introduce varied textures into your shot.

Compose your shot The most important thing you can do for this technique is have your camera level with your clothing. If it’s even slightly above it then your


Surprising Macro Projects landscape will transform from an epic vista to dirty washing. You’ll also want to make sure that your distant horizon doesn’t distract from your foreground, so ensure that you’re not capturing unwanted background details in the composition. The next thing to keep in mind is that whereas in a typical landscape shoot you’d want to capture as much detail as possible with a narrow aperture, you’ll need to do things a little differently here. To manipulate your audience into seeing a landscape rather than clothes, it’s best to create a sense of depth that isn’t ordinarily needed in a genuine vista. You can do this by using a mid aperture, such as f/7.1 (remember that you don’t want to go too wide, as a macro lens naturally creates a very shallow depth-of-field

due to being so close to its subject). You may want to use manual focus, as this will allow you more control over where exactly you want to place your focus.

Use artificial light While it’s more than possible to use natural light for this project, to get even more incredible results create the light yourself. Just think about how the sun works in relation to any landscape – it’s a (relatively) small source of light in the sky, casting out light from one specific direction. Natural light will just blanket the whole scene uniformly, whereas a flashgun or torch will produce a more directed source of light. You’ll find this approach will give you more control over your image, and ultimately make it more believable.

Above Place your light source to the side of your setup in order to achieve stunningly realistic golden light.ill

Expert advice Use flash gels to mimic golden hour To take your image from being simply good to jawdroppingly great, use a flashgun and orange flash gels to add a brilliant burst of golden light. As you’ll be working with off-camera flash, you’ll also need flash triggers for this technique. Attach the transmitter to your camera and then put the flashgun onto the receiver. You’ll want to start out at a relatively low setting, such as 1/16. If the light isn’t powerful enough, then increase it as you go along. However, remember that the more power you use the longer the flash recycle time will take. In order to effectively recreate golden hour in miniature, you’ll need to use between two and three gels for maximum effect. We’ve used a mixture of orange and yellow to capture this shot. Alternatively, if you don’t have a flashgun to hand, you can also DIY your light source by taping the flash gels over a torch and holding it just out of frame. Just be aware that you’ll likely need to use a tripod if you’re doing this, as the light probably won’t be strong enough to allow you to shoot handheld. Make sure that you keep your flashgun or torch fairly low in the landscape, as this will replicate sunset and create long shadows that will help to define the hills and mountains in your landscape.

WITHOUT FLASH GELS

Above We used the Hahnel Captur triggers, which handily double as both a flash trigger and a remote shutter release.

WITH FLASH GELS

Above Flash gels create a golden hour effect, mimicking sunset and making your landscape look even more realistic.

PRACTICALPHOTOGRAPHY.COM 63


TIP ADJUST EXPRESSIONS A DVA NCED

Recreate a famous movie scene with toys OVIE MAGIC doesn’t have to be confined to the screen. Instead, it can burst out into your living room to dazzle and delight in miniature. If you want to introduce some pure, unadulterated fun into your photography, then this is the project for you...

M

Plan your scene While we’ve chosen to recreate the infamous scene from Star Wars where Han

64 PRACTICAL PHOTOGRAPHY

Solo is frozen in carbonite, this technique can be applied to any movie scene. So long as you can access small toys that look like the characters, then you’re in business. The most important thing is that you’re able to recreate the lighting, setting and positions of the characters. There’s no need to be overly

strict about how accurate the shot is. If the viewer can instantly recognise the reference you’re making, then you’ve succeeded.

Set up your kit To create this Star Wars setup, we used Han Solo and Lando Calrissian custom figures from the

“INTRODUCE PURE, UNADULTERATED FUN INTO YOUR PHOTOGRAPHY...”

If your toy’s facial expression doesn’t quite match the scene, go into Photoshop, select the area and use the Liquify Tool to modify it.

GoMinifigGeeks shop on etsy.com. They have a wide selection of popular characters at only £2.99 each (with free shipping). To create the metal floor, we used a pizza baking tray that has holes in it to let the orange light in from below. Then, rather than inventing our own carbon-freezing facility, we decided to use an ordinary freezer instead. We paired de-ionised water with black food dye in order to recreate this chilling and incredibly iconic scene.


Surprising Macro Projects

1

Prepare the water

Place de-ionised water into a clean pan and boil it twice (allowing it to cool in-between) to reduce impurities in the water. We then used Dr. Oetker food colouring gels in black and blue. We put in one drop each of the black and blue into a bowl, mixed them with our finger, then poured the water into the grey concoction and stirred them together.

3

Set up your scenery and figures

You’ll need room underneath your pizza baking tray to place your lighting, so create two stacks of books or DVDs and place the tray on top of them near a wall. Put as many background characters on the tray as you like (we focused on Lando here). Once your lighting and camera are set up, you can then extract Han from the freezer (to avoid the ice melting).

2

Freeze the figure

As the toys we’re using are so small (just 4cm), we froze our Han Solo in a matchbox (covered in cling film to avoid the cardboard getting soggy). We stuck Han to the bottom with tape so that he didn’t float to the surface. Then we filled the matchbox with the water so that it didn’t quite cover his face. Finally, we placed the box into the freezer.

4

Prepare the lighting

We used orange flash gels on a flashgun, with a piece of paper placed between books to diffuse the light. We positioned it underneath the baking tray and used flash triggers so that the flashgun could be used off-camera. We then placed blue flash gels over a torch held behind and below the scene in order to create the background lighting.

Next steps Share your macro creations with us

5

Set up your camera

Place your camera on a tripod and frame up on your composition. You’ll want the background to be relatively blurred but the figures sharp, so use an aperture of f/13. We used an ISO of 200 and a shutter speed of 5sec, as this allowed the weaker blue light of the torch to be captured as well as the orange flashgun. It’s best to work quickly in order to prevent the ice melting, but you can pop it back in the freezer if you need longer.

We love seeing your amazing creations, so if you’ve tried out any of these projects (or anything from the magazine, for that matter), then please share you images with us. You can post them on our Facebook wall at facebook.com/ practicalphotographymagazine, or tag us on Instagram @practical photography. Alternatively, email them to us at ppsubmissions@bauermedia.co.uk Happy shooting!

PRACTICALPHOTOGRAPHY.COM 65


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32

EXTRA PAGES OF THE BEST TUTORIALS FOR ALL LEVELS

78

APPLY STUNNING DIGITAL WATERCOLOUR EFFECTS Create paintings without the mess

PHOTOSHOP GENIUS

...

PP’s Photoshop editor, Dan Mold, is an Adobe Certified Associate.

Learn exciting new editing techniques from the UK’s best digital experts... 68

Use the Toolbox

Get to know Lightroom’s tools and edit your RAW landscapes like a pro.

72

3 edits for macro

Discover a trio of Photoshop tricks for enhancing your close-up images.

76

Move your focal point

Use the Content-Aware Move Tool to improve your image’s balance and impact.

82

Improve your selections

Get to grips with Photoshop’s Select and Mask feature to make intricate cut-outs.

84

Create movement

Shoot and edit long-exposure landscapes using neutral density filters.

90

Photo fixer

PP’s pro image editor Dan Mold retouches a selection of your pictures.

96

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Download and start using your free version of HDRsoft Photomatix Pro 5.

98

Photoshop hacks

Three quick tips that’ll change the way you edit your images forever.

WATCH OUR PHOTOSHOP TUTORIALS Every issue features additional multimedia content that includes Photoshop video lessons to complement our expert step-by-steps. When you see this icon on the page you’ll find extra content on your disc/download. See page 6 for full details.

PRACTICALPHOTOGRAPHY.COM 67


PHOTOSHOPGENIUS

Take control with Lightroom’s Toolbar From cropping and straightening horizons to removing dust spots and adding filters, Dan Mold explains what each tool does and when to use them.

68 PRACTICAL PHOTOGRAPHY

WHAT YOU NEED Q Photoshop Lightroom 6 or CC Q A RAW landscape image you’d like to enhance


// LIGHTROOM // VIDEO TUTORIAL

T

HE OLD PROVERB CLAIMS you’re only as good as your tools, and while it’s generally used to refer to traditional tools such as drills and hammers, it works equally as well for those found in editing software. There are some brilliant tools in Lightroom’s Develop module that make it easier to process your shots and get them looking exactly how you want. Now’s the time to learn how to get the most out of them, so we’ll be covering all of the tools in Lightroom’s Toolbar, with the exception of Red Eye Correction which doesn’t apply to our landscape image and is pretty self-explanatory. A crooked horizon is easy to spot and can be very distracting, so we’ll show you how to correct this with the Crop and Straighten tools. As you might have guessed, the Spot Removal Tool is fantastic for removing dust spots and blemishes. And finally, we’ll cover the Graduated Filter, Radial Filter and Adjustment Brush, which all let you edit specific parts of your shots (lighten and darken etc) in slightly different ways.

Get more by shooting RAW RAW files may take up more data on your memory card than standard JPEGs, but they are held in the highest regard by photographers for very good reason. RAWs are larger because they contain additional exposure information. This gives you more data to work with when using RAW editing software such as Adobe Lightroom or Adobe Camera Raw, meaning it’s easier to correct exposure, alter white balance and squeeze the most out of your shots.

BEFORE Above The original RAW is a lovely soft sunset taken in Kimmeridge Bay, Dorset. The horizon is a little askew and the exposure could be enhanced in both the sky and foreground. DAN MOLD/BAUER

AFTER

Left We’ve used the Crop Tool to level up, the Spot Removal Tool to fix blemishes and the Graduated Filter, Radial Filter and Adjustment Brush Tools to fine-tune the exposure.

PRACTICALPHOTOGRAPHY.COM 69


PHOTOSHOPGENIUS

Lightroom interface explained The Lightroom workflow operates in an entirely different way to Photoshop so can seem daunting to get to grips with. But you’ll soon familiarise yourself with the layout when you’ve made a couple of RAW conversions. Here’s what you need to know about the Develop tab, which is where you make your edits...

Filmstrip The Filmstrip sits at the bottom of the interface and lists the images from your latest import. This makes it easy to flick through the images in your current import. You can star rate your shots with number keys 0-5, and using the Filter you can reduce the images shown in the Filmstrip to just the ones you want to work on.

1

Modules The most useful modules are the Library, where you can import your pictures, and Develop, which lets you process your RAW files. The Print module is also handy if you want to print directly from Lightroom.

Adjustments The Adjustments are all collapsible panels. Click on them to expand and they will reveal the sliders and controls within. These contain powerful editing options, from Exposure to Sharpening, and Noise Reduction to Split Toning.

Toolbar For more precise adjustments, there’s a handful of tools found under the histogram. Here you can apply a crop, remove spots, correct red eye, add graduated and radial filters and adjust specific areas of your pictures using the Adjustment Brush Tool.

Import and straighten up with the Crop Tool

Open up Lightroom and head over to the Library module, then click on the Import button. Use the Source panel on the left to navigate through your hard drive and find the image that you want to work up. Make sure it has a tick next to it and click Import to bring it into the Lightroom interface. Now head into the Develop module and use the Exposure slider in the Basic panel to get the overall brightness looking good (we’ll fine-tune the sky and other areas later on). Now click on the Crop Tool from the Toolbox and you’ll find the Straighten Tool in the tool options. Draw over the horizon to make sure it’s straight and pull the corners in as you wish to get the framing you desire. Hit Done when you’re finished.

Above Making your horizon straight is one of the first edits you should do. Use the Straighten Tool from the Crop Tool options to do it.

70 PRACTICAL PHOTOGRAPHY


// LIGHTROOM // VIDEO TUTORIAL

3

Darken skies with a digital ND filter

A neutral density (ND) filter is a great way to control light in your photos and graduated ND filters are typically used for darkening bright skies. Lightroom’s Graduated Filter Tool can be used to replicate this effect, and much more. To control the sky, click the Graduated Filter Tool and drag from the top of your sky down towards the horizon (hold Shift as you do this to keep it absolutely straight). Now you have access to the sliders on the right, such as Exposure, Shadows, Highlights, Clarity and Sharpness, and these sliders will only affect the sky region (or wherever you place the filter). You can also drag the region around and pull the filter guidelines closer or further apart to make the graduation harder or softer. Right-clicking on the adjustment pin will give you additional options.

2

Remove dust spots in a single click

Any camera with the ability to change lenses will allow a certain amount of dust and dirt inside the camera body when you swap optics. When dust lands on the sensor it can result in dark, unsightly dust spots appearing in your images, and these can be rather distracting. Click on the Spot Healing Tool from the Toolbar and set the Brush to Heal rather than Clone. Now set Feather to 20 and Opacity to 100. Zoom in on your spot by hitting Ctrl+Plus. Hover your cursor over the spot and use the [ and ] keys to make it a little larger than the spot, then click to remove it from view.

4

Add a pool of light or a vignette

The Radial Filter Tool makes it easy to adjust an elliptical area of your shot quickly. This is great for adding a pool of light and if you change the Invert Mask option you can also darken the outside of your selection to create a vignette. For best results set the Feather to 30 or higher so that your adjustment blends in naturally. Just drag it over the area you want to effect and use the sliders on the right.

GENIUS You can re-edit any tool adjustment by making the desired tool active again and clicking on the circular pin

5

Tweak the exposure of a specific area

Sometimes the shape of the Radial Filter and Graduated Filter Tools are too broad for the area you want to adjust. It’s best to use the Adjustment Brush Tool for these areas, as you can paint over the exact object you want to edit. Hit the O key for a red overlay that makes it easier to see where you’ve painted, then hit O to turn it off when you’ve brushed over it. Just like with the Radial Filter and Graduated Filter Tools, you’ll have access to all of the sliders on the right to edit that area. For our shot we painted over the rocky foreground and increased the Sharpness, Clarity and Shadows to give them more presence. Go to File>Export when you’re done and save your image as a JPEG.

PRACTICALPHOTOGRAPHY.COM 71


PHOTOSHOPGENIUS

3

Edits perfect for macro Dan Mold shows you how to unleash the full potential of your macro shots with a trio of Photoshop tricks.

I

F YOU ENJOYED THIS month’s big macro feature starting on page 58, you’re probably raring to get started. Capturing such extreme close-ups will need an extra level of your time and attention in post though, so we’ve come up with three speedy macro techniques to help you create miniature masterpieces. Minute details are magnified when using a powerful macro lens. This means you can get really close and fill the frame with your tiny subject. But this also means minuscule blemishes, only millimetres long, will also be enlarged.

WHAT YOU NEED Q Photoshop or Elements Q A macro image you’d like to clean up and sharpen

Our first tutorial explains how to remove these distractions to ensure your focal point gets the viewer’s undivided attention. We’ll also show you how to sharpen macro shots to strengthen the details without accentuating background noise, and how to repair and restore fragile insect wings. As always, when you’re done go to File>Save As and save shots under a new filename to make sure you don’t overwrite the original images.

Left The original image is sharp and well composed, with the shadow of the butterfly adding symmetry.

BEFORE

DAN MOLD

Right The small blemishes on the wings and leaf are magnified under a macro lens, so we’ve removed them to clean up the picture.

1 Tidy up minor distractions 1

Duplicate your Layer

Open your macro picture into Photoshop or Elements and head over to the Layers panel (Window>Layers). Press Ctrl+J on your keyboard to duplicate the Background Layer or go to Layer>Duplicate Layer. This is a vital step that ensures that while you make your alterations on a new Layer, the original remains intact in the Layer below should you wish to revert back to it at a later date.

72 PRACTICAL PHOTOGRAPHY

AFTER


// PHOTOSHOP & ELEMENTS // VIDEO TUTORIAL

2

Remove blemishes

Zoom in tightly on your image with Ctrl+Plus so that you can see the distracting areas clearly. Now grab the Spot Healing Brush Tool from the Toolbox and set Type to Proximity Match. Set the Brush to a hard-edged type and then hover your cursor over the offending area. Before clicking, use the [ and ] keys to resize the brush reticule so that it’s only slightly larger than the blemish – you want to affect the smallest area possible. Finally, give the left mouse button a click over the blemish and Photoshop will automatically replace it with similar colours and textures from around your image. If it doesn’t look right, hit Ctrl+Z to undo it and have another go.

PRACTICALPHOTOGRAPHY.COM 73


PHOTOSHOPGENIUS

2 Repair broken wings INSECT WINGS ARE EXTREMELY delicate, and it’s not uncommon to take a picture only to realise the wings are broken or damaged. If your shot is sharp but the wings are a little dog-eared, don’t throw the shot in the trash. As long as one of the wings is intact you can sample this area, flip it over, and then blend it in to restore the other one. Here’s how you do it.

DAN MOLD

BEFORE

AFTER

1

Copy your ‘good’ wing

Open your shot into Photoshop and grab the Polygonal Lasso Tool from the Toolbox. Carefully draw all the way around the good area you want to use to replace the broken wing. With the selection made, click on Select and Mask (Refine Edge in older versions), set the Feather to 1px and the Output To Selection and hit OK. Now hit Ctrl+J to duplicate your ‘good’ wing onto a new Layer. In Elements go to Image>Rotate>Flip Layer Horizontal, or in Photoshop go to Edit>Transform>Flip Horizontal to flip it over. Now hit Ctrl+T to put the wing into Free Transform Mode, then drag and rotate it into position to cover the broken wing. Hit Return to set it down when done.

74 PRACTICAL PHOTOGRAPHY

2

Replace the ‘bad’ wing

In the Layers panel (Window> Layers) click on the Add Layer Mask icon, then use a soft, black Brush Tool to paint over the top of the new wing, to blend it into the old wing on the Layer below. You may also need to remove the old wing with some careful cloning, as this might be poking out on the Background Layer beneath your new patch. To do this, click on the Background Layer to make it active and grab the Clone Stamp Tool from the Toolbox. Set the Opacity to 30% so you apply your cloning gradually for a natural look. Hold down the Alt key and you’ll see your cursor change to a crosshair. Now you can click on a part of the image to sample it. Choose a uniform blank part of the background, then brush over the offending areas to remove them from view.


// PHOTOSHOP & ELEMENTS // VIDEO TUTORIAL

DAN MOLD

BEFORE

TOO LITTLE

TOO MUCH

JUST RIGHT

3 Reveal details MACRO IMAGES BENEFIT HUGELY FROM SHARPENING. It allows you to bring out the micro details in your close-up subjects and also helps reduce any camera shake that may have been present – macro images are prone to this when shooting handheld. Here’s a simple and effective way of applying just the right amount of sharpening to your pictures.

1

Above The original shot is in sharp focus but the fine details could be enhanced further with some sharpening. Be careful though, as it’s possible to add too much or not enough. Aim to get the same level of sharpness as in the ‘just right’ picture above.

Apply a High Pass filter

Open the macro image you’d like to sharpen into Photoshop or Elements and head over to the Layers panel (Window>Layers). Hit Ctrl+J to duplicate your Background Layer. Now head up to Filter>Other>High Pass and drag the Radius slider to set the amount of sharpening you would like to apply. Generally, an amount of between 2px and 4px will be adequate. Any higher or lower and the effect can come out too strong or too weak. Hit OK when you’re done to apply the High Pass Filter. Then head back over to the Layers panel and change the blending mode from Normal to Overlay to reveal the sharpening effect on the image.

2

Sharpen just the details with a mask

You’re now sharpening the whole shot, which means you’re also sharpening digital noise and out-of-focus areas. Hit Ctrl+Shift+U on the keyboard to convert the High Pass Layer to mono. This prevents any colour distortion when sharpening. Now go to the Layers panel and click on the Add Layer Mask icon, then hit Ctrl+I to invert the mask so that the sharpening effect of your High Pass Layer is totally hidden. Next, grab a soft-edged Brush Tool and hit D for a white foreground colour. Set the Brush Opacity to 25% to apply your brushing gradually, then paint over the parts of the image that you want to sharpen. This is the lizard’s eye in our example. When done, go to File>Save As and save your shot as a JPEG under a new filename.

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PHOTOSHOPGENIUS

Relocate objects with Content-Aware Move Ever wished you could nudge your focal point into a better position? Dan Mold explains how to do it with a little Photoshop magic. STRONGLY PLACED FOCAL POINT WILL guide your viewer’s eye to your chosen area of interest and add balance to your shot. It’s not uncommon to return home from a shoot and wish your subject had sat a little more to the left or right when you took your shots. This can be frustrating, particularly if you like to use the rule-of-thirds but your subject isn’t precisely one-third of the way in from the edge of the frame. Luckily, Photoshop’s Content-Aware Move Tool is here to save the day. It makes it a walk in the park to transplant your subject into new surroundings and replace the old one with textures from around the shot. In the tutorial below we run through how to get the best out of this fantastic tool, and how to apply a few finishing touches that will make the end result look as realistic as possible. Watch the accompanying video on your free CD/download and then get stuck in.

1

WHAT YOU NEED Q Photoshop & Elements Q An image with an object in it you’d like to move

BEFORE

Right This is a brilliant low light scene taken in Cumbria, but we’d like the two tents to have a bit more space between them.

Select your subject

Open your image into Photoshop or Elements and click on the Polygonal Lasso Tool from the Toolbox to make it active. Now zoom in tightly on the subject you want to move by hitting Ctrl+Plus a few times. Make sure the Feather is set to 0px and then carefully click all the way around your subject, being careful not to double-click as this will prematurely end the selection. For hard to select areas, such as the grass in this shot, just make a rough selection around it. When you’ve gone all the way around and completed your selection, marching ants will appear.

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PART 6/6

BLEND IMAGES

A

LEARN NEW LANDSCAPE SKILLS

2

Relocate with Content-Aware Move

Head back over to your Toolbox and this time click on the Content-Aware Move Tool. Make sure Mode is set to Move and not Extend, as this will get rid of the old object and blend your subject into its new location. If you use Extend you’ll end up with two objects. In Elements, the Healing slider can be used to determine how much Photoshop cleans up the old area. We’ll cover this in the next step for a seamless finish. In Photoshop, set Structure to 2 and Color to 0. Photoshop’s Transform On Drop feature is handy, as it allows you to rotate the object before setting it down. Simply drag the object into position and Elements will automatically blend it in. If you have the Transform On Drop feature active in Photoshop, hit Return to set it down.


// PHOTOSHOP & ELEMENTS // VIDEO ON THE DISC

AFTER

EDO SCHMIDT

3

Tidy up with the Clone Stamp Tool

Photoshop and Elements do a pretty good job at replacing your old subject with nearby textures, but this method usually needs a little fine-tuning to make it look realistic. In our shot we can see a faint orange glow from where the orange tent used to be. This instantly gives the game away, so it needs to be addressed. For areas like this, grab the Clone Stamp Tool from the Toolbox. This will let you sample areas from around your shot. To sample an area, hold down the Alt key and click on the part you want to use. Now you can let go of the Alt key and paint over the offending area to replace it with the sourced area. Be sure to change your source point often and change your brush size with the [ and ] keys. You can also drop the Opacity down to something like 20% to apply your cloning more gradually. When you’re done, go to File>Save As and save your shot under a new filename.

NEXT MONTH NEW NATURE SERIES STARTS We hope you’ve enjoyed our six-part guide to landscapes, and used our techniques to improve your scenics. Next month, we’re launching a new series covering all of the basic but essential editing techniques for taking wildlife, macro or natural world images to the next level.

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PHOTOSHOPGENIUS

Turn your photos into paintings Dan Mold adds a realistic hand-painted effect to an ethereal portrait using a simple Photoshop process.

P

HOTOGRAPHY HAS TO BE WHAT one of the cleanest artforms, especially now that digital YOU NEED imaging requires no chemicals, Q Photoshop or developers or fixers to create the end Elements result. Painting with wet mediums, such Q A digital image as oils and acrylics, is inherently messy you’d like to turn into – it can get everywhere, from your a painting clothes to the carpet, and often requires a fair degree of cleaning up afterwards – but there’s no denying the unique results such mediums can achieve. So, this month we’re getting a bit experimental in Photoshop, applying a hand-painted look to this beautiful portrait. The genius of this technique is that you can apply different painting styles and save your work as you go. And the best bit is there’s no mess involved! It’s up to you how handpainted the picture looks, so you have a great level of control. Along the way you’ll learn how to use Layers to apply separate sketch and painterly effects and then blend them together using Layer Masks. If you’ve never used these before they’ll revolutionise your editing. Open up the image you want to work on – landscapes and portraits are perfect – and get ready to unleash your inner Picasso.

COFFEEANDMILK

BEFORE

Above The model is striking an off-camera pose, which gives the shot a wistful air. The colour palette is also made up of subdued pinks and yellows, making it perfect for our watercolour sketch effect.

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// PHOTOSHOP & ELEMENTS

AFTER

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2

1

Create the sketch effect

Open your image and hit Ctrl+J twice. In your Layers panel (Window>Layers) you’ll see that you have now duplicated your Background Layer twice, and now have three identical Layers. You’re working on the top Layer currently and this will be the sketch effect. To create the impression of a pencil sketch, go up to Filter>Filter Gallery, then click on the Glowing Edges filter, found in the Stylize tab. Next, set Edge Width to 1, Edge Brightness to 20 and Smoothness to 8. Hit OK to apply. Hit Ctrl+I to invert it, then Ctrl+Shift+U to desaturate it. Finally, go to the Layers panel and hide your sketch Layer by clicking on the eye icon.

Apply a painterly effect

In the Layers panel, click on the middle Layer to make it active. This is the Layer we’ll apply the painterly effect to. To do this, head back up to Filter>Filter Gallery and this time choose Palette Knife from the Artistic tab. Here set the Stroke Size slider to 20, Stroke Detail to 3 and Softness to 3, then press OK to apply the filter. Now click back on the Layer at the top of your Layers stack to make it active, then click on the box where the eye icon was before to reveal the Layer again.

OPACITY JUST RIGHT

OPACITY TOO LOW

3

Mask off the sketch effect to reveal the painting below

In your Layers, click on the Add Layer Mask icon and grab the Brush Tool from the Toolbox. Scroll through your brushes until you find a painterly brush such as Watercolor Loaded Wet Flat Tip, then set the Opacity to 7% and resize with the [ and ] keys. Hit D followed by X for a black foreground colour and then paint over the parts of the image you’d like the painting Layer to show through. Resize your brush and change your brush Opacity as needed. If you go wrong, hit X on the keyboard for a white foreground colour and paint over the offending area.

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OPACITY TOO HIGH


// PHOTOSHOP & ELEMENTS

GENIUS Click on the Brush Preset Picker and then click on the cog icon in the top right corner of Photoshop CC or click on the drop-down menu in Elements to access a whole assortment of extra brush presets

4

Add a stippled effect to break the image up

Head up to Layer>New Layer and make sure the Brush Tool is still active. Now you need to change the Brush to a bristled tip to add some stippling and make the picture look more broken up and painterly. Head back down to the Tool Options and change the brush Size with the [ and ] keys, but this time set the Opacity slightly higher at 35%. Now you need to gradually click over the whole image to add the white stippled effect. If you find that you’ve added too much you can drop down the Layer Opacity in the Layers panel.

5

Create a paper texture and blend it in

Go to Layer>New Layer to create a Layer that you can put the paper texture on. To create your paper texture you need to head up to Filter>Render>Fibers. In the box that appears, drag the Variance slider to 15 and Strength to 2. Hit Ctrl+0 to zoom out and then change the blending mode from Normal to Soft Light. You can change the paper texture by hitting Ctrl+T to put the Layer into Free Transform Mode and then dragging it out to the left or right. This makes the distance between the fibres larger or smaller and alters its appearance. Just hit Return to set it down when you’re done. You can also change the Layer Opacity to make the texture appear more faded if you find that it’s too strong.

6

Apply the finishing touches

Head up to Layer and choose Flatten Image from the list to merge all of your Layers together. You can now boost colour and contrast. Start with the colour by hitting Ctrl+U to bring up the Hue/Saturation panel and drag the Saturation slider to the right to get the vibrancy of your images looking how you want. Dragging it to -100 will also turn your shot to mono. Just hit OK or click the small cross to close the panel when you’re done. Finally, address the contrast of the picture by pressing Ctrl+L on the keyboard to bring up the Levels panel. Drag the Blacks and Whites sliders in towards the middle to boost the contrast and then go up to File>Save As and save your picture as a new filename.

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PHOTOSHOPGENIUS

Improve the accuracy of your selections Flyaway hairs are tricky to select, but Dan Mold has an easy way to make sure no strand is left out.

D

RAWING AROUND EVERY strand of hair to select it is impractical, and would take forever. So what is the best way to do it? Photoshop’s Select and Mask function (Refine Edge in older versions) allows you to easily select flyaway hairs with a little know-how. In this tutorial, we’re going to show you how to make a rough selection using the Polygonal Lasso Tool, add the flyaway hairs to the selection and then put your subject onto a new Layer before finally adding in a new, colourful backdrop. When you’re done, save your shot under a new filename so you don’t overwrite the original. Let’s get started...

1

WHAT YOU NEED Q Photoshop or Elements Q A highly detailed subject that you’d like to select

Left The original image is fantastically sharp, but we’d like to add a different background. Right The lion’s frizzy mane is challenging to select, but we’ve used a special technique to make sure every strand of hair is captured.

BEFORE

Make a rough selection

Open your picture into Photoshop or Elements and grab the Polygonal Lasso Tool from the Toolbox. Now zoom in tightly on the subject you want to cut out by hitting Ctrl+Plus a few times. You can now hold the Spacebar to bring up the Hand Tool and then drag an edge of your subject into view. With the Polygonal Lasso Tool active, make sure the Feather is set to 0 then proceed to click all the way around the subject. Your selection around the hard edges needs to be as accurate as possible, but it can be quite rough and ready around the hair – we’ll tidy this up in the next step. Be careful not to double-click, as this will prematurely end your selection. When you’re done you’ll see the marching ants appear around your subject.

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2

Refine your selection

With the selection made, head over to your Tool Options and click on Select and Mask (Refine Edge in older versions of Photoshop). Under Edge Detection, make sure Smart Radius is ticked and then click on the Refine Radius Tool (E). You can now paint over the fine flyaway hairs to add them to the selection. It can be handy at this point to switch the View Mode to Overlay, On Black or On White to see the selected area more clearly. When you’ve added all of the hairs that you missed, set the Feather slider to 1px, Shift Edge to -15% and Output To as New Layer with Layer Mask and hit OK to apply it.


// PHOTOSHOP & ELEMENTS

WILDLIFE

AFTER

3

Add the background & tidy up

Go to File>Open and find the image you’d like to replace the background with. Hit Ctrl+A to select it, Ctrl+C to copy it and then Ctrl+W to close it down. Back in your main image, go to the Layers panel (Window>Layers), click on the Background Layer and press Ctrl+V to paste it in. Now hit Ctrl+T to put it into Free Transfo Mode. Make sure the Constrain Proportions box is ticked or hold the Shift key, then drag the corner handles of the bounding box to resize the background and reposition it. Hit Return to set it down when you’re done. To tidy up the selection, click on the Layer Mask that accompanies your subject, then use a hard-edged black Brush Tool with an Opacity of 100% and paint over any offending areas.

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PHOTOSHOPGENIUS

3 skills you’ll learn 1

How to use an ND filter

2

Using manual mode

3

How to edit a RAW file

Neutral density filters block out loads of light and can be tricky to use, so we show you how to get the best results.

The manual mode can seem daunting, but fear not. We’ll show you how to take full control of your camera settings.

Exposure can be a little off when shooting for several minutes, so shoot RAWs to bring back detail at your computer.

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LIGHTROOM // VIDEO TUTORIAL

WHAT YOU NEED QA DSLR or CSC Q An ND filter & tripod Q A scenic landscape Q Lightroom or ACR

Create dynamic movement Dan Mold explains how to get to grips with ND filters to inject motion into your landscape pictures.

C

APTURING A SENSE OF MOVEMENT IS a fantastic way to make shots appear more atmospheric and engaging. Blurring moving skies or water can give your pictures a timeless quality and make it seem like time has slowed down altogether. The secret to capturing motion is to block out light with a neutral density filter (ND). These filters act like sunglasses for your camera – attach one to your lens and the lightflow will reduce, allowing you to shoot much longer exposures. ND filters come in different strengths so you can block out more or less light. This can give your camera more time to capture the movement of clouds, skies, traffic and anything else that is moving within your composition. And if you don’t already own one, then buying one won’t break the bank. A classic ND1000 filter blocks out a huge 10 stops of light and can be bought for as little as £24.95 (srb-photographic.co.uk). Using an ND filter can be a little tricky, as can getting the best out of your results. So we’ve outlined every step you need to take to get a cracking shot in-camera, and how to work it up to a fine polish in Lightroom.

BEFORE

Above The chalk formations at Old Harry Rocks in Dorset make a striking focal point, but it looks a bit static as there’s no movement in the scene. Left We used a 10-stop neutral density filter to reduce the sunlight and get an exposure that’s several minutes long. This added a dynamic blur effect to the result.

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PHOTOSHOPGENIUS

Start with the right gear A big part of this technique is getting your incredible long exposure picture in-camera. To do this you’ll need some basic photographic equipment like a tripod, shutter release cable and a 10-stop ND filter. A comprehensive kit list can be found below – it’s all affordable stuff and will benefit your photography no-end. When you’ve got all of the gear you just need the idea and a location. For the latter, a landscape scene with moving elements like clouds or water is ideal. These will become blurred around the static subjects in your scene.

When working on a tripod it’s always worth switching off any image stabilisation on your camera or lenses, as these systems can actually introduce blur when your camera isn’t moving. It’s also a good idea to carefully clean your lenses and filters as best you can before using them to get the sharpest images possible. This also cuts down time removing dust spots in your pictures later on in Photoshop. Get your kit together, read the stepby-step and watch the video on your free disc/download to see how you can do it.

Above Neutral density (ND) filters come in square or circular shapes and block light.

DSLR or CSC

A moving subject

You’ll need a camera capable of shooting in manual mode, so a DSLR or CSC is perfect. Attach a wide-angle lens if you have one, as these are fantastic for landscapes.

To create a sense of movement you’ll need a moving subject that can be blurred with your long exposure. Clouds and water are classic examples.

Shutter release A remote shutter release that can be locked down is vital for shooting any exposure longer than 30sec. You’ll need to use your Bulb mode and time the exposure yourself.

Tripod A sturdy tripod is absolutely essential for capturing movement. Static objects such as the ground and cliffs remain sharp, but moving subjects are turned into an ethereal blur.

Neutral density filter Neutral density (ND) filters come in different strengths and sizes, but all block out light. A 10-stop filter is a popular choice that can turn a 1-second exposure into a whopping 16 minutes!

Three top tips for better long exposures...

Weigh your tripod down

Cover your viewfinder

Choose the right lens

Even the slightest breeze can move your tripod, resulting in a blurry exposure. Many tripods have a hook on the central column that you can attach your bag to, which adds weight and stability.

Light can enter the viewfinder when shooting a long exposure, and this can cause flare to appear in your shots. Most DSLRs come with an eyepiece cover that you can attach to stop this.

A wide-angle lens is great for fitting in expansive landscapes. Be sure to check the widest focal length you can use with your filter, as going too wide can lead to vignetting appearing in your pictures.

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LIGHTROOM // VIDEO TUTORIAL

1

Compose and lock focus

The chalk formations at Old Harry Rocks are ideal for a long exposure, as the rocks will be sharp but the sky and water will become blurred. Frame up using a tripod and attach your camera’s eyepiece cover to stop light getting in. This is usually an accessory that comes in the camera box, but some models have a built-in one. Use Live View to frame-up and make sure the horizon is level – many cameras have a built-in electronic level to help you with this. Set your camera to shoot RAW, focus about one-third of the way into the scene and then switch to MF to lock it off. Select aperturepriority and set the ISO to 100 for good image quality, with an aperture of f/16 for a strong depth-of-field.

2

Work out your exposure

Take a note of your shutter speed and use an exposure calculator to work out the shutter speed you’ll need with the ND filter in place. There’s a handy chart on leefilters.com to help you work this out, or you can use the free Lee Stopper Exposure Guide app. Changing the ISO or aperture will affect image quality and sharpness, so it’s best to change your ND filter strength to adjust your exposure time if needed.

3

Attach your neutral density filter

Always give your filter glass a quick buff with a microfibre cloth to reduce dust spots appearing. If you’re using a filter holder, screw-in the circular filter attachment. If you’re using a circular ND, screw this into the front filter thread, taking care not to knock your focus ring. Make sure it’s on tight. For square filter systems attach the filter holder and slide the filter into the slot closest to the lens’ front element.

Pro advice How to fix shooting problems

4

Set a timer and get shooting

Put your camera into manual mode and dial in the shutter speed given to you by the exposure calculator. For shutter speeds longer than 30sec you’ll need to put your camera into Bulb mode and set a timer. For our 4-minute exposure we set a timer and pushed the shutter release cable into its locked position. When the timer finished we released the lock to end the exposure. Always check the image on the rear LCD to make sure the exposure and sharpness looks good.

Q STRANGE FLARE IN RESULTS If you see flare it’s likely that light is getting in through your optical viewfinder. Make sure your eyepiece cover is attached correctly, and if you’re using a filter holder, that the filter is placed in the slot closest to the lens to reduce excess light getting in. Some lenses have white text aroun the lens’ front element. This can reflec the filter when shooting into the sun. To get around this you can carefully cover up the bright text with some black electrical tape. QEXPOSURE DOESN’T LOOK GOOD If the exposure isn’t quite right, make sure you dialled in the same aperture and ISO values from aperture-priority into manual mode. It’s also possible that the lighting changed during your exposure, in which case you’ll need to recalculate and have another go.

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PHOTOSHOPGENIUS

Finish the effect in Lightroom

TIP

RAW files can look a little flat and dull GET MOODY straight out of the camera, but this is MONO RESULTS because they are unprocessed and Long exposures work well waiting for you to work them up. With in black & white too, so edit this in mind, we’ve devised eight useful your shot in colour and steps to help you process your RAW mono to see which long exposure images, from correcting looks best. the colours to levelling-up the horizon. We’ve written the step-by-step for Lightroom, but you could also use Photoshop’s Adobe Camera Raw as it features the same exposure adjustment sliders and tools. So without further ado, download your images onto Above RAW files are unprocessed in-camera, therefore need a bit of your computer and let’s start editing... polishing in software like Lightroom to reveal their true potential.

1

Import your shot into Lightroom

Open up Lightroom and go into the Library module, then click on the Import button or go to File>Import Photos and Video. Now use the Source panel on the left to navigate through your hard drive and find the folder where you saved your RAW. Make sure it has a tick next to it, then click Import to bring it into the Lightroom interface.

3

Get the exposure looking good

In the Basic panel you can use the Exposure slider to change the brightness of the image and the Highlights, Shadows, Whites and Blacks sliders to expand the dynamic range. Set the Vibrance to +35 and Saturation to +10 to give the colours a really strong boost too, or set the Saturation to -100 if you’d like to convert it to mono.

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2

Fix any impurities in the optics

Some ND filters will produce a colour cast, but this is an easy fix in Lightroom. Head over to the Develop module and click on the Lens Corrections panel and make sure Enable Profile Corrections is ticked to reduce vignetting in the corners. Now head up to the Basic panel and adjust the Temp and Tint sliders until your colour cast has disappeared.

4

Level up and crop your landscape

A straight horizon makes your picture look professional and is a very simple adjustment to make. Just click on the Crop Tool from the Toolbox and then click on the Straighten Tool. Run this tool over your horizon and Lightroom will automatically crop your shot to make it totally level. Hit Done when you’re finished cropping to apply it.


LIGHTROOM // VIDEO TUTORIAL

5

Clean up distracting dust spots

6

Just as annoying as a wonky horizon are dark dust spots that appear when dust gets onto your sensor. They’re easy to remove, though. Grab the Spot Removal Tool from the Toolbox, set Mode to Heal, Feather to 20 and Opacity to 100. Hover your cursor over the spot and use the [ and ] keys to resize your brush, then click over the spot to remove it from view.

7

Fine-tune the colours

Use the HSL panel to take more control of the colours in your image. Hue will alter the colour, Saturation makes the colours stronger or weaker and Luminance will make that colour channel appear brighter or darker. These sliders can be invaluable if you can’t quite remove the colour cast of your filter by using the Temp and Tint sliders alone.

Make the details pop

8

Export your shot to finish

When you’re done, go to File>Export to bring up the export dialogue. Under Export Location choose the folder on your computer where you want to save your shot. Then go to File Settings and set Image Format to JPEG and Quality to 100. Finally, hit Export to save your edited long exposure on your hard drive.

It’s likely you’ll see a small amount of camera shake in your shots because the exposure is so long. To fix this, go to the Detail panel and set the Sharpening Amount to 50. Now hold the Alt key and drag the Masking slider until just the areas you want to sharpen are shown in white. This stops you from sharpening the intentionally blurred parts of your shot.

How to tell you’ve got the shot right... 1

Good sense of movement

2

Strong front-to-back sharpness

3

No light leaks

You’ve used a strong enough ND filter to block out light for an exposure that’s several minutes long. This has provided you with enough time to record the moving parts within your frame.

2

A narrow aperture has been used for a strong depth-of-field, and focus has been set one-third of the way into the scene for maximum sharpness. This creates a pin-sharp landscape with moving elements.

1 3

Your neutral density filter has been attached securely, and the optical viewfinder has been covered to stop light from leaking in and causing flare.

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PHOTOSHOPGENIUS

PhotoFixer Stuck in an editing rut with your shots? Send them over to ppsubmissions@bauermedia.co.uk and our Photoshop experts will show you how to professionally retouch them.

BEFORE

Highlights have clipped to pure white

AFTER

Tasiilaq By Bill Bates Dan says: There’s Bill says: I took this shot of Tasiilaq on a recent trip to Greenland. I had to force my tripod into the ice to stop it moving during the long 10-second exposure. My camera battery ran out after about half an hour of shooting, so I retreated back to the hotel bar to thaw out both myself and my camera. This was the best shot of the bunch that I took and I shot with a low ISO of 100 to make sure it wasn’t too noisy. However, some areas in the snow have clipped to pure white. I shot in the RAW format, so is there anything that can be done to restore detail in these areas?

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a fantastic range of tones in this shot, and Bill’s high viewpoint looking down on the town provides a great perspective. He’s captured some brilliant foreground interest with the snowy road and houses leading down to the warm orange glow of the town, which contrasts well with the cold blue sky. Snow is tricky to photograph as it reflects a lot of light, so highlights often clip to pure white. It’s best to shoot RAW, check the image on the back of the screen, and dial in some exposure compensation if this does happen. You could also merge several exposures together in post-processing. We can’t do this as Bill shot just the one RAW file. But we can squeeze out as much exposure information as possible

from his RAW. This gives us enough data to retrieve the clipped highlights (see Photo Fix panel). If, however, you can’t recover your highlights with this method, there is another trick you can try. Add a new blank Layer with Layer>New> Layer, then grab the Brush Tool from the Toolbox and set it to a soft round brush with an Opacity of 1%. Hold Alt to bring up the Eyedropper and click on an area of snow that hasn’t clipped to sample its colour. Then release the Alt key and brush over the clipped highlight a few times to give it some colour detail. To add texture, click on the Background Layer and grab the Patch Tool from the Toolbox. Draw a selection around the offending highlight, then move the patch to an area of ‘good’ snow to pinch its texture. These methods will get your snow looking as good as possible. It’s a great shot and we hope to see more from Bill soon.


TIP SHOOT MULTIPLE IMAGES If you’re worried that your highlights or shadows will clip, set your camera to shoot a bracket of three exposures. You can then blend them together in postprocessing.

Nikon D3100 | 40mm | 10sec | f/2.8 | ISO 100

Photo Fix Repair clipped highlights 1

Make a split RAW

RAW files have loads of exposure information, making it possible to recover blown out highlights. Work your RAW up as you would usually (don’t worry if the highlights clip), then open your shot into Photoshop. Now open up the RAW file once again and this time try to retain as much of the detail in the highlights as you can by dragging the Exposure and Highlights sliders to the left, then open it into Photoshop too. Hit Ctrl+A to select the underexposed image, Ctrl+C to copy it and Ctrl+W to close it down. Now, back in your original shot, hit Ctrl+V to paste it in.

BEFORE

2

AFTER

Blend the texture in

Zoom in on the highlights and then adjust the Layer Opacity of the underexposed Layer until the textures and tones look good. Now click on the Add Layer Mask icon and hit Ctrl+I to invert the mask. Use a soft white Brush Tool to reveal the highlight detail where you want it to reveal the effect of that Layer.

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PHOTOSHOPGENIUS

Garden grey squirrel

BEFORE

Lots of ‘dead’ space on the left of the frame

By Howard Stone Howard says: I took this picture through my kitchen window. The squirrel’s tail is very close to the frame edge and I was wondering if the frame could be extended down to give it more room. I’m sure I’ve seen it done before, perhaps your experts can help?

Squirrel’s tail is very close to frame edge

Dan says: It is indeed possible, though you’ll

AFTER

need to fill the gap with a suitable texture. The bokeh backgrounds that we gave away in the September 2017 issue work brilliantly for this, they just need to be blended in carefully for a realistic finish (see Photo Fix below). Extending the canvas down allows us to position the squirrel’s eye one-third of the way in from the left and top edges of the frame, so the squirrel is now looking into the active space rather than looking at the edge of the frame in the original. We can again use a bokeh background to fill the void at the bottom, but we now have the additional problem of the pole – we’ll need to replicate this too. To do this, we used the Polygonal Lasso Tool to select the portion of pole at the top and hit Ctrl+J to put it on a new Layer. Then we used the Move Tool to move it down to the bottom and faded it in with a soft Eraser Tool to make it look realistic. Canon 80D | 300mm | 1/320sec | f/4.5 | ISO 1250

Photo Fix Create your own active space 1

Extend your canvas

Open your shot and hit Ctrl+J to duplicate your Layer. Now go to Image>Canvas Size, or Image> Resize>Canvas Size in Elements. Set your Anchor point to tell Photoshop which direction you want to extend in, then enter an appropriate Width and Height and hit OK.

2

Fill the blank area

Use the Move Tool to drag your subject to where you want it (we moved the squirrel to the left). Now you’ll want to use some bokeh textures to create a realistic backdrop. We gave a set away in the September 2017 issue which are perfect for the job. Paste one or two bokeh textures in and resize them to cover the blank spaces. Now click on the Add Layer Mask icon and use a soft black Brush Tool with a low Opacity to blend the texture into the original image.

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// PHOTO FIXER

Flyaway hairs obstruct the model’s face

Colours are quite muted and a little flat

BEFORE

AFTER Canon 5D MkII | 85mm | 1/125sec | f/4 | ISO 100

Sasha By Eleanor Stobbart

Photo Fix Remove hair 1

Eleanor says: I took this image in the late morning, so had to battle with the harsh sun. It was bitterly cold and windy too, but I love the wind blowing across the model’s face as it makes her look caught in the moment. In Lightroom I applied a subtle split tone to give the colours a dreamier feel and also add some warmth.

Dan says: Eleanor’s captured a lovely portrait here. The model’s eyes are pin-sharp, her pose is striking and the outdoor location adds extra colour and interest. The windswept look is great, but the breeze has blown the model’s hair onto her face. One or two strands could look quite striking, but there’s a lot of small flyaway hairs that distract our attention away from those all-important eyes.

It’d be worth asking the model to move the loose hairs to one side to get the shot in-camera, though similar results can be achieved with some meticulous retouching (see Photo Fix panel). We’ve gone to the extreme by removing all of the hairs, but even just removing a couple of the flyaways really helps to tidy it up and makes the eyes in Eleanor’s brilliant portrait stand out.

Remove flyaways with ease

It’s a good idea to carry out any retouching on a new Layer so that the original is intact at the bottom of your Layers stack if you need it later on. Hit Ctrl+J to duplicate your Layer and grab the Spot Healing Brush Tool from the Toolbox. Use the [ and ] keys to resize the cursor and then brush over a hair to remove it.

2

Clone for greater control

Step 1 is a great way to remove distractions, but to take a more manual approach and gain better control you’ll want to use the Clone Stamp Tool. With it active, hold the Alt key and click on the area you want to source. You can then paint over the hair to replace it.

PRACTICALPHOTOGRAPHY.COM 93


// PHOTO FIXER

Golden light

BEFORE

Some digital noise is present in the background of the shot

By David Dales David says: In my spare time I volunteer as a photographer for the National Trust at Lincolnshire’s Gunby Hall and Gardens. It’s hard work, but the bonus is that I get unlimited entry into some fabulous gardens and parkland to hone my photography and enjoy my hobby.

Dan says: When you capture a sunrise

like this, it makes all of the early starts and freezing cold mornings worthwhile. The light in David’s shot is gorgeous. His composition works well, as he’s used the rule-of-thirds to position the tree on the left. The tree is also backlit and silhouetted, which provides strong contrast with the hazy golden tones in the background. The burst of sunlight coming through the branches is a brilliant touch that compels the viewer to look at this image. David took this picture in JPEG format, but I’d definitely recommend shooting in RAW in the future. There’s some digital noise in this shot which could easily be corrected in RAW editing software. That said, the JPEG can still be fixed to an extent using Photoshop or Elements (see Photo Fix 1). All in all, this is a fantastic shot and a little noise reduction makes it much cleaner and more striking. Great job.

AFTER

Canon 60D | 30mm | 1/5000sec | f/4 | ISO 400

Photo Fix Clean up digital noise in JPEGs 1

Apply a Noise Reduction filter

Open your shot into Photoshop or Elements and hit Ctrl+J to duplicate the Layer, then head up to Filter>Noise>Reduce Noise. In the dialogue box that appears, set Strength to 10 and drag the other sliders to 0. Now hit OK to apply the Noise Reduction filter.

2

Bring back the details

The previous step has blurred the whole image, so you’ll want to bring back the detail in your subject. Go to the Layers panel (Window>Layers) and click on the Add Layer Mask icon. Now grab the Brush Tool from the Toolbox and hit D followed by X on the keyboard for a black foreground colour. Set the Brush Opacity to 20% for a gradual effect, then paint over your subject, which is the tree in this shot. Doing so will bring back the detail where you want it to appear.

BEFORE

AFTER

PRACTICALPHOTOGRAPHY.COM 95


PHOTOSHOPGENIUS

Use your free HDR software Extract every last ounce of detail from your shots to create tonally rich HDRs. Dan Mold shows you how with Photomatix Pro 5. WHAT HIS MONTH WE’VE SECURED every Practical Photography YOU NEED reader a free copy of HDRsoft’s Q A computer with the awesomely powerful Photomatix Pro 5 minimum required spec HDR software, worth £72! It’s compatible Q An image or bracket of with PCs and Macs, and download images you want to instructions can be found in the bottomconvert to HDR right panel. You’ll need the internet to obtain your HDR software but not to install or run it. HDR stands for High Dynamic Range, and an HDR image is basically one which contains a huge range of tones, from deep shadows to detailed highlights. Usually, a single image on most cameras is biased towards the highlights or shadows, so the dynamic range is fairly low. Photomatix Pro 5 processes an array of images taken at different exposures and merges the best bits of each to create HDR images. You can set your camera up to do this using the autoexposure bracketing mode, but this superb software can also extract detail from a single image. Here’s how it works...

T

System Requirements Q Microsoft Windows OS: Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, 10 or newer Monitor resolution: 1024x768 or higher RAM: 4GB Disc space: 1GB Internet access: No

2

1

Load up your image sequence

Open up Photomatix Pro 5 then click Load Single Photo, or Load Bracketed Photos if you have multiple exposures. Click Browse and find the image(s) you want to work up. If you click Load Bracketed Photos, find the folder where the images are stored, hold the Ctrl key down and click on each exposure, then hit Load followed by OK. In the Merge to HDR Options panel tick Align source images if you shot handheld. Tick Show options to remove ghosts if there is a moving subject in your image. Tick Reduce noise on underexposed images only and set the Strength to 100%, then tick Reduce chromatic aberrations. Now click Merge to HDR, or if you want to reduce ghosting, click Show Deghosting Options. Here you can choose Automatic Deghosting or Selective Deghosting. The latter offers more control – just draw around the area with the offending movement in it, then right-click the selection and mark it as a ghosted area. Hit OK when you’re done.

96 PRACTICAL PHOTOGRAPHY

Q Apple OS X OS: 10.6 Snow Leopard or newer Monitor resolution: 1024x768 or higher RAM: 4GB Disc space: 1GB Internet access: No

Use creative presets

You can now start to control how your HDR image looks. For a quick fix it’s worth experimenting with the large range of built-in presets. Use the drop-down preset list on the right to narrow the presets down to specific genres such as Artistic or Black & White, then click them to apply an assortment of styles, from natural looks to classic HDR grunge. Photomatix Pro 5 is ground-breaking because it uses multiple HDR rendering algorithms, with each giving you a completely different look. If you process your image further and find a style you like, you can create your own presets by clicking on the Preset drop-down list underneath the left panel, then choose Save Preset. Now head over to the Preset panel on the right, click on My Presets at the bottom and you’ll see it appear. Just click it to apply.


FREE SOFTWARE // HDRSOFT PHOTOMATIX PRO 5

DAN MOLD

EV +2

EV 0

EV -2

BLENDED HDR IMAGE Above A bracket of three exposures was taken to capture the whole tonal range.

Above We blended the exposures together in HDRsoft’s Photomatix Pro 5 to expand the dynamic range. Now there’s detail in the brightest highlights and deepest shadows.

CLAIM YOUR FREE HDR SOFTWARE WORTH £72!

HOW TO CLAIM YOUR FREE HDR SOFTWARE

3

Fine-tune the results

The Strength slider allows you to set how strong the effect is, making it more of a classic HDR or more natural. Tone Compression and Lighting Effect can be used to adjust the shadow detail. The White Clip and Black Clip sliders affect how much of your highlights and shadows clip. It’s worth experimenting with Contrast Optimizer, which is a new rendering algorithm that enhances local contrast to create the HDR look, yet retains a natural feel. This can be accessed quickly by using the Balanced preset. When you’re done, click on Apply, tweak the Contrast, Color and Sharpening as needed, then go to File>Save As and save your shot as a JPEG.

Visit the weblink below

hdrsoft.com/ppmag and use the redemption code PPMAG2018 before 31 May 2018 to receive your free download link for HDRsoft Photomatix Pro 5. Follow the on-screen instructions to install it and visit www.hdrsoft. com for the latest HDRsoft packages and offers.

PRACTICALPHOTOGRAPHY.COM 97


PHOTOSHOPGENIUS

shop

SEE DISC OR DOWNLOAD FOR MORE EDITING ADVICE

Quick tips & keyboard shortcuts that’ll help you process your images faster!

LIGHTROOM

Paint settings onto your shots to change them quickly Adding keywords, changing settings and adding ratings to your newly imported RAW files can be a labour of love, and to do in detail, will take up a lot of editing time. But in the Library module of Lightroom there’s a handy feature that can speed up the process, and it’s easy to pass it by if you don’t know it’s there. The Painter looks like a spray paint can, and can be found just above the Filmstrip towards the bottom of the interface. Click the Painter to make it active, then you’ll see a menu appear next to it. From here, you can write in keywords, add labels, flags, ratings, metadata, settings and much more. Then, just click over each image to which you would like to apply those settings.

PHOTOSHOP & ELEMENTS

ELEMENTS

Tune up your preferences for better Photoshop performance If you’ve found Photoshop is running a bit slower than you’d like, diving into the preferences could bring it back up to speed. On a Mac go to Photoshop CC>Preferences> Performance, or on a PC go to Edit>Preferences> Performance. Under Memory Usage you can increase the amount of RAM that Photoshop is permitted to use. Pushing this above the default 70% can really speed up handling large files. Hit OK when you’re done and then restart Photoshop for the changes to take effect.

Undock your Layers in Elements In the full version of Photoshop, the Layers panel can be moved around on your screen freely. But by default in Elements, the Layers panel is locked in place. This can be a little frustrating if you’re used to the freeform interface. The good news is, it can be unlocked. Just go into the Expert module at the top of the screen, then at the bottom of the interface click on the More button. Here, choose Custom Workspace. All of the panels will then be unlocked so you can move them as you wish.

Share your shots with us & win! We hope you’ve enjoyed our Photoshop Genius section and would love to see how you’re getting on using our brandnew editing techniques. So why not share your finished shots with us? Each month 98 PRACTICAL PHOTOGRAPHY

we’ll announce our favourite entry on our Facebook page, and the winner will receive a Manfrotto Pixi Mini tripod worth £26.95. To be in with a chance to win, just follow the Photoshop techniques and

then send you results to us at ppsubmiss bauermedia.co.uk with the subject heading Photoshop Genius. We look forward to seeing them soo

TOP PRIZES TO BE WON


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Know YourStuff All your technique and gear questions answered by our team of experts knowyourstuff@bauermedia.co.uk

Is it time to get in the zone? PP’s new deputy editor is a hugely experienced journalist, tutor and pro fashion photographer.

PP’s Photoshop editor is a former Digital Photo staffer who has encyclopedic photo knowledge.

Louise Carey PP’s features editor is an experienced fine art and documentary photographer.

Richard says: If you’re serious about landscape photography then the work of Ansel Adams should be a constant companion and reference point. Adams was born in San Francisco, California in 1902, and the love of nature and the great outdoors that he developed as a child would influence and guide his photography throughout his career. One of Adams’ greatest gifts to the world of landscape photography is the zone system that he worked out with Fred Archer around 1939-40. Essentially, the zone system provides photographers with a method of precisely defining the relationship between the way they visualise the subject and the final result. When Adams worked out the system, photography was very different to how it is today. He worked with large-format, 10x8 or 5x4 cameras, produced his own black & white film, which he processed and printed himself. As such, Adams’ zone system extended beyond mere concerns about exposure and took into account the film stock, the processing method and even the type of enlarger

100 PRACTICAL PHOTOGRAPHY

used to make the final print. Which would all suggest that the modern photographer with a DSLR would have no use for the zone system at all. In reality however, Adams’ zone system and modern digital cameras share some intriguing connections that you can use to hugely improve the quality of your landscape images. You may have heard about, or seen, the acronym HDR, which stands for high dynamic range. Basically, HDR is a method for achieving greater ranges of luminance levels by combining several different exposures of the same subject into one photograph. Ansel Adams had to trust to his eyes and years of experience when assessing a scene and assigning his zones to it, and he wouldn’t know if he’d got it right until he printed the final shot. But modern digital cameras have a handy built-in ‘zone’ system that lets us instantly analyse a photograph to see if it’s been properly exposed. Use your camera’s LCD to show the histogram of the image you’ve just shot, and you can learn to read it and judge whether or not the full

PICTORIAL PRESS LTD

Dan Mold

I’ve been reading about the history of landscape photography and in particular Ansel Adams and his zone system. Can I adapt it to digital photography? Michael Quirk, Keswick

PICTORIAL PRESS LTD

Richard Collins

Above Ansel Adams and his 5x4 camera and lightmeter.

tonal range has been captured, and whether or not to adjust the exposure accordingly. If you want to learn more about HDR then check out page 96 of this issue, where you’ll find the details of how to download your own free copy of HDR software Photomatix Pro 5.


TIP EXPOSE FOR THE HIGHLIGHTS Blown highlight detail is lost forever, but much can be recovered from shadows in post-processing. For this reason, expose for the highlights.

Expert advice How to read a histogram

Above Your camera has the ability to display a photograph’s histogram on its rear display. This allows you to accurately analyse the shot’s brightness range.

You’ve probably played around with all the settings and display functions on your DSLR, so it’s highly likely that at some point you’ve looked at a histogram. But do you know what it is and how to use it? Most of us will review a picture we’ve just taken on the LCD and decide if it’s properly exposed or not from there. But a picture alone can be misleading – if you really want to know if the exposure is a good one, you need to look at the histogram. A histogram displays the range of brightness in your image. It does this in the form of a graph which plots light levels from the darkest blacks on the

far left to the purest whites on the far right. A ‘perfect’ histogram will rise gently from the left, peak in the middle and drop off to the right, indicating a full range of tones and no loss of detail in the shadows or highlights. If the picture is too bright the graph will look bunched up, which could mean burnt-out highlights. Conversely, if the shot is underexposed the graph will look stacked to the left, which could mean loss of detail in the shadows. In both cases you should consider some exposure compensation, preferably through bracketing.

PRACTICALPHOTOGRAPHY.COM 101


Know Your Stuff

How can I improve my phone images? I often use my smartphone to take pictures. What apps would improve my shots? Gayle Miller, Newcastle

Louise says: Here on Practical Photography we would always recommend a dedicated camera of some sort if you’re serious about photography, but we have to concede that, day-to-day, most people use their phones to take pictures and with good reason, as the latest generation of smartphones rival many entry-level digital cameras in terms of image quality. The latest iPhone 8, for

example, has a 12MP optically stabilised f/1.8 camera that produces punchy colours, well-defined detail and deep saturation. Many tech writers will say that it’s the only camera you’ll ever need, but while we couldn’t totally agree with that, for many people it will be the first camera they grab when they take a simple snap.

Taking control All smartphone users will be familiar with apps, and there are a bundle of them on the market aimed at making the pictures you take on your phone better or more interesting. Photography apps

TIP THINK ABOUT SHOOTING MODE When shooting on a smartphone, consider which mode is best for the end result. For Instagram you should use the square mode.

come in two basic groups – those that allow you to edit your pictures after you have taken them, adding effects, filters, and altering colour balance, brightness and contrast, and those that allow you more control over how you take the picture in the first place. The latter group effectively replaces the camera control settings on your phone and lets you concentrate on things like focus, depth-of-field and exposure.

Above Like RAWs, pictures taken on phones benefit from editing.

Three of the best apps to improve your shots

Snapseed iOS/Android Launched for the iPad back in 2011, Snapseed is a must-have editing app for the serious mobile photographer. It allows you to alter a portion or whole part of a picture. Despite its impressive effects it is easy to use, with an auto-correct function that works wonders on brightness, contrast, colour and texture, and a great range of filters and effects to choose from. QAvailable on the App Store and Google Play

102 PRACTICAL PHOTOGRAPHY

Camera+ iOS Aimed at the iPhone or iPad user who wants to take more control of their mobile photography, Camera+ is the ultimate replacement for your phone’s built-in camera software. It offers a variety of features, the most exciting of which is the Touch Exposure and Focus, which gives you complete control over how your photos come out. You can also choose different shooting modes, such as burst or point-and-shoot. QAvailable on the App Store

Instagram iOS/Android Instagram isn’t just a photo-sharing platform, it’s also a very good editing app. The filters – both custom and standard – are very easy to use, and there are special effects that can be added to your photos to give them more depth. The Selective Focus Dropper is very useful for altering the depth-of-field too. The big appeal of Instagram is its ability to quickly and easily share images. QAvailable on the App Store and Google Play


GIEDRIUS STAKAUSKAS

How many frames will my DSLR shoot? I’ve seen some websites dealing in secondhand gear list the number of ‘actuations’ on a camera. Is this number important? Aaron Murphy, Cork

Why does my camera have difficulty focusing? Sometimes my DSLR seems unable to focus on anything in the frame. Why is this? Jon Bradley, Lancashire

Dan says: Autofocus is one of those things that we simply take for granted. Indeed, it seems ridiculous that just a relatively short time ago in terms of camera development, taking a photograph required the user to manually focus on the subject. But while autofocus has been a huge boon to the photographer, there are some situations in which it cannot cope at all…

Low contrast scenes Imagine the scenario. You’re trying to get a photograph of a deer that’s just emerged from some trees. You compose the shot but your camera keeps focusing in and out. This frustrating phenomenon is called ‘hunting’ and it’s caused by the lack of contrast in the drab, brown scene. Your camera needs an ‘edge’ to focus on, so you could try focusing on a point on the image with more contrast, then press halfway down to lock the focus and re-compose, or switch to manual.

you can’t get anything in focus. Just as with the low contrast situation, your camera can’t ‘see’ anything to focus on. Some cameras have an AF assist lamp that temporally illuminates dark scenes, but it’s of limited help as you need to be quite close to the subject. It’s much better to switch to manual and trust your own eyes.

Richard says: While the digital revolution has freed the snapper from the limitations of film, it can make us a bit trigger-happy. It’s therefore likely that the average DSLR will have many more actuations (or clicks) than a film SLR over a similar period of ownership. So how many times can you press the trigger before you have a problem? Unsurprisingly, it’s not easy to get any hard facts on this subject – manufacturers predict life expectancy through various tests, but there is no definitive answer. A mid-range DSLR should be good for 100,000 clicks, while an early indicator of a problem may be issues shooting at the very highest shutter speeds. A useful resource is the camera shutter life database, where real-life users upload the number of actuations their cameras completed before ‘death’.

Glass and other obstructions Try shooting a subject through glass and you’ll find that the autofocus goes hunting. This is because the reflections on the glass trick the camera into focusing on whatever is closest to it. You could try altering your angle, pressing the lens against the glass or switching to manual. This issue can arise whenever you try to shoot ‘through’ something.

CORRECT FOCUS

Above Is there a limited number of clicks in the life of your camera?

WRONG FOCUS

Low light You’ve set your camera up on a tripod and selected an exposure long enough to capture a dramatic night scene, but

Above In the image to the right, the lack of contrast between the subject and the background has confused the autofocus. Switching to manual ensures a sharp picture.

PRACTICALPHOTOGRAPHY.COM 103


Know Your Stuff

I’ve got an old lightmeter at home that measures EV. What is this? Malcolm Wight, Derbyshire Richard says: Exposure values (or EV) follow a numerical sequence in which each consecutive number indicates a change in exposure settings, whereby the amount of exposure is either halved or doubled between the previous or next number. To explain it in practical terms, doubling the exposure would be an increase of one EV (+1EV), while a halving of the available light would be a reduction of one EV (-1EV). An adjustment of one EV in any direction is commonly referred to as 1 stop, and changes in EV can be made by adjusting aperture, shutter speed or ISO. You can obtain tables of typical EV values that detail the number of stops needed for optimum exposure in common lighting conditions. These tables cover a range of EV values, commonly centred on a start point of 0 EV, and are responsible for a well-known expression in photography, namely the ‘sunny 16 rule’. This rule states that in bright daylight the optimum exposure will be achieved with an EV of 15 or 16 stops of adjustment from a starting point of 0 EV. The reason for the popularity of this rule is that it is easy to remember the adjustments that give 16 EV increments. At this value, with an aperture of f/16, the shutter speed is approximately the reciprocal of the ISO (eg at ISO 100 16 EV increments is f/16 at 1/125sec). Modern cameras have in-built metering systems, but if you intend to make the move to an exposure meter it is worth starting to think in terms of EV, as many meters will give a direct reading in EV values.

104 PRACTICAL PHOTOGRAPHY

ANDRZEJ TOKARSKI

What does EV mean?

Make the sky the focus of your landscape shots I’m often disappointed with how the skies look in my pictures. What can I do to improve them? Clyde Walker, Dunbarton

Dan says: Many parts of the UK are blessed with big skies, and what’s going on above a landscape picture can be just as important as what’s on the ground. But capturing dramatic skyscapes isn’t always easy. Luckily, we have some top tips to help you out. Q Be patient: Landscape photography isn’t something to be rushed and sometimes nature will just refuse to play ball. If you really want an impressive sky shot be prepared to wait for the right moment. Check weather forecasts and be ready to head out at the drop of a hat. Q Use filters: Every scenic photographer should have a graduated ND and polarising filter in their kit bag. The graduated filter will allow you to expose correctly for both the land and the sky, while the less dramatic polariser is useful when your horizon isn’t a straight line, ie has hills or mountains to account for. QPlay with the white balance: Rules are meant to be broken and you can add real drama to skies by changing the Kelvin temperatures on your camera’s white

Above Use long exposures to produce dramatic effects. In this shot the clouds appear to be in motion across the sky.

balance. A higher temperature will enhance the colours in a sunset, while lower temperatures will boost any blues and purples in the scene. QExperiment with long exposures: We all know that long exposures can create amazing effects on moving water and lights at night, but the same principle goes for clouds. Long exposures will give clouds a wispy look and a feeling of motion. Start with a 2-minute exposure, and go up and down from there.


RDONAR

What’s the best gear for travelling light? I’ve been a keen fellwalker for several years and have recently started taking photographs on my walks. Is there a way to keep the weight of equipment down? Paul Burns, Cumbria

Richard says: One of the things that you can guarantee about landscape photography is that the most stunning scenery will be found in the most inaccessible of places. And as the days of hiring pack mules to transport masses of equipment up hillsides is behind us, photographers looking for that special shot that nobody else has taken will have to rely on their own legs and ingenuity to get them there. As such, the weight of equipment that you need to lug around becomes paramount, but with today’s advances in technology and materials it’s possible to

TIP KEEP YOUR BATTERIES WARM When temperatures drop your batteries will discharge faster. Carry spares, keep them warm and limit the use of your camera’s display screen.

transport everything you need for a successful day’s shooting without putting too much stress on your aching bones. Obviously, you can’t take a photograph without a camera, so that’s one piece of equipment you are going to have to carry. There are a number of lightweight options to choose from though. You could, of course, just use a smartphone. The image quality offered by the latest generation of phones is comparable to many mid-level digital cameras, and phones have the advantage of doubling up as your GPS device. But if you’re serious about your craft you are going to want to carry a proper camera – and one with the option to change lenses too. A DSLR will generally be the heaviest

option, but some manufacturers have considered portability, with the APS-C Nikon D3400 coming in at under 430g and Canon’s 200D just a little heavier at 453g. But you don’t have to compromise in order to save weight, and the recent explosion in mirrorless CSC cameras offers all the useability without the bulk. A camera will fill the bare bones of your needs, but for landscape shots with impact you are going to need a bit more gear. A tripod is likely to be a must-have, while lenses, filters, cleaning kit and spare batteries are also going to become vital – and you’re going to need a bag to carry all this kit in too! Check out our recommendations for the best lightweight gear available right now...

Lightweight tripod Vanguard VEO 235AB £119

Lightweight camera Nikon D3400 £449 While a CSC might be smaller and a bit lighter – as much of the weight of a camera system is in the lens – is there really any reason to compromise? With a 24MP CMOS sensor and EXPEED 4 processor, the D3400 is a powerful little camera with a host of handy features. And it still comes in at under 430g for the body. nikon.co.uk

There are a lot of clever systems on the market for stabilising your camera, such as the Joby GorillaPod or the Pod beanbag, but they may not work in all situations. This 1.5kg Vanguard tripod offers an innovative rapid column rotation system that makes it very compact, and it weighs just 1500g. vanguard world.co.uk

Lightweight bag Manfrotto Pro Light RedBee-201 £85 Designed for the photographer on the move, this bag combines a light weight with maximum protection for your gear – ideal if you’re trekking through rugged country. It’s big too, able to accommodate multiple DSLR bodies, a 400mm lens plus several other lenses, and accessories. Accessing your gear is easy, while it’s also keenly priced. manfrotto.co.uk

PRACTICALPHOTOGRAPHY.COM 105


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Know Your Stuff LEO LINTANG

Should I think about a course? IGNACIO PEREZ BAYONA

Shooting nature without spooking the subjects I’d love to get good-quality nature photos like the pros do, but how do they avoid scaring away the animals they shoot? Graham Henderson, Essex

of spooking it. A long telephoto lens is therefore a must-have for nature photography, and has the added advantage of a shallow depth-of-field that adds a sense of drama to photographs.

Dan says: Wild animals make fantastic subjects, but they are among the trickiest of things to photograph as they are so unpredictable and prone to spook. Getting a good nature shot is as much about fieldcraft as it is about camera technique, and there are a few tips worth following to increase your chances of success.

Q Hide yourself away The best place to shoot wildlife from is a dedicated hide, and many country parks and nature reserves offer purposebuilt facilities. A top tip for using a hide is to have two people walk into it and then for one to leave. Animals aren’t too good at counting and will assume that the hide is now empty and are more likely to approach near to it.

Q Don’t make any noise It goes without saying that animals’ hearing is generally much better than ours, and if they hear you coming they won’t hang around. Think carefully about the clothing you wear when on a nature shoot and go for soft fabrics that make the least amount of noise. Páramo makes a range of outdoor clothing that is designed to be quiet.

Q Keep your distance The further away you can stay from the subject, the less chance there is

Louise says: Deciding to enrol on a dedicated photography course is a very personal decision, and the question you should be asking yourself before doing so is what your ultimate aim is. If you want to turn your hobby into a paying career then it certainly could be helpful to undergo some formal training, but bear in mind that no amount of certificates or letters after your name can guarantee you will make it as a professional photographer. There are obviously a wide range of courses available, from GCSE up to degree level and beyond, and while the help and guidance of tutors can be very important, one of the best aspects of formal study is the inspiration you will get from fellow students. If committing to a long course is too daunting or not possible, consider a short course/workshop instead. Many established photographers, operating in all fields of photography, offer short courses or workshops, and the opportunity to interact with someone whose work inspires you can be invaluable.

Top Wild animals make fantastic subjects for photography, but they can be easily spooked by humans and noisy camera gear.

VOLODYMYR BURDIAK

Q Use silent mode on your camera As well as the noise that you make, you should also give consideration to the effect that shutter noise and the click of a mirror in a DSLR will have on the animals you are trying to shoot. Many cameras have a silent mode, though they do vary in effectiveness, while some DSLRs allow you to lock the mirror open. Mirrorless CSC are generally quieter.

Q Consider smells If you don’t want to scare animals away with your scent you should avoid wearing deodorant. Don’t wear any clothes recently washed in strong-smelling detergents either.

I’m considering a photography course, but what would it offer me? Claire Jones, Wrexham

Left A long telephoto lens will allow you to keep as much distance as possible between you and the animal.

PRACTICALPHOTOGRAPHY.COM 107


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Know Your Stuff OLEKSIY MAKSYMENKO

Should I make the move to prime lenses? JEFFREY PAEK

I keep hearing that prime lenses are better than zooms, but what are the advantages? Paul Turner, Surrey

Can I get a studio look at home?

Louise says: When you buy a new DSLR it usually comes with a zoom lens. This makes sense for someone starting out, as it cuts down on the amount of kit you have to carry, and you won’t be messing about changing lenses and missing a shot. But if you’re serious about your photography then at some point you will want to buy a prime. Here are three reasons why…

I’m keen to expand my portfolio of portraiture but I’m unsure if I can achieve the look I want without access to a studio. Sarah Church, Norfolk Richard says: Assuming you have a camera and a good prime telephoto lens already, then it’s just a matter of getting the light right. Luckily, nature provides one of the best sources of illumination around – and it’s free of charge. Find a room with a north-facing window, as the light will be soft, especially on an overcast day, and won’t cast any unflatteringly hard shadows. Position your subject between 45° and 90° to the window, depending on how dramatic an effect you want. Then you just need a reflector – one of the cheapest but best investments you can make – placed on the opposite side to the primary light to lift and lighten any shadows.

Aperture Your zoom lens will have its widest aperture somewhere between f/3.5 and f/5. This will seriously limit its usefulness in low light situations and the depth-of-field available. A prime lens will be able to shoot wide open at f/1.8, while some can be even faster. So when you’ve run out of ISO and you don’t have a tripod, those extra stops could get you out of trouble. Portrait or nature photographers can also make use of the shallow depth-offield to create much more dramatic shots.

Sharper images Zoom lenses need lots of pieces of glass to achieve their effect and all that

Above Prime lenses have their limitations, but their advantages make them a vital piece of kit for the serious photographer.

glass means a lower image quality. Prime lenses are much less complex in structure, so produce sharper pictures.

Skill development Shooting with a prime lens is a great way to discipline your photography and often throws up new angles and compositions, as you have to move round much more than you do with a zoom lens.

Best buys Three budget prime lenses

Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM £179 This ultra-compact prime is perfect for travel and street photography. Its large f/2.8 aperture is ideal for handheld shooting in low light conditions, while the STM delivers smooth, near-silent AF when capturing movies. At just 22.8mm deep and weighing-in at under 125g, it’s a keenly priced, highly portable and discreet bit of kit. canon.co.uk

Nikon AF 35mm f/2D £299 If you’re a Nikon user looking for one lens to cover the widest range of scenarios, then look no further. With a focal length equivalent to 50mm (full-frame 35mm) it is the perfect walk around lens, and its compact size and light weight (205g) make it an ideal travel companion. This superb lens can be used on all DX and FX format cameras. nikon.co.uk

Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM £349 Canon’s ‘nifty fifty’ is an ideal lens for portraiture, and at this price point it’s a premium product that won’t break the bank. The impressive maximum aperture of f/1.4 makes for superb bokeh in the out-of-focus areas, which really brings portraits to life, while the fast USM and 45cm minimum focusing distance make it a joy to use. canon.co.uk

PRACTICALPHOTOGRAPHY.COM 109


PRO SHOWCASE AMAZING IMAGES AND INSIGHT FROM THE WORLD’S BEST PHOTOGRAPHERS

THE POLAR

E X PLORER Searching for elusive Polar creatures in brutal -50°C temperatures and 60km/h winds is just another day at the office for extreme wildlife photographer Daisy Gilardini.

112 PRACTICAL PHOTOGRAPHY

Daisy Gilardini is a wildlife photographer based in British Columbia, Canada. She’s been featured in National Geographic and BBC Wildlife, and worked for Greenpeace. daisygilardini.com


PRACTICALPHOTOGRAPHY.COM 113


EELING THE RAW STING of glacial temperatures while trudging through several feet of snow isn’t everyone’s idea of the perfect commute, but Daisy Gilardini is used to forging her own path. With over two decades of experience photographing the world’s most elusive animals in unforgiving Polar environments, Daisy is a truly intrepid wildlife photographer and a passionate advocate for vitally important conservation efforts.

F

How did you first become interested in photography?

As a child I grew up with the idea of becoming a veterinarian, as I’ve always loved nature and animals. However, life often doesn’t go quite as you expect it to, and I ended up becoming a certified expert in

“SCIENCE MAY APPEAL TO THE MIND, BUT PHOTOGRAPHY SPEAKS TO THE HEART...” 114 PRACTICAL PHOTOGRAPHY

finance and accounting in my native Switzerland. After earning my masters degree, I opened my own accounting firm. With a good business plan and organisational skills, I managed to juggle my love for travel, nature and photography with my day job commitments. I started taking off on assignments for several months a year, and had to hire an assistant to help me out with the accounting business. However, every time I returned to my office I started to feel a little depressed and unfulfilled. I began writing articles and looked for magazines interested in publishing my work. It was like having two full-time jobs. My days would begin at 7am and finish at midnight, seven days a week. They say that the key to success is to believe in one’s ability, and that’s what I did. Patience, passion and perseverance eventually led to success, and I finally succeeded in having my work published. This lead to me being able to become a full-time photographer in 2006. How did you become interested in wildlife?

My love for wildlife began long ago. I was only four years old when I received a little stuffed seal puppy as a gift from my godparents. My mum explained that the seal puppy came from a very cold place, living on


Pro Showcase Daisy Gilardini

and under the polar ice. I was mesmerised by these stories, and from that moment on I dreamed to be able to see them in their natural environment. It took me seven years to be able to save the money necessary to pay for a trip to Antarctica, but that adventure totally changed my life. Since then, I’ve joined almost 70 expeditions to the Polar Regions. I’ve tried many times to understand this irresistible attraction to the Polar areas, which I’d define as almost an addiction. These extreme adventures transport me out of my ordinary world and lead me on a voyage of selfdiscovery. The isolation from modern civilisation, and all the distractions that come with it, allows me to focus on the simple rhythm of nature.

the beauty of places and species that are at risk in order to raise awareness. While science provides the data necessary to explain problems and suggest solutions, photography is able to symbolise these issues. Science appeals to the mind, but photography speaks to the heart. We need both in order to spread the message effectively to as many people as we can. What’s your favourite image?

During my first trip to Antarctica in 1997, I photographed an iceberg that was shaped as a heart. Besides winning a major award in 2000, this image has become very symbolic to me. During that first trip, I left a piece of my heart in Antarctica. Ever since then, I have to go back every year to check on it.

Above Emperor penguin parents feed their chick at Snow Hill Island in Antarctica. Above left An adult king penguin calls for his chick among the créches in South Georgia.

Why is photography important to you?

Over the years I’ve developed my own language and style. I don’t create images. Rather, I feel that I’m just a witness and interpreter for Mother Nature. When shooting landscapes and wildlife, I focus on composition. I want to be able to convey emotions by simplifying the shapes. Photography isn’t just an art form. It’s one of the most important and powerful mediums of communication that we have. As environmental photographers, it’s our duty to capture

How do you deal with the harsh environments you work in?

As an environmental photographer specialising in the Polar Regions, the challenges are mostly related to the extreme environment in which I work. The cold affects both my equipment and my body. If I’m not comfortable then I’m not able to focus on my job, so preparation is very important. Dressing in layers is vital. The air trapped between the many thin, warm

PRACTICALPHOTOGRAPHY.COM 115


Pro Showcase Daisy Gilardini

“I ONCE SPENT 13 DAYS IN FRONT OF A POLAR BEAR DEN...”

116 PRACTICAL PHOTOGRAPHY


layers is an excellent insulator. You can strip them off, one at a time, if the temperature climbs. Perspiration is your worst enemy in a cold climate. If left unchecked it can be a trigger for hypothermia. That’s why you absolutely have to avoid any sweat by taking off as many layers as you can while walking or climbing. As soon as you stop and set up your gear, you need to put back on the warmest clothing, as quickly as you can, so that the heat generated by the physical exercise is trapped around your body. Have you ever had a nightmare shoot?

In April 2011, I organised an expedition to Banks Island, in Canada’s Beaufort Sea, in the Northwest Territories. I was there to photograph musk ox, Arctic hares, Arctic wolves and snowy owls. When I was there I experienced unusually stormy weather and temperatures dropping to under -30°C. These extreme conditions, combined with travelling by ski, lodging in a non-heated hunters’ hut and being accompanied by an incompetent and irresponsible guide to boot, made me fear for my life. It got to the point where I felt I had no other choice but to abort the expedition. It took me many months, and some serious debriefing with expert polar guides, to get my confidence back.

Do you have a favourite story from your experiences shooting these locations?

In 2015 I spent 13 days in front of a polar bear den waiting for the mother to emerge with her four month-old cubs. I looked at the same few trees and snow for 117 hours, in temperatures between -45°C and -50°C and winds gusting up to 60km/h. Finally, on the last day of the expedition the bear emerged, followed by a single cub. Only a few hundred people have ever witnessed the exit of newborn polar bears from the den. Emotionally, that was one of the highlights of my entire career as a photographer. How much preparation goes into your shoots?

It’s essential to know your subject in wildlife photography, as this helps you anticipate behaviour and catch the magic moment. Returning to the same locations year after year will give you a better understanding of the light conditions at any given time. Spending a large amount of time with and among wild animals will give you the opportunity to know single individuals, which allows you to come up with something new and different. It takes time and knowledge to capture their personalities and freeze those anthropomorphic expressions that are essential

Above Portrait of an emperor penguin chick at Snow Hill Island in Antarctica. Above left Waspuck National Park in Manitoba, Canada is the southernmost denning area for polar bears. Left Antarctic Weddell seals usually come to land to rest and digest after spending time in the water fishing.

PRACTICALPHOTOGRAPHY.COM 117


Above A gentoo penguin colony huddled together during a snow storm at Pleneau Island in the Antarctic Peninsula.

to making a connection with the viewer. Photography is a universal language. I strongly believe in the sheer power of images to stir emotions and touch people’s hearts, all while delivering a positive message about the environment. As a nature photographer, what I do inevitably has an impact on the places and the creatures I’m documenting. It’s essential to limit this impact to a minimum, in the hope that the positive influence of my pictures in raising public awareness will compensate for any consequences my intrusion may have. How do you behave around the wildlife?

I have very strong opinions on wildlife photography ethics, and adhere to the following rules religiously. I always respect the wildlife by keeping quiet and giving them space. I never chase the animals, and instead let them come to me. I also never feed them with dead or live bait. Outside of these firm rules, my

“I BELIEVE IN THE POWER OF IMAGES TO STIR EMOTIONS AND TOUCH PEOPLE’S HEARTS...” 118 PRACTICAL PHOTOGRAPHY

behaviour does change depending on the subject I’m photographing. For example, penguins are extremely friendly and curious animals, while polar bears are carnivorous, territorial predators. While I have no problem letting a penguin approach me, and even touch me, I’m much more cautious with polar bears. What kit do you use and why?

I work in some of the most challenging environments on Earth, so I need to rely on extremely trustworthy and sturdy equipment. Nikon has never disappointed me. I always carry two bodies (one APS-C and one full-frame). I usually bring a 24-70mm f/2.8 and an 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6. By doing so, I can cover a range of 24mm to 600mm (when considering the APS-C body). Using zoom lenses also gives me more flexibility when shooting wildlife, where one’s ability to move is often restricted to a minimum. What’s the most difficult part of wildlife photography?

Besides the challenges in the field dealing with the cold, I think that some of the most difficult situations any wildlife photographer has to face today are on the business side. With the internet, and the advent of


Pro Showcase Daisy Gilardini

Pro advice Daisy’s top photo tips BE THERE It may sound silly, but if you’re not there then you won’t be able to get the picture. This means that you have to do your homework in order to always know where the best spot is at the best time of day. I’m on location ready to shoot usually one hour before sunrise, and I stay one hour after sunset. In the middle of the day, when the light is harsh and the animals are less active, I either work on my images or take a nap in order to rest for the next bit of shooting.

1

micro-stock, the market has never been so compromised. Everyone is looking for free or super low-cost images, without taking into consideration integrity or ethical photography – values that are unfortunately becoming rare. The use of captive animals, or baiting wild ones, in order to get ‘the perfect shot’, has sadly become a normal practice. In some situations, photographing captive animals may serve a specific conservation goal, but even then it must be governed by strong ethical rules about the welfare of the animal. Meanwhile, photos of captive animals should always be captioned as such. Last, but not least, the digital manipulation of images has become such a serious topic that the authenticity of every picture, and the integrity of the photographer, are almost always questioned nowadays. To improve the situation, it’s our responsibility as photographers to clearly caption our images accordingly to indicate any alteration. I consider myself a purist, so any post-production I do is limited to the essential.

KNOW YOUR SUBJECT In wildlife photography it’s essential to intimately know your subject. This will allow you to anticipate behaviour and catch the magic moment. Knowledge of your equipment will allow you to be fast enough to

2

freeze the action with the correct camera settings. FIND YOUR PASSION You’ll soon find that the sheer love and passion you put into your photography will shine through in your images.

3

BE PATIENT There’s definitely a lot of frustration involved in wildlife photography. You can spend hours and hours, or even days and weeks, at the mercy of challenging weather conditions in search of the perfect shot. Even then you’re not guaranteed to get anything, and you may walk away with nothing. Patience is absolutely essential, as is perseverance. You will eventually succeed, even if it takes you multiple tries in order to get your desired shot.

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If you could give one piece of advice to budding photographers, what would it be?

In photography, as in life, I always apply my ‘3P’ rule: passion, patience and perseverance.

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CAMERA K

HOW

PART FIVE METERING MODES In our Camera Know-how series, we cast an expert eye over the ins and outs of your DSLR’s or CSC’s key features, revealing precisely what they do and how you can make the most of them to boost your photographic skills. In this month’s issue, Ben Davis takes a detailed look at metering and explains how you can select the optimum mode for producing perfectly exposed images in a wide range of challenging light conditions.

VER WONDERED WHY your shots sometimes come out brighter or darker than you were anticipating? Perhaps a portrait on the beach is overshadowed by the bright sun overhead, or a street scene is left almost black when shot after dark. Without taking control of your camera’s metering system, it’s likely that your images won’t be exposed correctly and you’ll lose detail in the highlights or shadows.

E TIP CHECK THE HISTOGRAM Examine the histogram of your image. Tones dominating the left or right show that the shot is incorrectly exposed.

What is metering? Metering is how your camera measures the reflected light, and then uses this information to set the correct exposure so that the image is neither too dark nor bright. It does this by assuming that the scene averages out to a midtone, where 18% of the light falling onto a subject is


Camera Know-how Metering Modes LEARN THE LINGO TECH TERMS MADE EASY Don’t be baffled by technical jargon! We cut through some of the most common terms associated with metering. Q LIGHTMETER All digital cameras feature a built-in lightmeter, which measures the amount of available light that reflects from a scene to reach the sensor. In auto mode the camera can then set the shutter speed and aperture to produce a balanced exposure. Q HISTOGRAM A histogram is a graph of the tones in an image, and you can view it by scrolling through the display options during image playback. Histograms are a great way to check if an image is exposed correctly, as they show an undulating distribution of tones from the far-left of the shot (black) to the far-right (white). QMIDTONE Cameras are designed to assume that the light in a scene averages out to a midtone, the anchorpoint between the dark shadows and bright highlights. Midtones in nature are things like grass, foliage or grey stone.

GEAR ADVICE DO I NEED AN EXTERNAL LIGHTMETER?

TIP EXPOSURE COMPENSATION When the metering isn’t exposure. If you’re reflected back through quite accurate, use the shooting in manual your lens to the sensor. exposure compensation mode you’ll need to This number might controls to make your consult the lightmeter sound confusing, but image brighter displayed at the bottom it isn’t arbitrary. It’s the or darker. of the viewfinder to check tone that is midway between if your chosen settings are pure white and absolute black, correct. Most cameras have three and is often referred to as 18% grey. different metering modes to select from. However, not all scenes average out You can also use exposure compensation to a midtone. A polar bear in the snow to override the metering system and isn’t going to have many midtones. adjust the brightness of your shot. This is why metering can sometimes be inaccurate, and why it can be best to have more control over your shot. When should I use it? Metering is essential in most shooting situations. You can also get more Why is metering useful? creative with metering by deliberately Metering is a vital but often overlooked under- or overexposing your shot. You element of photography. For the most don’t need to meter when shooting with part it works in the background without studio flash, as the light for the shot is direct input, and adjusts the shutter only present during the exposure. speed or aperture to produce a balanced

In the past, photographers would use an external lightmeter to measure the brightness of a scene by holding the device in the same light as the subject. This would help them set the correct exposure settings. Modern cameras have advanced built-in lightmeters, so there’s no need for additional gear.

Above Most cameras offer three metering modes, and they can be selected in the camera menu or via a switch on the body.

PRACTICALPHOTOGRAPHY.COM 121


SETTINGS HOW METERING AFFECTS EXPOSURE AMERAS OFFER THREE metering modes. Each one measures the light from different areas of the frame, which means you can choose which part of the scene you’re exposing for. The main mode is most commonly referred to as multi-zone. It measures the light from the entire frame and averages it out to set the exposure. The other two metering modes only measure the light from specific parts of the frame. You can use these to either set the exposure from a midtone, or set the exposure from a shadow or highlight in the scene, which will ‘trick’ the camera.

C

TIP HIGHLIGHT WARNINGS

F11

1/20

A

L

200

ISO

-2 1

0

Enable the Highlight Warning function in the menu to check if parts of your image are losing detail from a bright exposure.

1 2+

AWB

ONE SHOT 100

SHUTTER SPEED

APERTURE

SENSITIVITY

When shooting in aperturepriority, the shutter speed will change depending on the metering results.

In shutter-priority, your camera will adjust the f/number based on the info from the lightmeter.

The ISO controls how sensitive your camera is to light and can be adjusted in any shooting mode.

REAL-WORLD SHOT METERING MODES AND EXPOSURE IN ACTION Multi-zone

Spot

Centre-weighted

Multi-zone metering (also called Matrix or evaluative by some manufacturers) is the most frequently used mode. It’s designed for everyday shooting situations, and works by measuring the light from the entire frame and then averaging out the tones to produce a balanced exposure. However, it can prove inaccurate if there are lots of bright or dark tones in a scene.

Spot metering measures from a very small and specific part of the frame (usually the same area the AF is set to) and covers 1-5% of the total area of the image. Use this mode to set the exposure from a sure-fire midtone for tonal accuracy, or by metering from a brighter or darker area to get creative with your exposure and capture silhouettes or high-key images.

In the centre-weighted mode your camera gives exposure bias to the centre of the frame, and feathers out the light readings towards the edges. It’s often the least used of the three modes, but is useful when you want to prioritise the exposure of a subject and there are background elements that could potentially interfere with the correct exposure.

Above Multi-zone metering has averaged out the bright and dark tones to set a balanced exposure.

Above Spot metering from the bright swan – which has lots of highlights – has underexposed the image.

Above Centre-weighted metering has produced a good exposure, as priority is given to the central area of the frame.

122 PRACTICAL PHOTOGRAPHY


Camera Know-how Metering Modes

THREE PROJECTS MASTER THE METERING MODES Put your skills to the test with these three projects that rely on you taking control of the metering mode for creative results. You don’t need any specialist equipment, any creative camera will do!

1

SHOOT A HIGH-KEY PORTRAIT

When you’re shooting portraits in ultra-bright conditions, it’s best to have your subject face away from the sun so they’re not squinting and their face is free from shadows With such a sunny background, multi-zone metering underexposes your subject as there are lots of ver bright tones throughout the frame a midtones are rendered as shadows. Switch to your camera’s centre-weighted metering and take a reading from your subject. This will assign exposure priority to that area, so they average out to a midtone and the brighter background becomes blown out. If you need to adjust the exposure, simply dial in positive or negative exposure compensation and shoot again. High-key portraits are a great way to create flattering images without any background distractions.

3

USE SPOT METER FOR SILHOUETTES

The easiest way to shoot a silhouette is by using the spot metering mode and setting the exposure from a highlight in the sky. With spot metering selected, point your active AF point at the sky behind your subject, then press and hold the AE-L button. This will set the exposure so t sky is rendered as a midtone. Keep the AE L button pressed, then focus on your subject by half-pressing the shutter button before taking your shot.

2

COPE WITH CONTRAST

Scenes with strong contrast have lots of really bright and really dark tones. This can make it challenging for a camera’s dynamic range to capture all the tonal detail. In this situation, swit your metering mode to spot and t a light reading from a midtone, such as grass, foliage or grey stonework. If you don’t think you can find a midtone, stick with multi-zone metering. Use the histogram and the highlights warning feature to see if detail is clipping at the tonal extremities. If you’re losing highlight detail then dial in negative exposure compensation, and if you’re losing shadow detail just dial in some positive exposure compensation and retake the shot.

NEXT ISSUE HOW TO GET THE BEST IMAGE QUALITY WITH ISO SETTINGS PRACTICALPHOTOGRAPHY.COM 123


MY PHOTO PROJECT PERSONAL WORK FROM UPCOMING TALENT

TO K YO A F T E R

DA R K

From his unique position as an outsider looking in, Andrew Curry has produced a colourful portrait of the vibrant city heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s chosen as his new home. 124 PRACTICAL PHOTOGRAPHY


Aim of project: To showcase Tokyo’s colourful streets and its many inhabitants at night

Factfile Photographer: Andrew Curry Full-time occupation: Travel photographer

Duration: I spend about 15-20 hours a week shooting on average

Location: Back alleys, temples and shops in Tokyo

Images taken: I’ve filled a good 200GB worth of space on my hard drive

Time spent: I began this project a little over a year ago

See more of Andrew’s work at his website: andrewcurryphoto.com

PRACTICALPHOTOGRAPHY.COM 125


HRIVING CITIES HAVE A knack for catapulting total strangers together for a few precious seconds before they pass each other by. Excellent street photographers have a corresponding gift for capturing these seemingly unremarkable moments to uncover hidden significance. And Andrew Curry is nothing if not excellent. After falling out of love with a career in post-production, Andrew travelled from Los Angeles to make Tokyo his new hometown. This whirlwind move changed the path of his photography forever... What sparked your interest in street photography?

This project originates from when I started to notice how a metamorphosis of light and colour occurs in Tokyo as the city fades from day to night. As the neon signs and street lamps slowly flicker on, the city becomes awash in glorious colour. I wanted to try to capture this vivid energy. However, my simple curiosity about capturing the city at night has evolved into a real passion. I’ve noticed that I navigate the city differently when I’m walking around at night now. If a glint of light catches my eye from some direction, I’ll walk towards it, as if it’s a beacon of possibility. What drew you to photography in general?

I grew up skateboarding in the ’90s, and my friends and I would spend countless hours after

126 PRACTICAL PHOTOGRAPHY

school skating around town. I enjoyed filming my friends, and would often edit the footage together using two VCR decks. In fact, it was almost a rite of passage for us to make a video, as almost everyone in my circle owned a camcorder and did the same thing. The process of making skate videos piqued my interest in cinema, and turned me on to the idea of an image, be it still or moving, as art. Skip ahead many years, and in 2011 I found myself working in video post-production in Los Angeles. However, I was struggling to find the passion necessary to work the long hours, as I found the work overwhelmingly commercial. Eventually I decided to part ways with post-production as a profession. I had three months of freedom between jobs, and so I spent my days wandering around LA with a camera, shooting photos to connect with this new-found freedom that I suddenly had. My love for photography flourished in that period. I liken it to skateboarding, in that both forms of expression place you at street level, scanning the environment for something to incorporate into your play. However, I think what excites me most is that we all see the world in different ways, and photography allows us the opportunity to express our views and experiences by simply freezing a section of time.

Above left Shiho, illuminated inside a phone booth on a cold and stormy autumn evening. Above Two cyclists approach each other on a rain-soaked road in Yoyogi, Tokyo. Above right A man scans rows of neon-lit vending machines that dispense various toys.

“IF A GLINT OF LIGHT CATCHES MY EYE, I’LL WALK TOWARDS IT LIKE A BEACON OF POSSIBILITY...”


Personal Project Andrew Curry

Can you pick your favourite image from the project?

If I had to choose, I’d say that it’s the image of the two cyclists riding towards one another in the narrow rain-soaked alley (above). I took this photograph while walking back to my apartment after spending the day around town. It was the first time that I’d seen the red lanterns flanking either side of the street, which had been put up for a neighbourhood festival that day. I noticed how nicely the lanterns reflected off the wet ground, and I wanted to capture that. I took a few shots, but then noticed this woman cyclist pass me on the left, while an opposing cyclist was heading towards me. What’s it like shooting as a foreign photographer in Japan?

The positive side to being a foreign photographer is that pretty much everything will probably always be new to me. I didn’t grow up in this environment, so I see everything with a fresh pair of eyes. When my Japanese friends look at images of locations they recognise, they’ll often exclaim that they’ve walked past that particular shop or street their whole lives, and yet have never noticed anything special about it until they saw the photo I took. I’ve been living here for three years already, yet I still walk around with a sense of child-like wonder and awe. If there’s a downside, then I’d say it’s simply experiencing the other side of a double-edged sword. As a foreigner living in Japan, one tends to stick out, so it’s hard to blend in when taking photos. People are always curious about what

Exploring Hong Kong My first introduction to Hong Kong was through its marvellous cinema roughly 20 years ago, and I’ve been obsessed with the idea of it ever since. I was lucky enough to visit last May, and I was determined to shoot as many photos as I could in the five short days that I had there. I’d built the city up in my head so

much that I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when I arrived. However, as soon as I boarded the train from the airport, those concerns were soon put to rest. The beauty of the city not only lived up to my expectations, it completely exceeded them. This project is my love letter to the city that ultimately inspired me to move to Asia.

PRACTICALPHOTOGRAPHY.COM 127


Personal Project Andrew Curry

128 PRACTICAL PHOTOGRAPHY


you’re doing, so you’re bound to attract attention. However, you’re also afforded more freedom, as most people just assume that you’re a tourist and don’t bother you too much. I always try to be respectful as I navigate around different situations.

tourist area Shibuya, and I think he was just tired of everyone taking photos of his store and food. I was quite surprised, as this was the first time anything like that had happened to me in Japan. Why do you enjoy capturing Tokyo at night?

What challenges have you faced?

There’s been an exponential rise in tourism here, with 20 million visitors in 2016 alone. To be honest, I see more frustration levelled at camera-wielding tourists who take photos at shrines, or shops where photography is forbidden, and I see that bleeding over onto the streets as well. I fear that this frustration will make my earlier point moot, and people will become so irritated at tourists that it’ll impact on my photography. That said, Japan is an extraordinarily beautiful country, filled with the most kind-hearted and genuine people who’ll go out of their way to show you courtesy in most situations. If you haven’t done so already, I highly recommend visiting should you get the chance. Has anyone ever confronted you when you were taking photos?

When I shot the Yakitori shop (the photo of two women walking up a hill) I had a bit of an incident. I’d just dialled in my settings and fired a shot when an employee came running out, screaming at the top of his lungs for me to leave. My friend later informed me that he got yelled at by the same guy when he was shooting close-ups of the yakitori (chicken skewers). I was across the street, and surprised that he’d even seen me, but this shop is in the popular

Tokyo thrives at night. Light and colours pop off and radiate along the streets. It’s not that there aren’t good colours during the day, it’s just that they’re often muted and absorbed by the endless procession of grey concrete buildings and skyscrapers. These same buildings are totally transformed after nightfall, with the signs and lights creating a fantastic mix of colours. I’m especially fond of rainy days, as there are endless possibilities for capturing the interplay of light, colour and reflection.

Above A salaryman navigates the back alleys of the lesser-known Sangenjaya district. Left Inspiration is abundant in Tokyo, from the way the light reacts to the urban space to the monoliths that tower in the sky.

How do you find your locations?

I walk everywhere in the city, so I’m always on the lookout for interesting people, scenes or places to shoot. The majority of my street photography happens when I’m just out roaming the streets with no particular destination in mind, and I like to capture these situations in a natural and uncontrived way. When I do shoot portraits, most of them are either with my friends or models that I’m acquainted with. Tokyo is such a dynamic city, and there’s

“I’VE BEEN LIVING HERE FOR THREE YEARS, BUT I STILL WALK AROUND WITH A SENSE OF AWE...” PRACTICALPHOTOGRAPHY.COM 129


Above Dilapidated storefronts and hanging red lanterns mark the entrance to Nonbei Yokocho, or ‘drunkards alley’, in Shibuya.

always so much movement and life happening on the streets, no matter whether it’s day or night. What kit do you use and why?

When I’m shooting digital, I usually work with either my Sony _7 or Fujifilm X-T2. Regardless of which system I use, I prefer primes over zooms. I also really enjoy shooting with legacy glass. I have an assortment of old Canon FD and Contax G-mount lenses that I use quite often. I really like the connection with the subject that I feel when using manual focus lenses. While DSLRs are amazing, and I certainly respect them, I prefer mirrorless cameras for not only their size and weight advantages, but also for their ability to adapt so many different third-party lenses to the camera. When I’m shooting film, I’ll use either my Contax T2 or Contax G1. While it’s more of a challenge to use film (one that I certainly like), it has a certain quality and depth to it that I find appealing. What’s your number one tip for street shoots?

Just get out and explore your environment as much as possible. I often head out for the day with no set destination in mind, and some of my favourite shots were taken on such excursions. Try exploring back streets rather than main roads, and you’ll be surprised by what you may find. Shoot as much as possible and

“TOKYO THRIVES AT NIGHT. LIGHT AND COLOURS POP OFF AND RADIATE ALONG THE STREETS...” 130 PRACTICAL PHOTOGRAPHY

don’t be afraid to experiment. Even if only a handful of the shots turn out how you’d planned, what’s important is that you’re building up your unique lexicon of what works for you and what doesn’t. What was the most difficult part of this project?

I feel that the most challenging aspects of this project are the same difficulties inherent to any street photography endeavour. There are lots of unknown variables, and sometimes you get the shot and sometimes you don’t. However, what I like about street photography is exactly that – the challenges associated with these unknown variables. However, at times I also found myself pushing the limitations of my camera’s ISO performance, which meant I would end up with less than ideal results. What was the purpose of this project?

The goal is to showcase Tokyo’s after-dark colourful and moody side. While I find great beauty in the centuries-old traditional side of Japan, I also really enjoy the way old customs butt up against modernity. Why should readers start a personal project?

The process of defining goals, and then working towards them, can help unlock a lot of creative potential. While the majority of my photography is just shooting what I see on my daily walks around the town, I found that by setting stricter rules for myself I was able to form a clearlydefined project. This helped me to think about things differently, and allowed for more experimentation, which ultimately leads to growth.


Personal Project Andrew Curry Left Two women stride uphill as they pass in front of a Yakitori restaurant in Shibuya. Below left An unknown man, wearing a lion mask, dismounts his bicycle in front of a Subway sandwich shop. Below The city glows as beads of rain collect on a hotel window overlooking the Marunouchi district of Tokyo.

GET INVOLVED

Pro advice Andrew’s 4-step guide to better personal projects FIND YOUR IDEA Start by asking yourself what it is you want to shoot. At this point there are endless possibilities, so it may feel a little overwhelming to narrow things down, but don’t worry about it too much. There are no right or wrong ideas. The most important thing is that you’re actively engaged in thinking about what interests and excites you as a photographer.

1

NARROW IT DOWN Once you’ve got a few different choices, question why you’re selecting these potential subjects to focus on. Asking this may seem redundant, but it’ll help to break down each of your remaining choices to the smallest possible denominator, and will reinforce the direction you’ll take for what will ultimately become the final selection for your project.

2

PREPARE There are a few top tips that I use when working on a project. Set a defined start and stop date. Create a project-specific document in which to keep daily or weekly notes on the progress. Write a list of weekly and monthly goals. And make an intuitive file storage system.

3

4

SHOOT Now for the fun part – get out there and

We want to see your best photo projects! If you have a unique body of work you’d like to share with the world, then drop us a line at practical.photography@ bauermedia.co.uk

shoot! There’s no better feeling than taking those first few shots for what will ultimately become your personal project. Don’t be afraid of days that don’t go your way, just remain committed to your vision.

PRACTICALPHOTOGRAPHY.COM 131


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Lifestyle Windsor Messenger S: This practical messenger bag features an easily accessible top opening to the main compartment, where a DSLR with 24-70mm f2.8 lens attached and 2 additional lenses can be stored.

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Camera know-how Get to grips with ISO & learn how to control noise Tested Sony _7R III and entry-level studio lighting On sale 15 February 2018 PRACTICALPHOTOGRAPHY.COM 135


HUNDREDS OF PLACES WHERE YOU CAN SELL YOUR PHOTOS FOR CASH! OUT NOW! The latest edition of The Freelance Photographer’s Market Handbook Described as the photographer’s bible, this 208-page BFP Handbook has hundreds of markets where you can sell your pictures for £££s. It includes magazines, greetings card and calendar publishers, picture libraries, newspapers, book publishers etc. The Freelance Photographer’s Market Handbook gives full details of the type of photos – subject matter etc – being sought, fees paid, and exactly where to send your pictures. Price: £15.95 + £2.00 P&P

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Headto-head battle! HASSELBLAD’S X1D V THE FUJIFILM GFX PAGE 146

GetIntoGear The most in-depth and unbiased reviews of the latest products 138

Panasonic G9

Is this new CSC a serious threat to the Sony _9’s crown?

142

Canon G1 X MkIII

Canon’s premium APS-C compact features DSLR tech.

144

Leica CL

Meet the stunning CSC with a mighty £3150 price-tag.

146

Head-to-head

Hasselblad and Fujifilm meet in the medium-format ring.

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PRACTICALPHOTOGRAPHY.COM 137


GetIntoGear

1

Fast blast

2

6K Photo

Like the excellent Sony _9, the G9 manages to offer a phenomenal 20fps blackout-free shooting mode while maintaining continuous focusing. It can also manage 60fps in single focus.

The G9 packs in Panasonic’s familiar 6K photo modes, allowing you to shoot bursts at 30fps and export a single still at 18MP. You can also use Post Focus to change the focus point after taking the shot.

3

1 2 HIGHLY RATED

3

Image stabilisation

The new and improved Dual I.S. 2 offers up to 6.5 stops of image stabilisation when used with a compatible lens. This really aids handheld shooting at longer focal lengths.

BODY PRICE

£1499 IMAGE RESOLUTION

20.3MP VIDEO

PA NASONIC LUMIX G9

4K UHD

Walk on the wild side ANASONIC WILL enjoy two milestone birthdays in 2018, as it will mark both 100 years since the company’s inception, and the 10th anniversary of the original Lumix G1, the first interchangeable Micro Four Thirds mirrorless camera to hit the market. With such landmarks on the horizon, the Japanese manufacturer is kicking off the year in style with the launch of the newest G-series, the Lumix G9. We

P

138 PRACTICAL PHOTOGRAPHY

headed off to South Africa’s stunning Kruger National Park to give the camera a thorough testing...

Main features Maintaining the Micro Four Thirds sensor which has brought the series great success, the G9 packs the same 20.3MP resolution as the GH5, though the latest version of its Venus processing engine has been tweaked to concentrate more on photography and less on videography.

The focus syst points and manag as fast as 0.04sec improved for trac facial recognition burst mode has al drastic shake-up, capable of 20fps b free continuous A which matches th Sony _9. However, when the focus is locked on the first frame, this can jump to a card-devastating 60fps. The G9 promises great low light potential, with an ISO range of 200 to 25,600, and a

4

4

LCD screen

The new top-mounted LCD screen lets you check your settings on the fly, making the G9 perfect for shooting from the hip.


CA MER A TEST

Quality over quantity

IMAGE QUALITY

20.3MP may not sound terribly impressive, but it’s still a very capable resolution for capturing high quality details. image was shot handheld 00mm and f/6.3 with the 0-400mm f/4-6.3 lens and t ISO 800 for 1/160sec. You can see how sharp it s, thanks to the 6.5-stop Dual I.S. 2, and the higher SO provides great clarity. The G9 produces pleasing olours, and the tonal range ks to be impressive, ugh we’re still waiting for be to support the RAWs.

“HIGH RESOLUTION MODE STITCHES EIGHT SEPARATE SHOTS INTO A SINGLE, MASSIVE 80MP IMAGE” ludicrous 6.5-stop optical stabilisation system when used with compatible lenses. Panasonic’s 6K Photo modes, Post Focus and Pre-Burst, are also present. Unlike 4K Photo’s ability to extract an image at 8MP, 6K will let you export at 18MP. A dedicated High Resolution Mode will allow you to take eight shots, moving the sensor one pixel at a time, and then stitch them together to create an 80MP image file. For anybody who also wants to shoot video, the G9 still manages to match the GH5’s 4K at 60fps and 150MB/s, though not at 10-bit.

Handling & build If you’ve used one of the latest G-series cameras, you’ll feel at home here. The construction feels sturdy, with the 658g weight being well balanced and the handgrip both spacious and comfortable. The magnesium-alloy casing and fully weatherproofed design ensure the G9 is capable of handling the odd shower with ease. The 1040k-dot rear

screen is slightly smaller than that on the GH5, at 3in instead of 3.2in, though it still has touch functionality and manages to tilt 180°.

Performance Panasonic is understandably keen to promote the autofocus capabilities and burst mode speed of the G9, to put it firmly on the radar of any wildlife and action enthusiasts. In fact, the rapid continuous shooting speed even matches the Sony _9, which is more than twice the price, but it’s the rest of the camera that really backs it up.

We were fortunate enough to be able to field-test the camera extensively on a South African safari at Thorny Bush game reserve, where we found the AF to be extremely quick and accurate in good light, without any noticeable problems. The tracking did a great job of keeping up with moving subjects, especially a group of adorable cheetah cubs we stumbled across. Face recognition worked brilliantly too. We attended a traditional tribal display, with furiouslypaced dancing, and the G9 kept up and produced a great hit-rate, even working when the faces weren’t square-on to the camera. When the faces weren’t present at all, the system managed to recognise body shapes, meaning it was always ready for fast bursts of explosive action.

Above Dual SD card slots are very welcome, especially considering how much memory 20fps shooting can burn through in such a short time.

Tech Focus High Resolution Mode

20MP

80MP

This mode is as impressive in reality as it is on paper. To accomplish High Resolution Mode, the sensor is physically moved a total of eight times, by a single pixel at a time. The G9 then captures eight images in rapid succession – we’re talking a maximum of 2 seconds. These images are then stitched together in-camera to create a composite image with a resolution of either 40MP or 80MP, the latter of which results in file sizes around the 125MB mark. The process takes a matter of seconds, and the stitching is extremely clean. It’s a really great feature for landscape lovers.

PRACTICALPHOTOGRAPHY.COM 139


GetIntoGear

5

Mode dial

The top-mounted mode dial allows you to choose from the usual settings, such as aperture and shutter priority, as well as selecting your burst mode.

6

5

6

Finer focus

The addition of the joystick, as found in many newer cameras, including the GH5, is a real bonus. You can now move your focus points quickly and intuitively, and the addition of wrapping points lets you move off the frame on one side, and reappear on the other, saving a lot of precious time.

7

7

Function buttons

Customisable Fn buttons let you set up the G9 to suit your specific needs. Using these buttons allows you to assign your favourite features to a dedicated button, which really helps in fast-paced shooting environments.

Of course, Panasonic uses contrast instead of phase detection, which isn’t quite as accurate in lower light levels, and there was a bit of struggling when the sun was setting. However, this is true for all cameras to some extent, and overall the system

ALSO CONSIDER THESE

held up very impressively. While the focusing kept the action nice and sharp, it was the 20fps blackout-free burst mode that made sure we didn’t miss anything. Like the Sony _9, the G9 automatically switches to electronic shutter for this, and quickly saves a

phenomenal amount of shots to your memory card while maintaining continuous focus settings. It’s definitely an area where Panasonic has made a giant leap forward. The 20.3MP sensor might not win any awards in the current resolution race, but it

Action capturing alternatives

Canon 7D MkII £1299 Canon’s enthusiast offering packs a considerable wallop considering its age. This 20MP DSLR offers Dual Pixel AF, 65 cross-type focus points and dual Digic 6 processors. It also boasts a rapid 10fps continuous shooting, which makes it stand out as a great choice for action, and a fully weather-sealed construction. canon.co.uk

140 PRACTICAL PHOTOGRAPHY

Sony _9 £4500 The Sony _9 is the undisputed full-frame speedster, featuring the same 20fps blackoutfree shooting as the G9. It also includes excellent AF tracking modes, 4K video features and a stacked 24.2MP sensor. The massive 693-point AF system returns sharp images under the tough conditions, aided by the 5-stop image stabilisation. sony.co.uk

produces some exceptionally clean-looking shots. Paired with the brand new 200mm f/2.8 and 1.4x teleconverter, images were impressively sharp, and the Dual I.S. 2 made shooting handheld a pleasure. We even managed to get some clean-looking shots when we were violently thrown around in the rear of the safari jeep, which is quite a feat. Of course, you have to use a compatible lens to get the full 6.5 stops, since it pairs the in-body 5-axis with the lenses’ 2-axis stabilisation systems. The High Resolution Mode takes eight shots, shifting the sensor by a pixel each time, to form either a 40MP or 80MP image. This mode works very well on static subjects, such as landscapes, and offers excellent results, though it does require a tripod or steady surface, since movement will cause misalignment. The stitching is very clean, and any minor noticeable traces can be easily cloned out in Photoshop. One future implementation we’d


CA MER A TEST

World-beating AF features

IMAGE QUALITY

The G9’s focusing system is hugely improved over previous models. The 225-point contrast detection AF system manages a world’s fastest 0.04sec acquisition speed, and the new tracking modes offer maximum flexibility. Continuous focusing modes will work in conjunction with the blistering 20fps blackout-free burst speed, meaning you’ll never miss a moment. The pinpoint mode allows you to centre in on the exact spot you want to capture, making it tack-sharp. Facial recognition is also extremely impressive, managing a superb hit-rate in busy environments. Panasonic has introduced wrap-around focus points, allowing you to scroll off one side of the frame and appear on the other, making it even more intuitive to use.

“THE G9 FEATURES AN INSANE, MEMORY CARDEATING 20FPS BLACKOUTFREE SHOOTING SPEED” love to see for this feature is a dedicated bracketing mode, as this would allow for easier composites in postproduction. Sadly, this feature doesn’t support multiple shots as of yet, though you can manually change your settings, and I recommend using the smartphone app to do this, to avoid any unwanted movement in-camera. If you liked the 4K and 6K Photo Modes of previous Lumix models, then you’ll find no surprises here. You can still use modes such as Post Focus, allowing you to capture a series of images and choose your focus point post-capture. Likewise the Burst Mode, where you can capture up to 30fps worth of video and extract a single still. These will save as 18MP files, which is close to the native 20.3MP resolution, though with the new 20fps burst mode allowing you to capture images at the full resolution, many of these modes feel less revolutionary than in previous models. This isn’t a slight

against the camera though, in fact it’s a testament to how fast the core technology is moving in the right direction. Although aimed squarely at photographers, the G9 very nearly manages to match the GH5 in terms of video output. Both offer 4K 60fps at 150MB/s, though the GH5 takes the top-spot with 10-bit 4:2:2 internal recording, whereas the G9 has been restrained to a more pedestrian 8-bit 4:2:0. In reality, it still produces excellent quality video, as you’d expect. Our biggest gripe is the control layout. Personally, we find the focus joystick to be a little too central, which leads to a fair bit of hunting. I also managed to hit the WB button

every time I was aiming for the ISO button. Both are behind the top-plate’s LCD, though I found the former to be more prominent. Overall, that’s very much a personal gripe, and definitely not enough to deter anybody who’s interested in the G9 for a lightweight, capable wildlife companion.

TECH SPEC Camera: Panasonic Lumix G9 Price: £1499 Effective resolution: 20.3MP Sensor: 17.3x13mm Micro Four Thirds Processor: Venus Engine 10 LCD: 3in 1040k-dot tilting touchscreen

Verdict

Shutter: Bulb, 60-1/8000sec

Let’s get the obvious out of the way first – there are a lot of similarities between the G9 and Sony _9... and that’s not a bad thing. It manages a world’s fastest AF speed, insanely quick burst rate and superb tracking modes, all of which lend it to action photography. The High Resolution Mode will also be of interest to landscape enthusiasts, who will love the amount of detail captured. It may not be full-frame, and the ISO performance doesn’t quite reach the _9’s, but at more than half the price, it’s an enthusiast’s dream.

(32,000sec using electronic shutter) Autofocus: 225-point contrast detection AF, Face Recognition ISO: 200-25,600 (extends to 100) Shooting speed: 20fps for 60 RAWs or 600 JPEGs Video: 4K at 60fps Pop-up flash: No Other features: High Resolution Mode, Zebra pattern, Focus peaking Battery life: 400 images (920 using power saving and LVF) Card type: SD, SDHC, SDXC Size (WxHxD): 137x97x92mm Weight: 658g Web: panasonic.co.uk

THE VERDICT PANASONIC LUMIX G9

HANDLING

PROS Lightning-quick AF Excellent focus tracking 20fps blackout-free burst speed High Resolution Mode 4K video Weatherproof design

IMAGE QUALITY

CONS Battery life could be stronger Control scheme is a little clunky No bracketing in High Res Mode

OVERALL SCORE

FEATURES

VALUE FOR MONEY

PRACTICALPHOTOGRAPHY.COM 141


GetIntoGear

1

Image stabilisation

2

Walkabout lens

Confidently work later into the evening thanks to the 5-axis image stabilisation system offering 4 stops of compensation. It also works with the Full HD video mode.

1 The camera’s built-in 15-45mm f/2.8-5.6 lens offers a 35mm equivalent of 24-72mm, making it perfect for everyday use. The wide maximum aperture of f/2.8 is also ideal for handheld shots.

2 KIT PRICE

£1149 IMAGE RESOLUTION

3

OLED EVF

The MkIII version of the G1 X now boasts a 2360k-dot OLED EVF. It offers a 100% view, allowing you to feel like you’re using a more traditional camera.

24.2MP VIDEO

Full HD

3 CANON POWERSHOT G1 X MKIII

A big little camera 4

E DON’T often make a big song and dance about compacts in PP, as it’s generally the CSCs and DSLRs that provide us – and you – with the features and power we need as creative photographers. But Canon’s latest PowerShot, the G1 X MkIII, looks set to re-write the rulebook. Packing the same APS-C sized sensor found in many of the brand’s DSLRs and CSCs, it also includes very nifty optics

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142 PRACTICAL PHOTOGRAPHY

in the form of a 15-45mm f/2.8-5.6 lens. A pocket camera boasting the same kind of power as a DSLR demands a closer look...

Main features As mentioned, the G1 X MkIII features an almost identical 24.2MP sensor to the 80D, M5 and 200D, giving it the same revered performance, while the fixed lens has a walkabout range of 15-45mm (24-72mm 35mm equiv). Thanks to the variable aperture, which

offers a maximum f/2.8, as well as 5 stops of in-built image stabilisation, the G1 X MkIII makes light work of challenging conditions. For those who want to capture frantic action, the brilliant Digic 7 processor allows shooting up to a very respectable 7fps while using continuous focus. There’s also a 49-point Dual Pixel AF system, and an ISO range of 100-25,600. Full HD video is available at 60fps, and is compatible with the 5-axis IS system.

4

Advance layout

The top dials of the G1 X MkIII look more akin to a mirrorless than a compact, and are great for quick settings changes.


CA MER A TEST

Stunning results of DSLR quality

IMAGE QUALITY

The image quality from this compact is on par with many of Canon’s entry and enthusiast-level DSLRs. This is thanks to using a near-identical sensor as the likes of the 80D, 77D and 200D. This means great colour rendition, solid low light performance and a decent amount of dynamic range to play with, which all add up to stunning shots that we wager nobody would guess were taken on a humble compact. The lens manages to achieve very sharp results, and the 9 rounded diaphragm blades create some very pleasing bokeh, with lovely blur in the out-of-focus areas. This does become harder at longer focal lengths though, given the lens’ variable aperture, which narrows the maximum f/number from f/2.8 to f/5.6 at the longest focal length.

Handling & build Tipping the scales at 399g, the G1 X MkIII isn’t much smaller than the 200D, Canon’s lightest DSLR, though the design feels much more like a contemporary mirrorless than a basic compact. A high quality magnesium alloy construction also incorporates a weatherresistant design, perfect for unexpected showers. Though it’s not as small as others in the G range, the added size makes it very comfortable in the hand, which we consider a real plus.

Performance With specs that mirror Canon’s recent DSLRs and CSCs, this compact promises great image quality. The Dual Pixel AF is quick and snappy, making it perfect when paired with touch-focus. However, using single-point AF will reduce your options from 49 points to 9 points, which is a bit limiting. This still provides the goods, though falls ever so slightly short of DSLR levels of speed and accuracy. The ISO range is a different story, as it matches many other Canon offerings. There is a bit of noise creeping in at ISO 1600, but images are still useable to ISO 6400 if needed.

The G1 X MkIII’s fixed 24-72mm equivalent optics will give you a great everyday focal range. Shots look pleasingly sharp and distortion is well controlled. This is down to the inclusion of four aspherical elements. This brilliant lens, while promising premium results, is slightly let down by the variable aperture which hits f/5.6 at longer focal lengths, meaning you’ll be struggling for a decent shutter speed in low light. However, if you mostly want to shoot landscapes during daylight hours, you won’t have any issues. It would have been nice to see a fixed f/2.8 lens, or a longer focal length like its predecessor though, especially when you consider its status as a premium compact with a price-tag of £1149. One feature that we love is the brilliant panoramic sweep mode, which allows you to take a horizontal or vertical sweep of the area and produce an image with

an effective resolution of up to 67MP, perfect to show off epic landscape locations. Sadly, the camera only promises 200 shots from a full battery, which is definitely far from a class-leading spec. We managed to eek out more than this from our battery, but investing in spares would be a wise move.

TECH SPEC Camera: Canon PowerShot G1 X MkIII Lens: 15-45mm f/2.8-5.6 (24-72mm 35mm equiv) Price: £1149 Effective resolution: 24.2MP Sensor: 22.2x14.8mm CMOS Processor: Digic 7

Verdict

LCD: 3in 1040k-dot vari-angle

There’s no denying that the G1 X MkIII is a landmark for Canon compacts. With near-DSLR image quality, sharp optics and great design this compact could appeal to anybody looking for a discreet pocket camera. However, considering this is the same price as a 77D with 18-135mm IS USM lens and extra 50mm f/1.8, it’s very hard to justify. Sure, the weight and size are strong selling points, but if you’re looking for a main camera with more futureproofing, this is probably not going to do the job.

touchscreen Shutter: Bulb, 30-1/2000sec Autofocus: 49-point Dual Pixel ISO: 100-25,600 Shooting speed: 7fps for 19 RAWs or 24 JPEGs Video: Full HD at 60fps Pop-up flash: Yes Other features: Panoramic sweep mode, dust-and moisture-resistant, GPS, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and NFC Battery life: 200 shots Card type: SD, SDHC, SDXC Size (WxHxD): 115x78x51mm Weight: 399g Web: canon.co.uk

THE VERDICT CANON G1 X MKIII

HANDLING

PROS Image quality Great ergonomics Strong ISO performance Sharp lens Size Lightweight Dual-Pixel AF Panoramic sweep mode

IMAGE QUALITY

CONS Battery life Variable aperture Very expensive against Canon’s other offerings

OVERALL SCORE

FEATURES

VALUE FOR MONEY

PRACTICALPHOTOGRAPHY.COM 143


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1

2

Elmarit-TL 18mm f/2.8

This Leica comes with the new wide 18mm pancake, giving a 35mm equivalent of 27mm and producing some seriously sharp results.

2

Dial C for control

Shutter speed, aperture, shooting modes, ISO and a quick menu can all be controlled by using the two top-mounted control dials, really showing the level of creative thought that’s gone into the CL.

3

1

Brilliant menu

Leica’s menu system is one of the best, thanks to a clear and concise approach that really lessens the intimidation.

KIT PRICE

£3150 IMAGE RESOLUTION

24.2MP VIDEO

4K UHD

LEICA CL

3

Style and substance? RESTIGE AND heritage must be earned, and Leica is deserving of both accolades, as the German camera company’s rangefinders are responsible for some of history’s most iconic images, from such masters of photography as Henri Cartier Bresson, Alberto Korda and Bruce Gilden. Today, the company produces digital cameras, but the rangefinder aesthetic and iconic spirit live on in all their glory.

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144 PRACTICAL PHOTOGRAPHY

Main features

Handling & build

The Leica CL is a beautifully designed mirrorless camera that comes with an Elmarit 18mm f/2.8 lens. It boasts a 24.2MP APS-C sensor and Maestro II processor, a 49-point autofocus, and an ISO ranging from 100 all the way to a staggering 50,000. You also get the option of shooting 4K UHD video at 30fps or Full HD at 60fps. The shutter speed ranges from 30-1/8000sec, or 1/25,000sec when using the electronic shutter.

Although the features list may sound a bit on the light side, it’s the design and handling which aims to set this camera apart. Viewing it from the rear reveals three buttons and a 3in 1040k-dot touchscreen. The 2360k-dot EVF is set to one side, mimicking the company’s earlier rangefinder heritage. Perhaps the most obvious aspect at play here is the size. The CL weighs in at 403g, though feels surprisingly hefty in-hand.

4

4

Stunning design

Ignore the LCD screen and you’d be forgiven for thinking the Leica CL was a rangefinder from the ’50s.


CAMER A TEST

It’s great, but is it the greatest?

IMAGE QUALITY

While there is always an aspect of hype regarding Leica image quality, it’s very often earned. This is certainly the case with the CL. What it does, it does well, though with an APS-C sensor, it’s facing off against proven cameras such as the Fujifilm X-T2 and Sony _6500. Although the images are sharp when used with the 18mm f/2.8, the colour and white balance can be a little off. Of course, shooting in DNG means you can tweak these easily in Photoshop. For night-time shoots, the ISO handles well, with clean images up to ISO 1600. Even working at ISO 6400 results in useable images, though beyond this, quality degrades quickly. As for that renowned image quality, it’s good, but it isn’t head and shoulders above the (much cheaper) competition.

The construction shines, with a milled and anodised aluminium finish hiding sturdy front and rear magnesium plating. If this camera leaves you with only one lasting impression, it will be the looks.

Performance With a minimal appearance, bare-essential controls and a list of features shorter than my average New Year’s resolutions, it’s down to handling and image quality to make the CL stand out. Heading out on location, I put the camera to the test, expecting nothing but the best considering the hefty £3150 price-tag. I was immediately thrown by its basic nature. Changing shooting modes from aperture-priority to manual was a challenge, finding you have to depress the shutter speed wheel to get to the mode select. Likewise for the ISO. After a bit of a stumble, I found this was a nice design touch, but also a little fiddly. Luckily, everything else was self-explanatory. The 49-point contrast AF system is nippy, with auto modes working well. Spot AF is quick to lock on, but moving the point with the D-pad was a bit laborious. Likewise, touch

focus must be selected, and it negates you changing AF points while using the EVF, which is a big oversight. You can use both in AF-S or AF-C modes, but you have to hold and drag the AF point, which isn’t quick or easy. You can also override AF by half-depressing the shutter button and turning the focus ring. This then automatically brings up focus peaking. It’s a very smart touch from the Germans. The offset viewfinder is a great throwback to rangefinders, and allows you to keep your spare eye on the scene you’re shooting. This is perfect for street photography, the genre which cemented the appeal of its Leica ancestors. The EVF is good, but I found if tends to suffer from lag if you’re quickly whipping from scene to scene. It’s not a deal-breaker though, and in most situations it performs very well. The menu system is also

among the most simple I’ve ever used, and while not vast it was very comprehensive. However, it’s not compatible with touch controls, which only work with moving the AF point, or image playback, which is a bit disappointing in this day and age. Despite some rather obvious quirks, and a meagre 220-shot battery life, this is a very capable camera that produces brilliant images, especially with the super sharp 18mm f/2.8.

TECH SPEC Camera: Leica CL Lens: Elmarit-TL 18mm f/2.8 Price: £3150 Effective resolution: 24.2MP Sensor: 23.6x15.7mm CMOS Processor: Maestro II LCD: 3in 1040k-dot touchscreen Shutter: 30-1/8000 sec, or 1/25,000sec using electronic shutter Autofocus: 49-point contrast detection ISO: 100-50,000

Verdict

Shooting speed: 10fps for

The Leica CL gives you the best of both worlds. You get the badge and ingenuity of Leica, and a very portable, extremely capable camera. If you want a quirky £3000 point-and-shoot mirrorless, which has great image quality, this is for you. For everyone else, £3000 goes a very long way towards a Fujifilm X Series, Sony _7R II... or a new car.

33 RAWs or 140 JPEGs Video: 4K UHD at 30fps, Full HD at 60fps Pop-up flash: No Other features: Wi-Fi compatible, exposure bracketing, Scene Mode colour profiles Battery life: 220 shots Card type: SD, SDHC, SDXC Size (WxHxD): 131x78x45mm Weight: 483g (with lens) Web: leica-camera.com

THE VERDICT LEICA CL

HANDLING

PROS Simple to use Stunning design Good ergonomics Excellent image quality Elmarit-TL 18mm f/2.8 is very sharp

IMAGE QUALITY

CONS Very expensive No manual control in video modes 220-shot battery life

OVERALL SCORE

FEATURES

VALUE FOR MONEY

PRACTICALPHOTOGRAPHY.COM 145


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BEST IN TEST

HASSELBLAD

X1D-50c BODY PRICE

£8388 IMAGE RESOLUTION

50MP

FUJIFILM

GFX 50S BODY PRICE

£5999 IMAGE RESOLUTION

51.4MP

HEA D-TO-HEA D

The brave new world of

medium-format They raced to be the first mediumformat mirrorless to market last year, but how do the Fujifilm GFX 50S and Hasselblad X1D-50c fare head-to-head? EDIUMformat has long been the preserve of professional photographers, promising exceptional image quality for situations when

M

146 PRACTICAL PHOTOGRAPHY

only the very best will do. Both Hasselblad and Fujifilm have a strong heritage of creating medium-format film cameras, with only the former making the leap to large digital sensors in 2004

with the H1D. Fujifilm has instead carved out a niche for itself in recent years by producing a line of much loved rangefinder-inspired APS-C CSCs, the X Series. Both manufacturers have excelled in their respective fields – Hasselblads are beloved by studio and advertising photographers, while Fujifilm’s X Series has captured the hearts of adventurers and street

photographers the world over – and as such have had very little reason to go head-to-head. Until now. In 2017 both companies created a mirrorless medium-format camera. Although Hasselblad announced the X1D-50c earlier, Fujifilm managed to get the GFX 50S to market first. Let’s find out which is the true winner in our headto-head...


CA MER A TEST

Stunning image quality

IMAGE QUALITY

Featuring near-identical 50MP sensors, with the Fujifilm boasting a slightly higher 51.4MP resolution, it’s no surprise that each camera returns stunning results. You can see here that the resolution allows us the freedom to crop, in this case we’ve zoomed into our main focal point, Louise’s eye, while retaining massive amounts of crisp detail. Both the Fujifilm and the Hasselblad return incredibly similar results, thanks to the same sensor resolutions. The only difference here is in the behind-the-scenes tweaking. One feature which we have loved about Fujifilm cameras is the Film Simulation modes, and happily the GFX includes these. Though you’ll likely not be shooting JPEGs on these cameras, it does offer a new level of colour convenience. You can even apply the styles to RAWs in Adobe Photoshop’s Adobe Camera Raw.

GFX-50S HASSELBLAD CROP

FUJIFILM CROP

“50MP ALLOWS YOU TO CROP INTO YOUR IMAGES & RETAIN AN AMAZING LEVEL OF SHARP DETAIL” Handling & build Historically medium-format wasn’t only synonymous with high quality images, but also with massive bodies. The cameras themselves were much larger than their 35mm equivalents, in order to accommodate the larger 120mm film format. The lenses also had a higher resolving power, which often came at the cost of more weight. The biggest challenge with bringing the same quality to a mirrorless body was always creating a camera which had a distinct size advantage over its predecessors, and both companies took a very different approach to achieve it.

The Hasselblad X1D-50c is a beautiful looking piece of kit. Featuring a milled aluminium body, there are few cameras that can boast such appeal. It also incorporates a sense of minimalism, with very little of the traditional controls you’d associate with photography being physically present. Instead, the majority of the features are controlled using the 3in 920k-dot touchscreen. By contrast, the GFX 50S bears a much less elaborate design that harks back to the ’80s, with straight edges that are far more reminiscent of traditional medium-format cameras, and keep it in line with the Fujifilm X Series aesthetic. The plastic body is very lightweight for the size,

Above The Hasselblad’s striking design truly marks it out as one of the most beautiful cameras ever to grace the photographic market.

encouraging you to take it out and about. And the controls are plentiful, which will be familiar to existing Fujifilm users. Customisable function buttons are many, inviting you to make the camera your own. The GFX also beats out the X1D by including a slightly larger 3.2in tilting touchscreen, with a considerably higher resolution of 2360k-dot. While neither camera can be considered an outright

winner here, we’d have to say the X1D-50c is the winner in the form stakes, and the GFX 50S the master of function. Which camera you would favour for handling and build is really a matter of taste, and whether you’d prefer beauty or brawn.

Performance Both of these cameras produce absolutely amazing images. Zooming in to 100%

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Quality results from the masters of minimalism As anybody who’s furnished their homes with a certain famous flat-pack furniture company’s products will know, the Swedes are masters of minimalism. No surprise then that the X1D-50c is a one-of-a-kind camera crafted from premium components. Encased in a stunning milled-aluminium body, the camera boasts amazing functionality, with the touchscreen menu a joy to navigate and the dual control wheels allowing for any swift changes to settings. We can’t help but think this may be the most beautiful camera ever created.

reveals a truly stunning amount of detail, which is testament to the resolving power of this pair. The X1D packs a 50MP sensor, whereas the GFX eeks out a tad more, at 51.4MP. However, in terms

of real-world results, those extra 1.4MPs are negligible. Both sensors are an identical size at 43.8x32.9mm, which is dramatically less than actual mediumformat film at 120mm.

Above The physically imposing medium-format sensor is 1.7x larger than a full-frame sensor, measuring 43.8x32.9mm.

148 PRACTICAL PHOTOGRAPHY

The dynamic range of these two cameras is also nigh-on identical. The X1D-50c (currently the highest rated camera on industry-leading sensor scoring website DxOmark.com, with a score of 102) boasts a certified 14.8 stops of dynamic range. The Fujifilm GFX 50S (which hasn’t yet been tested by DxOmark) is said to boast at least a 14-stop dynamic range. In real terms, both cameras are near-identical in the amount of highlight and shadow details captured, and both produce eyewateringly crisp images. They also benefit from ISO-invariance, meaning you can pull a phenomenal amount of information out of the shadows in Photoshop

without fear of introducing excessive noise. This adds to the feeling of an extended dynamic range, allowing you to shoot for the edit with both cameras. The biggest difference comes in how to use each camera. Medium-format is well-known to lack many of the features that modern DSLRs and CSCs boast, such as high burst rates, 4K video or faster shutter speeds for example. And these two cameras are no exception. Although the Fujifilm manages to include many more mod cons than the Hasselblad, both are still somewhat limited in terms of bells and whistles. The X1D-50c boasts a bulb mode, and a mechanical shutter


CA MER A TEST

X Series style comes to medium-format Fujifilm’s X Series is as renowned for its striking retro design as it is for the high quality images its cameras produce. While the GFX 50S is definitely a mediumformat camera, appearing more physically imposing than your average mirrorless, it still embraces the company’s famous X Series design aesthetic. Though the design may not be as revered as the X1D, the functionality is a step above the competition, with a far superior AF system and many of the features from the X Series making an appearance.

speed of 60min-1/2000sec, which is nowhere near the 1/8000sec found in most recent DSLRs. The GFX 50S manages a much more impressive 60min-1/4000sec using the mechanical shutter, or up to 1/16,000sec when relying on the electronic shutter (which does suffer from very noticeable rolling shutter). Likewise, the burst modes are lacking, with the Fujifilm managing a rather lacklustre maximum 3fps for 13 uncompressed RAWs, and the Hasselblad forcing out a slightly lower 2.7fps. Of course, neither camera is designed for high-octane action, so increased frame rates are generally accepted as not important. The X1D and GFX

definitely exceed expectations when it comes to high ISO shooting, with the larger photosites (light-collecting diodes on the sensor) being bigger than those found on high resolution full-frame sensors. The Fujifilm boasts a solid native ISO range of 100-12,800, which extends to a whopping 102,400, while the Hasselblad offers a base ISO of 100-25,600. Both cameras perform brilliantly at higher ISO sensitivities, with images showing signs of noise at ISO 25,600 but still being perfectly useable. This brilliant ability on both cameras lends them perfectly to shooting handheld in lower light situations, as well as allowing for faster shutter speeds in less than ideal conditions.

Lens ranges Hasselblad XCD v Fujifilm G mount Both cameras feature a newlyestablished lens range, which still requires more growth before it could be considered comprehensive. Hasselblad’s XCD lens series currently features four dedicated lenses – 30mm to a 120mm macro – although this is expected to grow to seven lenses in 2018. You can also use an adapter to utilise the original Hasselblad H series of lenses. Fujifilm currently has six G mount lenses on offer for the GFX, including the super wide-angle 23mm, 32-64mm zoom and a 120mm macro lens. It will also add a 250mm f/4 and 1.4x teleconverter within the year. Both cameras can be paired with other companies’ lenses with the use of third-party adapters.

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Low light capability hard to beat The increased size of the medium-format sensor, which is 1.7x larger than a 35mm full-frame sensor, brings the benefit of improved low light performance. The X1D has a higher native ISO of 100-25,600, while the GFX tops out at 12,800, and relies on an extended digital gain to boost it to a massive ISO 102,400. Images at 6400 on both cameras are incredibly useable, with files being far superior to APS-C sensors, and even well beyond most full-frame sensors. Step up a full stop to 12,800 and you’ll notice some noise creeping in, though the images still retain a great deal of clarity and solid edges. Even at 25,600, which is in the extended range for the GFX, both cameras produce useable files, though you’ll want to start looking at noise reduction software to clean up the noise here. In short, it’s too close to call who is the clear winner when it comes to low light handling.

IMAGE QUALITY

TEST SHOT FUJIFILM ISO 1600

HASSELBLAD ISO 1600

FUJIFILM ISO 3200

HASSELBLAD ISO 3200

Right Both cameras handle noise exceptionally well, offering clean images at 2 stops beyond most current cameras.

If we had to give a win on noise handling, the Hasselblad slightly takes the edge. It’s barely noticeable in real-world conditions though, and really the noise handling potential of both cameras is to be applauded. As we’ve discussed, some features don’t quite stack up well against full-frame or APS-C alternatives. The autofocus, for instance, doesn’t live up to the brilliant systems that can be found in more mainstream cameras.

You definitely won’t get the blistering 693-point AF system found in the Sony _9, or the nippy 153 points of the Nikon D850. Both cameras use contrast detection instead of the often superior phase detection. The X1D-50c manages 35 focus points, which can be controlled using either the touchscreen or the control wheels, though this is a clunky affair. The GFX 50S weighs in with a staggering 425 points and a joystick,

“THE MEDIUM-FORMAT SENSOR IS 1.7X LARGER THAN THOSE FOUND IN 35MM FULL-FRAME BODIES” 150 PRACTICAL PHOTOGRAPHY

which easily overwhelms the competition. However, neither camera revels in fast acquisition. You’ll find both can do the job, but are comparable to a slow meander rather than a furious sprint. The Fujifilm does have another trick up its sleeve though, in the guise of face detection. This vastly improves the focusing experience when composing portrait shots. For landscape enthusiasts, both cameras excel in manual focus, with peaking modes allowing you to guarantee sharp focusing by hand. This is a clear and decisive win for the GFX. Finally, and possibly the most enticing, come the built-in features. Simply put, the Hasselblad doesn’t

have any. It’s a camera for considered purists, and as such doesn’t rely on bells or whistles, so if you’re looking for time-lapses or panoramic sweep modes, it’s a flat no. Fujifilm, however, has taken many features of the X Series range and added them to the GFX. There’s an interval timer, time-lapse and multiple exposure modes. You can also use the excellent Fujifilm Film Simulations, letting you add a series of film styles to your JPEGs for beautiful results straight from the camera.

Verdict Both cameras offer some of the greatest image quality on the market, commercially surpassed only by 100MP medium-format sensors.


CA MER A TEST

HEAD-TO-HEAD VERDICT WHICH MASTER OF MEDIUM-FORMAT IS THE BEST?

BEST IN TEST

Above Both cameras approach controls differently, though we prefer the more tactile feeling of the GFX when compared to the X1D’s heavy touch-emphasis.

The low light performance, colour rendition and dynamic range each sensor is capable of capturing is a step above high-street models. While neither may offer the same level of functionality you’re accustomed to, it’s a trade-off many are willing to make. Both cameras reach the dizzy heights of excellence in many aspects (this is definitely the kit you’d use for shooting high-end billboard imagery, or landscapes to be blown up on the side of buildings), and make us truly excited for the next wave of medium-format mirrorless cameras, but we have to award overall winner to Fujifilm’s GFX 50S. The extra features, weatherproof design and increased functionality make it infinitely better value.

HASSELBLAD X1D-50C

FUJIFILM GFX 50S

Camera: Hasselblad X1D-50c Lens: XCD 45mm f/3.5

Camera: Fujifilm GFX 50S Lens: GF 45mm f/2.8

Price: £11,988 Effective resolution: 50MP

Price: £7698 Effective resolution: 51.4MP

Sensor: 43.8x32.9mm

Sensor: 43.8x32.9mm

LCD: 3in 920k-dot touchscreen

LCD: 3.2in 2360k-dot tilting touchscreen

Shutter: 60min-1/2000sec

Shutter: Bulb, 60min-1/4000sec or 1/16,000sec

Autofocus: 35-point contrast detection

when using electronic shutter

ISO: 100-25,600

Autofocus: 425-point contrast detection

Shooting speed: 2.3fps for 12 RAWs

ISO: 100-12,800 (expands to 102,400)

Video: Full HD at 25fps

Shooting speed: 3fps for 12 RAWs

Other features: Histogram, audio input, audio

or unlimited JPEGs Video: Full HD at 30fps

output, USB Type 3.0 Type C connection

Other features: Time-Lapse, Interval Timer,

Battery life: Approx 200 shots (CIPA rating not

Film Simulation modes, weatherproof

available)

Battery life: 400 shots

Card type: SD, SDHC, SDXC Weight: 1142g

Card type: SD, SDXC, SDHC Weight: 1265g

Size (WxHxD): 150x98x71mm (body only)

Size (WxHxD): 148x94x91mm (body only)

Web: hasselblad.com

Web: fujifilm.com

PROS Deep handgrip offers excellent handling Image quality is beyond excellent Construction adds a premium feel

PROS Large featureset for a medium-format Image quality is beyond excellent Best autofocus in class

CONS 5sec+ turn-on time Very expensive, even compared to the GFX Lacks added features

CONS Still more expensive than a DSLR Shutter lag is noticeable Slightly more clumsy feeling than the X1D

HANDLING

HANDLING

FEATURES

FEATURES

IMAGE QUALITY

IMAGE QUALITY

VALUE FOR MONEY

VALUE FOR MONEY

OVERALL SCORE

OVERALL SCORE

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Best portfolio websites Want to show off your images to a worldwide audience? Consider investing in one of these portfolio sites. F THE THOUGHT OF creating a website to showcase your images brings you out in a cold sweat, then you’re not alone. But don’t worry, because – in this golden age of digital – there are plenty of options available which don’t even require a cursory understanding of HTML. Portfolio websites are easy to use, offering simple interfaces, pre-built templates and drag and drop image placement. If you want to personalise the look and feel of your site more, most come with a vast amount of customisation, letting you create a home for your portfolio that shows off both your work and your personality. Here are five of the best, and most straightforward, off-the-shelf website building solutions around. And some won’t cost you a penny...

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BEST IN TEST

Weebly Free

Wix Free

Weebly is a seasoned pro when it comes to website building, having been around for quite some time. It features the same simplicity as others on test, and allows you to sign up with a free plan in return for hosting an advertisement. There are plenty of templates to choose from here, but this site builder isn’t as prolific as Wix. However, unlike Wix, you can switch templates at any time, using a relatively simple and pain-free process. This is a big bonus, allowing your site to evolve as your work and tastes change. And when you get a little more confident, Weebly also offers access to an HTML/CSS editor, allowing you to insert snippets of code to add specific design features, which greatly increases the flexibility of the basic templates. Blogs and ecommerce can be added, though again you will need to pay an additional cost to take advantage of these features. weebly.com

Founded back in 2006, Wix has long been at the forefront of portfolio websites, and so offers ease of use above all else. The same simplistic drag and drop approach as others in test allows you to produce quick results with zero programming experience. You can also create a blog or ecommerce store, depending on your plan. Wix has hundreds of free themes to choose from, as well as the Wix App Market. This allows you to add third-party features to your website. It also offers a free plan, though as with Weebly this comes at the cost of an advert on your homepage. This free plan has a 500MB storage limit, which should be enough, though you can make as many pages as you like. Non-branded plans start from £5.16 per month, and these allow you to ditch the Wix adverts, as well as use your own domain name. wix.com

SPEC Ecommerce: Yes Blog: Yes Unlimited storage: Yes

SPEC Ecommerce: Yes Blog: Yes Unlimited storage: Yes


FI V E OF THE BEST

HIGHLY RATED

SmugMug From $3.99 per month

Adobe Portfolio Free (with Creative Cloud)

Squarespace From £10 per month

SmugMug is slightly different to the other sites here, as it’s geared towards selling your work. It still features a very simplistic and intuitive drag and drop approach, however, making it relatively easy to organise your portfolio. The number of templates on offer pales in comparison to others on test, but you can customise each template to a degree. All plans feature unlimited storage, which is great for uploading years of work. You can also share these to your social media platforms, as with others on in this round-up. The basic plan will allow you, family and friends to order prints of your work directly from your site, which is a nice touch. More expensive plans actually allow you to turn your entire site into a catalogue, where SmugMug will fulfil print orders – including posters, coasters or mugs – for a split of the profits. smugmug.com

This comprehensive portfolio site builder features a solid range of style templates, and is ideal for those who just want somewhere to showcase their work. It also allows you to go in-depth into the customisation process, to create something unique. Some templates allow more levels of fine-tuning than others, however Portfolio will remember your customisation options when you switch between templates and applying them to your new layout is a very simple process. Photos can easily be added manually or synced through the Creative Cloud (CC) or Lightroom. You can also import images and projects from Behance. Portfolio is mobile-optimised (in fact it will resize to fit any device), which will really help your SEO and Google rankings if you’re looking to become more visual. Free to anybody with a CC account, this is a great starting option. adobe.com

The most expensive option on our list, Squarespace is also one of the most powerful. Featuring a simple drag and drop dynamic, and a host of template options, you can personalise many aspects. There are also bolt-on features such as an HTML/CSS-style editor or ecommerce, which cost more but allow you to create a store to sell your work. As with the other site builders here, Squarespace offers the option of using the predetermined URL or linking to a custom URL, though you’ll need to factor in the cost of buying a domain name. You can also link your social media accounts, which will display on the bottom of your site, as well as blogs to let people follow your adventures in photography. Although it costs from £10 per month, Squarespace offers a free two-week trial. You just won’t be able to add a custom domain or publish your website during this time. squarespace.com

SPEC Ecommerce: Yes Blog: Yes Unlimited storage: Yes

SPEC Ecommerce: No Blog: No Unlimited storage: No

SPEC Ecommerce: Yes Blog: Yes Unlimited storage: Yes

PRACTICALPHOTOGRAPHY.COM 153


Minitests Small accessories that could make a huge difference

LENS

Tamron 100-400mm f/4.5-6.3 Di VC USD £789 Tamron has a history of crafting great superzoom lenses, and its latest 100-400mm f/4.5-6.3 Di VC USD is no exception. This full-frame lens covers a very useful and comprehensive range, making it worth a look for anything from wildlife to sport to portraiture. And if you switch it to your APS-C body, you’ll get a 150-600mm lens, or 160-640mm with Canon’s 1.6x crop factor.

Performance When buying a superzoom, there are two very important things to factor in. Firstly, you’ll want to make sure the lens is sharp throughout the focal range. Secondly, you need to ensure the distortions at the extremes are kept in check. Thankfully, this Tamron optic passes both requirements with ease. The lens features a tough plastic construction, and

is also kept reasonably light (1115g for Nikon fit or 1135g for Canon) due to its magnesium lens barrel design, making it the lightest in its class. Inside the housing you’ll find 11 groups in 17 elements, including LD (Low Dispersion) elements and eBAND coating. Both of these help protect against ghosting, flare and chromatic aberrations, and they do a great job. Images are generally free of such distortions, and though you may notice slight aberrations in the corners at 400mm, you’ll have to strain to make them out. We were very impressed with the level of sharpness on offer, with the centre sharpness being extremely good throughout the zoom range. This is where the relatively narrow aperture, f/6.3 at 400mm, comes into its own, with the sweet

Above The image centres are pleasingly sharp throughout the entire focal range and the zoom range is incredibly versatile.

154 PRACTICAL PHOTOGRAPHY

HIGHLY RATED

spot never too far away at around f/8-f/11. The corners are also impressive, and while they do suffer a slight FILTER SIZE drop off in 67mm sharpness, MINIMUM FOCUS it’s very well 150cm handled. MAGNIFICATION For 1:3:6 anybody who wants to use this mounted on a tripod, you’ll be glad to know that there is an optional tripod collar which can be purchased separately. However, thanks to the 4 stops of VC image stabilisation and relatively light construction, you’ll get on very well handheld if that’s your preference. The last, and arguably most important aspect, is the autofocus performance. Tamron’s in-lens dual processor allows for some very fast and accurate focusing, and thanks to the USD (Ultra-Silent Drive) Above Both focus-limit and it’s virtually noise-free Vibration Control can easily be operated via handy switches. – a real bonus if you’re shooting skittish animals. Finally, this lens is lightest construction in its also compatible with the class, this one is equally as optional Tamron 1.4x capable. It also helps that it’s teleconverter, if you need under £800, so represents that smidge more reach. superb value for money. We thoroughly recommend you give this one a look, so Verdict long as you’re happy with Tamron has produced a the variable aperture. run of great lenses lately, tamron.eu and with a comprehensive focal length, 4 stops of image stabilisation and the


R EV I EWS

B+W XS-Pro ND MRC from £70 EDITING CONSOLE

Loupedeck £249 Loupedeck is an editing console that’s designed to streamline your Lightroom workflow. It’s also a thing of undeniable beauty. The concept is very similar to the brilliant Palettegear, which we reviewed last year, though it doesn’t offer the ability to work with the same amount of programs, currently only supporting LR 6 and later. We have to give credit here though, as the design and functionality are top-notch. Each control is clearly labelled and assigned to a function, whether it be exposure controls, star ratings or individual HSL colours – it’s all there in plain sight. There are also a number of customisable buttons, which allow you to map your favourite shortcuts and actions to the deck. This is great for those who have a more detailed

and specific editing workflow. The interface is quick, with on-screen actions reflecting your input as it happens. Using the dials or wheels allows for a really precise level of editing, which is more intuitive than using a mouse. You can also push down on your controls, which serves to reset the values and is great if you’ve changed your mind. While it’s clearly a beautiful and innovative product in many ways, it’s also not something that you’ll want to instantly buy if you’re new to editing or Lightroom. You’ll still be relying on your mouse for many aspects, such as using the Adjustment brush, or selective gradients, meaning this is supposed to complement the process. We’d also like it to support other Adobe apps. loupedeck.com

Above Loupedeck allows you to speed up your Lightroom workflow, thanks to a wealth of buttons and dials.

BAG

Tenba Solstice 20L backpack £149 This streamlined backpack from Tenba features a single, spacious internal compartment which can be accessed from the rear or the top. It’s designed to house either a DSLR with attached zoom lens and two or three additional lenses, or a DJI Mavic-sized drone and 10in laptop or tablet. Although a little sparse at first sight, the Solstice uses the remaining space well. Both sides have elasticated pockets, which work with a buckle-strap to hold a small travel tripod, or even a bottle of water for longer walks. Inside the top access is a zipped net, perfect for memory cards, though a dedicated memory card section would be appreciated. There’s also a front pocket, with areas for your batteries and assorted peripherals. tenba.com/uk

Above The Solstice 20L is large enough to accommodate a drone.

You can never have enough quality ND filters, so we’ve tested out the B+W XS-Pro ND MRC Nano. Catchy name aside, this is a 10-stop screw-on ND filter, meaning you’ll be able to get exposures heading into tens of seconds in bright daylight. The filter feels solid, and the MRC (Multi Resistant Coating), which repels water and dirt, leaves the glass with a green tint. Images appear with a slight warm tone to them, though this is normal for longer exposures, and is easily corrected in editing suites such as Photoshop or Lightroom. The clarity is very impressive, with images shot at 30sec remaining virtually as sharp as without the filter, though the range is a little pricey. manfrotto.co.uk/bwfilters

Benro HD2A 3-way head £95 When it comes to tripod heads, balls are very much en vogue, but sometimes you can’t beat a good 3-way. Benro’s latest offering features very smooth movements, an 8kg weight load and an Arca-Swiss type plate. It has a pitch tilt range of -35° to +90°, and a roll of -15° to + 90°. You can also rotate a full 360°, and keep track with the handy guides on each axis, making it perfect for complex panoramas. The sturdy handgrips act as both a movement aid and HIGHLY tightening screws. You RATED even get spirit levels, which are a godsend if you like to get technical when it comes to straight horizons. benroeu.com

PRACTICALPHOTOGRAPHY.COM 155


057 CARBON FIBER TRIPOD

ALUMINIUM TRIPODS RRP MT190X PRO3 3 Section £199.95 MT190X PRO4 4 Section £219.95 MT055X PRO3 3 Section £219.95 190 Go! 4 Section £174.95 290 Dual 3 Section £139.95 290 Xtra 3 Section £104.95 Befree 4 Section £184.95

NOW £149 £149 £159 £129 £110 £79 £139

CARBON FIBRE TRIPODS MT190CX PRO3 3 Section £379.95 MT190CX PRO4 4 Section £394.95 290 Xtra Carbon 3 Section £209.95 MT055CX PRO3 3 Section £429.95 MT055CX PRO3 4 Section £459.95

£299 £299 £159 £329 £339

TRAVELLER CARBON TRIPODS RRP NOW GT1532 3 Section £629.95 £489 GT1542 4 Section £649.95 £499 MOUNTAINEER CARBON TRIPODS GT0532 3 Section GT0542 4 Section GT2542 4 Section

RRP £509.95 £569.95 £759.95

NOW £399 £449 £599

• Extra-rigid carbon fiber 3 or 4 section Legs • Ground Level Adapter to reach ultra-low positions • Levelling bubble to be always level to the horizon • Extremley versatile thanks to the 3 leg angle positions • Robust magnesium spidercast & leg locks

492RC Mini c/w RC2 496RC2 Compact c/w QR Plate RC2 QR Plate RRP £72.95 £55 RRP £89.95 £69

128RC Micro Fluid Video RRP £99.95 £75

MHXPRO 2W XPRO Fluid c/w fluidity selector RRP £129.95 £99

MHXPRO BHQ2 XPRO MHXPRO BHQ6 XPRO Ball in Magnesium Magnesium Ball c/w c/w 200 PL Top Lock Plate RRP £129.95 £99 RRP £169.95 £138

700RC2 Composite Video RRP £99.95 £79

MVH500AH Lightweight Fluid Video Head c/w Flat Base RRP £149.95 £110

MH057M0 Q5 468MGRC3 Hydrostatic 057 Magnesium Ball Ball c/w RC3 Rapid MVH502AH Flat Base MVH502A Pro Fluid c/w Q5 Connect System Video Pro Fluid Video RRP £289.95 £219 RRP £304.95 £229 RRP £194.95 £149 RRP £224.95 £169

324RC2 Light Duty Grip, compact & portable RRP £139.95 £99

327RC2 Light Duty Grip Ball £169.95 £169

MH055M8 Q5 Magnesium Photo Movie c/w QR Plate RRP £339.95 £269

MHXPRO 3W X PRO c/w retractable levers RRP £124.95 £95

RRP 535 Single Leg Tripod £1195.95 546B Twin Leg Middle Spreader Tripod £959.95

234 Monopod Tilt RRP £27.95 £24

234RCMonopod c/w QR, Wide 90º Scope RRP £42.95 £35

MH804 3WMark II in Adapto c/w retractable levers RRP £84.95 £69

460MG Magnesium RRP £114.95 £85

GH1382QD Series 1 GH1382TQD Traveller Quick Release D Series 1 Quick Release D RRP £329.95 £277 RRP £289.95 £259

Systematic Tripod Bag RRP £164.95 £129.95

MT057C3 3 Section MT057C3 G 3 Section Geared MT057C4 4 Section MT057C4 G 4 Section Geared

RRP £679.95 £719.95 £749.95 £799.95

NOW £449 £499 £549 £599

NITROTECH N8 FLUID VIDEO HEAD C/W

G2180 Series 1 GH1720QR Series 1 Counter Balance Video Magnesium 2 Way RRP £229.95 £170 RRP £259.95 £199

2720QR Series 2 Magnetic 2 Way RRP £329.95 £249

GHFG1 Fluid Gimbal Head RRP £399.95

Series 0/1 Mountaineer Series 2/3 Mountaineer RRP £97.95 £79.99 RRP £129.95 £99.99

ALTRA PRO2+ ALUMINIUM TRIPODS (includes FREE Spiked Feet) £199.99 263AB c/w Ballhead 3 Section 263AP c/w Panhead 3 Section £199.99 ALTRA PRO2+ CARBON FIBRE TRIPODS (includes FREE Spiked Feet) GS5370MC Aluminium G1220.129B3 Spikes For Quick Release Plate Tripod (Set Of 3) 263CT 3 Section £289.99 RRP £54.95 £39.99 RRP £54.95 £44.99 264CT 4 Section £299.99

MHXPRO 3WG XPRO Three Way Pan/Tilt RRP £184.95 £149

UNPADDED RRP 60cm £24.95 70cm £29.95 75cm £34.95 80cm £44.95

NOW £22 £24 £28 £39

405 Aluminium RRP £514.95 £379

PADDED RRP NOW 75cm £59.95 £49 80cm £79.95 £59 90cm £89.95 £69 100cm £109.95 £79 120cm £109.95 £85

Pro Light camera Pro Light camera element covers E-702 element covers CRC-12 for AJ-PX270 for DSLR from £69.95 from £114.95

E-704 PL Pro Light Camera Extension Sleeve Kit RRP £79.95 £65

393 Long Lens Monopod Bracket RRP £219.95 £179

VEO2 ALUMINIUM TRAVEL TRIPODS 204 AB c/w Ballhead £79.99 235 AB c/w Ballhead inc Free Shoulder Bag worth £50 £139.99 235 AP c/w Panhead inc Free Shoulder Bag worth £50 £159.99 VEO2 CARBON FIBRE TRAVEL TRIPODS 235 CB c/w Ballhead inc Free Shoulder Bag worth £50 £199.99 265 CB c/w Ballhead inc Free Shoulder Bag worth £50 £249.99

Finance example: 12mths, 0% APR: Cash Price £1475, 10% Deposit £147.50, Monthly Payment £110.62, Total Amount Payable £1475. • 24mths, 9.9% APR: Cash Price £1475, 10% Deposit £147.50, Monthly Payment £60.93, Total Amount Payable £1608.82 36mths, 19.5% APR: Cash Price £1475, 10% Deposit £147.50, Monthly Payment £47.95, Total Amount Payable £1873.70 See website for details: www.uttings.co.uk/Information/Finance. Finance is subject to status, terms & conditions apply.* *Consumer credit service provided by DEKO in association with Close Brothers Retail Finance. DEKO is licensed by the Financial Conduct Authority (Consumer Credit Licence: 0616240) Finance provided by Close Brothers Retail Finance is a trading name of Close Brothers Limited10 Crown Place, London EC2A 4FT.


E+OE Prices subject to change. Goods subject to availability

See website for more lenses


01803 852400 Email - info@mifsuds.com

www.mifsuds.com

Mifsuds Photographic Limited U.K. Stock No Grey Imports 27-29, Bolton Street, Brixham. Devon. TQ5 9BZ.

PHONE LINES OPEN

MON -FRI 8am - 5pm, SAT 9am - 3pm, SUN CLOSED. SHOP OPEN

TUE -FRI 10am - 5pm, SAT 9am - 3pm. SUN/MON CLOSED.

PART-EXCHANGE WELCOME

WE PART EXCHANGE, BUY FOR CASH OR COMMISSION SALE FAIR PRICES OFFERED ~ QUOTED QUICKLY ~ COLLECTION CAN BE ARRANGED For speediest response please email your equipment details to... info@mifsuds.com

QUALITY LENSES DESERVE QUALITY FILTERS Canon EOS 1DX MKII

Full Frame

We stock Hoya filters in sizes from 37-86mm including: UV, ND, IR, close-up, softeners, diffusers, polarisers, protectors etc PLEASE SEE WEBSITE FOR DETAILS www.mifsuds.com Canon EOS 7D MKII

Body only £4798

£898

£1347

Plus 15-45 £ 68 Plus 18-150 £1198

Canon EOS 77D

Body only £3177

Plus 18-55 STM Plus 18-135 STM

Canon EOS 6D MKII

Canon EOS 200D

Full Frame

Full Frame Body only £1699

£2199

Canon 300 F2.8 IS L USMII £4999

APS-C Body only

£798

Canon EOS M6 APS-C

Plus 15-45 STM £598 £918 £1148 Plus 18-150 STM

APS-C Body only

£499 Plus 18-55 IS STM £539 Canon EOS APS-C Cameras EOS 80D Body.................................£947 EOS 80D + 18-55 STM ..................£1078 EOS 80D + 18-135 STM ................£1297 EOS 800D Body ..............................£768 EOS 800D + 18-55 STM ..................£868 EOS 760D Body ..............................£578 EOS 750D Body ..............................£558 EOS 750D + 18-55 STM ..................£598 EOS 750D + 18-135 STM ................£798

Nikon D850 Full Frame

Body only price

APS-C

£1798

Nikon D7500

Nikon D5 Full Frame

£5098

Nikon Full Frame Cameras D810 Body Only ...........................£2398 D750 Body only ...........................£1698 D750 + 24-120 F4 VR ...................£2297 MBD-18 grip (D850) ...................... £368 MBD-17 grip (D750) ...................... £348 MBD-12 grip (D810) ...................... £348

Nikon 8-15 F3.5/4.5 AFS E £1298

Nikon D500 Body only price

£3499

Body only

APS-C Body only

Body only

Canon EOS 5D MKIV

Plus 24-105 STM

Canon EOS M5

APS-C

APS-C Body only £1297 Plus 18-140 VR £1598 Nikon APS-C Cameras D7200 Body only ........................... £888 D7200 + 18-105 VR ......................£1087 D5600 Body Only .......................... £648 D5600 + 18-55 AF-P....................... £728 D5600 + 18-140 VR ........................ £948 D3400 + 18-55 AF-P....................... £438

Nikon 70-200 F2.8 AFS E FL ED VR £2398

£898

Canon EOS M100 APS-C

Plus 15-45 STM

£568 Canon EOS M System 11-22 f4/5.6 IS STM ....................... £317 15-45 f3.5/6.3 IS STM.................... £199 18-55 f3.5/5.6 IS STM .................... £199 18-150 f3.5/6.3 IS STM.................. £398 22 f2 STM ....................................... £198 28 f3.5 Macro IS............................. £289 55-200 f4.5/6.3 IS STM.................. £249 EOS M mount adap ......................... £98

NIKON DX NON FULL FRAME LENSES 10.5 F2.8 DX Fisheye . . . . . . . . . .£599 10-20 F4.5/5.6 G VR . . . . . . . . . . .£328 10-24 F3.5/4.5 AFS G . . . . . . . . . .£729 16-80 F2.8/4 AFS ED VR. . . . . . . .£898 16-85 F3.5/5.6 AFS VR . . . . . . . . .£578 18-105 F3.5/5.6 AFS G no box . .£239 18-140 F3.5/5.6 AFS VR . . . . . . . .£469 18-300 F3.5/6.3 AFS VR . . . . . . . .£648 35 F1.8 AFS G . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .£188 70-300 F4.5/6.3 AFP VR . . . . . . . .£359 70-300 F4.5/6.3 AFP non VR . . .£299 NIKON FX FULL FRAME LENSES 14-24 F2.8 AFS G ED. . . . . . . . . £1648 16-35 F4 AFS VR . . . . . . . . . . . . £1058 18-35 F3.5/4.5 AFS G . . . . . . . . . .£658 20 F1.8 AFS G ED. . . . . . . . . . . . . .£697 24 F1.8 AFS G ED. . . . . . . . . . . . . .£678 24-70 F2.8 AFS G ED VR. . . . . . £1598 24-120 F4 AFS G ED VR . . . . . . . .£997 35 F1.4 AFS G . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . £1578 35 F1.8 AFS G . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .£478 50 F1.4 AFS G . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .£398 50 F1.8 AFS G . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .£208 60 F2.8 AFS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .£528 70-200 F2.8 AFS E FL ED VR . . £2398 70-200 F4 AFS G ED VR . . . . . . £1238 70-300 F4.5/5.6 E ED VR . . . . . . .£748 85 F1.8 AFS G . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .£448 105 F2.8 AFS VR macro . . . . . . . .£788 200-500 F5.6 AFS E ED VR. . . . £1248 300 F2.8 AFS ED VRII . . . . . . . . £4888 300 F4 AFS E PF ED VR. . . . . . . £1528 400 F2.8 G E FL ED VR . . . . . . £10398 400 F2.8 AFS ED VRII . . . . . . . . £4299 500 F4 G E AFS FL ED VR . . . . . £8998

CANON EFS LENSES 10 18 F4.5/5.6 IS STM . . . . . . . £197 18 55 F3.5/5.6 ISII no box. . . . £129 CANON EF FULL FRAME LENSES 8 15 F4 L USM Fisheye. . . . . . . £969 11 24 F4 L USM . . . . . . . . . . . .£2497 14 F2.8 USM MKII . . . . . . . . . .£1749 16 35 F2.8 L USM MKIII . . . . .£1897 16 35 F4 L IS USM. . . . . . . . . . . £866 20 F2.8 USM . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . £419 24 F1.4 LII USM . . . . . . . . . . . .£1299 24 F2.8 IS USM . . . . . . . . . . . . . . £399 24 70 F2.8 L II USM. . . . . . . . .£1697 24 70 F4 L IS USM. . . . . . . . . . . £724 24 105 F4 L IS USM MKII. . . . . £997 24 105 F3.5/5.6 IS STM . . . . . .£399 28 F2.8 IS USM . . . . . . . . . . . . . . £387 35 F2 IS USM. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . £468 40 F2.8 STM . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . £159 50 F1.2 L USM . . . . . . . . . . . . .£1249 50 F1.4 USM . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . £348 50 F1.8 STM . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . £97 70 200 F2.8 IS LII USM. . . . . .£1797 70 200 F2.8 non IS L USM. . .£1197 70 200 F4 L IS USM. . . . . . . . .£1097 70 300 F4/5.6 L IS USM . . . . .£1247

200-400 F4 IS L USM

£8999

10-20 F3.5 EX DC HSM . . . . . .£328 12-24 F4 DG HSM Art . . . . . £1378 12-24 F4.5/5.6 II DG. . . . . . . . .£648 14 F1.8 DG HSM Art . . . . . . £1497 17-50 F2.8 EX DC OS. . . . . . . .£328 18-35 F1.8 DC HSM Art . . . . .£648 18-300 F3.5/6.3 DC mac OS .£368 20 F1.4 DG HSM Art . . . . . . . .£698 24 F1.4 DG HSM Art . . . . . . . .£648 24-35 F2 DG HSM Art . . . . . . .£758 24-70 F2.8 DG OS HSM Art £1198 35 F1.4 DG HSM Art . . . . . . . .£598 50 F1.4 EX DG HSM Art . . . . .£569 50-100 F1.8 DC HSM Art . . . .£948 70-200 F2.8 EX DG OS . . . . . .£844 85 F1.4 DG Art. . . . . . . . . . . . . .£999 100-400 F5-6.3 DG OS HSM Contemporary . . . . . . . .£698

15-30 f2.8 Di VC USD .....................£897 16-300 f3.5/6.3 Di II VC PZD ........£428 18-200 F3.5/6.3 Di II VC.................£188 18-400 f/3.5-6.3 Di II VC HLD .....£648 24-70 f2.8 Di VC USD G2............ £1247 70-200 f2.8 Di VC USD G2 ......... £1297

70 300 F4/5.6 IS USM II . . . . . . £448 85 F1.4 L IS USM . . . . . . . . . . .£1568 85 F1.8 USM . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . £319 100 F2.8 IS L USM macro. . . £797 100 400 F4.5/5.6 IS LII USM £1788 200 400 F4 IS L USM . . . . . . .£8999 200 F2.8 II L USM . . . . . . . . . . . £698 300 F2.8 IS L USM II . . . . . . . .£5199 400 F2.8 IS L USM II . . . . . . . .£8999 400 F4 DO II IS USM . . . . . . . £6498 400 F5.6 L USM . . . . . . . . . . . . . £997 500 F4 IS L USM II . . . . . . . . . £8197 600 F4 IS L USM II . . . . . . . .£10899 12mm ext tube MKII . . . . . . . . . £69 25mm ext tube MKII . . . . . . . . £128 1.4x III extender. . . . . . . . . . . . . £388 2x III extender . . . . . . . . . . . . . . £388 CANON FLASHGUNS/GRIPS MR 14 EX II Ringlight. . . . . . . .£548 MT 26 EX RT mac twin light£1079 430EX III RT Speedlight . . . . . .£238 600EX RT II Speedlight . . . . . . £538 BG E21 (fit 6D MKII) . . . . . . . . . £179 BG E20 (fit 5D MKIV) . . . . . . . . £297 BG E16 (fit 7D MKII) . . . . . . . . . £218 BG E13 (fit 6D) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . £197

400 F2.8 IS L USM II

£8999

105 F2.8 EX DG OS HSM . . . .£358 120-300 F2.8 EX DG OS Sport DEMO NAF FIT ONLY . . . . £2199 135 F1.8 DG HSM Art.. . . . . £1198 150 F2.8 EX DG OS. . . . . . . . . .£778 150-600 F5/6.3 OS Contemp £788

150-600 F5/6.3 OS Sport . . £1328 500 F4 DG OS HSM Sport . £4997 500 F4.5 EX APO DG HSM CAF FIT - ONE ONLY . . . . . £2997 USB Lens dock. . . . . . . . . . . .£39.99 70-300 F4/5.6 Di VC USD..............£329 85 f1.8 SP Di VC USD......................£747 100-400 F4.5/6.3 Di VC USD........£788 150-600 F5/6.3 VC USD G2....... £1128 150-600 F5/6.3 SP VC USD ...........£737 Kenko Converters 1.4x Pro 300 converter..................... £149 2x Pro 300 converter .......................£149 Auto ext tube set............................£119

WE STOCK COKIN P, X AND Z SERIES KITS. PLEASE SEE WEBSITE FOR FULL DETAILS.

X100f

£1248

X-Pro2 body ..........................................£1598 X-T2 + 18-55mm .................................£1848 X-T2 body ..............................................£1648 X-T20 + 18-55mm ...............................£1147 X-T20 body ...............................................£797 X100f Compact....................................£1248

X Series lenses and accessories etc 10-24mm F4 XF ......................................£898 14mm F2.8 XF R .....................................£848 16mm F1.4 XF .........................................£898 16-55mm F2.8 .........................................£948 18mm F2 XF.............................................£498 18-55mm F2.8/4 OIS ............................£599 18-135mm F3.5/5.6 XF.........................£718 23mm F1.4 XF .........................................£829

23mm F2 XF R WR .................................£418 27mm F2.8 XF .........................................£398 35mm F1.4 XF .........................................£498 35mm F2 R WR........................................£428 50mm F2 R WR........................................£448 50-140mm F2.8 R OIS ........................£1428 55-200mm F3.5/4.8 OIS XF.................£677 56mm F1.2 R APD ...............................£1328 56mm F1.2 XF .........................................£898

60mm F2.4 XF macro ...........................£648 80mm F2.8 OIS WR macro ...............£1249 90mm F2 R LM WR ................................£898 100-400 F4/5.6 OIS WR ......................... £1698 1.4x XF TC WR ..........................................£388 2x XF TC WR .............................................£398 11mm Ext tube ......................................... £75 16mm Ext tube ......................................... £75 VPB-XT2 Vertical grip............................£284

Family Run Pro Dealership With Friendly, Knowledgeable Staff. Prices Inc VAT - Correct 18/12/2017. E&OE. MORE ON WEBSITE - UPDATED DAILY. ORDERS OVER £100 VALUE INCLUDE UK MAINLAND P&P. ALL U.K. STOCK, NO GREY IMPORTS.


Although we are the best stocked dealer in the West Country, we cannot always have every item listed in stock at all times, so we are happy to reserve new & used items for customers planning to visit. Prices correct 18/12/2017 but subject to change without notice. See website for up to date prices. E&OE.

Website altered daily inc. manufacturers cashback & promotions

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QUALITY USED EQUIPMENT. See website for full list. Call us to check condition. 6 Month warranty on most secondhand. CANON USED

Used Canon EOS 1DX MKI I body box

£3699/3999

Used Canon EOS 7D MKII body box

£999

NIKON USED Used Nikon D4s body box

£3499

Used Nikon 300mm F2.8 AFS VRI

£2999

Used Nikon D810 body box

£1799

DIGITAL USED

Used Fuji X-Pro2 body box

£999

Used Olympus OM-D E-M1 body Mbox

£599

Used Sony RX10 MKII box

£699

Buy with confidence - all of our used equipment is thoroughly tested and cleaned before being offered for sale CANON DIGITAL AF USED 1DX MKII body box . £3699/3999 1DX MKI body box .. £1999/2999 1D MKIV body box ..............£1499 1D MKIII body ......................... £499 1Ds MKII body......................... £599 7D MKII body box.................. £999 7D body box............................ £499 6D body box............................ £799 5D MKIV body box................. £2699 5D MKIII body box................. £1699 5D MKII body ..............................£799 5D MKI body box ......................£399 60D body......................................£399 50D body box.............................£299 BG-E2............£39 BG-E2N...........£49 BG-E7.................................................£79 BG-E13 ...........................................£119 TC-80N3 remote........................£85 Angle finder C......................... £139 Powershot G5X box.............. £499 Powershot G12....................... £229

CANON EOS M USED EF M 55 200 F4.5/6.3 IS STM£229 DC1 viewfinder....................... £149 CANON AF FILM BODIES USED EOS 1V HS body..................... £699 EOS 1V body box................... £599 EOS 3HS body inc PB-E2..... £449 EOS 5 body box.........................£79 EOS 50E body.............................£59 EOS 500/500N/1000f b/o ea.£39 EOS 600/650/1000/10 b/o ea£49 EOS 5000/300V body ..............£49 PB-E2 drive fits EOS1/3........ £149 CANON AF LENSES USED 8-15 F4 L fisheye.................... £799 10-18 F4.5/5.6 IS STM EFS .. £179 10-22 F3.5/4.5 USM EFS ...... £329 14 F2.8 USM LII box ............£1349 15-85 F3.5/5.6 IS USM EFS.. £399 16-35 F2.8 USM LIII .............£1599 16-35 F2.8 USM LII................. £799 16-35 F4 L IS USM.................. £749

URGENTLY BRONICA HASSELBLAD MAMIYA ETC Used Nikon

£1299

Used Nikon 500mm F4 AIS

£1399

SIGMA CAF USED 10 20 F4/5.6 EX DC .................... £249 17-50 F2.8 EX DC HSM ............. £249 18-125 F3.8/5.6 HSM................. £149 18-200 F3.5/6.3 DC..................... £149 18-250 F3.5/6.3 DC OS ............. £199 28-135 F3.8/5.6 ...............................£99 28-200 F3.5/5.6 Asph ..............£99 50 F1.4 DG Art ........................ £499 50 F2.8 EX macro ................... £149 50-500 F4/6.3 EX DG OS...... £699 50-500 F4/6.3 EX DG ............ £399 70-200 F2.8 EX DG OS.......... £749 70-300 F4/5.6 APO DG............£99 105 F2.8 EX DG....................... £229 120-300 F2.8 EX DG.............. £699 150 F2.8 EX DG OS Mint box£599 150-500 F5/6.3 DG OS.............. £449 150-600 F5/6.3 DG OS Sport + TC-1401 kit Mint box...........£1099 180 F2.8 EX DG OS ..................... £899 180 F3.5 EX DG HSM mac....... £399

TC1401 1.4x conv........................ £189 1.4x EX DG conv .......................... £149 OTHER CAF USED TAM 10-24 F3.5/4.5 Di II ...... £279 TAM 17-50 F2.8 XR DiII ........ £199 TAM 18-200 F3.5/6.3 VC ...... £149 TAM 18-250 F3.5/6.3 DiII..... £149 TAM 28-300 F3.5/6.3 VC...............£449 TAM 28-300 F3.5/6.3 XR Di.........£199 TAM 70-300 F4/5.6 Di USD VC . £199 TAM 70-300 F4/5.6 ........................£99 TAM 150-600 F5/6.3 VC USD. £599 TOK 100 F2.8 ATX........................ £299 Zeiss 50 F1.4 ZE box .................. £399 Triplus ext tubes set......................£69 CANON FLASH USED 270EX MKII ..................................£99 430EX MKII ............................... £169 550EX............................................£99 580EX box ................................ £179 580EX MKII ............................... £299 600EX RT................................... £349

D7000 body............................. £399 D80 body.................................. £169 D60 body.................................. £149 MBD 17 grip ............................ £279 MBD 15 grip ............................ £149 MBD 14 grip ............................ £149 MBD 12 grip ............................ £229 MBD 10 grip ........................ £49/99 MBD 80 grip ...............................£49 MBD 200 grip.............................£49 NIKON AF FILM BODIES USED F5 body ..................................... £399 F90X body...................................£99 F801/F601/F70 body each ....£49 F55 body......................................£29 NIKON AF LENSES USED 10.5 F2.8 DX ..................................£399 10 24 F3.5/4.5 DX.......................£599 12 24 F4 AFS DX..........................£599 14 F2.8 AFD scruffy....................£749 14 24 F2.8 AFS M box..........£1099 14 24 F2.8 AFS box....................£999 16 F2.8 AFD Fisheye..................£499

16 35 F4 AFS VR ..........................£899 16 85 F3.5/5.6 AFS VR...............£379 17 55 F2.8 AFS .............................£499 18 35 F3.5/4.5 AFD ....................£269 18 105 F3.5/5.6 VR AFS............£179 18 135 F3.5/5.6 AFS DX...........£169 18 140 F3.5/5.6 AFS VR............£299 18 200 F3.5/5.6 AFS VRI...........£299 20 F1.8 AFS G................................£499 20 F2.8 AFD...................................£449 24 70 F2.8 AFS .............................£999 24 85 F3.5/4.5 AFS VR............... £399 24 120 F4 AFS VR........................ £699 24 120 F3.5/5.6 G VR................. £299 24 120 F3.5/5.6 G........................ £199 28 F1.8 AFS G................................ £399 28 100 F3.5/5.6 AF G....................£69 35 F1.8 DX....................................... £149 35 F2 AFD ....................................... £199 45 F2.8 PC E............................. £999 50 F1.4 AFS G .......................... £299 50 F1.8 AFS .............................. £149 55 200 F4/5.6 AFS VR ........... £169

70 200 F2.8 VR II box..........£1299 70 200 F2.8 VR I box............. £999 70 200 F4 AFS VR................... £899 70 300 F4.5/5.6 AFS VR........ £369 70 300 F4.5/5.6 AFD............. £349 70 300 F4/5.6 G non VR..........£99 80 200 F2.8 AF one touch .. £349 85 F1.4 AFS M box ............... £949 85 F1.8 AFS .............................. £349 85 F2.8 DN PC E ..................... £999 105 F2.8 AFS VR...................... £499 200 F2 AFS VRII.....................£3799 200 400 F4 AFS VRII............£3499 300 F2.8 AFS VRII .................£3799 300 F4 AFS box....................... £549 300 F4 AFD (non AFS).......... £369 500 F4 AFS VR .......................£4999 600 F4 AFS EDII ........ £3499/3999 TC17EII....................................... £199 TC20EII....................................... £199 TC20E ......................................... £149 SIGMA NAF USED 18 200 F3.5/6.3 DC mac C...... £199

24 F1.4 DG Art..............................£499 24 35 F2 DG Art box .................£599 24 70 F2.8 EX DG HSM.............£469 24 70 F2.8 EX DG........................£299 24 105 F4 DG OS HSM.............£499 28 200 F3.5/5.6 early................... £69 35 F1.4 DG Art ........................ £499 70 200 F2.8 EX DG OS Mint box.................................... £749 70 300 F4/5.6 APO DG............£99 105 F2.8 EX DG............................. £199 135 400 F4.5/5.6 DG.................. £299 150 F2.8 EX DG OS Mint box.. £599 150 F2.8 EX DG OS ..................... £549 150 500 F5/6.3 DG OS.............. £499 170 500 F5/6.3 D......................... £299 150 600 F5/6.3 DG OS Sport + TC 1401 kit Mint box...........£1099 150 600 F5/6.3 contemp......... £649 TAMRON NAF USED 10 24 F3.5/4.5 DiII....................... £239 11 18 F4.5/5.6............................... £219 18 250 F3.5/6.3 ............................ £149

19 35 F3.5/4.5..................................£99 28 75 F2.8 XR Di........................... £229 28 300 F3.5/6.3 XR Di................ £199 70 300 F4/5.6...................................£79 150 600 F5/6.3 Di VC USD...... £599 OTHER NAF USED TOK 10 17 F3.5/4.5 ATX....... £249 TOK 11 16 F2.8 ATX Pro DXII £349 TOK 12 24 F4 ATX Pro .......... £329 FLASH / ACCESSORIES USED SB 500.........£169 SB 600.......... £169 SB 700............................................... £199 SB 800............................................... £149 SB 900 box..................................... £249 SB 910 box..................................... £299 SB R1 Ringflash box.................. £349 SU 800 commander.................. £249 DR 6 angle finder........................ £149 DR 5 angle finder........................ £149 DW 21 fits F4........................... £119 MB 10 (fits F90)...............................£29 MB 23 (fits F4)..................................£49 MC 30 remote .................................£45

Why not register to receive our email newsletters? Simply send your email address to info@mifsuds.com to enrol FUJI DIGITAL USED X Pro2 body box..................£1099 X-Pro1 body box.................... £399 X-T1 body black...................... £499 X-T1 body black...................... £449 X-T20 body silver box........... £599 X-T10 body box ...................... £299 X30 compact box .................. £199 14 F2.8 XF R box..................... £499 18 F2 R XF................................. £349 18-55 F2.8/4 XF ...................... £399 23 F1.4 R XF ............................. £699 27 F2.8 XF................................. £249 35 F1.4 R box........................... £399 50-230 F4.5/6.7 XRC ............. £249 90 F2 WR box .......................... £599 EF-42 flash box ..........................£99 EF-20 flash box ..........................£59 MINOLTA/SONY DIGITAL USED Sony RX100 MKIII box............ £449 Sony RX10 MKII box ............... £699 Sony A9 body Mint- box.....£3799 Sony A350 body....................... £149 Sony VG-C70AM....................... £139 Sony LA-EA4 mount adap ... £189

BRONICA ETRS 645 USED ETRSi + 75 + WLF + 120 back................................ £399 ETRS body ................................ £119 30 F3.5 PE ................................. £699 40 F4 E ....................................... £199 50 F2.8 PE ................................. £349 75 F2.8 PE ................................. £149 150 F3.5 E ....................................£99 150 F3.5 PE M Box................ £149 200 F4.5 PE............................... £199 2x extender.............................. £199 E14 Ext tube ...............................£49 E42 Ext tube ...............................£49 120 RFH........................................£69 135W back ............................... £299 135N back ................................ £169 Polaroid Back .............................£49 AEII prism ................................. £129 Plain prism ..................................£59 Rotary prism...............................£99 Winder early ...............................£79 Speed Grip E...............................£59

35MM & MISCELLANEOUS USED 400mm F2.8 ED AIS

70 200 F2.8 USM L ................ £799 70 200 F4 L IS USM ............... £699 70-200 F4 L USM.................... £399 70-300 F4.5/5.6 IS USM L .... £999 70-300 F4.5/5.6 IS USM ....... £249 75-300 F4/5.6 MKII ...................£99 85 F1.2 L USM ......................... £899 100 F2.8 L IS USM .................. £649 100 F2.8 USM box.................. £299 100-400 F4.5/5.6 LII IS U....£1499 100-400 F4.5/5.6 L IS U........ £799 135 F2 L USM box.................... £699 300 F2.8 LII IS U ......................£4699 300 F2.8 LI IS U........................£2999 400 F2.8 IS USM L .... £3199/4999 400 F4 DO...............................£2499 500 F4 IS L USM....................£4499 1.4x extender MKIII................. £329 1.4x extender MKII .................. £249 2x extender MKIII..................... £339 2x extender MKII box............. £239 25mm ext tube MKII .................£99

We carry out sensor cleaning on the premises, firmware updating and equipment hire - please enquire for details NIKON DIGITAL AF USED DF + 50 F1.8 chrome box .£1699 D4s body box........................£3499 D4 body box.............. £1999/2699 D3X body box.......................£1299 D3s body box........................£1299 D3 body box................... £899/999 D2Xs body................................ £399 D850 body Mint box ..........£3299 D810 body box.....................£1799 D810 body .............................£1399 D800E body box ....................£ASK D800 body box......... £1199/1399 D750 body box.....................£1199 D700 body box....................... £599 D610 body ............................... £799 D600 body ............................... £699 D300s body ............................. £349 D300 body box....................... £299 D200 body box....................... £149 D7500 body box .................... £999 D7200 body box .................... £729 D7100 body............................. £449

Sony HVL 43AM box .............. £179 Sony HV56AM........................... £149 Sony HVK-F42AM .......................£89 SONY NEX USED NEX 5 body .................................... £129 FE 16-35 F4 ZA OSS E................ £899 FE 16-50 F3.5/5.6 EZ .................. £149 FE 24-70 F2.8 GM......................£1599 FE 90 F2.8 macro......................... £699 Samyang 100 F2.8 macro....... £229 MINOLTA/SONY AF USED 7xi body .......................................£99 Dynax 5 body.............................£69 5xi body .......................................£49 7000i or 500Si body each......£39 300Si body ..................................£29 11-18 F4.5/5.6 AFD DT......... £259 24-50 F4 .......................................£99 24-85 F3.5/4.5 ......................... £149 28 F2.8 ..........................................£99 28-75 F2.8 AFD ....................... £299 28-80 F4/5.6................................£39 28-85 F3.5/4.5 ............................£99 35-70 F4 .......................................£39 35-70 F3.5/4.5..................................£25

MEDIUM FORMAT 6x45, 6x6, 6x7 & 6x9 USED

WANTED

17 40 F4 L USM ...................... £449 17 55 F2.8 IS USM EFS ......... £449 17-85 F4/5.6 IS USM................... £199 18-55 F3.5/5.6 IS EFS ....................£99 20 F2.8 USM................................... £349 24 F2.8 STM.................................... £109 24-70 F2.8 L IS USM II.........£1399 24-70 F4 IS USM..................... £599 24-105 F4 L IS MKII................ £899 24-105 F4 L IS.......................... £599 28-80 F3.5/5.6 USM MKI...... £149 28-80 F3.5/5.6 ............................£79 28-90 F4/5.6................................£99 28-135 F3.5/5.6 IS USM ....... £249 28-200 F3.5/5.6 USM box ... £199 28-300 F3.5/5.6 IS USM L ..£1399 50 F1.4 USM............................. £279 55-250 F4/5.6 IS STM EFS ... £199 60 F2.8 IS USM EFS................ £279 65 F2.8 MP-E............................ £799 70-200 F2.8 IS USM LII .......£1499 70-200 F2.8 IS USM L............ £999

CANON FD USED A1 body serviced................... £169 AE1 Program body...................£99 24 F2........................................... £299 24 F2.8 ....................................... £149 24 F2.8 breechlock................ £149 28 F2.8 ..........................................£49 35-70 F4 .......................................£69 35-105 F3.5 .............................. £149 50 F1.2 L.................................... £699 50 F1.8 ..........................................£49 50 F2..............................................£49 50 F3.5 macro ............................£99 70-150 F4.5 .................................£29 100 F2.8..................................... £149 100-300 F5.6...............................£79 135 F3.5........................................£49 135 F3.5 (Breechlock)..............£39 200 F4 macro .......................... £299 25mm Ext tube..........................£29

35 80 f4/5.6.......................................£25 35 105 F3.5/4.5 ...............................£99 50 F2.8 macro............................... £179 70-210 F4.5/5.6 ...............................£69 75-300 F4.5/5.6 ............................ £129 100-300 F4.5/5.6 APO............... £179 100-300 F4.5/5.6.......................... £149 500 F8 mirror................................. £349 VC700 grip.........................................£39 RC1000S cord...................................£29 SONY LENSES USED 16-80 F3.5/4.5 ZA DT................. £499 18-55 F3.5/5.6 SAM.......................£59 18-70 F3.5/5.6..................................£89 18-135 F3.5/5.6 DT SSM........... £329 18-200 F3.5/6.3 DT ..................... £199 55-200 F4/5.6 DT SSM .................£69 75-300 F4.5/5.6 ............................ £129 SIGMA MIN/SONY AF USED 10-20 F3.5 EX............................. £269 10-20 F4/5.6 EX DC ................. £249 18-35 F1.8 Art............................ £549 18-50 F3.5/5.6 DC.......................£69 18-250 F3.5/6.3 DC mac HSM £199 28-105 F2.8/4 ...............................£69

28 135 F3.8/5.6............................£79 28 300 F3.5/6.3 macro........... £149 50-150 F2.8 EX DC MKII......... £399 55-200 F4/5.6 DC OS.................£79 70-300 F4/5.6 DG OS............ £169 70-300 F4/5.6 APO DG............£99 150-500 F5/6.3 APO DG ...... £499 1.4x EX conv ...............................£99 TAM 10-24 F3.5/4.5 DiII ....... £239 TAM 24-70 F3.5/5.6 ..................£49 TAM 90 F2.8 ............................. £249 TAM 90 F2.8 ............................. £179 TAM 200-500 F5/6.3.............. £399 Teleplus 1.4x conv....................£69 Teleplus 2x conv .......................£79 Kenko 1.4x Pro 300DG......... £149 MINOLTA FLASH USED Minolta 5200i.............................£29 Minolta 5400HS.........................£39 Minolta 5600HSD M-...............£79 OLYMPUS 4/3 USED E5 body ..................................... £599 E3 body ..................................... £299 E1 body ........................................£79 E510 body ................................ £149

E500 body ................................ £129 11 22 F2.8/3.5 ......................... £349 12-60 F2.8/4 ED...................... £399 14-42 F3.5/5.6 ............................£49 14-45 F3.5/5.6 ............................£99 14-54 F2.8/3.5 ......................... £199 25 F2.8 ....................................... £179 40-150 F3.5/4.5..........................£99 50 F2 macro............................. £299 50-200 F2.8/3.5 ED................ £399 25mm ext tube..........................£89 VA-1 angle finder......................£69 OLYMPUS MICRO 4/3 USED OMD-EM1 body M- box ...... £599 OMD E-M5 MKII body box.. £499 OMD-EM10 MKII body......... £349 OMD E-M5 body box............ £249 9-18 F4/5.6 ............................... £369 12 F2........................................... £479 12-40 F2.8................................. £599 14-42 F3.5/5.6 ......................... £169 17 F1.8 ....................................... £279 25 F1.8 ....................................... £269 40-150 F4/5.6 .......................... £189 MC-14 converter.................... £249

ECG grip .......................................£39 HLD 8 grip...................................£99 HLD-7 grip box..........................£89 HLD-6 grip...................................£79 PANASONIC DIGITAL USED GH2 body ................................. £299 G5 body .................................... £199 G3 body box............................ £199 GX7 body.................................. £349 GF3 body black .........................£99 GF1 body .....................................£99 GF6 body box silver.............. £199 7-14 F4 G .................................. £499 14-42 F3.5/5.6 ......................... £199 14-42 F3.5/5.6............................£79 14-45 F3.5/5.6 ......................... £149 14-140 F4/5.8 box ................. £399 20 F1.7 ....................................... £199 35-100 F4/5.6 .......................... £169 45-150 F4.5/5.6....................... £149 45-200 F4/4.5 box ................. £199 100-300 F4/5.6 MKII.............. £449 100-300 F4/5.6........................ £299 PENTAX DIGITAL USED K100d body ............................. £149

For more used equipment listings please see website www.mifsuds.com

Tripod adapter E .......................£39 Winder early ...............................£49 Metz SCA 386.............................£49 BRONICA SQ 6x6 USED SQB + 80 + WLF + 120 back£399 40 F4 S ....................................... £299 50 F3.5 S.................................... £149 150 F4 PS ......................... £149/199 200 F4.5 PS M box ............... £199 2x PS converter M ................ £179 135N 35mm film back ......... £119 SQAi 120 RFH .............................£79 Plain Prism S Boxed .................£69 AE Prism Early ............................£79 ME Prism Finder ........................£69 Metz SCA 386.............................£49 Pro shade S .................................£59 Lens Hood 65 80.......................£20 SQAi Motorwinder ................ £149 SQAI winder............................. £149 Speed grip S ...............................£79 FUJI USED G617 inc 105 F8 ...................£1299

HASSELBLAD 6x6 USED 503CW Millennium + 80 F2.8 CFE + A12 ...........£2499 501C + 80 CB + A12............£1699 500CM + 80 F2.8 C + A12 + WLF............................ £699 500CM body black ................ £299 500C chrome body ............... £249 503CW winder........................ £179 45º prism late.......................... £299 45º prism early ..........................£99 Sports viewfinder .....................£69 Chimney.......................................£99 A12 chrome latest................. £349 A12 late blk/chr...................... £199 Polaroid back 100.....................£79 50 F4 CF FLE ............................ £849 50 F4 Black T*.......................... £399 100 F3.5 Black T*.................... £399 150 F4 CF.................................. £499 150 F4 Black T* ....................... £299 250 F5.6 Black T*.................... £199 Vivitar 2x conv ...........................£49

Lens hoods various........... £20/50 MAMIYA 645 MF USED 645 Pro + 80 F2.8 N + 120 back + WLF.................. £499 Plain prism (645 Super)..........£79 645 Super WLF...........................£99 Polariod Back HP401 ...............£29 Polaroid back .............................£29 120 Insert.....................................£20 120 Back.......................................£79 Winder..........................................£79 45 F2.8 N................................... £199 150 F3.5 N ...................................£79 150 F3.8 NL leaf...................... £299 210 F4 N M ................................£79 Ext Tube 1....................................£29 Ext tube 2 ....................................£29 Ext tube 3S..................................£29 Teleplus 2x converter..............£49 Vivitar 2x converter..................£49 MAMIYA TLR 6x6 USED 65 F3.5 box late ...................... £199 65 F3.5 serviced...................... £149

250 f4.5...................................... £179 Porrofinder..................................£59 MAMIYA 6 & 7 RF 6x7 USED 43 F4.5 L + VF box ...............£1199 50 F4.5 L + VF box ................. £799 150 F4.5 M .............................. £399 MAMIYA RB 6x7 USED Pro S body................................ £199 Plain prism early .................... £149 WLF................................................£79 50 F4.5 ....................................... £299 127 F3.5 KL............................... £299 Pro SD ext tube 1 45mm............£99 Pro SD ext tube 2 82mm............£99 MAMIYA RZ 6x7 USED RZ 67 Pro + 90 + WLF + 120 RFH................................. £399 RZ Pro body ............................. £149 120 RFH Pro II.......................... £149 120 RFH Pro ................................£99 Polaroid back .............................£79 FE701 prism............................. £299 WLF...........£79 Winder II..........£49

65 F4 box M ........................... £399 90 F3.5 W M box................... £299 180 F4.5 W................................ £199 PENTAX 645MF USED 645 body + insert .................. £199 200 F4 ........................................ £149 300 F4 ........................................ £249 1.4x converter......................... £199 PENTAX 67 USED 45 F4........................................... £399 135 F4 macro late .................. £249 165 F2.8 latest M .................. £499 200 F4 latest ............................ £169 200 F4 early...................................£99 300 F4 early scruffy................... £99 1.4x Pentax rear converter . £249 2x Pentax rear converter..... £179 Auto ext tubes ...........................£49 Wooden grip ........................... £169 ROLLEI 6x6 TLR USED 3.5F White Face serviced...£1699 MORE ON WEBSITE WWW.MIFSUDS.COM

Please contact us to determine availability before making a lengthy journey 50mm Ext tube..........................£29 2x Extender B.............................£49 CANON BINOCULARS USED 15 x 45 IS................................... £599 CONTAX 35mm RF USED 90 F2.8 G................................... £199 LIGHTMETERS USED Gossen Spot-Master ............. £299 Minolta Flashmeter IV.......... £199 Sekonic L308S......................... £119 MINOLTA MD USED XD7 body black/chrome..... £149 X300 chrome body ..................£49 X300s black body .....................£49 X700 black body .......................£99 XGM chrome body...................£49 28 F3.5 MD. .................................£49 50 F1.7 MD..................................£49 50 F2 MD .....................................£49 70-210 F4 MD.............................£99

2x Converter...............................£79 Ext tube for 50 F3.5..................£29 Ext tube set.................................£49 Auto bellows 1...........................£99 NIKON MF USED FE2 body chrome .................. £349 F2 Photomic body box........ £349 FM2n body chrome .............. £349 FE body black.............................£99 8 F2.8 AIS................................£1499 20 F3.5 AI.................................. £199 24 F2 AI ..................................... £299 28 F2.8 E box..............................£69 28-85 F3.5/4.5 AIS.................. £199 35 F2.8 PC................................. £349 35-70 F3.3/4.5 AIS.................. £129 35-70 F3.5 AIS ............................£99 35-105 F3.5/4.5 AIS..................£79 50 F1.2 AIS................................ £399 50 F1.4 AI.................................. £199

50 F1.8 AI.................................. £149 50 F1.8 E.......................................£59 180 F2.8 AIS ED scruffy........ £179 400 F2.8 ED AIS serviced .... £999 500 F4 AIS................................. £999 500 F8 mirror........................... £249 SC-17 TTL lead...........................£25 DW-3 WLF find fit F3 ...............£99 PK-11a ext tube.........................£49 PK-12/PK-13 ext tube each ...£49 OLYMPUS OM USED OM-4T body ............................ £249 OM-2SP body.............................£99 OM40 body.................................£79 OM-2n chr body box............ £249 OM-2n body chrome... £149/199 OM-1n body chrome............ £199 OM-1 body............................... £199 24 F2.8 ....................................... £199 28 F2.8 ..........................................£79

35 F2.8 box .................................£99 35 70 F4 .......................................£99 35-105 F3.5/4.5 box.............. £149 35-105 F3.5/4.5..........................£79 50 F1.8 ..........................................£69 80 F4 mac................................. £199 135 F2.8 box............................ £149 135 F4.5 macro....................... £199 200 F4 ........................................ £149 Vivitar 400 F5.6....................... £149 7, 14, 25 man ext tube ea......£20 14 or 25 auto ext tube ea......£29 60-116 auto ext tube set .... £199 Tripod mount ring....................£59 PENTAX 35mm AF USED Z50P body...................................£49 SFXN body ..................................£49 16-45 F4 .................................... £199 17-70 F4 SDM M- box .......... £299 18-55 F3.5/5.6 ............................£69

28 80 F3.5/5.6 ............................£49 50 200 F4/5.6 DA......................£99 55-300 F4/5.8 ED WR............ £229 55-300 F4/5.8 ED box........... £199 77 F1.8 FA Limited edition . £699 100 F2.8..................................... £149 SIGMA PKAF USED 18-250 F3.5/6.3....................... £199 28-200 F3.5/5.6....................... £149 PENTAX PK MF USED 24 F2.8 PK................................. £199 50 F1.4 PK................................. £149 85 F2 PK .................................... £199 120 F2.8 K................................. £199 135 F3.5 PK .................................£69 150 F3.5 PK box...................... £149 50 F1.4 PK..£99 50 F2 .............£49 50 F4 macro PK..........................£99 TAMRON ADII USED 35-135 F3.5/4.2..........................£99

ITEM YOU REQUIRE NOT LISTED? PLEASE GIVE US DETAILS OF WHAT YOU ARE LOOKING FOR AND WE WILL CONTACT YOU WHEN THAT ITEM BECOMES AVAILABLE. Mail order used items sold on 10 day approval. Return in ‘as received’ condition for refund if not satisfied (postage not included - mail order only). E&OE.


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Intricate details Shunning a camera for darkroom techniques, Vicky-Michelle Squire has created a unique portfolio. O EVER SINCE I CAN REMEMBER I’VE ALWAYS LOVED the art world. I first became interested in photography during my last year of secondary school, as I wanted to capture the nature that I saw around me. I was obsessed with these tiny details that often go unnoticed, but I didn’t have the drawing talent to achieve what I wanted. Instead, I picked up a camera and began from there. I continued my art education with college, and then attended university. My work, be it darkroom or digital, draws inspiration from artists, photographers, naturalists, entomologists and designers throughout history. Attending Nottingham Trent University (NTU) opened my eyes to the world of the darkroom and hand-printing photographs. This started a love affair, and I’ve developed my practice ever since. NTU also pushed me to research and learn about photographic history, which brought me to the work of Henry Fox Talbot and the world of camera-less photography. Among the list of my inspirations is Susan Derges, Ernst Haeckel and Damien Hirst. I’m really drawn to these artists, as all of their work is about exploring the natural world in one way or another. They capture details that spark people’s interest and make them fall in love with the subject matter. This is what I wanted to do with my photograms, the camera-less technique I used for my images. It’s simple to do, but having the ability to enlarge a cicada and strip it back to its finer details without a camera is magical. All the research I did while attending NTU had a huge impact on my work. It inspired me to push my images beyond their limitations, and make them into something more than just a photograph. After graduation, I contacted The Hive, which is the University’s Centre for Entrepreneurship and Enterprise. It has been an amazing tool to help me progress into having my own business. I’ve received not only grants to help with the initial start-up costs, but also expert insight into running my business. In addition, I’ve been to workshops run by specialists in their field, whether it be marketing, manufacturing, product photography, galleries or how to approach stockists. There’s nothing that they haven’t been able to help me with.

Vicky-Michelle Squire graduated from Nottingham Trent University with a BA (Hons) Photography in 2014. facebook.com/insektbyvickymichelle

162 PRACTICAL PHOTOGRAPHY


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