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A £2,000 STUDIO!*

From epic mountain views to thrilling seascapes, it’s your complete guide to more creative scenics

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reader shootout outdoor portraits

Two readers, two models, one challenge: take portraits outdoors without the aid of flash. We arm ourselves with a pile of reflectors and hit the streets of Bath… www.digitalcameraworld.com 

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PHOTO PROJECTS 10 New ideas to try

We round up a selection of fun, creative and challenging techniques to keep you shooting all month, from birds in flight to fantastic, focus-racked firework shots

see page 61 *UK READERS ONLY

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WIDE-ANGLE PRIMES 8 LENSES ON TEST

Get the big picture on wide, fixed focallength lenses. Our testing team deliver the verdict on a range of full-frame and APS-C optics, stretching from 14mm to 24mm NOVEMber 2015

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Welcome to this special edition of Digital Camera

ThiS MONTH’S STAR CONTRIBUTORS…

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utumn is without doubt my favourite season to be outdoors, taking photographs and generally being creative. The harmonious hues, low light, mellow mists and even the smells get my creative juices flowing. So to help you get started this season, we’ve compiled some killer content – starting with our cover story, which is jam-packed with inspirational images and must-try techniques. Our new Back to Basics series reveals everything you need to know about the essential landscape filters. And in our group test, we round up eight of the best wide-angle primes, the perfect glass for landscapes. As if that and all the other great content wasn’t enough, you can also download our FREE 164-page ebook Outdoor Landscape & Nature Photography, with loads more tips, techniques and advice. There’s also the latest ebook edition of Camera Shopper, so you can get your Christmas wish list in order…

ThE BIG INTERVIEW

LIGHTING GURU

The Magnum and National Geographic veteran discusses his colourful career

Scott demonstrates where to place a softbox for striking results

dAVID ALAN HARVEY

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TURNING PRO MORAG PATERSON

The landscape pro offers her advice for selling your work through a gallery

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QUESTION MASTER ANDREW JAMES

Got a query, need advice, want your pictures rated? Just ask Andrew

Ben Brain Editor, Digital Camera

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SCOTT KELBY

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portfolio Alberto Ghizzi Panizza Images from one of the world’s astrophotography hotspots

136

lightroom maestro SEAN McCormack Our Lightroom pro shows how to master the Tone Curve tool

About the cover photograph This stunning image was shot by Janek Sedlar in a nature reserve in the Czech Republic’s White Carpathians. “My favourite conditions for taking pictures are on rainy and foggy days like this one,” reveals Janek. “The picture is part of my ‘Forest Roads’ series, in which I’m trying to share my intimate connection

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with nature. In particular, this body of work is dedicated to my passion for walking and just being out there, moving around in the natural world.”

Nikon D90 with 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6 lens; tripod; 1/40 sec at f/5, ISO 100 www.janeksedlar.com

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September 2015

F REE GI F TS EVEry issue we bring you more freebies than any other photo magazine!

FREE! OUTDOOR LANDSCAPE AND NATURE PHOTO EBOOK WORTH £7.99

watch video www.bit.ly/ dc170video

This 164-page guide helps you to master the core skills of nature photography. Discover how to make dramatic landscape and seascape images; master the techniques you need to take stunning images of wild animals; and enjoy outdoor photography closer to home, with macro projects to try in your back garden. You’ll find reviews of nature photography kit too, such as telephotos for wildlife photography and neutral-density filters. Whatever natural scene you want to capture, you’ll find something here… Download via www.bit.ly/dc170outdoor

Whenever you see this logo on a page in the magazine, you can find related content at www.bit.ly/ dc170video

10 videoS 9 Free Tips CardS Our popular tips cards offer pocket-friendly advice. This month’s selection includes a range of seasonal subjects and covers techniques for exposure, composition, focusing and more. Look for them after the magazine.

You can watch a range of image-editing videos to accompany this month’s Digital Darkroom section. Our Photoshop experts demonstrate how to add variety to your black-andwhite shots; how to turn your photos into digital paintings; and how to enhance the look of your pictures by mastering Lightroom’s Tone Curve. You’ll also find a video review. Watch the videos via www.bit.ly/dc170video

164-page buyer’s guide

SECRETS OF LAYERS Ebook

Choose your next camera or lens with the help of this 164-page magazine, packed with expert reviews. This issue of Camera Shopper is provided as a PDF ebook. Download the ebook via www.bit.ly/shopper12

From Adjustment Layers to Blend Modes, Layer Masks and beyond, here’s everything you need to know to get started with Photoshop’s most powerful editing tools. Look for this ebook after the magazine ends.

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C O N TE N TS A N O THER BUMPER ISSUE f u l l of p h o t o f u n

EXPERT PRO ADVICE

10

Hotshots

A selection of winning images from Alamy’s recent photo contests

74

Print 30,863 Digital 5,916 Jan–Dec 2014 A member of the Audit Bureau of Circulations

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

Editorial

Photo Answers

Andrew James rates your photos and solves your problems

Editor Ben Brain ben.brain@futurenet.com Acting technique editor Marcus Hawkins marcus.hawkins@futurenet.com Art editor Roddy Llewellyn richard.llewellyn@futurenet.com

18 Photo Projects

82 Assignment

32

In Focus

86

David Alan Harvey

The Magnum legend talks beaches and black-and-white…

Head of testing Angela Nicholson angela.nicholson@futurenet.com

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Stunning landscapes

94

Turning Pro

Editorial contributors Ben Andrews, Charlie Coles, Neil Crossley, Amy Davies, Glyn Dewis, Claire Gillo, Geoff Harris, Andrew James, Alastair Jennings, Scott Kelby, Sean McCormack, Andy McLaughlin, James Paterson, Matthew Richards, Chris Rutter, Tom Welsh

10 great ideas to take your photography further this month

We round up the biggest photo stories from the last four weeks

Fresh ideas for improving your photography in the great outdoors

52 Back to Basics

Which filters are still relevant when you shoot digital images?

56

Image Analysis

66

Shootout

72

Portfolio

The winners of our monthly competition, plus a new challenge

How to make money by selling your prints through a gallery

98 Scott Kelby 102 Bluffer’s Notes 135 Digital Darkroom

Quick-fire flash set-ups

Harold ‘Doc’ Edgerton

Learn the art of composition and lighting with our new series

Improve your Photoshop and Lightroom skills with our tutorials

Two readers try natural light portraiture in the city of Bath

154 156 Desert Island D-SLR Back Issues

Catch up on your reading

Italian photographer Alberto Ghizzi Panizza shoots for the stars

Brett Harkness

LaTEST CAMERAS AND GEAR

Pentax 106 K-3 II

Pentax loads its new SLR with cutting-edge tech. Does it deliver?

110 Canon M3

Canon updates its CSC line – is it worth the wait?

114

Panasonic Lumix GX8

Get the verdict on what looks to be Panasonic’s most desirable stills camera yet

Nikon 119 16-80mm f/2.8-4E ED VR

Is this really Nikon’s best walk-around lens?

3 121 Phantom Pro drone

Our test team take this stunning 4K-enabled drone for a spin

122 Epson SC-P800 Does this luxury A2 printer deliver quality as well as quantity?

Subscribe and save UP TO 56% SEE PAGE 50 6

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124 Wide-angle primes A head-to-head test of popular wide-angle lenses from Canon, Nikon, Fujifilm, Sigma and Samyang

132 Flash modifiers

From ringflash adaptors to reflector panels, we round up six creative strobe accessories

Deputy art editor Shona Cutt shona.cutt@futurenet.com Operations editor Richard Hill richard.hill@futurenet.com Online editor Jeff Meyer jeff.meyer@futurenet.com

Advertising Advertising manager Sasha McGregor sasha.mcgregor@futurenet.com Account director Matt Bailey matt.bailey@futurenet.com Circulation Trade marketing manager Michelle Brock +44 (0)20 7429 4000 Production and distribution Production co-ordinator Vivienne Calvert Licensing International director Regina Erak regina.erak@futurenet.com +44 (0)1225 442244 Fax +44 (0)1225 732275 Management Content & Marketing director Nial Ferguson Head of Content & Marketing: Photography, Creative & Design Matthew Pierce Group editor-in-chief Chris George Group art director Rodney Dive Subscriptions & back issues Order line & enquiries: +44 (0)1604 251045 Online enquiries: www.myfavouritemagazines.co.uk Email: digitalcamera@myfavouritemagazines.co.uk Printed in the UK by William Gibbons on behalf of Future. Distributed in the UK by Seymour Distribution Ltd, 2 East Poultry Ave, London EC1A 9PT. Tel: +44 (0)20 7429 4000

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All contents copyright © 2015 Future Publishing Limited or published under licence. All  rights reserved. No part of this magazine may be reproduced, stored, transmitted or  used in any way without the prior written permission of the publisher. Future Publishing Limited (company number 2008885) is registered in England and Wales. Registered office: Quay House, The Ambury, Bath, BA1 1UA. All information contained in this publication is for information only and is, as far as we are aware, correct at the time of going to press. Future cannot accept any responsibility for errors or inaccuracies in such information. You are advised to contact manufacturers and retailers directly with regard to the price and other details of products or services referred to in this publication. Apps and websites mentioned in this publication are not under our control. We are not responsible for their contents or any changes or updates to them. If you submit unsolicited material to us, you automatically grant Future a licence to publish your submission in whole or in part in all editions of the magazine, including licensed editions worldwide and in any physical or digital format throughout the world. Any material you submit is sent at your risk and, although every care is taken, neither Future nor its employees, agents or subcontractors shall be liable for loss or damage. We are committed to only using magazine paper which is derived from well managed, certified forestry and chlorine-free manufacture. Future Publishing and its paper suppliers have been independently certified in accordance with the rules of the FSC (Forest Stewardship Council).

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VIDEOS W a t c h t h e s e v i d e o s a t w w w. b i t . l y / d c 1 7 0 v i d e o

THE SECRETS OF

L AY E R S P h o t os h op g u i d e

Learn how to tone an image with ultimate control using Adjustment Layers

Use Blend Modes to mix layers together for a striking range of photo effects

Learn how to make an invisible man montage with masking techniques

Learn how to make a realistic 3D badge composite using Layer Styles

See page 2 of the ebook for more

See page 6 of the ebook for more 8

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See page 4 of the ebook for more

See page 8 of the ebook for more

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VIDEOS W a t c h t h e s e v i d e o s a t w w w. b i t . l y / d c 1 7 0 v i d e o

Enhance the tone and colour of  your photos with Lightroom’s Tone Curve

How the Mixer Brush in Photoshop helps you create digital paintings

Read the tutorial on page 136

Read the tutorial on page 138

Discover the options available for painting with your photos using the Mixer Brush

Shoot a portrait then add mood and focus in Photoshop

Take control of contrast and tone in your monochromes for a variety of looks

Panasonic’s GX8 on test: a 20MP CSC with a 4K Photo mode to freeze time

Read the tutorial on page 138

Read the tutorial on page 144

Read the tutorial on page 140

Read the review on page 114

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HOTSHOTS

www.photocrowd.com/accounts/14468

W i n n i n g i m a g e s f r o m a l a m y ’ s c o n t e s t s at www. p h o t o c r o wd . c o m

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jamen percy

Crowd winner, Travel contest “As an aurora chaser, I had spent many fruitless frozen nights waiting for the lights to appear. But this night was different. It was 3am and as I began to pack up my gear, suddenly the skies had a giant green glow. I quickly set the tripod back up as the glow burst into rippling shards of light and this phenomenal shape.” Kit Canon EOS 5D Mark III with Zeiss Distagon T* ZE 15mm f/2.8 lens Exposure 10 sec at f/2.8, ISO 1,600

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HOTSHOTS

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

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www.photocrowd.com/accounts/14451

HOTSHOTS

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Laurentiu Lordache

Expert winner, Travel contest “This is a reflection on the floods of the river Danube. Behind the trees lies the Danube and in the distant background is the city of Galati. I had planned the shoot the day before. When I arrived the sun contributed to the beautiful view of snow, trees and water for just 30 minutes. After that the snow had disappeared from the trees. Today, due to those floods, the trees no longer exist.� Kit Nikon D700 with Tamron 90mm f/2.8 Macro lens Exposure 1/160 sec at f/8, ISO 200

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helena mim

Expert winner, Portraits contest “An environmental portraiture of an elderly woman, my mother, in an olive field in Greece. Francesca, as a kind of ‘wild personality’ woman, fits perfectly into the wild olive grove. She loves walking in nature, and with her red jacket she could give the image of the elderly version of Red Riding Hood. The beautiful contrast between the red and yellow hues was another motivation to capture this decisive moment.” Kit Nikon D800 with Nikon AF-S 50mm f/1.8 G lens Exposure 1/500 sec at f/2.8, ISO 100

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www.photocrowd.com/accounts/10480

HOTSHOTS

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www.photocrowd.com/accounts/17840

HOTSHOTS

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thomas boehm

Crowd winner, Portraits contest “A young Buddhist novice reading his prayer book in one of the many old temples in Bagan, Myanmar. This shot was taken during a guided photo tour through this amazing Asian country. Technically it was a challenge to shoot, as the contrast was very strong and difficult to expose correctly. As well as being voted the Crowd Winner, it was also selected as ‘picture of the month’ by Air Asia for its in-flight magazine in June.” Kit Canon EOS 5D with EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS lens at 135mm Exposure 1/50 sec at f/5.6, ISO 320

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DARRELL GODLIMAN

Expert winner, Straight Lines contest “The image was taken in the Museu d’Art Contemporani in Barcelona. I spotted the potential of the rigid geometry of the glass block floor and waited for someone to walk past. In post-production, I cropped the shot to square format, resulting in the person being off-centre according to the rule of thirds. For me, the softness of the glass contrasts so well with the lines of the grid, adding another layer of potential meaning to the shot.” Kit Pentax Z-1p with Sigma 24–70mm f/2.8 IF EX DG HSM lens, using Fuji Sensia 100 ISO film

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www.photocrowd.com/dgphotos

HOTSHOTS

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www.photocrowd.com/accounts/2337

HOTSHOTS

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renata Crowd winner, Straight Lines contest “I call this image ‘Up and Down’. Having spotted the simple arrangement of stairs, I was initially drawn to the beautiful emerald sea behind them. But soon I could see the potential in the nice lines on display, the great architectural details and the attractive areas of shadow on this sunny day. The shot offers something old and at the same time modern. It’s slightly philosophical – when two ages meet.” Kit Nikon D800 with Nikon AF-S 24-70mm f/2.8G ED lens at 70mm Exposure 1/320 sec at f/7.1, ISO 200 D i g i ta l C a m e r a

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Photo projects 10 fresh and creative ideas to  try, from vibrant doors to focus-racked fireworks…

How to get sharp results A monopod gives flexible support that’s perfect for panning. Rather than attaching the camera to the monopd, attach the lens’s tripod foot instead, and activate the panning mode on an image-stabilised lens. Stand square to the backdrop you want to shoot the bird against, and twist to follow the bird towards and away from this point.

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Project 1

Photograph birds in flight This testing technique will really give your panning skills a work-out ooking for an outdoor challenge to keep yourself occupied this month? Try your hand at shooting birds in aerial action. Wildlife pro Ben Hall shot this barn owl while leading a bird of prey workshop in the Czech Republic. “Although the owl is a captive one, it still took some planning to make sure the bird was hovering in the correct position,” reveals Ben. “My aim was to make the most of the beautiful backlighting, so we positioned a stump in some long grass where the background was in deep shadow. A professional falconer then flew the owl from a distance of 10 feet. Before alighting on the

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stump, the owl would hover for several seconds.” Ben set his Canon EOS-1D X to continuous autofocus and used the highest drive speed so that he could fire off a sequence of frames. He panned with the bird as it flew in, shooting from a low angle to include the diffused foreground grass. “Using a fast enough shutter speed is vital in order to capture a sharp shot,” Ben adds. “The shutter speed will depend on a number of factors, such as the lens and type of support used, as well as the speed of the subject. As a rule of thumb, try at least 1/800 sec, but go faster if needed by boosting the ISO.” www.benhallphoto.com www.digitalcameraworld.com


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Ben Hall

If you’re new to wildlife photography, head to a birds of prey centre or your local lake for repeated fly-bys that you can hone your skills with.

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Tim Booth

Photo Projects

Project 2

Take faceless portraits Capture personality without revealing your subject’s face

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IM Booth’s new book A Show of Hands is the perfect injection of inspiration if you’re looking to take your portraits in a new direction. The book features more than 95 images from his long-term project to photograph the hands of well-known and talented people from all over the UK, including Terry Gilliam (top), Sir Ranulph Fiennes (above left) and Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason (above right). It’s one of those projects that anyone can try – indeed, many have – but setting yourself some ground rules can help to keep you creative and motivated. For instance, Tim shot all the images in natural light and

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spent a maximum of half an hour with each subject. The black-and-white treatment brings consistency to the collection, as well as being aesthetically pleasing. Tim hasn’t just focused on the famous. He’s equally as happy photographing the hands of a zoo keeper or a dry stone-waller as he is a film star. For your project, make a list of occupations that involve heavy manual labour and start from there… www.timbooth.com www.digitalcameraworld.com


Bryan Carnathan

Photo Projects

Project 3

Focus-rack a firework photo Give your firework shots a twist by shifting the focus as you shoot

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ACKing focus uses a similar technique to a zoom burst. The idea is to focus the lens at the distance fireworks are set to explode, and as they do so, twist the focus ring to take the shot out of focus. The result is a much fuller-looking burst. You can create a different effect by

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doing it in reverse, although you’ll need to be able to see the ‘in-focus’ distance on the lens barrel as you do so. Bryan Carnathan used a Canon EOS 5Ds R and a 24-70mm lens to capture this striking shot. “Because of the high resolution provided by the camera, I was able to crop deep into images to pull sections of interest from most of them.” www.bit.ly/dc170firework

How to rack the focus Set the lens to MF. Start the exposure as the firework explodes, turning the focus ring until the burst dies, then stop the exposure.

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Photo Projects Project 4

Make a vibrant door montage

Agne uses a Canon EOS 5D Mark II and EF 50mm f/1.4 to take the images. “I work in daylight, without direct sunlight, and usually shoot in raw. When I convert the files to JPEGs, I increase the contrast and sharpness but not the saturation. My goal is to keep the colours bright but natural looking.” She has had to be selective with her shots, too. “I did want to capture all of the doors, but some garages were open, their owners tinkering with their mysterious business. Others were blocked with bins or cars, or hidden in dark corners and inaccessible.” www.gintalaite.com

Putting it all together When you’re looking to build your montage, the colour palette is critical. Consider whether you’re going to use colours that complement or contrast, share a core colour or transition from one colour to another.

Agne Gintalaite

Turn an everyday subject into colourful wall art

GNE Gintalaite is documenting a ‘garage town’ – an expanse of lock-ups and workshops – in Vilnius, Lithuania for her Beauty Remains project. Shooting interesting doors or windows in this way is just the sort of long-term project you can take on, as you can find examples everywhere. Agne has photographed over 200 doors so far and shows no sign of losing interest. “I see myself as a collector, a maker of a unique visual archive of these doors, and I’m now documenting other garage towns and working with new palettes.”

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Chris Rutter

Photo Projects

Go with the flow Develop a fresh approach to your freshwater scenics

HE conventional approach to taking a landscape photo involves keeping everything in focus and only using one image to convey the whole scene. But why not turn these concepts on their head? “To match the ‘piecemeal’ way in which our eyes see the landscape, I have started to use a 50mm f/1.4 lens at around f/2 to give a shallow depth of field,” says

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landscape specialist Chris Rutter. “By taking several images and focusing on the most eye-catching elements, I get a series of shots that are similar to my individual memories of the scene.” Shooting mutliple frames of a scene at a large aperture and stitching them together in Photoshop results in huge ‘bokeh panoramas’ that have a visually striking, wafer-thin depth of field.

You can use this technique in other ways. “For instance, when shooting waterfalls I will shoot several images using different shutter speeds from 1/500 sec to several seconds,” says Chris, “then combine them to give a sense of the power, clarity and flow of the water,” Get more landscape tips from Chris on page 38. www.chrisrutter photography.com

Paul Keppelling

Project 5

Project 6

Wedding rings Try this tabletop lighting trick OU know you’ve made it as a photographer when you get to have a ‘method’ named after you. Wedding photographer Paul Keppelling can now claim the Keppelling Method, after hitting upon an ingenious way to achieve even lighting for close-ups of wedding rings, using a cheap Yongnuo YN-160 LED video light (£39/$51). “I was shooting one-handed while holding the LED light in the other hand,” reveals Paul. “My arm started to get tired, so I placed the light down on its barn doors – and I had one of those ‘lightbulb moments’. Why don’t I keep the light on its barn doors like this, and

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Reflective surfaces make the rings appear twice as big in the frame, and Paul has used everything from a piano to a toaster as a backdrop.

use it to create a light tent?” This technique isn’t the sole preserve of the wedding photographer; why not use it to illuminate earrings, necklaces and other jewellery, or  any small-scale still-life set-up. See Paul’s technique at www.bit.ly/dc170rings www.paulkeppel.co.uk www.digitalcameraworld.com


Sam Hurd

Photo Projects

Project 7

Get creative with a prism Embrace distortion and refraction effects

OU might not have used a prism since school, but they can add pizzazz to portraits. Wedding photographer Sam Hurd is a pioneer of this technique, which involves holding a long, thin triangular prism up to a lens, then taking the

picture, often using Live View to gauge the effect. The results are never entirely predictable, depending on what you’re photographing, the light, and what angle you use the prism at –but that’s the fun of it. Sometimes the image becomes fractured; at

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other times rainbow effects will be visible. Why not have a go yourself? Prisms are widely available online at pocket money prices and can be used for more than wedding pictures and portraits. Try creating your own wacky landscapes or funky food shots.

Project 8

Backlight a portrait Add a glow to your outdoor shots HE low position of the autumn sun can be dazzling for drivers, but it can be equally as challenging for portrait photographers. There is an alternative: use the sun to backlight your portrait. Use Aperture Priority, setting an aperture of f/4 or larger, to blur the background, and take a spot-meter reading from your model’s face. Lock this setting in using your

Tom Welsh

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camera’s Auto-Exposure Lock button. Let the sun peer around the person’s face and cast a warm glare across the image; vary the amount of sun that’s visible, as this will change the mood considerably. Choose a location that will add to the effect, too. We asked our model Tania to agitate the grass around her, then strike a pose as the grass seeds were falling. www.digitalcameraworld.com


Work out the exposure Use Manual mode and set a low ISO to avoid excessive noise, turning on longexposure noise reduction if available on your camera. Getting the right shutter speed involves some trial and error, but 15 sec is a good starting point.

Project 9

Shoot traffic trails

Hit the road and show off some shutter-speed kung fu NE of the coolest ways to display your photographic prowess is to capture light trails. Moving vehicles make the perfect subject, and the shorter days and busier roads at this time of year mean that there are ample opportunities to give it a go. Light trails are impossible to get on automatic exposure settings, as you’ll deliberately

attractive composition. It’s good to have the light trails moving to some point of convergence, which helps to lead the eye in. Including some iconic buildings, such as Big Ben or interesting church, can add visual interest and context. One final point – fast-moving traffic can be dangerous, so don’t forget road safety in your urge to get a great shot!

Chris George

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use the ‘wrong’ shutter speed to shoot traffic, thereby creating the streak effect. Here’s how it’s done. Since you’re slowing the shutter speed down, you will need to tripod-mount your camera to ensure the background stays sharp. Make sure you use some kind of remote shutter release to avoid jarring the camera with your finger, and frame up an

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Tom Welsh

Photo Projects

Share your project

digitalcamera@ futurenet.com (subject line: Photo Projects) NE fun way to add to your city photography repertoire is to use a mirror, a sheet of perspex or similarly reflective material to add clear reflections where there were none before. The trick to success with this project is to find a straight line of buildings on the horizon that you can easily line up your mirror with. Avoid shooting in a location where the buildings project too close to the lens; and stick with wider focal

Project 10

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Create your own city reflections Give your urban landscapes double the impact

Step

Step

1

Set your mirrored surface (we’ve opted for black perspex) on a raised platform, so that you can get close enough to the surface to shoot. If you want to shoot in a location that lacks a ready-made support, take along your own…

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Make sure that the perspex is lined up square with the horizon, otherwise you won’t get an even reflection. Set up your tripod so that the head is level with the perspex. You can use your camera’s virtual horizon to check that it’s plumb.

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lengths, otherwise you may struggle to fit the scene and the reflection in the same frame. If you try and accomodate a longer lens by moving further away, the reflection may become too narrow to see clearly. When it cones to focusing the shot, stick with manual focus and use Live View’s magnified image to help you find the sweet spot. Use your camera’s depth of field preview to check that everything’s sharp before you shoot.

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Position the lens so that the bottom quarter is below the perspex. You’ll need to use a wide-angle lens and keep your focal length slightly wider than the scene, as this allows for cropping out the lower section of the image when you edit the shot.

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Use a narrow aperture such as f/16 to keep both the reflection and the scene sharp. If you struggle to get the whole image to appear crisp, take two images: one focused on the building, the other on the perspex. Combine them in Photoshop.

www.digitalcameraworld.com


Photography news from around the globe

Sony Alpha 7S Mark II

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fter the introduction of the Sony Alpha 7 II and Sony Alpha 7R II, it was only a matter of time before Sony introduced the update to the 12MP Alpha 7S, its low-light and video-centric model. Like the A7R II, the Alpha 7S Mark II allows internal 4K recording in XAVC S format with no pixel-binning. The original Alpha 7S can only record 4K footage to an external device. The A7S II can record Full HD footage at up to 120fps (frames per second) at 100Mbps with no pixel-binning – for super-slow motion playback. In addition, there’s a new S-Log3 Gamma setting that’s designed to capture the maximum tonal range in shadow to mid-tone areas. The A7S series is also designed for low-light shooting. Although the A7S II has the same sensor, processing and sensitivity range as the A7 (ISO 100102,400, expandable to ISO 409,600) noise is claimed to be better controlled through new circuitry and processing algorithms. Sony has added its five-axis image stabilisation system, for smoother footage and sharper images in gloomy conditions. The improved AF system seems able to focus in near-darkness. In response to criticisms of the design of the original A7, A7R and A7S, Sony has

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Sony updates its video and low-light Alpha 7-series CSC with all sorts of improvements

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A good view This XGA OLED Tru-Finder has the world’s highest magnification (0.78x).

Better grip Like the A7 II and A7R II, the A7S II has a larger grip than its predecessor.

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Built to last The camera is tough, with more magnesium alloy and a reinforced lens mount.

made changes to the Mark II versions to make them easier to hold and use. The new A7S II feels well-made and is comfortable in your hand. Naturally, as it has a lower pixel count than the A7R II or the A7 II, the Alpha 7S II can’t resolve as much detail in stills as

its stablemates, but there should still be enough information to make highquality A3 prints. Meanwhile 4K and Full HD footage should have higher quality because it’s generated using larger photo sites. Street pricing is expected to be £2,300/$3,000.

Sponsored by Aaduki, a leading insurance provider for photographers, video-makers and journalists. 01837 658880 > www.aaduki.com > info@aaduki.com


What’s new?

In focus

Phone focus What’s new on the iPhone 6s camera

photoshop app

picture restoration

C u t- p r ic e ima g e e d i t o r

altered images Adobe launches Photoshop Elements 14 with a Dehaze command for guided edits dobe has unveiled Photoshop Elements 14, a new version of its cut-price, beginner-friendly version of Photoshop. Arguably the most interesting new features in Photoshop Elements 14 are found not within the Editor, but in the Organiser. The three intelligent sorting modes – People, Places and Events – have all seen improvements. The facial recognition feature within the People tab is much improved,

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making it easy to sort photos by the faces that appear in them. The Places tab has also been refreshed, with image slides overlaid on an interactive map to show where they were taken. The are two new guided edits for resizing images for print vs web, and adding motion blur. A new Dehaze command cuts through atmospheric haze in your photos for deeper shadow detail and extra clarity, while Shake Reduction sharpens up photos. Pricing is £79/$99.

M e ss e n g e r b a g

Gimme some ZKIN Zkin’s new stylish messenger bag he Canopus messenger bag (£135/ $210) is one for the style-conscious urban photographer, with a traditional appearance that carefully balances looks with usability. The top flap is held securely in place by two snap buttons, and opens to reveal a three sectioned inner with space enough for a CSC such as the Sony Alpha 7R II along with a couple of lenses; plus there’s a slot for a 13-inch laptop. If you’re prone to a knock or two, the bag offers a good amount

Sensor and video The iPhone 6s sports a 12MP sensor, up from 8MP in the iPhone 6, so there will be an obvious improvement in the resolution with stills. Videos are shot in 4K resolution. The Retina display lights up the screen three times brighter than normal.

photo contest Live Photo A feature which enables you to take short bursts of moving pictures and sound. Live Photos are automatically turned on for the camera, capturing 1.5 seconds before and 1.5 seconds after you press the shutter button. Live Photos is one to watch – quite literally!

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of padding, and the canvaslook nylon is water resistant. Additional storage includes a spacious exterior pocket on the front and a Velcro-secured slot on the back, with both providing plenty of options for stashing memory cards, lens caps and other small accessories.

Surprisingly given their past disagreements, Adobe made an appearance at the recent Apple iPhone 6s launch. It announced a new app, Photoshop Fix, and showed how it could be used by retouchers to adjust a portrait. Photoshop Fix could be a useful app for retouchers, with an interesting blend of facial recognition and liquify controls.

3D Touch The new touchscreen feature, 3D Touch, works a lot like Force Touch on the Apple Watch or new MacBook trackpad. It uses pop-up windows and translucent backgrounds once you have gently pressed on the screen to open an email, for example. You never really need to navigate away from the inbox to read and even reply to your messages.

Highland fling The second Scottish Landscape Photographer of the Year (SLPOTY) competition is now open for entries – but get them in soon, as the closing date is 16th November. Judges are looking for your best images of the Scottish landscape, and the contest boasts a prize fund of more than £10,000. Categories include the award for best portfolio, landscape, seascape and urban awards, as well as two new awards for 2015 – the Spirit of the Sea and the Four Seasons. Visit www.slpoty.co.uk for details.

www.digitalcameraworld.com November 2015

Go to www.digital cameraworld.com for the latest news, reviews &techniques

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In focus

what’s new?

monopod

FOCAL POINT

foursection mono

The monopod extends to a great maximum height of 160cm.

Vanguard’s new lightweight Veo CM-264 monopod can withstand 6kg anguard’s Veo CM-264 is capable of taking a maximum payload of 6kg, which is roughly a Canon EOS 5D Mark III with a 100-400mm lens, and weight to spare. The four-section design extends with the release of the flip-leg locks, which have adjustment screws to enable you to maintain the monopod through years of use. When it’s folded down, the VEO CM-264 measures a compact 54cm, and it extends to a maximum of height of 160cm, ensuring

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plenty of flexibility for all your needs. The rubberised grip provides good firm purchase in all weathers . At the base, the adjustable rubber foot with integrated spike helps to ensure a stable slipfree footing on different types of surfaces. The VEO CM-264 costs £99/$120.

Have your say  igital Camera asked: “What is the best D piece of photographic advice you wish you could give your younger self?” Commit and start earlier in life. If it’s what you want to do, then don’t be afraid – just do it. Andrew Tomlinson Don’t compare yourself to anyone else. Never be afraid to do your thing! Patrick Irwin Define your own version of success and work towards that. Every photographic journey is a unique path. And have confidence! Carol Schiraldi

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Invest in an arsenal of lenses before upgrading your camera. It’s lenses that really bring out the best in your creativity. Chad Brown Stop comparing your photographs to other people’s: you learn and grow at your own pace. Noelle Julia Never stop striving for excellence, and get a good workflow so you don’t spend all your life on the computer. Linda Wright

November 2015

Rounding up what’s new and exciting

Venus Laowa 60mm f/2.8 2:1 Ultra-Macro This Chinese lens has an extra-large 2.0x or 2:1 reproduction ratio at its shortest focus distance, while being able to focus to infinity. £300/$380

Pixel X800N TTL flash This boasts a huge guide number of 60 @ ISO 100 at 200mm and is powered by four AA batteries. Build quality is good and operation is straightforward. Exceptional power and features for the price. £109/$169

Develop a photographic eye, and think and shoot differently to others! Ganeswar Sahu Read widely about new trends in photography and technological advancement in the same. Participate in some competitions and exhibitions. Azic Fitz Qym Don’t waste your money on partying. You’ll need it to buy lenses later. Mark Hawkes

Canon Pixma MG5750, MG6850 & MG7750 Canon’s new all-in-one printers offer improved cloud and Wi-Fi functions. The MG5750 and MG6850 use five inks, while the MG7750 has an 8.8cm colour touchscreen and uses six inks to produce high-resolution images up to 9,600dpi. £100/$100 £130/$150 £170/$200

250MP sensor

Canon-do spirit sensoR CANON has set the bar higher than ever with a 250-megapixel APS-H sensor. The APS-H refers to the physical size of the sensor: it’s a bit larger than the sensors on consumer SLRs and a bit smaller than the sensors in top-end pro models. Open a 250MP photo on your computer and you can zoom into the tiniest of details. With a picture size of 19,580 x 12,600 pixels, Canon says you could distinguish the lettering on the side of an aeroplane from 11 miles away.

PR I M E LEN S E S

Portrait primes Tamron’s new SP 35mm f/1.8 Di VC USD and SP 45mm f/1.8 Di VC USD lenses incorporate Tamron’s Vibration Compensation imagestabilisation system. Both are compatible with full-frame SLRs and APS-C-format cameras. Both will be available in Canon and Nikon mounts, with a Sony-mount version due later. Pricing is to be confirmed. Tamron claims the new lenses offer ‘best in class’ close-focusing capability, with Minimum Object Distances (MODs) of 20cm (7.9in) and 29cm (11.4in) respectively.

Go to www.digital cameraworld.com for the latest news, reviews &techniques

www.digitalcameraworld.com


In focus

what’s new?

FOCAL POINT

Pro review on page 121

Rounding up what’s new and exciting

F ly i n g d r o n e

Phantom flyer

DJI’s new Phantom 3 Standard offers high-quality stills and video from the sky DJI’s Phantom 3 range of quadcopters are easier to fly than ever, and there are now three feature-packed versions. The Standard comes with a 2.7k camera and autoflight features, making it an ideal choice for anyone venturing into aerial still

and video photography for the first time. Flight control is smooth, with intelligent features such as auto-takeoff and landing. Future updates are said to include Follow Me and Point of Interest (enabling the craft to circle a subject through 360°). Cost is £649/$799.

Camera clamp The Takeaway T1 Clampod is a small and lightweight camera clamp that can hold up to 3kg in weight. The worm-screw clamp design enables the Clampod to attach to almost any object it can get its jaws around. £49/$75

Galway, Ireland, 1988 © 2015 Harry Gruyaert / Magnum Photos

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Compact tablet The Cintiq 13HD is the smallest of the Wacom range of screen tablets, and the firm’s most affordable. The 13-inch screen is touchsensitive and you can interact, with the displayed image using the special pen. £649/$799

Magnum exhibition

TV shots A new exhibition from a Magnum legend encompasses his life’s work arry Gruyaert has always been one of Magnum’s more daring photographers. He spent much of the early 1970s photographing his TV, and then went off on further explorations of colour all over the world. Coinciding with the launch of his first English-language

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monograph by Thames & Hudson (£40), a retrospective of all of his major works will feature in Magnum’s Print Room at its Gee Street, London offices until 3rd October 2015 (open Wednesday-Friday only). Among the works on display will be a selection of images from his seminal series TV Shots.

Correction

Vanguard VEO 265CB review In our Travel Tripods Mini-Test in Digital Camera 168, we featured six of the best travel tripods currently available, one of which was the Vanguard Veo 265CB. The review said that this tripod has a centre column that can be used horizontally for low-level shooting. This is not the case. The centre column is mounted in a ball-and-socket joint that allows the centre column to be inverted for storage, enabling the tripod to be packed down to a small size. Note that it is not designed to hold the column horizontally. Our error had a significant impact on the review score we gave, which we are revising to 4 out of 5 when compared with the other tripods and their features in this test. For a full review of the Vanguard Veo 265CB, visit www.bit.ly/dc170veo. See www.vanguardworld.co.uk for more product details.

Shotgun mic Rode’s VideoMic Pro R is a hotshoe-mountable shotgun mic that connects to your camera via a 3.5mm cable. The VideoMic is unidirectional so it picks up audio directly in front of the mic rather than all around. It outputs the mono signal to both left and right channels. £169/$249

Go to www.digital cameraworld.com for the latest news, reviews &techniques

Sponsored by Aaduki, a leading insurance provider for photographers, video-makers and journalists. 01837 658880 > www.aaduki.com > info@aaduki.com


Cover story

Main image: Janek Sedlar / www.janeksedlar.com

S H O O T st u nn i n g

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LA N D S C A P ES ! Combine camera know-how with creative vision to capture the scenes you’ve always dreamed of Interviews by Jeff Meyer. Techniques by Chris Rutter

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Cover story

FREE!

Get even more landscape tips and inspiration with your free ebook See page 5

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here are two broad goals you should have whenever you take a shot in the great outdoors. You’ll want to achieve technically excellent images, of course; but beyond that, each shot should reflect your response to the terrain in which you find

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yourself. Over the next 12 pages, you’ll meet five photographers who show how they successfully match their lens choices and camera settings to their creative goals in a variety of settings. You’ll also get help and advice from landscape specialist Chris Rutter on improving every shot.

IN THIS Guide... Seascapes

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Mountains

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Cityscapes

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Freshwater

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Forests

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ANN HOLMES Based in Hebden Bridge in the heart of the Pennines, Ann has been taking photographs for over 20 years. annmholmes.co.uk

SEAS C A P ES The key to coastal landscapes is being open to all possibilities, says Ann Holmes ome of Ann Holmes’ earliest childhood memories involve wielding brushes and pencils. And as she grew more proficient and impatient, photography seemed a natural next step in her creative journey. “Landscape photography provides me with a connectedness to my surroundings,” Ann explains. “It’s about being open to all possibilities, and that can be exciting.”

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Ann is drawn to the dynamism of water and the infinite variety of images on offer. Before any shoot, she checks the sunset and tide times, and will usually visit a location several times before taking a picture. Part of this is to scout compositions, but also to note access and escape routes. “Personal safety and continual vigilance are key,” Ann stresses. She works from twilight through full-on darkness, as some of the most interesting light and colouration occurs after the sun has gone down. Her main kit consists of her Nikon D800, a tilt-shift lens to increase depth of field and a range of ND filters to allow her to work with shutter speeds of 1/2 - 2 seconds and maintain sky detail. A polariser is also indispensable, as its effects cannot be easily replicated in post-processing. “Your images won’t stand out if they simply follow trends,” she says. “But it’s worth studying art to get a sense of what speaks to you personally in terms of style.” www.digitalcameraworld.com


Cover Story

PRO ADVICE Keep the detail in low-light shots

TOP TIP

Shooting near the sea even on a calm day means your camera kit may get covered in salt spray or sand. Make sure you give it a thorough clean when you get home.

The contrast between the sky and the sea at sunrise or sunset can make it impossible to keep detail in both in a single shot. Using ND grad filters will allow you to achieve the maximum amount of detail in a single shot. Alternatively

you can take at least two shots, varying the exposure to keep detail in the highlights and shadows, then either use highdynamic-range software to blend the images or combine them in Photoshop or Elements.

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TIME YO U R S H OTS Use different shutter speeds and techniques to make the most of the movement of the sea 10

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From using fast shutter speeds to freeze breaking waves to creating smooth, calm water with long exposures, you need to choose the right settings. You also need to learn when to fire the shutter to capture different moods and textures in your seascapes. Capturing individual waves is often simply a matter of using a fast shutter speed such as 1/500 sec or shorter, and shooting just as the wave 1/ 1500 breaks on the shore. However, if you want to add a little 00 00 0 20 0 0 10 0 0 5 movement to the breakers, you can shoot with a longer shutter speed – say between 1/4 and 1 sec – and fire the shutter just before the wave breaks to capture the height of the action. If the sea is calmer, with only small waves breaking on the shore, you can often produce more interesting shapes, 1/ 1/ 1500 2 patterns and textures in the sea by 00 0 between 15 2 0 0 speed 5 using a longer shutter 8 20 0 0 10 0 0 4 2 1 S EC 1 and 5 seconds. Wait until after the wave has broken before firing the shutter to capture the streaks of movement as the sea retreats away from the shore.

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MO U N TAI N S Every hill is different and wears emotions just like a human. Damian Shields explains how to capture the true nature of mountains HE landscape was in Damian Shields’ blood from an early age. “A huge part of my childhood was spent exploring the countryside that lay on the outskirts of  my urban environment,” he says. “These all-day wanders into and out of the land were filled with the wonder of discovery, and the woods and fields became my secret gardens.” Damian is drawn to mountains and hills, which he finds thoughtprovoking due to their scale and

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presence. “They create an immediate contemplation of your body and its size in relation to them,” he explains. Damian’s shoots start at home: researching routes and looking at images of areas to minimise time wasted in the field. He keeps his kit bag simple and lightweight given the long treks to his destinations. Inside is his Nikon D800 and three lenses to cover all eventualities: a 70-200mm, a 28-70mm and a ‘nifty fifty’, as well as Hi-Tech ND grads, a polariser and a 10-stop ND filter. Slung over his

shoulder are a Slik tripod and a Manfrotto head.  “The photography landscape is littered with images that are technically impressive both in capture and process, but don’t hold in the mind. It is crucial to understand your motivation first and foremost,” Damian advises. “You are the unique part of the equation that will identify your work among others. Put your own slant on things at every stage of the process and strive for consistency of quality in your output.”

T e chn i q u e

STIT C H YO U R S H OTS Capture the majesty of the mountains by going for a panoramic format Capturing the vast scale of mountains and hills can be difficult to achieve in a single shot. Use a wide-angle lens and you can end up with too much sky or foreground in your image, while isolating individual peaks with a telephoto lens can mean

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that you have to leave out other peaks. The answer is to shoot a panoramic format, stitching together a series of images to take in the whole view. You’ll find it easiest to stitch shots together if you shoot with a lens around 50mm on full-frame,

NOVEMBer 2015

around 35mm on a crop sensor or 25mm on Micro Four Thirds, and use a tripod to ensure that your series of images are taken on the same level. Set focus, white balance and exposure manually to avoid any variation in the settings between

images. Then shoot your sequence, overlapping them by at least a third of the frame. Once you have taken your series of images, you can use the Photomerge feature in Photoshop or Elements to stitch them together into one fabulous image.

www.digitalcameraworld.com


CCoovveerr sSttoorryy

TOP TIP

To make your tripod more stable, attach your camera bag to the bottom of the centre column – ensure it just rests on the ground to stop it moving in the wind.

DAMIAN SHIELDS A lifelong nature addict, Damian followed his passion for photography to art school. He is now a professional retoucher. www.damianshields. photoshelter.com


GILES McGarry Giles began taking his photography seriously just seven years ago, but is now in it for the long haul. www.kantryla.net

C ITYS C A P ES Letting go of the literal is as key to great cityscapes as the planning, explains Giles McGarry VEN though he’s always lived in rural areas, most of Giles McGarry’s working life has been spent in the city – and that is where his heart is. “Ever since my first visit to London as a teenager, I’ve found the city awe-inspiring: the sheer scale, the variety, the modernity… And that’s how I feel every time I arrive,” he says.

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“It offers so many creative opportunities from wide cityscapes to detailed abstracts, and shapes playing off other shapes.” Giles always starts his urban shoots with a rough plan of locations and concepts he wants to achieve, and spends hours researching these spots online. He also checks the weather forecasts. “If the sky is busy, I’ll watch to see how it’s behaving for several minutes, then set up my tripod and remote shutter release and take some test shots.” The sky plays a big part in Giles’s photography. He often uses a long exposure to add drama or simplify the elements. “Cities have been photographed from every angle, so one of the keys to making your images stand out is not being too literal,” he says.   www.digitalcameraworld.com


TOP TIP

Try using Live View to help you frame and compose your shots when using strong ND filters, as it’s often easier than using a normal optical viewfinder.

PRO ADVICE Converging verticals If you tilt your camera up to include tall buildings or more of the sky, these vertical lines will start to converge. This will make the buildings appear to be toppling over backwards. To avoid this, ensure that the back of your camera stays exactly vertical. Then either shoot with a wider lens and crop out any unwanted foreground later on, or use the shift feature on a tilt-shift lens to include the top of the buildings.

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effect. This is easy at sunrise, sunset or even after dark, when the low light levels mean that you can use long shutter speeds without the risk of over-exposing the image. If you are shooting during the daytime, you can use either a strong 10-stop ND or variable ND filter to reduce the light. When you use these filters, it’s also a good idea to cover the viewfinder of your SLR, to avoid light entering it and causing light streaks on your image.

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JASON THEAKER By day he teaches animation, but in his free time Jason Theaker photographs his native Yorkshire and leads workshops teaching others. jasontheaker.com

F RES H WATER l a nd s c a p e s Jason Theaker has shot streams and rivers for 25 years – and strives for something different each time

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ason Theaker grew up in quite a rural area and did a lot of walking with his family. He was also quite a technically minded child, so it was only inevitable that he came to photography. He experimented with film cameras for years, but it wasn’t until he was at art college that the two passions finally came together. One of Jason’s all-time favourite subjects in nature is water – and in particular, the movement in water. As an animator by day, Jason pegs this background for his interest in freshwater landscapes. “I find streams really inspirational. Even in my childhood I spent a lot of time messing around in rivers,” he recalls. “I’m particularly

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Cover Story

TOP TIP

When the water is calm and still, you can get colourful reflections, but you may need to alter your viewpoint and shooting height to make the most of them.

PRO ADVICE

Look at what’s lying underneath

When you shoot water in the landscape, it’s always worth looking at whether there are interesting colours, textures or shapes beneath the surface of the water. There are often colourful rocks or plants that are barely visible to the naked eye because of the sheen on the top of the water. However, by using a polariser, it’s possible to reduce or remove this reflection to reveal those underwater features – and create a more interesting and complex foreground to your watery landscapes.

interested in the form of water as it goes over rocks and distorts itself, and the way that light travels through it and refracts.” One of Jason’s favourite techniques is to experiment with exposure length. “I like to use a long exposure to flatten the water surface and give an image a sense of depth. What happens then is that you’ve got different levels appearing in your image: what’s underneath the water, the water itself, and then what’s above. I really like to build my images this way.” Jason is also keen on building colour into his compositions and using water movement to give a sense of direction to the viewer. Another compositional device that Jason likes to use with fresh water is to frame tight enough that you don’t see the actual forest, but you get an impression that it’s there from other elements in the frame, like reflections of colour. “I’m always experimenting in my photography. From a visual point of view, my philosophy is try to distort what everyone else is doing, just a little bit. I want to put a bit of me into it.” www.digitalcameraworld.com 

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C OM P OSITIO N MATTERS Good composition is essential to producing striking shots of rivers, lakes and waterfalls

Some very simple composition skills can help you get the best from the landscape. However, the real key to composition is finding the right viewpoint. Once you have found a landscape to shoot, you should explore some different viewpoints before you even get your camera out. You need to identify the different elements that you want

to include in the foreground, middle distance and background, then try different viewpoints to see how these work best together. Once you have decided on your basic viewpoint, you will also need to fine-tune your position so that all of the different elements in the scene work together to create a successful composition.

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Away from river

Close to river

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DAVID BAKER David began taking his landscapes seriously four years ago. A category win at the Landscape Photographer of the Year competition quickly followed. milouvision.com

F ORESTS Familiarity breeds success when it comes to the forest, says David Baker. He explains how a small patch of land can yield countless images

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avid Baker’s love affair with the forest began just four years ago, as he drove through the New Forest for work. “I used to stop because I was drawn to the light,” he says. “I’d leave my car and have a wander. Then I started putting some parameters on my walks, like only shooting mist. “All of my images are taken within the same geographic triangle of the New Forest. These are well-visited parts of the forest – but no one goes there at, say, 5am on a Thursday, and that’s what I’m trying to show: what this part of the forest looks like five hours before anyone else visits. I love the soft light, and it’s quiet, and you can

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really engage with the landscape around you.” David also prefers picking out isolated details within the forest to broad vistas. “I shoot nearly everything in the 200-300mm range, and almost never shoot less than 100mm. “The forest is so chaotic, and you’re essentially just taking an abstract of the whole thing,” he says. “Shapes of trees are very important. I like to build pictures around that. I like U and V shapes, and the combination of new and old trees.” Knowing your area is more important than any piece of kit or clever effect. Once you shoot a location enough times, through all the seasons, your images will reflect how you feel about it. www.digitalcameraworld.com


Cover Story

PRO ADVICE

Coping with light and shadow in your shot

If you are shooting in Aperture Priority or Program mode, you’ll need to use exposure compensation to get the best exposure in high-contrast situations. Shooting into the light you will often need to set the exposure compensation to a plus value, such as +1, to prevent the image appearing too dark. If there are large areas of shadow, however, your camera will often over-expose. You can correct this by setting the exposure compensation to a minus value to darken the result.

TOP TIP

Positioning the sun behind a trunk or leaves of a tree will help you avoid flare, and make it easier to capture more detail in your image.

T e chn i q u e

H IG H LIG H TS & S H A D O W S Capture the mood of a landscape by paying close attention to the contrasts between light and dark areas

It’s easy to become almost obsessed with capturing every little bit of highlight and shadow detail. There are techniques such as high-dynamic-range imagery (HDRI), but this doesn’t always produce the most striking results. By lightening the shadows and darkening the highlights, there’s a danger that these techniques can produce flat,

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over-saturated results that don’t look natural. When you shoot into the light among the dark shadows and bright highlights in woods and forests, it’s often best to simply accept that you can’t capture every little bit of detail, and adjust the exposure to give the best compromise between the highlight and shadow detail.

NOVEMber 2015

With sunlight streaming through the leaves, you may capture the mood by shooting a darker image with more detail in the highlights but less shadow detail, to emphasise the darkness of the forest. Alternatively, you could increase the exposure to produce a brighter image with less highlight detail and more detail in the shadows.

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November 2015

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B AC K TO BASICS TECH MADE EASY

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THIS MONTH: o ptica l f i lte r s

Square filters You can typically combine up to three filters in a square filter system. As long as they’re the correct size, you can use filters from one system in another’s holder, such as dropping in a 100mm Cokin Z-Pro filter in a Lee Filters 100mm holder.

Everything you need to know about the creative filters that matter in digital photography

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filter system Filters come in a wide range of sizes and formats, from small gel squares that can be slotted into the rear of compatible lenses, to popular glass screw-in filters and larger square types that attach to the front of a lens. This illustration demonstrates how a square filter system can easily be adapted to any camera system using adaptor rings… 4

polariseR You can use adapted circular polarisers with square filter systems. Some attach to the front of the filter holder via an additional adaptor, such as with the Lee system here; while others can be fitted into one of the holder’s existing slots.

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FILTER HOLDER The rotatable holder slips onto the adaptor ring. It offers a number of slots into which you can slide square or rectangular filters.

adaptor ring This screws onto the front of a lens and enables you to attach a filter holder. They’re available in a range of sizes to match the diameters of different lenses. Special wide-angle versions are also available.

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optical filters

back to basics

Using a polariser A polariser is a two-part filter. Once it’s attached to your lens, you can freely rotate the front section to increase or decrease the effect. And what an effect it is! It’s highly effective on sunny days, adding a rich, velvety quality to blue skies, but it can also add punch to pictures shot on damp, overcast days. There are two types of polariser – circular and linear. These descriptions don’t refer to the shape of the polariser, but rather the way in which they polarise the light. Stick with the circular type, as the linear ones don’t mix well with a digital camera’s autofocus system. One of the trade-offs with a polarising filter is that reduces the amount of light entering the lens by up to two stops, depending on the degree to which it is rotated. This can result in slower shutter speeds and the potential for blurred shots, either through camera shake or subject movement, so you may have to compensate by increasing the ISO.

IGITAL cameras and photoediting software have pretty much put an end to the need to cart around an extensive and expensive range of glass or plastic filters. For instance, being able to change the white balance from shot to shot, either in-camera or later when you process your images, means that you no longer have to use colour correction filters to warm up or cool down an image before you take it. The effects created by traditional red, green or orange filters in black-and-white photography can easily be emulated in software. And why bother with special-effect filters to add soft focus, starbursts and coloured tints when you can experiment endlessly in the digital darkroom? That’s not to say that all filters are redundant in digital photography. For instance, a close-up filter, which essentially acts as a magnifying glass, offers a cheaper alternative to a dedicated macro lens. And the addition of a UV or clear protective filter will protect the front element of a lens; they come in particularly handy when you’re shooting near water and in dusty locations. But the truth is that you only really need two types of creative optical filter: a polariser and a neutral-density filter. The reason for this is that their effects are time-consuming, and sometimes near-impossible, to recreate authentically in post-production. A polariser acts like a pair of polarising sunglasses, cutting through glare and

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It’s going dark Polarisers give their strongest effect when they’re used at 90 degrees to the sun. There’s a neat trick that you can use in order to discover the sweet spot for the effect…

Thumbs up Point your index finger at the sun, stick your thumb out and rotate your hand. The direction in which your thumb is pointing is where you need to train your lens for the maximum effect.

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Go slow It can be hard to judge the point where the effect is at its strongest, so rotate the filter slowly as you look through the viewfinder. Avoid turning it in the direction that unscrews the filter too!

Wide woes Polarisers can produce an uneven effect with ultra-wide-angle lenses, with patches of sky appearing darker than others. You’ll have to crop the shot or balance the effect in software.

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WITH A POLARISER

reflections to give richer colours and stronger contrast. They are frequently used by landscape photographers to add drama to blue skies filled with fluffy white clouds, and to reduce the sheen on the surface of water and foliage. They’re expensive filters, but worth it. Neutral-density filters come in two flavours: standard and graduated. Standard ND filters are a uniform grey tone, and are used to reduce the amount of light entering the lens. They enable you to use large >

NO POLARISER ABOVE Add a polarising filter to your lens to reduce the effect of light bouncing off the surface of water, so that you can capture more detail beneath.

“The truth is that you only need two types of creative filter”

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Back to Basics

optical filters

graduated filters Use these filters to balance a bright sky and a landscape – or why not just do it digitally? Graduated neutral-density filters are grey at the top, blending to clear at the bottom. By placing the dark part over the sky, you can bring its exposure value closer to that of the landscape below. Without it, you’d have to choose to expose for the land (resulting in a sky that’s too bright) or expose for the sky (and end up with land that’s too dark). While essential to good landscape

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Give me strength ND grads are available in a range of strengths, which indicate how much light the dark section blocks – and come with either a hard transition or a soft transition between the dark and clear parts. Hard ones are best reserved for situations where there’s a clear horizon line, otherwise you’ll darken areas that protrude into the transition.

apertures in bright light to achieve shallow depth of field effects, and can extend shutter speeds to render a moving object as a blur. Graduated ND filters are dark at one end and clear at the other, and help to reduce the contrast between a bright sky and a dark foreground. But as you’ll read above, they’re not always necessary in the digital age. Whichever creative filter you choose, you’ll need to decide whether you want it as a stand-alone circular filter or part of a square filter system. Circular ones simply 54

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photography in the days of film, there’s less of a need for an ND grad with a digital camera. You can simply take one photo with the sky exposed correctly and another with the land exposed correctly, then blend the two together in Photoshop or similar software. You can also apply a grad effect digitally, although this technique is best used when the exposure difference is small.

NOVEMber 2015

On the slide The beauty of a square filter system is that you can position the effect where you want to; the transition is always in a fixed position with a circular filter. It can be tricky to judge the position of the transition through the viewfinder, so switch to Live View, select a small aperture and activate the camera’s depth of field preview function as you slide the filter.

“Square filters are generally a better option if you own a bunch of lenses with different filter thread sizes”

GRADUATED FILTER

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In a spin Square filter holders rotate on the adaptor rings, so you can position the effect at an angle – such as along the edge of a cliff or building. If you’re using a polarising filter in conjunction with an ND grad, then position the grad first before you adjust the polarising effect. If you don’t, the action of rotating the filter holder will change the position of the polariser.

screw onto the filter thread on the front of a lens, while square filters require a filter holder and adapter ring to attach them. Each system has its advantages. Circular filters are convenient as they can be left attached to your lenses. Square filters take up more room in your camera bag, but you only need one filter and a set of adaptor rings to cover all your kit. Square filters are generally a better option when you plan on combining filters, or if you own a bunch of lenses with different filter thread sizes. www.digitalcameraworld.com


optical filters

back to basics

NEUTRAL DENSITY These filters help you achieve creamy motion blur effects through extended exposures Standard neutral-density filters reduce the total amount of light entering the lens, allowing you to use much slower shutter speeds than you ordinarily could in a given situation. As with ND grads, they come in a range of strengths that

determine how many stops or exposure values they reduce the light by. For instance, a three-stop ND (sometimes labelled 0.9ND or ND9) will allow you to use a shutter speed of 1/10 sec where you would normally use 1/80 sec.

Standard NDs are available as both circular filters and square ones. The latter are more convenient with very strong NDs, as it’s easy to slide the filter out of the way and tweak the focus and composition using the viewfinder.

deadly combo You can stack ND filters or combine them with a polariser to achieve even longer exposure times.

stay sharp As ND filters enable slower shutter speeds, you’ll need a tripod to keep the camera still during the exposure.

NEXT MONTH BEFORE

Slow motion Strong NDs give smooth results ND filters that are rated at six or 10 stops are popular with landscape photographers, as their impressive stopping power allows the motion of waves and clouds to be rendered as a silky-soft blur.

www.digitalcameraworld.com 

Master the basics of flash photography

AFTER

10-STOP ND FILTER GUIDE Shutter speed

6-STOP ND FILTER GUIDE

Shutter speed with 10-stop ND

Shutter speed

Shutter speed with 6-stop ND

1/125 sec

8 sec

1/125 sec

1/2 sec

1/60 sec

15 sec

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1 sec

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1 min

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4 sec

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2 min

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16 min

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32 min

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W A Im hy n a sh al g ot ys e s is wo rk

#1

FLYING THE COLOURS When you can’t get up close to a wild animal, you can use the environment to add impact instead BEN Hall took this image in Torres del Paine National Park in Chile during a four-week trip to Patagonia. “After spending two days searching the location, I came across a group of flamingos feeding on a dried lake bed,” he says. “While I was approaching the birds, part of the flock took to the air and banked around, giving me enough time to position myself. By shooting from the edge of a high ridge and panning with my 100-400mm lens, I was able to capture the bird against the dramatic Andean mountains.” Including the dramatic location was going to be key to the success of this image, as it provides a distinctive point of difference to the typical shots of 56

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flamingos mirrored in a lake that we’ve grown accustomed to, as well as providing a sense of scale and contrast in colour. Obviously putting yourself in the right spot is key to creating a spectacular shot like this one. But you also need to know how to change your camera settings on the fly. “I selected a group of focus points towards the top of the frame so that I could position the birds in the top third of the shot,” reveals Ben. “To focus as accurately as possible, I used the continuous autofocus setting and expanded the AF point so that I had a slightly larger area to focus on. I kept this point on the middle of the flock and panned with the birds as they flew.” When photographing birds in flight, you often have to dial in positive exposure compensation; without it, large areas of bright sky will cause the camera to

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underexpose the image. Ben had to do the opposite here, due to the sombre nature of the surroundings. “Thanks to the dark clouds, contrast levels were low, so the exposure was fairly straightforward. In the end, I applied -1/3 stop of exposure compensation to make sure I retained detail in the bright area of sky behind the birds.” www.benhallphoto.com

“I selected a group of focus points towards the top of the frame so that I could position the birds in the top third of the shot”

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i m a g e A N ALY S I S

Ben Hall

why shots work

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Why it works This shot showcases some classic composition techniques, with the birds positioned in the top third of the image 1 and with slightly more room in front of the flock than behind it 2 to give the flamingos visual space to fly into. Composing the image so that the birds are high in the

frame enabled Ben to make the most of the landscape, with the diagonal lines of the mountains 3 , lending the shot a dynamic quality. It also meant that he was able to include the ridge in the bottom right-hand corner of the frame to add depth. Lightroom was Ben’s software of choice for

processing the image. Thanks to the brooding sky 4 he only had to drag the white and black point sliders in towards the edge of the histogram to boost the contrast. He also went easy on the vibrance and saturation, skilfully preserving the monochrome look to the surroundings.

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I m a g e a n a lys i s

why shots work

#2

one-light wonder

Andreas Stridsberg

A single strobe can be just as effective as a multi-light arrangement

Studio set-up

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Andreas used a simple single-light option to create this 1

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 ain light A 120Ws M strobe fitted with a 100cm softbox, pointed at the model from slightly above and behind the glass.  rop An old window, P sprayed with water.

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 amera Nikon C D300 with 28-75mm f/2.8 lens at 70mm.

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 xposure Andreas E worked in Manual mode, setting the exposure to 1/160 sec at f/11, ISO 160.

AS with many things in life, studio portraiture often benefits when you keep things simple. For this shot, Andreas Stridsberg used just one strobe and a softbox. As you can see, the styling and props also follow the less-is-more approach. That’s not to say that taking a shot as good as this is a simple process: there are plenty of pitfalls. For instance, working with glass – wet glass, at that – can be challenging in a studio environment. Sticking with just one light has given Andreas more flexibility for controlling any glare and reflections, and placing the strobe behind the window has helped. Care needs to be taken when it comes to focusing with a set-up like this. A camera’s autofocus system is likely to lock onto the drops of water rather than the model – although the effect may be desirable, as it is here. Finally, the tasteful processing and subdued colour palette enhance the mood to great effect, creating an alluring end result. www.mystic-pic.com

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why shots work

Peter Scammell

I m a g e a n a lys i s

#3

when to embrace the shake Use intentional camera movement to create creative original images of overfamiliar locations

MUSIC video director Peter Scammell specialises in vigorous, impressionistic images of the landscape. His kit – SLR, 50mm prime lens and 18-55mm zoom – is as simple as his technique. “I use a combination of short, sharp camera movements, sometimes walking forwards, backwards or

In the frame There’s a strong ‘three’ motif here. There are three key elements – the land, the sea and the sky. The weighting of the frame broadly follows the compositional rule of thirds 1 , while the trio of bright patches – two in the sky and one in the surf 2 – provide suitable entry and exit points. Moving the camera in short, sharp bursts 3 has created some attractive scratch-like detailing in the waves, too.

sideways. I try various shutter speeds – anything from, say, 10 seconds (with the aid of an ND filter) to one second-ish.” This image of Slapton Sands in Devon shows what can be achieved. Peter says he created the punchy conversion by “considerably” tweaking the contrast with an S-curve in Photoshop, before crushing the blacks and enhancing the whites. peterscammell.wix.com/photography

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ver fancied your own portable photo studio? Well, you can win just that if you enter our fantastic competition, thanks to our friends at Lastolite and Manfrotto. Whether you want to shoot portraits or products, stills or video, the prize bundle has everything you could possibly need, from studio lights, background and reflector, to a tripod, geared head, video light, micro arm to hold gear in place – and even a heavy-duty roller bag to transport kit between locations!

has been designed for indoor and outdoor use, with an Adapto body making it the lightest and most precise tripod head that Manfrotto has ever created. The geared movement allows you to frame images with the utmost precision, one micro-step at a time, on three axes.

Manfrotto LUMIE MUSE Manfrotto Professional Roller Bag 70 This professional travel trolley bag holds two pro-sized SLRs, two 70-200mm f/2.8 lenses, four to five additional lenses, two flashguns, a 17in laptop, plus a tablet, tripod and much more. The Roller Bag 70 features the Manfrotto Camera Protection System – specifically engineered to guarantee the highest level of protection and shock resistance where it really counts – and the Exo-tough multilayered construction diffuses any sharp impact shocks, ensuring maximum protection.

Lastolite hilite The Lastolite HiLite background allows you to achieve high-key photography on location and in

restrictive spaces. Using the HiLite means you no longer need to use a background light behind the subject. The background also works as a large rear softbox and illuminates the subject – plus the whole thing is collapsible.

Manfrotto Microarm kit This versatile and innovative 15cm friction arm kit features an interchangeable antirotation attachment and additional 3/8in adapter, which allows equipment to be securely interlocked so the arm will not rotate when attached to a tripod or bar through a clamp.

Manfrotto XPRO Geared Head The XPRO 3 Way Geared Head

The largest and brightest in the LUMIE range, the MUSE still only weighs just 140g and is the size of a cassette tape. It’s perfect for making lighting for your photos and videos simple, flexible and unique. With super-bright surface-mount LED technology and superb colour accuracy, you can rely on the MUSE to produce excellent images with natural colour every time.

LASTOLITE LUMEN8 Flash kit

LASTOLITE TRIGRIP Utilising a triangular design, which provides a stronger and more stable structure, the Lastolite TriGrip reflector features a moulded handle with securing strap to allow accurate positioning with one hand. This means that light can be reflected into awkward spots without the need for a stand system.

HOW TO ENTER

The Lastolite Lumen8 flash kit has been designed for photographers who need to be mobile. With flash heads, reflectors, light stands, softboxes, sync cables and a case, this kit is ideal for photography on the move.

To be in with a chance of winning this fantastic photo studio set-up, go to www.futurecomps. co.uk/studio and answer the following question:

Manfrotto MK055XPRO-BHQ2

Which of these subjects would you most likely photograph in a studio? A. Landscapes B. Wildlife C. Portraiture

The MK055XPRO-BHQ2 kit comprises of a 055 three-section aluminium tripod and magnesium XPRO Ball Head with 200PL plate. The tripod features 50% more

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rigidity, and the Quick Power Lock system ensures your equipment is fully stabilised under all conditions, while the centre column can be extended vertically or horizontally. The ball head has a triple locking system to guarantee camera position stability, plus friction control and two levelling bubbles.

Entries must be received by 31st December 2015. UK residents only. The winner will be selected at random from all correct entries received by this date. The prize is as stated: no alternatives, cash or otherwise, D i g i t a lForCfull a mterms e r aand conditions october please 2015 visit www.futuretcs.com www.digitalcameraworld.com are available.


S P O N S O RE D

XPERIA™ Z5 from sony

The Xperia Z5’s rapid autofocus enables you to get in on the action and capture striking photos and videos in challenging situations.

the perfect pocket camera? With a large, high-res sensor, advanced autofocus and 5x Clear Image Zoom, the Xperia™ Z5 from Sony is the smart-choice smartphone for demanding photographers

hen you don’t have your SLR or CSC with you, or you just want to travel light, a smartphone camera makes the perfect choice. But this can mean you have to compromise in terms of performance or image quality as a result. Or do you? The Xperia Z5 promises to shake up the photography market. Packing cutting-edge camera technology inherited from its line of highly rated Sony Alpha compact system cameras and SLTs, Sony’s Xperia Z5 promises the world’s best camera in a smartphone, as tested against leading smartphones in 2015.1 Sony has a reputation for developing high-performance imaging devices.

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Key camera features • 1/2.3in 23MP Sony Exmor RS™ for Mobile sensor • Wide-angle G lens (24mm) • Hybrid Autofocus (0.03 sec) • Up to ISO 12,800 for photoand ISO 3,200 for video • 5x Clear Zoom • 4K video recording

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At the heart of the Xperia Z5 is Sony’s next-generation 1/2.3-inch CMOS Exmor RS™ sensor. This is a backlit device, with the circuitry that carries the electronic signal from each pixel positioned on the rear of the sensor rather than the front. The upshot is that more light reaches each photo site, and consequently the signal doesn’t need to be boosted as much. This means that the new sensor has the potential to deliver cleaner pictures when light levels start to drop.

High-end features It isn’t just the large files that make this the perfect pocket-friendly back-up camera. The feature set of the Xperia Z5’s camera is equally as strong. With nimble Hybrid Autofocus, 24mm wide-angle lens, 5x Clear Image Zoom and the next generation of Sony’s SteadyShot™ image stabilisation software, the Xperia Z5 packs a punch. It’s also a practical proposition for photographers. Dedicated camera controls and intuitive handling – including a new fingerprint sensor built into the power button to enable rapid unlocking of the phone – mean that you can react quickly to photo and video opportunities. An external shutter button adds convenience and helps to combat camera shake, while the volume keys double up as zoom controls. The Xperia Z5’s waterproof2, dust-tight design can help you get the shot when other

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XPERIA™ Z5 from sony

S P O N S O RE D

The Xperia™ Z5 series

Xperia Z5

• 146mm x 72mm x 7.3mm • 5.2-inch Full HD 1080p Triluminos display for Mobile • 3GB RAM • Available in Graphite Black, White, Gold and Green

photographers are running for cover. In terms of focusing, the Xperia Z5’s Hybrid Autofocus combines the accuracy of  a contrast-detection AF system with the speed of phase-detection AF. The system clocks a reaction time of up to 0.03 seconds according to Sony’s Cipa-standard tests. The new system improves the continuous focus tracking when you’re recording movies too. Another highlight is Clear Image Zoom: pinch the screen and you can magnify the image up to five times3. Finally, thanks to the unique power management, you can activate Ultra STAMINA mode to keep the core phone functions running for days4 – perfect for staying in touch when you’re on a lengthy photo shoot.

Same camera, three options The same flagship photography features are shared across all three models in the new smartphone range. The Xperia Z5 and smaller Xperia Z5 Compact are available now, with the high-end Xperia Z5 Premium launching in November. As the name suggests, the Xperia Z5 Premium is the

Xperia Z5 Compact

“When it comes to focusing, the Sony Xperia Z5’s Hybrid Autofocus combines the accuracy of contrast-detection AF with the speed of phase-detection AF”

• 127mm x 65mm x 8.6mm • 4.6-inch HD 720p Triluminos display for Mobile • 2GB RAM • Available in Graphite Black, White, Yellow and Coral

Xperia Z5 Premium • 154.4mm x 76mm x 7.8mm • 5.5-inch 4K UHD Triluminos display for Mobile • 3GB RAM • Available in Chrome, Black and Gold

elite model in the series, boasting the world’s first 4K Ultra High Definition smartphone display and 4K UHD upscaling technology. Aside from the boost in detail, colours and black levels that the Z5 Premium’s 5.5-inch 4K display brings, the additional resolution enables 8MP stills to be extracted from 4K video footage. Capturing that split-second moment at a print-worthy size just got even easier…

Get the full picture at sonymobile.com/xperiaz5 1 Camera Based on the Z5 main camera resolution (23MP), speed of autofocus and image quality assessment by 200 UK consumers of the top selling smartphones of 2015. Specification verification and consumer testing carried out by Strategy Analytics. For more information, go to: www. sonymobile.com/testresults/. Icons and images are simulated and are for illustrative purposes only. 2 Waterproof Xperia™ Z5 / Z5 Compact / Z5 Premium is waterproof and protected against dust, so don’t worry if you get caught in the rain or want to wash off dirt under a tap, but remember – all ports and attached covers should be firmly closed. You should not put the device completely underwater or expose it to seawater, saltwater, chlorinated water or

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liquids such as drinks. Abuse and improper use of device will invalidate warranty. The device has Ingress Protection rating IP65/68. For more info see www.sonymobile.com/ waterproof. Note: the Xperia™ Z5 / Z5 Compact / Z5 Premium has a capless USB port to connect and charge. The USB port needs to be completely dry before charging.

active condition, including but not limited to a range of usage scenarios (calling, texting, web browsing, social networking, game playing, music listening, picture taking, picture browsing, online video watching, video recording and playback). For more information go to www.sonymobile. com/testresults.

3 5x Clear Image Zoom Available at 8MP resolution in Superior auto and Manual mode. 4 Battery life Life has been measured against Sony Mobile Communications AB’s smartphone usage profile, defined in September 2014 to represent the typical smartphone user’s

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PHOTO ACTIVE

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

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

Portfolio 72

Alberto Ghizzi Panizza shares his dazzling shots of some of the biggest telescopes on Earth

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ShOOTOUT

Two Digital Camera readers are challenged to shoot portraits using natural light in the city of Bath

Facebook www.facebook.com/ digitalcameraworld

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PHOTO ANSWERS

More wise words from our resident expert Andrew James as he answers your questions and critiques your work

Twitter www.twitter.com/ DigitalCameraW

ASSIGNMENT

See the winners of our ‘colour blue’ contest, and get ready to take on this month’s challenging assignment

Flickr www.flickr.com/ groups/digitalcameraworld

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Shootout

natural light portraits

! t u Shooto head in a bid to see to d ea h o g s er d a re o Tw ortraiture p r oo td ou r fo ir a fl a s a who h NATURAL LIGHT PORTRAITS

This month’s Shootout took place in the city of Bath, where Ben Brain set two Digital Camera readers photographic challenges to see the different results they could come up with READER 1

Ed wa rd Heff er

READER 2

Mic k Ya te s

CameraS: Canon EOS 5D, 50D

CameraS: Leica M, Leica Q, Nikon D810

Location: Bath, Somerset

Location: Bath, Somerset

Ed is a self-employed graphic designer at Heffers Design (www. heffersdesign.com). He regularly uses photography in his work, but Shootout offered him the chance to work with professional models for the first time. He has a passion for portraits and likes to approach them

mick is a ‘big data’ consultant and visiting professor at the University of Leeds. He’s been a photographer pretty much his whole life, shooting rock music gigs in the early 1970s with an old Hanimex and doing his own darkroom work for the student newspaper.

with the intention of telling a story and creating a mood. Having Ben on hand to answer questions about lighting was something Ed was looking forward to, as well as being able to pick up tips from models Claire and Holly on how to make someone feel comfortable in front of the camera.

Mick lists travel, street and candids as his favourite subjects. He recently received his LRPS from the Royal Photographic Society for a book celebrating ‘music and mobiles’ on the streets. Formal portraits are a relatively new interest, so he saw Shootout as a great way to learn.

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

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SHOOTOUT

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Challenge 1

Shootout

natural light portraits

Explore creative ways to use light

Kit Canon EOS 5D with Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM lens Exposure 1/800 sec at f/2.0, ISO 200

Ed

TOP KIT

FOR the first challenge, Ed worked a number of locations. Initially exploring the idea of including a reflection to add a creative twist, he moved onto classic head shots before spotting the potential for a backlit image. The stone

pavillion in a nearby park provided the perfect location, with areas for the models to sit, sunlight streaming in from behind them and a bank of trees adding an out-of-focus backdrop. Ed began the session shooting JPEGs, but Ben encouraged him to record images as raw files on his Canon 5D instead, as this would provide more headroom when it came to fine-tuning exposure and retouching his images in Adobe Camera Raw and Photoshop.

Expe rt op in ion

• Ed’s choi ce of classic por trait focal leng th (85mm) has produce d a fla ttering resu lt. • He has avoided und erexposing this strongly bac klit ima ge by usin g a large whit e reflec tor. • Framing the shot so tha t Holl y’s looking across the dia gon al add s a dyn ami c qual ity.

Lastolite TriFlip reflectors We were equipped with a series of reflectors, but Lastolite’s larger TriGrip and TriFlip sets became the kit of choice. These units offer the convenience of a handle, allowing the photographer or model to hold one in place single-handedly. TriFlip kits also have different sleeves, allowing you to achieve multiple effects.

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natural light portraits

SHOOTOUT

Kit Leica M with Leica 50mm f/1.0 Noctilux-M lens Exposure 1/250 sec at f/2.0, ISO 200

Mic k after making the decision to use a dark backdrop for his first set of portraits with Holly, Mick set about finding a location with suitably soft lighting. A sheltered spot in the gardens at Bath’s Holburne Museum

provided a lovely dose of dappled lighting, and there was just enough room for Ben to provide some fill light with two TriGrip reflectors. Mick explored a number of different poses and compositions, but shooting from slightly below Holly’s eye level provided the strongest images, making her appear tall and confident; these attributes have been emphasised by the strong vertical created by the tree, and her focused expression.

Expe rt op in ion

• Mick’s cau ght Holl y in a relaxed pose – asking her to lean aga inst the tree has helpe d to ach ieve this. • Th ere’s plen ty of room in the frame for Holl y to look in to. • Th e choi ce of a large ape rture has allowed the bac kdrop to be ren dered as an a ttrac tive blur.

DON’T TRY THIS!

Dazzling your model To prevent your portrait-sitter from squinting, position them so that their back is towards the sun and use a reflector to bounce light onto them. ‘Feather’ the reflected light rather than bouncing it directly into their eyes – especially if you’re using a foil reflector – unless you want your model to screw up their face in pain!

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Challenge 2

Shootout

natural light portraits

Use the location to add interest

Kit Canon EOS 5D with Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM lens Exposure 1/500 sec at f/2.2, ISO 200

Ed BATH is a great location for a portrait shoot session, offering numerous attractive backdrops within easy walking distance of each other. We decided to head to the canal to make use of the dark tunnels there. Ben asked Claire to stand at the mouth of one of the tunnels, so that her hair was

evenly illuminated, adding a little fill light with a white reflector to open up the shadows on Claire’s neck. Ed used his trusty 85mm lens at a large aperture, ensuring that he focused on Claire’s eyes. It’s easy for a camera meter to be fooled by such a dark background, increasing the exposure to brighten things up. Taking a meter reading from Claire’s face and locking that setting in, or using some negative exposure compensation on an overall meter reading of the scene would fix this.

TRY THIS!

Give directions Where a model is looking in an image is such an important consideration, so be specific with your directions. Pick out features in the area – a tree, a building, even your ear! – and ask them to focus on it.

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Expe rt op in ion

• Th e gen tle tilt of Claire’s hea d and strong eye con tac t make for an enga gin g resu lt. • Ed’s creamy blac k-and-whit e trea tme n t looks fan tast ic. • Cl aire’s black jacke t blends in with the backdrop, but there’s just enough textural de tail to make it dist inc t.


natural light portraits

SHOOTOUT

Mic k WITH one eye always looking for a new setting that would complement the models, Mick was constantly on the move. He asked Claire to pose in a variety of spots, including among tree stumps, on a parked bench, alongside graffiti and against some bushes. Ben was able to manipulate the light using a large TriGrip diffuser held over Claire to reduce contrast, with a white reflector placed lower down to boost the light levels. For this shot, Mick asked Claire to lean around a stone pillar on a nearby building, keeping her hand in view and positioning herself tightly to the stonework. Using a silver reflector added a surprising amount of illumination; without it, Claire’s face would have been in shadow. The larger format of this particular reflector meant that Mick was able to illuminate Claire’s entire body rather than just her face. Composing the shot in a portrait format made perfect sense, echoing the clear vertical of the pillar and the tree in the distance. The tree also helps to frame Claire’s sidelit hair.

Expe rt op in ion

• Th e bac kgroun d give s a sense of place with out bein g too dist rac ting, thanks to the choi ce of large ape rture. • Th ere’s just the righ t amoun t of separa tion between Claire’s left eye and the pill ar. • D oes Claire’s lowe r han d add any thin g to the ima ge?

NEXT MONTH Shooting landscapes in Snowdonia

Kit Leica M with Leica 50mm f/1.0 Noctilux-M lens Exposure 1/125 sec at f/3.4, ISO 400

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Hi yo silver

Ben says

It’s worth experimenting with different reflectors. A silver one adds a clean, crisp quality; a white one gives softer results that are often easier to blend in. Gold reflectors add rich warmth, but need to be used with care.

It was very interesting to see the different ways in which two photographers approach portraiture. Both Ed and Mick started out with clear ideas of the type of picture they wanted to achieve. I hope I was able to provide enough assistance to enable them to do this!

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SPEhCoTtI o O NA cHtEiAvDe

Support line in here

Portfolio Space, man… how this intrepid photographer shot some of the biggest telescopes on Earth

Name:

Alberto Ghizzi Panizza

Location: Parma, Italy Subject:

Travel photography

Equipment: Nikon D810A, D810 and D750 with Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8 ultra-wide zoom lens

Alberto Ghizzi Panizza

Website:

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www.albertoghizzipanizza.com

globe-TROTTING photographer Alberto Ghizzi Panizza recently returned from one of his biggest shoots yet: to document the VLT (Very Large Telescope) at Paranal Observatory in Chile. “ESO (European Southern Observatory) invited me to its La Silla and Paranal observatories in the Atacama desert. The visibility of the stars and Milky Way in this part of the world are incredible. Nital (Nikon’s representative in Italy) gave me the opportunity to try the new Nikon D810A, and I was one the first Italian photographers to test this astrophotography-ready camera. “I found such a specialist camera to be extraordinarily useful for taking pictures of the night sky. The D810A has a dedicated IR-cut filter, making it four times more sensitive to long-wavelength red light than a D810, and it also offers timed exposure settings of up to 15 minutes. It really shines during deep sky photography of nebulas and galaxies. “The camera can also be used for normal photography, although I found the regular D810 better in this respect, thanks to its lower ISO and more accurate colours.” D i g i t a l Ca m e r a

Kitting yourself out with an SLR that’s been optimised for astrophotography is one thing, but some of the challenges associated with this type of work are rather more down to earth. “One of the most difficult challenges was to stay awake every night of the trip!” reveals Alberto. “But on the technical side, difficulties included things such as focusing perfectly on the stars and finding the right combination of aperture, shutter speed and ISO that would give sharp results without creating excessive noise. And if you aren’t armed with a heavy tripod, then the wind is another big problem…” To create a single, finished image from his individual star trail exposures, Alberto used StarStaX software. But, as always, it’s planning and in-camera execution that delivers the most successful end result. “For the stars and the Milky Way, it’s relatively straightforward. After all, these locations present the best-looking night sky views the planet has to offer. But to take the best combination shots, with a starfilled background and a well-lit foreground, you have to shoot when there’s a slice of moon close to the horizon. This will illuminate all of the landscape and reveal details in the main subject.”

NOVEMBEr 2015

Kit Nikon D810 with 14-24mm f/2.8 lens at 14mm Exposure 60 images, each shot using 30 sec at f/3.2, ISO 80 A self-portrait shot next to one of ESO’s four auxillary telescopes. The star trail was created by merging 60 frames in Markus Enzweiler’s StarStaX software.

Kit Nikon D810A with 14-24mm f/2.8 lens at 14mm Exposure 300 sec at f/3.5, ISO 1,000 The Milky Way, reflected on the antenna of the ESO observatory at La Silla.

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Support line in here

SECTION HEAD

NEXT MONTH

The street photography of Tatsuo Suzuki

Kit Nikon D810 with 14-24mm f/2.8 lens at 14mm Exposure 1/320 sec at f/16, ISO 64 The last piece of road before arriving at the telescopes of Paranal Observatory.

Kit Nikon D750 with 14-24mm f/2.8 lens at 14mm Exposure 30 sec at f/2.8, ISO 3,200 A laser being used to create an artificial star to help calibrate the telescopes.

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Photo Active

Photo Answers

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

Perplexed by a photographic problem? Caught up in camera confusion? Send your question to digitalcamera@futurenet.com and let us provide you with a solution

Remote control Why do people use a remote release you pay extra for, when there’s a selftimer in the camera?

Tim Boon

The self-timer is a very useful tool to have, especially when you forget to take a cable (or remote) release with you. Often you will be able to shoot perfectly well using the self-timer, if precise timing of the shot isn’t needed. You can also improve your chances of firing the shutter at the right point by changing the self-timer from its longer delay (usually 10 sec or so) to a short delay of just a couple of seconds. However, being able to fire the shutter at exactly the right moment is the main benefit of a cable release. For this shot of water movement, for example, I needed to fire just as the tide drew back, and even with a two-second delay it would have been hard to judge correctly. A tiny delay could have meant that I have judged it wrongly and messed up my shot. The other thing you can’t do with the self-timer is lock the shutter open when using the Bulb mode, so this is another good reason to splash out on a cable or remote release. Ultimately, Tim, the self-timer is a good option sometimes, but if you  want to get creative and or be ultra-precise with your timings, a separate remote release is a must-have accessory. 74

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Achieving shots like this requires the sort of pinpoint timing that only a remote release can provide.

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Photo Active

LA GUYMAN ID E ’S

Photo Answers

Teleconverters Discover what this piece of kit could do for your photography What is a teleconverter? It’s a kind of add-on lens. It slots between the camera body and lens to magnify focal length, effectively making far-away subjects appear closer in the frame. You may also hear them referred to as multipliers or extenders. How do I fit one to my lens? Obviously you need one that is compatible with your lens/camera combination. As long as it is, it will fit on one side with your camera body’s electronics and on the other side with the lens’s electronics. You simply click them into place as you would a lens, so they are easy to get to grips with. Sounds great; can I use it on my lens? Not all lenses can use teleconverters so it’s always best to check with the manufacturer’s recommendations first before making a purchase. So are there any downsides to using a teleconverter? Yes, and these have to be weighed against their benefits. When you use an extender, you lose a certain amount of light. So, for example, if you had a Canon 1.4x, you would lose one stop of light, meaning that if your lens had a maximum aperture of f/4 without a teleconverter fitted, this would change to f/5.6 with it fitted. Depending on the lens/camera being used, AF can also be compromised to some degree, and image quality can be downgraded too.

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If there are all those downsides, why should I bother at all? Cost is one major consideration. Increasing the focal length of a 300mm lens with a 2x teleconverter doubles your effective focal length for a fraction of the cost of buying a 600mm lens. The weight of a 300mm lens with a 2x converter attached is also considerably less than an equivalent 600mm lens. When you buy a teleconverter, get the latest model, as they are improving all the time. Don’t try to save money by buying cheap. I own both the Canon 1.4x and 2x Mk III teleconverters, and use them with my 300mm and 70-200mm lenses. Wouldn’t cropping a 300mm image result in similar framing to a 300mm and 1.4x combination? Yes, you can crop, and that is definitely a budget option. But remember, the more pixels you lose from your image, the more you sacrifice the ability to print it big. This might be fine if you only ever want to show the photo on your Facebook page, but not if you wanted a high-quality A3 print for the wall. If you are serious about your photos and need extra focal length reach for wildlife and sports shots, a teleconverter is definitely an option you should consider. Losing one or two stops of light is a pain, but ISO performance is much better than it once was, so you can still get a higher shutter speed to ensure sharper shots.

Speed it up My camera has various drive modes, from single shot to high-speed continuous. How do I know which one to use? Sally Hall

To some extent, common sense dictates that you don’t need a fast-shooting drive mode when photographing a static subject, and a single-shot drive mode is inadequate when your subject is likely to be moving at pace. So, for example, a single-shot drive mode is all you need for all still-life and most landscape scenes. But if you’re going to be shooting an action sequence, a continuous drive mode will allow you to record frames at a much faster rate. If your subject is a fast-moving one, you need to ensure your focusing mode is matching it by being switched to Continuous (Nikon) or AI Servo (Canon) so that the lens does its best to keep it in sharp focus throughout the sequence. Shooting something moving in a continuous high-speed frame rate can result in a lot of unwanted images to edit through later or, at worst, just ASK US a question as you’re about to nail the shot, digitalcamera@ the buffer kicks in and the futurenet.com camera refuses to take the (subject line: shot of the day! Photo Answers) So even in high speed continuous shooting, I’d favour short, well-timed bursts, as opposed to purely relying on endless frames in the hope you get one right! NOVEMBER 2015

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Photo Active

Photo answers

QUICK Q&A

Losing weight I own a Canon 650D and a Sigma 18250mm lens, but due to health issues I’m finding the weight a problem. I’m thinking of downgrading to the Lumix TZ70. Will I be disappointed? John Laidlaw

YOUR suggestion of a Panasonic Lumix TZ70 is a good one. While I would still favour an SLR where possible,

Horse play A friend has asked me to take a portrait of her horse – but I don’t know where to start! Any advice? Cecilia Rayburn

Horses are beautiful animals, but they aren’t always easy to manage. My suggestion is to keep things as simple as possible – using natural light rather than any flash lighting that can potentially spook them. For a light-coloured horse, using the dark background of a stable as a backdrop can look amazing. You’ll need the owner to try to coax them into a good position, then it’s just a case of exposing for the front of the horse so the unlit stable behind becomes darker. Spot-metering can work well for this, but you may need to dial in a little minus exposure compensation to accentuate the contrast between the horse and the background. The horse will look better if you can shoot it when its head is turned slightly, and you want to focus on the eye. An aperture of around f/8 on a medium focal length (200mm) will give you a flattering perspective and enough depth of field. A darker horse can become lost against this background, but use the same principles against a clean but lighter background. One thing that horse owners will want to see are the ears both up and front-facing: it’s sort of the equivalent of a horse smiling! 76

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Safari focus I have just booked my first safari adventure, but I’m not sure whether I have the right focal-length lenses for it. What is the minimum I can take and still get good shots? Jon Alderley

There are two elements to this answer. First, you can get good shots at any focal length, because you can just adapt your approach to whatever range you have at your disposal. Second, see how close the animals are to

a superzoom compact is a genuinely good alternative. The TZ70 has an impressive 30x optical zoom, and image quality is excellent. You mention in your full question that you like wildlife and landscapes and want to print up to A4 – the TZ70 has a 12.1MP sensor, so will easily print at that size.

where you’ll be in the vehicle. This depends a lot on your driver/guide and the tolerance of the animals. A good driver will get you as close as possible without being so close it upsets the animals. My advice is really that you should think of 300mm as a minimum focal length if you want to get some tightly framed shots of species like lions, buffalo, zebra or giraffe. But it’s also important to remember that including some environment in the shot can go a long way to showing that the image was taken in the wild and not in a zoo, so don’t get caught up in the idea that every photo has to have the animal filling the frame. In fact, I’d go as far as to say that my favourite shots of animals taken on safari tend to always include some element of the surroundings for context.

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Photo Active

Photo Answers

QUICK Q&A

HOW

TO

Colour range I took some shots using a Fujifilm X100T in its B&W mode, but they printed a dark rust colour. Why? Before

After

Give a colour image a new look in Lightroom Playing around with the natural colours can result in a fun and funky look – just like cross-processing film did before digital 1

Bill Johnson

The problem doesn’t lie with your camera: it’s your printer that has blocked nozzles. The only solution is to run a Deep Clean through your printer’s utility. This means wasting some ink, but it should clear the heads and allow correct printing once again.

Edit the Red channel

If you cannot see the dropdown for RGB in the Tone Curve panel, click on the bottom-right square. With the RGB dropdown visible, click on it and select the Red channel. Click on the diagonal line approximately two-thirds up and push it upwards to increase the reds, then pull it down slightly at the bottom to create a shallow S-curve.

Edit the Green channel

2 Click back onto the RGB dropdown and select the Green channel. Repeat the process as you did for the Red channel, pushing the line upwards slightly at the top and down at the bottom to create the S-curve. Don’t worry if this appears to be putting all the natural colours out of whack: that’s what it’s supposed to do! the Blue channel 3 Edit Select the Blue channel, but this time pull the top of the line downward and the bottom upwards in a reverse S-curve. To tweak the colours further you can also select the RGB channel as a whole and fine-tune the intensity of the effect. You can also further tweak Contrast, Temperature, Vibrancy and Shadows if you want.

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Shades of grey I use Lightroom, but sometimes find the background colour in the Develop Module is wrong. Can I change it? Dave Sparks

ASK US a GENERALLY I use question Medium Grey, as both digitalcamera@ black and white image futurenet.com edges will contrast against it, but (subject line: sometimes I’ll quickly change the Photo Answers) background colour to get an idea of how the framing is working. Right-click on the background on a PC or Ctl-click on a Mac and it will show a dropdown that gives you six options: black, white and four shades of grey. NOVEMBER 2015

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Photo answers

My R Phate ot o

Photo Active

Peter Joliffe

Heat haze adds a painterly quality to this shot

ANDREW SAYS: I’m no plane enthusiast, Pete, but I like this shot from a purely artistic point of view. If those two Typhoons had just been parked there and everything had been sharp and crisp, then I wouldn’t have given this a second glance, but the heat haze really brings the whole scene to life by bestowing a real painterly appearance to it, so full marks for spotting the potential in this. I also like the fact you went out of your way to get your shot with a spot of ladderbalancing! You’ve also thought carefully about the crop post-capture, which I think is the right thing to do in this case. Clearly

GET RATED!

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

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PETE SAYS: I call this image ‘Time to Fly’. It’s two RAF Typhoon fighters emerging from their dispersal area at RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire. To be able to take the shot I had to stand carefully on a stepladder so that I could get high enough to point my lens over the perimeter fence. I used a Canon 7DMkII with 100-400 IS II at 400mm with an exposure of 1/2,000 sec at f/5.6 and ISO 200. A combination of the heat haze behind the first aircraft and the bright green light from the HUD of each aircraft appealed to me. I’ve done a small amount of processing in Lightroom and given it a letterbox crop.

NOVEMBER 2015

Nicely done  erfect level to shoot from, P thanks to that stepladder! Letterbox crop cuts out the dull sky and beautifully frames the subject.

ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT Image looks a little cool,  so try pushing the Temperature slider up. Boost the contrast to give it some added bite.

the sky was very flat and grey so you’ve decided to cut most of it out of your shot in post-production. In fact, the whole shot is relatively flat in terms of tone and colour, so I’d suggest you could do a bit more work in Lightroom to really make it sing. I’d try warming the Temperature up just a little, adding a bit more Contrast and some extra Vibrancy. You certainly don’t want to overdo it, but a subtle boost could turn a very good image into a great one.

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Photo answers

My R Phate ot o

Photo Active

Nicely done

Andy Swinbank

Timing was everything for this beautiful Cornish sunset scene

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

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

ANDY SAYS: My sunset photo was taken on Fistral Beach in Cornwall, in May of this year. I waited for the sun to dip behind the horizon, as I thought there would be more colour in the sky after it had disappeared. I used a long exposure to smooth out the choppy water and to reflect some of the colour from the sky. I chose this composition and angle to capture the reflected light on the rocks. It was taken on a Canon 5D Mark III with Canon 24-105mm F4L lens, using a tripod and a Lee 0.9 soft grad filter. The technical details are: 4-second exposure, f/20, ISO 50, focal length 40mm.

ANDREW SAYS: You’ve captured some excellent moodiness in this photograph, Andy. It’s the sort of image I am happy to look at again and again. You’ve done all the basics right, keeping that sky detail by using the 0.9ND grad to try and balance the exposure, and a 4-second exposure has really helped to blur the water slightly. Your composition is also balanced with

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Stunning conditions  always make for a  better landscape.

NOVEMBER 2015

There is a real moodiness here, enhanced by the balanced composition.

ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT  It feels like it needs something to lead the eye into the shot a bit better in the foreground.

More detail in the rocks and lighter water would bring out the contrast. one third rocks and sea and two-thirds sky. I might have been inclined to see whether I could use those rocks better, perhaps to lead the eye into the shot a little more. My only main area of criticism is that I think you’ve gone fractionally too moody and the shot is slightly under-exposed in places. I’d like to see some more detail in the wet rocks and have the blurred sea water slightly brighter, so that you create better contrast. Overall, though, great timing and excellent visions to capture a stand-out landscape shot.

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Photo active p

Assignment The winners of our ‘colour blue’ contest – and essential details for this month’s challenge

Every issue, we challenge you to take the most creative and arresting shot around a theme, and share it at the online community at Photocrowd (www.photocrowd.com). Here, you’ll be able to browse the entries and vote on your favourites. The best entries receive a critique from our judging panel – and one winner receives a special prize! Your mission in issue 168 was to get creative with colour. We asked you to make the pictures where the theme was clearly the colour blue, although you didn’t have to fill the frame – a subtle hint, positioned at a key point in the frame would have been just as effective. Seascapes had a strong presence among the entries, as did pictures shot at dusk. There were some excellent examples of post-shoot blue effects, too. Here are our winners…

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This month’s photo assignment is colour-free! You can find all the details over the page… 1

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Adam harris

The boat house on Perth, Australia’s Swan River is a magnet for landscape photographers, and it’s easy to see why. That’s not to say it’s simple to make a stand-out shot of it. The position of the horizon, the amount of space, the extent of the cloud cover – all of these elements need to be finely balanced. Adam’s ticked all the boxes here. Using a 10-stop ND filter has provided just the right level of ‘streaking’ in the sky, with the fan of clouds mirroring the near-symmetry of the scene below. The cool cast created by the strong filter suits the blue theme superbly, too. Kit Sony A850 with 20mm f/2.8 lens Exposure 182 sec at f/22, ISO 100

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Assignment

Photo active

TURN OVER!

This month’s assignment is all about removing colour from the great outdoors

Debarshi Mukherjee Debarshi has done extremely well to capture an evocative portrait while being faced with some challenging shooting conditions during Gajan, a Hindu festival in Bengal. An overcrowded location meant that the light levels were low, but the resulting soft illumination perfectly suits the young subject and the master artist at work. The contrast between the rich blue face paint and the deep shadows, both of which were enhanced during post-production, ensures that there are no distractions to detract from the moment. No shooting information

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lisa shalom Despite the laid-back feel to the image, Lisa had to work quickly, grabbing the shot from a car window with their iPhone 4S just before the traffic lights turned green. The spacious frame and crop are well-judged, but the overall colour tone and the blend of textures are equally as effective. We want to know what the men are looking at, too, and a bit of intrigue is always welcome… Kit Apple iPhone 4S

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ELENA PARASKEVA

Chosen by the voting community at Photocrowd. Kit Nikon D800 with Nikon AF-S 14-24mm f/2.8G ED lens at 14mm Exposure f/5.6, ISO 125

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Photo active

Assignment

NEW ASSIGNMENT

black & white scenics For this challenge, we want to see your best black-and-white landscapes, whether they’re taken at the coast or in the hills…

A black-and-white treatment can give your landscape photos a timeless quality. But you’ll need to do more than simply switching your camera to its monochrome mode to create a picture with real impact. Shoot in raw, and you’ll be able to record a colour image but see a black-and-white preview on the camera screen. This enables you to find the best composition in the field, and later, create monochrome versions of your colour image using the power of your chosen raw software. From manipulating contrast with dodging and burning techniques, to applying grain and vignettes, there’s a whole host of creative techniques you can apply to finesse your work of scenic art. www.photocrowd. How to enter com/a/current Visit www.photocrowd. Closing date: Friday com/a/current and look 6th November for the Digital Camera Black and White Landscapes contest. (It’s free to join.) Click Submit An Image to upload your entry. The closing date is 6th November. The creator of the best photo in the judges’ opinion will receive a brand-new Lowepro Transit Sling 250 AW bag. The Crowd Vote winner also receives a special prize. A selection of the winning images will appear in issue 172.

ENTER TODAY!

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Win a Lowepro Transit Sling 250 AW backpack! We’re giving away this super-convenient Lowepro camera backpack worth £82 to the lucky winner of our new photo challenge. The Transit Sling 250 AW offers flexibility and fast access when you’re out shooting. A side opening enables you to pull out your camera on the spur of the moment. Its innovative UltraFlex™ fit system gives you multiple ways to organise equipment – and the All-Weather Cover™ means gear is safe from the rain. Visit the Lowepro website for details of its entire range of photographers’ bags. www.lowepro.com

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Interview

D AV I D ALAN HARVEY The veteran Magnum photographer talks to Geoff Harris about doing his best work before he was 22 and keeping it simple...

Salvador, Bahia, Brazil David says: “Besides the drug dealers in the favelas, or shanty town, they have ballet classes and boxing gyms, so I wanted to show the positive side.”

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ven as a young kid in the 1950s, you took pictures of your family. How did they feel about you being a photographer? They were supportive, although it wasn’t something they were familiar with. When I was six, I got polio, and it was a life-or-death situation. Being isolated as a child had a lot to do with

NOVEMBER 2015

everything, as I read about the arts and photography while I was recuperating. Your first book, Tell It Like It Is, documented the time you spent with a poor black family in Norfolk, Virginia. How did that come about? Before Tell It Like It Is, I was leading about as hedonistic > www.digitalcameraworld.com


All photos: David Alan Harvey

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Interview

DAVID ALAN HARVEY

DAVID ALAN HARVEY

Documentary and travel photographer DAVID was raised in Virginia and discovered photography at the age of 11. He produced his first book, Tell It Like It Is, when he was just 20; it’s been republished by BurnBooks this year (http:// store. burnmagazine.org). Other books include Cuba (1999, National Geographic), Divided Soul (2003, Phaidon) and Living Proof (2007, powerHouse Books). DAVID is founder and editor of the photography magazine Burn, and has been a full Magnum member since 1997.

Top left Bullfighter, Mexico “I used a 35mm lens on my Leica, and was practically in the ring with the fighter.” Left Public shower, San Juan, Puerto Rico “As a magazine photographer, I always tried to include the context of images, so you can see the city.”

a lifestyle as you could get, doing what all college boys did – girls, girls and more girls. I had a job taking pictures of people at the beach, which was a great way to meet women. So I was into the mating game, but also interested in photography. I’d go and have a wild time at a party, then drag myself into the darkroom next day with a hangover. You could say that guilt led to Tell It Like It Is. Even when I was 12 or 13, I thought I had talent, and I felt guilty if I wasted it. 88

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What were the biggest lessons you learned while doing the book? I began to appreciate that every culture is the same, and every culture is different. Races and cultures have different demeanours, but you will find humanity in everyone. That fascinated me. The black family moved differently, spoke differently, were interested in different things. I was only 20, but I knew I had to integrate with the family. I had no teachers and no photo school.

Top right Havana, Cuba “A flag announces a committee meeting for Defense of the Revolution. They would have meetings to talk about the need for more light bulbs, or aspirin, or whatever.” Right Havana, Cuba “Taken on Che Guevara’s birthday in 1998.”

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Somehow I figured it out and came up with a style. It was a kind of miracle, really. Back then there were hardly any photographers in my high school, and only two at college. To be a white surfer boy who took photographs in a black ghetto in the 1960s was odd. So how did you end up joining National Geographic? Well, I also had a child at 22 – the mating game led to an early marriage and babies! It was a shock at the time, but it turned out well. While the rest of my friends were getting stoned at Grateful Dead concerts, I was busting ass, even more determined to make it as I was in grad school and had a wife and baby to support. So I had a clear head, www.digitalcameraworld.com 

and was winning national photo contests when I was 22 or 23. By the time I finished grad school I was getting job offers; then a proposal of mine got accepted by National Geographic, and I was named Magazine Photographer of the Year when I was only 28. Also, Life had just closed, which was my dream job. Only National Geographic was left, and it seemed like a good way to do my art and also feed my family. You started out in black and white and moved to colour. How did this come about? I admired Cartier-Bresson, Robert Frank, Atget, etc, who of course were all working in black and white. The only colour photographers I saw at > NOVEMBER 2015

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time were Americans, and I didn’t think they were very good. But I was also looking at painters like Goya and Caravaggio, who were working in colour. I then successfully applied for a grant that encouraged me to do colour work, and it went from there. So you don’t see a split between your colour work and your black-and-white work? No, they are really the same. I hate it when people say I have mastered colour. I don’t want them to see a 90

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colour picture, just a good picture. You could convert my images from colour back to black and white, and they should still work. Which National Geographic project are you proudest of? All the work that led to Divided Soul, my work on the Spanish cultural migration into the Americas – Central and South America, Cuba, Oaxaca, Spain, Portugal, and so on. Working for National Geographic was my real education: they took me


Quickfire Q&A You spend a lot of time at the beach. What do you wear? I never wear loud clothing, mostly because I am always shooting. I’m tall, so I don’t want to attract any more attention. What’s the best thing about being a teacher? It’s all part of the ‘pay back, pay forward’ philosophy I’ve had since I was a kid. With teaching, you get away from yourself for a bit, and you help someone else at the same time. What’s the worst? It is very easy to get too caught up in someone’s problems. You have to know how far to go with mentoring. Some will squeeze the life out of you if you let them.

Above left Brooklyn, New York “This was taken on my roof and was part of a Magnum project. It’s one of my newer images, taken on a digital camera.” Left Rio de Janeiro, Brazil “Shot at the 2010 Children’s Carnival at the Sambãdromo. It takes place before the big one.” Top right From Tell It Like It Is “James Liggins, the head of the family, sitting there without a shirt.” Above right From Tell It Like It Is “This shows Lois, the little girl of the family, with her mother Callie, the wife of James.”



all over the world. I had a typical bad American education to start with. I think the struggle to get to National Geographic was better than the work I did for National Geographic, if you know what I mean. I did my main work from 14 to 22, before I went to work for them. Tell It Like It Is was uninfluenced and pure, while the National Geographic work was professionalism. How did the digital revolution affect you? When I got into photography, the big discussion was whether should you use a 35mm camera instead of a two-and-a-quarter Rolleiflex or a

4 x 5 Speed Graphic. It’s the same with digital – a five-minute conversation. I don’t like all the cables, but let’s get on with the story or get on with the pictures. I still have my darkroom, but also love digital. You’re vastly experienced. What advice do you have for aspiring documentary photographers? I never use the word ‘advice’, but I do have a suggestion. For me, life and photography is all interconnected, like a big circle. Most people have got their career over here and their hobby over there. But I am doing family life, making a book, making a movie, having fun doing workshops, all at > NOVEMBER 2015

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once. You need to think this way, rather than separating your photography off into a compartment. Like your Magnum colleague Martin Parr, you’ve got an enduring fascination with beaches. Why is this? I’ve always felt at home on the beach. Here I am talking to you in New York City and it has the Museum of Modern Art, all this culture; and maybe in comparison the beach seems a bit intellectually lightweight. But it’s not the case. The beach, where there are no museums, is a great Zen place to think about stuff. The beach brings out certain parts of human nature: some of it good, some not so... It’s a very different kind of environment. So yes, Martin and I are both interested in the beach, as is Alex Webb from Magnum, but our pictures are very different. Despite your busy schedule, you teach and mentor photographers. How do you find the time? Well, I have a lot of good people around me... I also use workshops to try out new ways of shooting. I’ve always taught and mentored, even

DAVID’s kit Bag “I’m very influenced by Cartier-Bresson, who wrote about just using one lens and one camera. So I’ve stayed minimalist, just using a few lenses – a 35mm, sometimes a 28mm, but mostly a 50mm. “As for digital, Leica lent me one of the older Monochroms, which I loved. I keep looking for something like the Leica M6 which I can use for 10 years, but with digital that’s never going to happen. “I also like the Fujifilm X-100S and X-T1. Generally, I prefer to use the amateur versions of digital cameras: I like smaller cameras that are easier to use.”

from my early 20s, and I believe in passing it on and celebrating other photographers. That’s one of the reasons I do these interviews, actually. When I was 14, I read a magazine interview with Alfred Eisenstaedt that really inspired me; so who knows, this might do the same for another young photographer... www.davidalanharvey.com

Above Rio de Janeiro, Brazil “A typical beach seller on the Copacabana beach, with a bikini in the shot too. It was a hard job out there!” Left Rio de Janeiro, Brazil “This was taken on Ipanema beach, so she’s the girl from Ipanema. This image is on the cover of my collection, Based on a True Story.”

NEXT MONTH

The touching documentary photography of Patrick Ward

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PRO ZONE

Turning Pro

GET shown in GALLERIES Showing your work can be a great way to gain exposure, and hopefully sell a few prints in the process. Jeff Meyer explains the best practice for staging a photo exhibition

ne of the most thrilling moments for any photographer has to be walking into a gallery and seeing their own work on the walls for the first time. Watching others study your work and soak it in can be an incredible ego-boost – but exhibitions are also a great way to sell your work. Most galleries will take 50% of every image you sell. This is pretty standard across the industry; but although 50% may sound like a lot, galleries have some significant overheads – namely rent and insurance. Lottie Davies, a fine art, portrait and travel photographer who won the Taylor Wessing Portrait Prize in 2008, exhibits her work annually and says it can be a laborious process, but can make you money now… and in the future. “You could sell a whole lot of your images, or you could just sell two. Really, you’re

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This work, Viola As Twins, is part of Lottie Davies’s Memories And Nightmares series and inspired by one of many nightmares about children described to Davies by a friend of her mother’s.

hoping to break even on your costs,” she says. “For me, exhibitions are more of a presence-building exercise. It’s sensible to assume you might not make a profit on an exhibition, but you will make a mark-up on all the other opportunities it affords. For instance, people might not buy your image at the show, but they might buy your book. “Galleries have their own style,” Lottie adds. “Don’t approach a gallery if you shoot Eggleston-style vibrant stuff and they feature vintage black-and-white images. You’ll look like you haven’t done your research.” Once you’ve done your research, Lottie suggests getting the gallery curator’s card and asking if you can send them a link to your work. Then maybe follow up with an email. “You have to feel your way around the environment of the art world. It can seem mysterious and impenetrable – but you’ll get there.” The photographer is responsible for printing and framing, and galleries are responsible for shipping, insurance and the physical aspects of hanging, but Lottie says you should be on site to oversee the hanging, because it makes a big difference to how people see it. >

“It’s sensible to assume you might not make a profit on an exhibition, but you will make a mark-up on all the other opportunities”

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CASE STUDY #1

Ed Chadwick Owner, Snug Gallery, Hebden Bridge www.snug-gallery.com How do you find the artists that you exhibit? We are generally working at least 12 to 18 months ahead, if not more, and these tend to be showcases of fairly established practitioners in their respective field. In this instance, we actively approach those people and invite them to show with us. We also visit shows and make contact with practitioners whose work we like, and regularly catch up with people who we represent. In recent times, social media platforms such as Twitter and Instagram have become a great way for us to research and discover people whose work we would be interested in showing. Quite often we are approached by people wanting to show with us,

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which can be great – but only if done in the right way. What’s the best way to approach a gallery? Initially, a good bit of research is a key factor in determining whether a gallery is a good fit for you and your photography. This should be the first thing on your list. Galleries can be quite specific about what type of work they will show. Once you have done a little research, either by physically visiting the gallery if possible (don’t be tempted to approach directly when doing this) or looking at their online presence, then you will have a knowledge of the type and level of work they show, and also the ethos and aesthetic of the gallery space and their general presence. If you feel it is a good fit, then the recommended way of approach is to send a pleasant email introducing yourself and your work, with a link to your website or some images. Most galleries will hopefully respond in

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a few days, but there’s nothing wrong with a follow-up phone call after a few days to enquire whether your submission or introductory email has been received. If you receive a favourable response, then often at this point, setting up a face-to-face meeting with the gallery to view your work first-hand is very helpful for both parties involved. And what’s the worst way? Don’t just turn up at the gallery with your portfolio under your arm, and expect the gallery owner to drop everything to see you and look at your work right now. They may look like they’re ‘just sat behind a desk’, but for the main part gallery owners are pretty busy folk. It makes for a very awkward scenario for both parties, especially if the work isn’t suitable. Having to politely refuse someone’s advances is as difficult as hearing someone’s refusal. Following the guidelines above regarding approach and

“Don’t turn up at the gallery with your portfolio under your arm and expect the gallery owner to drop everything to see you right now”

Exhibition checklist 1 Request layout from gallery before selecting your work 2 When pricing, factor in the gallery commission & VAT 3 Get sample prints if outsourcing printer 4 Give the framer a decent lead time 5 Discuss publicity with the gallery 6 Use a guest book to expand mailing list 7 Produce business cards and postcards with your contact info

making an appointment to see a gallery is a much better experience for all concerned. What’s your best advice for photographers looking to exhibit work for the first time? Consider carefully why you want to exhibit, and have a realistic expectation and understand that there’s much more to be gained from exhibiting work than selling a few prints. Look towards working together with the gallery in terms of a partnership for mutual benefit. Be professional.  www.snug-gallery.com

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PRO ZONE

Turning Pro

Sapper’s Bridge, a work by Lottie Davies, part of the Quinn series, charting the journey of a man who is travelling from the south west to the north of England in 1946.

Selecting your images to show is like choosing which children are your favourites, she jokes, but as a general rule, you need to think about how you would like the viewer to experience your body of work. The gallerist will price your images in consultation with you, as they know their market. Bigger images obviously cost more, but when you get closer to the end of an edition, the price also goes up. So sometimes a smaller print might be more expensive than a larger one. Another thing to consider, Lottie says, is your buyer’s wall space. One of her early mistakes was going as big as possible with her prints when, in reality, people might not have the wall space and will prefer a smaller one. “Your ultimate goal is to get beyond the £10,000 mark for a piece,” she adds. “Then you can jump into the next league. I’m still a bit below that. I’m not sufficiently established that people know my name. When you’re starting out, it matters a lot who might like it.” Lottie’s advice for those starting out is, rather than getting in with a gallery, do something yourself. If there’s a gallery space in your work or local community, this is perfect. Find something that doesn’t cost a fortune, and invite your friends. “It’s a great way to test the market for your work,” she says. “There’s no harm in sending a press release to the local press and even galleries. If you promote it well, you’ll get lots of people there and you can work out for yourself where the mistakes are, then improve on them. This might pique the interest of gallerists and get you on their radar. This could be your best way in.” www.lottiedavies.com 96

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CASE STUDY #2 You now have a permanent space at the Joe Cornish Gallery – how did you come to that arrangement? Joe and Johnny Essex, who runs the gallery, decided they wanted to open it up to more people so it’s a wider-ranging photo gallery, not just Joe’s work. How much do you typically spend on printing, framing and hanging? We probably spend up to £70 on a frame. Your major costs are paper and ink, particularly when you take into account wastage and mistakes. We like to use solid wood frames and reflection-control glass as this gives more hanging options.

Morag Paterson Leeming Paterson Photography www.leemingpaterson.com

How do you price your images? We price by editions these days. When we were doing a lot of traditional landscape work, we did editions of 195. Now we typically do runs of 12. Most of our new bodies of work only have 12 official images in the set. Otherwise you

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Turning pro

Pro zone

A few of our favourite photo galleries Five great places to go to see a photo exhibition The Photographer’s Gallery If your images are in here, rest assured that you’ve made it! If you’re a visitor to the gallery, you’re going to see some cutting-edge photography from some of the world’s best photographers. www.thephotographersgallery.org.uk

Michael Hoppen Gallery

© Leeming & Paterson

“Your major costs are paper and ink, particularly when you take into account wastage and mistakes”

can get overrun with images. I think it’s a good thing to whittle down and be targeted with your work. It’s very difficult, though, to gauge profit when pricing images. You look at what the market will stand, and it’s not a lot for traditional landscape photography. Many people at the top of their game aren’t making a fortune, whereas in the States you could add a zero. Do you sell many books and other products at your exhibitions? A lot of people who come in will like your work but can’t afford to spend £500 or £1,000 on an image. But they will quite happily pick up a book for £40. How many images do you usually sell during the course of an exhibition? It’s random. You can have no sales whatsoever, or you can sell 60% of what’s up there. But exhibiting your work is also a promotional exercise. We often

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One of London’s premier galleries, which specialises in contemporary photography and features everyone from well-known photographers to up-and-comers. www.michaelhoppengallery.com

Open Eye Liverpool’s answer to the claim that London has all the best galleries, Open Eye has long championed photography as an art form for everyone, and regularly hosts the UK’s most innovative bodies of work. www.openeye.org.uk

Ffotogallery

A work from the Iceland series by Leeming & Paterson. Morag Paterson says that they use solid wood frames and reflection-control glass, which gives more hanging options.

have people get in touch saying they’ve wanted to buy a picture for three years and now it’s their 50th and people have pitched in and bought it for them. So no effort is wasted. People will come back. See more of Morag and her partner Ted Leeming’s work at www.leemingpaterson.com

Based in Penarth, Wales, Ffotogallery solely features the work of Welsh artists, but also has a massive outreach programme and actively commissions new work from up-and-coming photographers. www.ffotogallery.org

Impressions Gallery Bradford’s independent gallery has been showcasing the finest contemporary photography for the past 40 years, and is particularly well-known for its support of new artists. www.impressions-gallery.com

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Pro zone

Scott Kelby

portrait lighting Scott Kelby explains how to add just enough flash to enhance a portrait but retain a natural look

HIS issue I’m going to demonstrate how to create dynamic lighting set-ups for portraits using careful positioning of a softbox. I’m going to share one of my favourite portrait lighting set-ups – one that creates lots of drama and shadows. It’s a one-flash job and there’s an option for adding a second flash. At the end I’ll show you

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This series of portraits relies on careful light staging to blacken the backdrop.

“I’m using a Canon 70-200mm f/2.8, then standing back and zooming in tight to take advantage of the lens compression”

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S E C TPI r Oo N Support line inScott here Kelby

something new, which worked out better than I ever expected. I’m in Manual mode, with my shutter speed at my standard 1/125 of a second, my ISO at 100 and my f/stop at f/6.3. I’m using my go-to lens for portraits, a Canon 70-200mm f/2.8, and I’m standing back and zooming in tight to take full advantage of the lens compression. www.scottkelby.com

Ho EA z nD e

STEP 1

Use one flash We’ll start with just one flash. In this case, I’m using an Elinchrom ELC 500 strobe, which has some really cool new features (beyond what I’ve been doing with my Elinchrom BRXs, but we’ll get to that in a moment). I’m using an Elinchrom Rotalux Deep Octa softbox here, but you can use whatever softbox you might have. The key isn’t the type of softbox: it’s how you position it. Put it way up high, a bit in front of your subject, and aim down at your subject at a really steep angle, almost like it’s a shower head.

STEP 2

STEP 3

Add some punch

Light from the right

To make the light really punchy, and a bit more contrasty, I removed the front diffusion panel from the light. It’s not a bare flash, though, because there’s still another diffusion panel inside the softbox. (If your softbox doesn’t have an inner diffusion panel, I wouldn’t take the front diffusion off — it’ll be too harsh.) You can see there’s a seamless grey roll behind her, but the background looks black because there’s no light hitting it. The light is aiming down at the floor and no light makes it back, so the background turns solid black.

When you have the light way over to one side like this, you’ll have to remember to tell your subject to ‘play towards that light’. If they turn the other way, you’ll get a really well-lit shot of their ear, which isn’t what you want! If you’d like to try adding a second light (a kicker light), my choice is to go with a small strip bank (a tall thin softbox). I’ve placed this strip bank behind my subject and to the right of the camera. This has the effect of lighting the opposite side of your subject with a rim light from behind, as you can see here.

STEP 4

Use the back light Here’s how to avoid a lighting trap! Don’t just set up the second light, turn it on and start firing. If it doesn’t look good, you won’t know why. Instead, turn off your front light (your main light) and just work with positioning the back light by itself. You want the light to skim along her hair,

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neck and cheek and along the outline of her body. You won’t want it to spill too far over onto her face. You also want it to be bright, punchy light here as well – at least a stop or more brighter than your main light. Turning off the front light and taking a few

test shots with just the back light will help make sure when you do turn the main light in front back on, the lighting will look good. Now you’ll just have to balance the power of the front light so it’s not too strong — just raise or lower the power of the light itself to achieve this.

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S A D Kelby PE r CoT zI OoNn eH E Scott Support line in here

STEP 5

STEP 6

Turn on both lights Here’s how the shot looks with both lights turned on. If your subject has long hair, get them to move it to the side that’s closest to the large main light; then that second light does a beautiful job of sculpting their cheeks and adding depth and

Note the lighting placement dimension. If they leave their hair down on that side instead, it just does a nice job of lighting their hair of course. Again, the front light is at low power (since it’s so close to your subject), and the back light is about a stop or so brighter.

Here’s another view of the two-light set-up, just so that you can clearly see the placement of the lights in relation to where the model is positioned. You can also see from the above image that we’ve added a small fan into our photographic set-up. This

mounts quickly and easily onto a lightstand. We bought it from www.blowitfans.com. It’s a very useful piece of kit because you can position it anywhere you like. A further advantage is that it’s pretty quiet, so it doesn’t distract anyone on set.

Take quick-fire shots for a fantastic result Here’s a look at one of the five-frame bursts (shown in Lightroom’s Grid View), so you can see how I had her turn (we did this about 10 or 12 times during the shoot) and how the flash and camera took five shots in rapid succession. This is where I learned something about these newer Elinchrom ELC 500s — you can fire at high speed and it will pop the strobe every time. In other words, the recycle time needed between flashes has to be measured in hundredths of a second. I switched my camera into high-speed continuous shooting mode (I’m using a Canon 1Dx, so it’s 12 frames per second), and asked my subject to turn her head away from the light and pile all her hair in front of her face. On my count, she turned her head quickly from right to left and all

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her hair went flying while I fired a burst of five or so shots. Well, the flash fired every time in rapid succession, but I didn’t have to use stroboscopic mode using a long shutter speed –

NOVEMBER July 2014 2015

this was five different frames. And here’s one of those frames to make a final image. I hope you give this one a try, I think you’ll be surprised at how easy it is to get this look.

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bl u no ff te er’ s s

Photo: Harold Edgerton. © 2015 MIT, courtesy of Palm Press, Inc

Edgerton’s experiments with flash enabled the public to view everyday items in a new way.

HAROLD EDGERTON The man who invented the electronic flash produced works that captured the public’s imagination

Portrait © Jonathan Blair / Corbis

Who was Harold Edgerton?

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Harold ‘Doc’ Edgerton (1903-1990) was a pioneering electrical engineer who invented the electronic flash. He subsequently produced a series of high-speed flash photographs that became some of the most iconic images of the 20th century. Edgerton’s most famous subjects include a milk drop coronet and a bullet in flight that has just passed through an apple. His innovative work made these things visible for the first time. D i g i ta l C a m e r a

NOVEMBER 2015

So is his work art or science?

How else did Edgerton use his ideas?

Tricky question. Although his best photographs are beautiful, artistically composed and displayed in art galleries worldwide, Edgerton himself was clear about their purpose. “Don’t make me out to be an artist,” he said. “I am an engineer. I am after the facts. Only the facts.”

During World War II, he worked with the US Air Force, using a large-scale highpowered flash for aerial reconnaissance at night. One of these devices was used to photograph the Normandy coast in 1944, in preparation for the D-Day landings. He created a camera called the Rapatronic to capture images of nuclear bombs just milliseconds after detonation. From the 1950s, he worked with Jacques Cousteau to produce underwater flash units and sonar equipment for marine exploration.

How did Edgerton begin his photographic work? It started as a by-product of his scientific work. After qualifying as an electrical engineer in 1925, Edgerton went to study at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where he later became a professor. While at MIT, Edgerton invented a re-usable xenon-filled flash bulb (or stroboscopic light) that produced bursts of light 1/100,000th of a second in duration. He used it to study the movement of rotor engines and other forms of high-speed motion.

What was special about his work? Apart from its technological innovation, Edgerton’s work captured the public’s imagination by showing the hidden wonders in everyday subjects. They included images of birds captured in flight and multiple flash shots showing sequences of movements, such as a girl skipping or a tennis player serving a ball.

Strange but true… In the 1970s, Edgerton was involved in an attempt to photograph ‘Nessie’, the creature said to live in the deep and murky waters of Loch Ness – but the results were inconclusive.

Where can I see his work? Some images (such as ‘Bullet Through Apple’, above) are on show in Revelations: Experiments in Photography at the National Media Museum, The Magnum Bradford, photographer between 19th Dennis Stock November and 7th February 2016.

NEXT MONTH

www.digitalcameraworld.com


K IT Z O N E N E W GEAR / E X P ERT TE S T S / B U Y I N G A D V I C E

106

114

Pentax k-3 II

Tough, fast and powerful: a new SLR from Pentax that’s aimed at adventurers

121

panasonic lumix gx8

Solid build, a vari-angle touchscreen and a tilting viewfinder make the GX8 a must-see

DJI PHANTOM pro

We take to the skies and test a new groundbreaking 4K-enabled drone

Also reviewed 110 Canon eos M3

Should Canon’s compact system camera update be on your hit list?

119 Nikon 16-80mm lens

Does the performance justify the price for Nikon’s latest VR zoom?

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8 WIDE-ANGLE PRIMES

Find out which of these fixed-focal-length lenses may be best for your vistas

6 flashgun MODIFIERS

We test six modifiers that will help to enhance the light from your flashgun

122 EPSON SC-P800

This printer delivers whopping A2 prints in around 13 minutes. Is it the ultimate desktop machine?

Reviews you can trust

Scores explained

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

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

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

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

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

www.digitalcameraworld.com 

For products that offer superb value for money

Given to products that receive five stars overall

Given to products that are innovative & groundbreaking

NOVEMber 2015

Given to products that merit very special attention

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

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KIT Zone

Pentax K-3 II 1

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Pentax K-3 II £749/$847

Tough, fast and powerful: Pentax includes some compelling technologies in a new SLR aimed at adventurers Specifications Sensor 24.3 million pixel, APS-C (23.5 x 15.6mm) CMOS Focal length conversion 1.5x Memory SD/SDHC/SDXC Viewfinder Pentaprism 100% optical viewfinder, 0.95x magnification Max video resolution Full HD (1,920 x 1,080) ISO range 100-51,200 Autofocus points 27 points (25 cross type in sensor) Max burst rate 8.3fps Screen 3.2 inch TFT colour LCD with AR coating Shutter speeds 1/8000 to 30 seconds, Bulb Weight 785g (including battery and SD card) Dimensions 103 x 132 x 78mm Power supply D-L190 rechargeable lithium-ion battery (supplied)

Pixel Shift Resolution mode is designed to overcome the limitations of normal sensor technology 106

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esigned to steal the thunder of market leaders Canon and Nikon, the K-3 II is Pentax’s latest top-of-the-line digital SLR. It competes most closely with mid-range or enthusiast cameras such as the Nikon D7200 and Canon EOS 70D – at least as far as price and sensor is concerned. The highlight feature of the K-3 II is what Pentax calls its Pixel Shift Resolution mode. With this enabled, the camera captures a series of images in close succession, with just a one-pixel shift between them. This is designed to overcome the limitations of normal sensor technology,. Each photosite (pixel) in a sensor is sensitive to only red, green or blue light. This means the camera has to interpolate the full colour data for each pixel using neighbouring pixels. If you shift the sensor, however, you can potentially overcome this limitation by having red, green and blue data captured for each pixel. The downside to such technology is the huge file sizes

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Press this useful button to instantly return exposure compensation to 0, or ISO to Auto. 2

Each of these buttons controls a specific function, such as white balance via the left key. 3

This button brings up a range of options, as a sort of quick menu. 4

Press the AF select button, then use the directional keys to move to the point you want to select.

that are produced, so you can disable Pixel Shift Resolution and shoot in a conventional way, saving the high-resolution mode for when you really need it. It’s also not possible to shoot moving subjects with the PSR mode enabled. Otherwise, the K-3 II shares much of the same specifications as its predecessor. It has a stainless steel and magnesium weatherproof body, with 92 seals to keep both dust and moisture out. As in the K-3, the 24MP APS-C sensor has no anti-aliasing filter, which should bode well for sharpness www.digitalcameraworld.com


As these flowers were waving in the breeze, it wasn’t possible to use Pixel Shift mode, but the autofocus system managed to get them sharp and there’s a very good level of detail.

and detail. If you’re photographing fine patterns and textures, you can enable an AA filter simulator to counter any moiré patterning. Again as in the K-3, the continuous shooting speed is 8.3 frames per second (fps), with a buffer capacity of 23 raw-format files or 60 JPEGs. Further similarities between the two cameras are twin SD card slots, a body-only weight of 700g, a promised 720-shot battery life and the 27-point Safox 11 autofocus system.

Build & handling A solidly built piece of kit, the K-3 has a textured grip which adds to the camera’s high quality feel. The array of dials and buttons on the K-3 II confirm that this is a camera aimed at enthusiast photographers rather than pros. A scroll wheel on the back of the camera sits nicely under your thumb, while another, in front of the shutter release sits under your forefinger. As well as the usual options, the exposure mode dial features two Pentax-specific modes: Sensitivity Priority, where you dial in an ISO value and the camera selects the aperture and shutter speed; and Shutter-and-Aperture Priority, where you set the aperture and shutter speed and the K-3 II selects the ISO. Most of the K-3 II’s buttons are grouped to the right, either on the top or on the back, making it useful to operate with your right hand while you use your left to steady the device. On the side of the camera is a group of buttons that are within reach of your left thumb when you’re supporting the lens with your left hand. > www.digitalcameraworld.com 

1

Accurate tones

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Skin tones are reproduced faithfully yet look flattering. You can use a different Picture Control, such as Portrait or Neutral, if you’re looking for greater accuracy.

Lens choice

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There’s a wide variety of lenses available for the Pentax K-mount, as it’s been around for so long. This was shot with a 55mm f/1.4 lens, which is ideal for portraits.

Great detail

There’s plenty of fine detail present in the K-3 II’s images – even those, such as this, which are shot without the Pixel Shift Resolution mode switched on.

Meet the rivals… The cameras taking on the Pentax K3 II

For test images and resolution charts, visit www.techradar. com/cameras

Canon EOS 760D/ Rebel 6Ts £649/$849, body only This 24MP APS-C format SLR has a vari-angle touchscreen along with a 19-point autofocus system. Reviewed issue 166

Nikon D7200 £849/$1,097, body only This 24MP SLR has no anti-aliasing filter over its sensor. This helps it capture more detail than any of the other cameras tested here. Reviewed issue 164

NOVEMber 2015

Pentax K-3 £659/$847, body only This camera has a lot in common with the Mark II model, including the 24MP sensor and lack of AA filter, but there’s no Pixel Shift technology. Reviewed N/A

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

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KIT Zone

Pentax K-3 II COLOUR ERROR Pentax K3 II

15.8

Pentax K3 II with PSR

-6.7

Canon EOS 760D Nikon D7200

8.2

Scores closer to zero are better

-20

-10

4.5 0

10

20

In the lab, using Pixel Shift Resolution mode reduces the saturation of the K-3II’s images significantly. Without it, images appear to be rather over-saturated .

RAW SIGNAL-TO-NOISE RATIO 50

Pentax gives you interesting Picture Control options, so you can get creative in-camera if you want. As you can shoot raw and JPEG files together, you’ll have a clean file to process later.

Decibels

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JPEGs show a good level of vibrance. You can apply different Picture Controls depending on your preference.

There’s an AF mode button, which enables you to quickly choose modes such as Spot, Auto and Selection. There is also a switch for rapidly moving between autofocus and manual focusing.

Performance Images taken straight from the K-3 II are very pleasing, with vibrant but true-to-life colours. Looking at the raw-format (DNG) images, colours are a little more muted, which gives you good scope for applying colour enhancements while editing in post-production. Even without the Pixel Shift Resolution mode, images display 108

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Images taken straight from the K-3 II are very pleasing, with vibrant but true-to-life colours

NOVEMber 2015

Higher scores are better. Raw results use images converted to TIFF 100

400

1,600

6,400

25,600

As sensitivity rises, the K-3 II overtakes the Canon 760D, indicating that images have less noise. This slight gap is widened when Pentax’s PSR mode is employed.

RAW DYNAMIC RANGE 14

Exposure Value

a good level of detail. If you’re using the special mode, you’ll need a tripod to keep the camera perfectly still. In real-world images, it’s difficult to see too much of a difference between images shot with and without Pixel Shift activated. Unless you’re likely to be shooting incredibly detailed subjects, you may not even notice the difference for most shots. As raw files can go over 100MB per shot with PSR mode switched on, even though their pixel count is unchanged, it can be a good idea to reserve it for certain occasions. Noise is well-controlled across the K-3 II’s sensitivity range. Although noise starts to become apparent at around ISO 800 if you examine a JPEG image at 100%, the overall impression of detail remains very good up to around ISO 1,600; ISO 3,200 also produces good results if you need to use it in low light. Autofocus performance is fast and generally accurate, only struggling in lower light. It’s rare for a false positive to be presented. When you’re photographing a moving subject, you can switch to Continuous AF which, coupled with 8.2fps shooting, makes the K-3 II a decent choice for shooting sports and other action. The camera is able to keep up with fast-moving subjects quite well if you keep the active AF point on them. Amy Davies

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Higher scores are better. Raw results use images converted to TIFF 100

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1,600

6,400

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The K-3 II’s raw files offer a similar dynamic range to the Canon and Nikon at low ISOs, but it starts to show a clear advantage as the ISO setting increases.

WE SAY... The K-3 II offers excellent build quality and some interesting features at a reasonable price. It’s a good all-round SLR that’s capable of delivering high-quality images. The Pixel Shifting Technology shows a clear advantage in our lab, but we’re not convinced it makes much of a difference to real-world images.

Verdict Features BUILD & HANDLING PERFORMANCE Value OVERALL

www.digitalcameraworld.com


KIT Zone

CANON EOS M3

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Canon EOS M3 £514/$699

with 18-55mm kit lens

Has Canon finally got serious about compact system cameras? We put its first 24MP APS-C format sensor to the test to find out... Specifications Sensor APS-C format BSI CMOS sensor with 28.2 million effective pixels Focal length conversion 1.6x Memory SD/SDHC/SDXC Viewfinder Optional extra (EVF-DC1) Max video resolution Full HD (1,920 x 1,080) at 30, 25 or 24fps ISO range 100-12,800; expandable to ISO 25,600 Autofocus points 49 Max burst rate 4.2fps Screen Tilting touch-sensitive 3-inch 1,040,000-dot LCD Shutter speeds 30-1/4,000 sec plus Bulb Weight 366g (with card and battery) Dimensions 111 x 68 x 45mm Power supply Lithium-ion LP-E17 (supplied)

Thanks to its steel, magnesium alloy and polycarbonate resin construction, it has a solid feel which gives you confidence that it will survive regular use 110

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anon’s first compact system or mirrorless system camera, the EOS M, seemed very good on paper, but at launch it was expensive and let down by an autofocus (AF) system that was slow and prone to hunting. Firmware upgrades improved the AF performance significantly and the price fell with the passage of time, but the damage was done. Now we have the M3. Like the M, the M3 has the EF-M lens mount and an APS-C format sensor, but this time it’s the same 24.2-million-effective-pixel sensor and Digic 6 processor combination that’s found in the 750D and 760D. This allows a native sensitivity range of ISO 100-12,800, with an expansion setting of ISO 25,600 - the same as the original M, but with a higher pixel count. The M3 also has Canon’s latest 49-point Hybrid CMOS AF III autofocus system, which is claimed to bring a 6x speed increase over the original EOS M after the firmware upgrades. As it’s aimed at enthusiast photographers, there are

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There are only four Canon EF-M lenses, but the EF-EOS M mount adaptor allows EF and EF-S lenses to be mounted.

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An optional electronic viewfinder (EVF-DC1) can be slipped into the hotshoe for easier composition in bright sunshine. 3

Wi-Fi and NFC connectivity enables fast connections to smartphones and tablets for wireless remote control and image transfer. 4

The M3’s exposure compensation dial has no lock, but it doesn’t get knocked out of position easily.

Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority and Manual Exposure modes, along with a collection of automated options that are particularly helpful for less experienced photographers.

Build & handling In looks, the EOS M3 sits between a G-series compact camera like the Canon G16 and an SLR like the Canon 100D. Thanks to its steel, magnesium alloy and polycarbonate resin construction, it has a nice, solid feel that gives you confidence it will survive regular use. The control layout is fairly similar, but not identical, to the G16’s. It’s really easy to use, with touchscreen control along with a healthy array of www.digitalcameraworld.com


Reflections are an issue in direct sunlight, but with the screen set to its maximum brightness it is still possible to compose images direct control buttons and dials. The screen can be tilted up through 180 degrees and downwards through 75 degrees for easier landscape-format shooting from high or low angles. Reflections are an issue in direct sunlight, but with the screen set to its maximum brightness, it is still possible to compose images. It’s a shame that Canon hasn’t built in a viewfinder, although there is an optional one available.

Performance While the EOS M3 is capable of capturing lots of detail, it isn’t always as easy to do so as you might like. As with the original M, the problem is often down to the focusing system. In many cases, it focuses the lens very quickly and accurately – but at other times, it indicates that the subject is sharp when it clearly isn’t. There were times during this test when the active AF area was completely filled with the intended target and the box was green to indicate that the lens had been focused, but it was quite clear that the subject was out of focus and it was the background that was sharp. This didn’t just happen once or twice: it was on numerous occasions, and it happened when using both the 18-55mm kit lens and the 22mm lens that were supplied for this review. It’s particularly frustrating to have the AF system indicate that the subject is sharp when you’re shooting with the camera at an awkward angle, or the subject is quite small in the frame, because you often can’t see that it’s got it wrong until you zoom into the shot or open up the image later on a computer. Even at its smallest setting, in 1-point AF mode the autofocus point is also quite large, so it’s not possible to isolate small subjects in the frame. I suspect that the reason for this comparatively large AF area is to > www.digitalcameraworld.com 

Evaluative metering

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Plenty of detail

In the background the M3 has a very capable evaluative metering system that can be relied upon to get exposure right in a wide range of lighting situations.

Punchy colour

This picture, taken with the 18­-55mm STM kit lens, looks packed with detail. Viewed at 100%, though, it’s clear this lens’s resolving power is not as good as the 22mm STM lens’s.

On the whole, images are well-exposed with pleasing colour, with solid performance from the white balance system. Some chroma noise appears at higher ISO levels.

Meet the rivals… The cameras taking on the Canon EOS M3

For test images and resolution charts, visit www.techradar. com/cameras

Olympus OM-D E-M10 II £649.99/$799 with 14-42mm lens A very versatile and compact Micro Four Thirds camera with a superb electronic viewfinder and touchscreen. Reviewed Issue 169

Samsung NX500 £599/$799 with 16-50mm lens A more affordable and compact version of the NX1, this 28MP CSC produces very high-quality images but lacks a viewfinder. Reviewed Issue 166

NOVEmber 2015

Sony Alpha 6000 £495/$598 with 16-50mm lens It may be getting long in the tooth, but this 24MP CSC still compares well with the current crop of cameras, making it a bit of a bargain. Reviewed Issue 155

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

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COLOUR ERROR Canon EOS M3

17.7

Olympus E-M10 II

7.1

Samsung NX500

9.5

Sony Alpha 6000

-1.44 -5

Scores closer to zero are better 5

0

10

15

20

This indicates that the M3 produces highly saturated images in Standard Picture Style. They look good straight from the camera but you may want to use the more subtle options.

RAW SIGNAL-TO-NOISE RATIO 50

This was taken with the Canon 22mm f/2 lens almost wide open to defocus the background. This requires precise autofocus, which the EOS M3 sometimes struggled to get right.

Decibels

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Left to its own devices, the evaluative metering system copes well with tricky exposures like these backlit leaves. Lots of detail too, thanks to the 22mm lens.

increase the likelihood of a highcontrast edge being present for the camera to latch on to. We also found that the EF-M 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM kit lens doesn’t get the best from the sensor. If you want to capture the high level of detail that we know is possible from this device (it’s the same unit as is in the Canon 750D and Canon 760D), then you need to swap to a better optic such as the EF-M 22mm f2 STM. At 100% and with noise reduction set to the standard level, low- to mid-sensitivity JPEG images from the M3 look a little more natural than 112

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Higher scores are better. Raw results use images converted to TIFF 100

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These scores are good, but the M3’s raw files have a bit more noise than the 28MP Samsung NX500’s, showing the benefit of the latter’s backside-illuminated sensor.

RAW DYNAMIC RANGE 14

Exposure Value

comparable images from the Sony Alpha 6000, but there’s very little in it. At higher sensitivity settings, the M3’s JPEGs have some chroma (colour) noise, but there’s considerably less loss of detail than in images from the A6000. At normal viewing sizes, however, images look very similar. Generally, the M3 controls noise well throughout the native sensitivity range of ISO 100-12,800, with the top value giving decent results that withstand viewing at A4 print size, provided you don’t mind a little fine-grained noise. Happily, there are no banding, clumping or colour shift problems. As usual, it’s the raw files that produce the best results, allowing you to find a balance between noise and detail visibility. In other respects, the M3 gives a good account of itself, as it generally delivers well-exposed images with good colour. The metering and white balance systems perform in the way we have come to expect from Canon EOS cameras. We found the Automatic and Daylight white balance settings the most useful, but the Custom or Manual options come in handy in artificial lighting if you want to produce neutral images. Angela Nicholson

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10 8 6

Higher scores are better. Raw results use images converted to TIFF 100

400

1,600

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25,600

After conversion to TIFF, the M3’s raw files have a slightly higher dynamic range than the JPEGs, but they don’t hit quite the highs of the competing Samsung and Sony cameras.

WE SAY... The M3 is capable of producing high-quality images. The occasionally frustrating autofocus system and Canon’s lack of commitment to the system, with a failure to bring out an enticing line-up of lenses or accessories, means those looking for a smaller alternative to an SLR are better off looking elsewhere.

Verdict Features BUILD & HANDLING

The M3 controls noise well throughout the native sensitivity range and there are no banding, clumping or colour shift problems

NOVEMBER 2015

PERFORMANCE Value OVERALL

www.digitalcameraworld.com


KIT Zone

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX8

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Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX8 £999/$1,198

watch video www.bit.ly/ dc170video

A top-quality EVF, a vari-angle touchscreen and a 20MP sensor could make the GX8 Panasonic’s most desirable stills camera yet Specifications Sensor 20.3-million-effective-pixel Four Thirds type (17.3 x 13mm) CMOS Focal length conversion 2x Memory SD/SDHC/SDXC Viewfinder 2,360,000-dot OLED Max video resolution 4K (3,840 x 2,160) ISO range 200-25,600; expandable to 200-25,600 Autofocus points 49 areas Max burst rate 8fps in S-AF at full resolution Screen Vari-angle touch-sensitive 3-inch LCD with 1,040,000 dots Shutter speeds 60-1/8,000 sec with mechanical shutter; 1-1/16,000 with electronic shutter, plus Bulb Weight 435g (body only) Dimensions 133 x 78 x 62mm Power supply Lithium-ion battery (supplied)

Panasonic claims the Four thirds sensor enables the GX8 to produce the highest image quality of any G-series camera 114

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anasonic hopes the new Lumix GX8 will be as popular as its GX7 was – and it makes a good start by featuring the company’s first Four Thirds type sensor with a pixel count over 16 million. In fact, it has an effective pixel count of 20.3 million; Panasonic claims this enables the GX8 to produce the highest image quality of any G-series camera, beating both the flagship GH4 and the recently released G7. The GX8 brings in a solid collection of upgrades, including the same processing engine as in the GH4; a top continuous shooting rate of 8fps at full resolution in single autofocus (AF) mode or 6fps with continuous AF; a 2,360,000-dot OLED electronic viewfinder (EVF); and a vari-angle touchsensitive OLED screen with 1,040,000 dots. There’s also a new Dual Image Stabilisation System, which combines lens and sensor-based stabilisation to

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The front and rear dials are easier to use than the GX7’s, and the shutter button has moved to the top of the grip.

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Those with large hands may press the Quick Menu or Display buttons accidentally from time to time. 4

Some buttons are flush with the body, which makes them hard to locate while you’re looking through the viewfinder. 4

The exposure compensation dial within easy reach of your thumb when the GX8 is up to your eye.

reduce image blur when handholding the camera. The GX8 can also record 4K videos (as well as Full HD), and has Panasonic’s 4K Photo mode with three shooting options: 4K Burst Shooting, 4K Burst (Start/Stop) and 4K Pre-burst. These are designed to record footage from which 8MP still images can be extracted.

Build & handling The GX8 has a flatter, more rectangular shape than the G7 and GH4. Nevertheless, it has a deep, effective front grip and a shallow thumb-ridge that gives just enough www.digitalcameraworld.com


A Four Thirds type sensor is smaller than APS-C format, which can make it hard to restrict depth of field. This was shot at f/2.8, with a focal length of 100mm (200mm equivalent).

purchase – though it wouldn’t hurt if it was a little more pronounced and more ergonomically shaped. That said, its magnesium alloy body gives the GX8 a higher-quality feel than the G7. It’s also splash- and dust-proof, so it can be used in more inclement conditions. While it’s aimed at experienced and enthusiast photographers, the GX8’s controls and menus are arranged well, and it’s relatively easy to get to grips with using it. It’s helpful that the Quick Menu is customisable, but it would be nice if there was a customisable screen in the main menu as well. I also missed the G7’s drive mode dial on the GX8. Among other things, on the G7 this offers a quick way of switching to 4K Photo mode, which is useful for shooting ongoing action, but only generates 8MP JPEGs that must be extracted from the video footage. I’m a fan of Panasonic’s Touch Pad AF system, which allows you to set an AF point using the touchscreen while looking into the viewfinder. However, when using it with the GX8 there were a frustrating number of occasions when the AF point started to resize rather than move to where I wanted it to be. It would be nice to able to lock off the resizing. The new EVF is excellent, offering a clear view with no texture or noise, and the image in it is a good match for the captured shot. The viewfinder’s refresh rate is high, and I was able to follow moving subjects easily. Although an electronic level can be useful, the GX8’s has quite a wide margin of error, which means it’s > www.digitalcameraworld.com 

1

Sun fun

2

The light was illuminating the grass heads quite nicely, but using the Sun filter has added a flare effect to accentuate the breezy outdoors feeling of the sunlight.

3

Reliable autofocus

Although these grass heads are very small and were waving in the wind, the GX8’s autofocus system was able to get them nice and sharp for this shot.

Accurate exposures

Despite the brightness of this scene, the GX8’s general-purpose Multi-metering system has delivered a perfect exposure of the sunlit grass heads.

Meet the rivals… The cameras taking on the Panasonic GX8

For test images and resolution charts, visit www.techradar. com/cameras

Fujifilm X-T1 £999/$1,200, body only This 16MP beauty has traditional exposure controls, a first-rate electronic viewfinder and build quality to match its superb images. Reviewed Issue 151

Olympus OM-D E-M5 II £869/$999, body only A strong all-rounder with a stabilisation system that enables a ‘tripod-only’ mode to produce 64MP raw files. Reviewed Issue 164

NOVEMber 2015

Sony Alpha 6000 £439/$448, body only This 24MP CSC is getting on a bit, but it still competes very well, has a snappy AF system and offers superb value for its specifications. Reviewed Issue 155

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Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX8 COLOUR ERROR Panasonic GX8

-6.6

Fujifilm X-T1

6.7

Olympus E-M5 II

5.7

Sony Alpha 6000

Scores closer to zero are better

-1.44 -10

-5

0

5

10

In its default settings, the GX8 produces JPEGs with lower saturation than the competition, but you can boost saturation in-camera using the Vivid Photo Style.

RAW SIGNAL-TO-NOISE RATIO 50

This shot was taken using the GX8’s Monochrome Photo Style, with the contrast boosted to its maximum setting and a red filter effect applied to darken the green foliage.

Decibels

40

30 20 10

The Impressive Art Filter produces rather unnatural-looking results, but it can produce some fun effects.

possible to produce images that look significantly tilted even though the level indicates that it’s straight.

Performance Because it has an EVF that’s capable of previewing images with the settings applied, browsing through shots from the GX8 doesn’t bring any major surprises. The camera produces pleasant colours and good exposures on the whole. As the GX8 is the first Micro Four Thirds camera to offer a pixel count greater than 16 million, there’s a lot of interest in how much detail it can capture and how well noise is controlled. It’s good news on both counts. With the right lens, the GX8 is capable of capturing an impressive 116

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With the right lens, the GX8 is capable of capturing an impressive level of detail

NOVEMber 2015

Higher scores are better. Raw results use images converted to TIFF 100

400

1,600

6,400

25,600

This is an especially strong set of results from the GX8, which indicates that its raw files don’t have a huge level of noise. In addition, detail is retained well.

RAW DYNAMIC RANGE 14

Exposure Value

level of detail. In our lab tests, it matched the 24MP Sony Alpha 6000 at the lowest sensitivity setting, and its JPEGs beat it for much of the range. It also compares very well with the 16MP Olympus OM-D E-M5 II, although it doesn’t have that camera’s neat trick for increasing resolution. The GX8’s noise control also impresses. Chroma noise makes only a faint appearance in raw files shot at ISO 1,600 when all noise reduction is turned off – you really have to look for it in images sized to 100%. Push up to ISO 3,200 or 6,400 and there’s naturally an increase in the level of noise in raw files, but it’s still subtle. JPEGs taken with the default settings look very good, with lots of detail and a slight smoothing of some details. Noise is more pronounced in raw files recorded at ISO 12,800, but there’s also a good level of detail visible. At ISO 25,600 there’s a noticeable drop in saturation and raw files are very noisy, while JPEGs are soft, making them only suitable for use at relatively small sizes. The image stabilisation system is also effective. Shooting at the telephoto end of the Panasonic G X Vario 35-100mm f/2.8 lens, which has an effective focal length range of 70-200mm on the GX8, I was usually able to get images that look sharp at 100% using a 1/10 sec shutter speed. Angela Nicholson

12

10 8 6

Higher scores are better. Raw results use images converted to TIFF 100

400

1,600

6,400

25,600

The GX8’s high dynamic-range score continues into the upper sensitivity values. It confirms our findings that its raw files have a good range of tones. JPEGs perform well too.

WE SAY... The 20MP GX8 has a tasty specification and a solid construction, with a vari-angle touchscreen and a tilting viewfinder for easier image composition. It also has dependable autofocus, metering and white balance systems. Despite the increase in image size, noise is controlled well.

Verdict Features BUILD & HANDLING PERFORMANCE Value OVERALL

www.digitalcameraworld.com


Kit zone

Nikkor AF-S DX 16-80mm 1

Specifications Full-frame compatible Yes Focal length 16-80mm (24-120mm on an APS-C camera) Image stabiliser Vibration Reduction Min focus distance 0.35m Max magnification factor 0.22x Manual focus override Full-time Focus limit switches No Internal zoom/focus No / Yes Filter size 72mm Iris blades 7 Weather seals No Dimensions (d x l) 80 x 86mm Weight 480g

SHARPNESS 2,500

2

3

Centre

2,000 1,500 1,000 500

ZOOm L e ns w w w.n ikon .co.uk

Aiming to set a new standard for Nikon DX zooms

f/4

f/5.6

N

Build & handling Billed by Nikon as “the ultimate walkabout lens for discerning photographers”, the 16-80mm is surprisingly compact and light at 80 x 86mm and 480g, despite being pretty much a whole f/stop faster than its kit lens cousins throughout the zoom range. Either way, this lens is a lot smaller and lighter than Nikon’s older, constant-aperture AF-S DX 17-55mm f/2.8G, a lens that also lacks Vibration Reducation. The 5x zoom range is equivalent to 24-120mm on an APS-C camera, and significantly www.digitalcameraworld.com 

Performance High-quality glass includes four Extra-low Dispersion elements, and it’s the first DX-format lens to boast nano crystal coatings for reducing ghosting and flare. It’s also the first DX lens with an electromagnetically controlled diaphragm, to maintain consistent apertures in rapid bursts of continuous shooting. Sharpness in the frame centre is excellent across most of the zoom range, even at wide apertures, but it drops off in the 70-80mm sector. Corner sharpness is quite unimpressive at all focal lengths, especially at wide apertures. Vignetting is quite minimal but chromatic aberrations are a little on the high side, while barrel distortion is very noticeable at 16mm. Matthew Richards

1

This lens has a 72mm thread, so if you’re upgrading from a kit lens, you’ll need to invest in larger filters. 2

A fluorine coating repels water, dust and dirt, making it easier to clean the front element to maintain image quality. 3

This focus distance window is useful if you employ hyperfocal distance focusing to get the most from the depth of field.

f/16

f/22

f/16

f/22

1,500 1,000 500 16mm f/4

beats all of Nikon’s kit DX-format zooms for wide-angle coverage. The zoom ring operates smoothly and precisely. The whisper-quiet ring-type ultrasonic autofocus system is fairly fast and features full-time manual override.

f/11

2,000

0

ikon’s latest DX-format SLRs are highly sophisticated, as typified by the D5500 and D7200. By contrast, the company’s kit zoom lenses can seem a little basic and downmarket. For example, none of the current AF-S DX 18-55mm, 18-105mm and 18-140mm kit lenses has ring-type ultrasonic autofocus or even a focus distance scale. The new AF-S DX 1680mm aims to improve on that.

f/8

2,500

Edge

Nikkor AF-S DX 16-80mm f/2.8-4E ED VR £870/$1,070

0

24mm

f/5.6

50mm f/8

80mm f/11

Centre sharpness is best at wider apertures, but edge sharpness is relatively poor.

FRINGING (edge at F/8) Nearer 0 is better

Wide 1.28 Mid 3.29 Tele 1.78 Colour fringing is a little high towards the corners of the frame in the 16-24mm range.

DISTORTION Nearer 0 is better

Wide 2.21 Mid -4.59 Tele 2.26 Heavy barrel distortion at 16mm switches to low-ish pincushion distortion beyond 24mm.

WE SAY... Image quality is good but not entirely great, so this Nikkor lens struggles a little to justify its somewhat high asking price.

Verdict Features BUILD & HANDLING PERFORMANCE Value OVERALL

NOVEMBER 2015

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DJI PHANTOM 3 PROFESSIONAL

Kit zone

1

Specifications Sensor Sony Exmor 1/2.3in Effective pixels 12.4 million (total pixels _ 12.76 million) Lens FOV 94° 20 mm (35 mm format equivalent) f/2.8, focus at infinity ISO range 100-3,200 (video) 100-1,600 (photo) Shutter speed 1/8,000-8 sec Image max size 4,000 x 3,000 Still photography modes Single Shot Burst shooting 3/5/7 shots, Auto Exposure Bracketing (AEB), Bracketed Frames at 0.7EV Bias, Time-Lapse

2

KEY FEATURES

3

ca me r a drone w w w.d j i.com

DJI Phantom 3 Professional £1,052/$1,259

Unlike action cameras that feature a similar lens and build, the Phantom’s camera manages to keep distortion to a minimum.

A groundbreaking 4K-enabled drone takes to the skies ot that long ago, if you wanted to shoot aerial stills or video, you would have needed a helicopter and some specialist kit. Today, a small camera-equipped drone is all that’s needed. The Phantom 3 Professional has a 4K camera and is incredibly easy to fly, even without prior experience. Flight control is on the verge of being fully automatic: the intelligent flight controller, GPS, motorised gimbal and built- in sensors all work together to stabilise the craft and create a solid platform for filming and capturing stills.

N

Build & handling Advanced flight features such as auto-braking are essential for first-time flyers; and, once linked to the iOS or Android app, further options such as return to home, auto-takeoff and auto-landing enable you to concentrate on capturing the scenery rather than keeping the Phantom in the air. A wireless Live View link is created through an iOS or Android device and DJI’s www.digitalcameraworld.com 

Lightbridge Technology and app. Together they enable you to control the camera and see the world from its point of view.

Performance Stills from the Phantom are vibrant, with plenty of colour and tonal gradation. Zoom to 100% to check the detail for both stills and video, however, and you’ll see that there is some smoothing and loss of fine detail. The camera evaluates exposure well, capturing plenty of shadow and highlight detail to produce images with good overall contrast. Video quality is vibrant. The 4K mode is impressive, with smooth motion despite the lowish frame rate. Rolling shutter is well controlled, with no visible signs even at low altitudes when the craft is panning in flight. The Phantom 3 has everything you need for hassle-free flying and high-quality video and stills capture. The integration of flight and camera control make this a complete package that is easy to understand and use. Ali Jennings

1

The slight tilt on the rotors within the body of the craft greatly improve the responsiveness of the craft in flight.

These two ground-facing sensors enable stability and positioning of the drone, even when there is no GPS connection.

2

This motorised gimbal automatically ensures that footage is stable and level when in flight. 3

The ability to tilt the camera while flying through the jog wheel on the controller enables you to adjust the vertical angle of the camera.

WE SAY... If you’re looking to capture aerial footage, you won’t be disappointed with the stills and video quality. Ease of use both for flight and control of the camera make this the most accessible drone presently on the market, and will open up a huge range of photo opportunities. Before you get started, though, make sure you read the restrictions and cautions on the Civil Aviation Authority website (www.caa.co.uk).

Verdict Features BUILD & HANDLING PERFORMANCE Value OVERALL

NOVEMBER 2015

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Epson surecolor sc-p800 Printer Specifications

1

Max Sheet size A2 (420 x 594mm) Roll feeder _ Optional Nozzle configuration _ 180 black nozzles, 180 colour nozzles Minimum droplet size _ 3.5 pl (pico-litre) Max resolution _ 2,880 x 1,440dpi Connections _ USB, Ethernet, Wi-Fi Screen _ 6.8cm colour touchscreen Dimensions _ 684 x 376 x 250mm (width x depth x height) Weight _ 19.5kg

KEY FEATURES 2

3

INK JE T PRIN T E R w w w.eps on .co.uk

Epson SureColor SC-P800 Printer £975/$1,195

The nine ink cartridges have very large capacities, which add convenience and also drive down the running costs.

Go XXL with your printing and enjoy the megapixels! uilding on the success of Epson’s Stylus Pro 3880 A2 printer, the SC-P800 uses a new generation of UltraChrome HD inks, giving richer blacks, a wider dynamic range and a reduction in bronzing (apparent colour inaccuracies due to differences in glossiness between ink colours). Other new features include Wi-Fi, mobile and cloud printing services and a full-colour touchscreen.

B

Build & handling The new model is compatible with a roll feeder, but you have to buy it separately for around £195/ $200. It’s great for maintaining your preferred aspect ratios in largeformat prints. As featured in the smaller SC-P600 A3+ printer, nine pigment-based inks include cyan, light cyan, vivid magenta, light vivid magenta, yellow, photo black, light black, light light black and matte black. However, the SC-P800 uses larger-capacity cartridges containing 80ml instead of 25.9ml. Naturally, they’re more expensive initially, 122

D i g ita l C a m e r a

but the cost per millilitre works out much cheaper at 50p/69c per ml instead of 86p/$1.23 per ml. The photo black and matte black inks are tailored to output on glossy and matte media, but they share a channel within the print head. This needs to be purged and re-primed every time you switch between glossy and matte media, which wastes ink.

Performance For a pigment-ink printer, output is very smooth on gloss media and great on lustre-finish paper. Matte output is sumptuous. Colour accuracy is excellent in standard settings, and the Photo Enhance Automatic mode makes for greater vibrancy. At the maximum quality setting, using the highest possible resolution of 2,880 x 1,440dpi, A2, A3+ and A4 prints take about  13 minutes, nine minutes and four-and-a-half minutes respectively.In the High quality mode with a reduced resolution of 1,440 x 720dpi, the output is nearly twice as fast. Matthew Richards

NOVEMber 2015

1

The colour touchscreen makes it easy to navigate menus and keep tabs on printer status. 2

The relatively small footprint for this A2 printer grows considerably once the input and output trays are fully extended. 3

A front-mounted input tray enables printing on media up to 1.5mm thick or 1,000gsm.

An optional roll feeder can be mounted at the rear of the printer to enable prints of any aspect ratio, and panoramic printing.

WE SAY... The SC-P800 gives excellent quality results for both colour and monochrome prints, on a very wide and diverse range of media. The roll feeder is straightforward to fit and a worthwhile addition, while running costs are reasonable, thanks to the high-capacity cartridges. If you want to really big up your home photo printing, there’s no better desktop machine on the market.

Verdict Features BUILD & HANDLING PERFORMANCE Value OVERALL

www.digitalcameraworld.com


WIDE-ANGLE Primes Pick a prime number to go wide with. Matthew Richards plays the angles ome of these lenses in this group test can really stretch your viewing angle, shoehorning more into the frame. Others don’t really go any wider than most standard zoom lenses, but aim for enhanced image quality with less distortion. These often give wider available apertures – ideal for low-light shooting. All of the lenses in this test group are compatible with Dave Fieldhouse www.davefieldhousephotography.com

S

full-frame cameras, apart from the two APS-C format Fujifilm lenses. These tend to have shorter focal lengths than most of the other contenders, so they can give generous viewing angles after the crop factor is taken into account. All of the lenses in this test group are rectilinear rather than curvilinear (fisheye) optics, so it’s a level playing field. Let’s take a look at the individual strengths and weaknesses.

the contenders 1 Canon EF 20mm f/2.8 USM £410/$540 2 Canon EF 24mm f/2.8 IS USM £460/$600 3 Fujifilm XF14mm f/2.8 R £650/$900 4 Fujifilm XF16mm f/1.4 R WR £730/$1,000 5 Nikon AF-S 20mm f/1.8G ED £650/$800 6 Samyang 14mm f/2.8 IF ED UMC £280/$370 7 Samyang 24mm f/1.4 ED AS UMC £480/$500 8 Sigma 24mm f/1.4 DG HSM | A £700/$850


WIDE-ANGLE primes

KIT Zone

Winnats Pass, Derbyshire: a classic Peak District view that requires a head for heights – and a wide lens to cram it all in.



November 2015

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wide-angle Primes

Full-frame Canon EF

Full-frame Canon EF

Canon EF 20mm f/2.8 USM

Canon EF 24mm f/2.8 IS USM

£410/$540

£460/$600

An old lens with modern touches

Lightweight, with an extra bonus

omething of a veteran, this 23-year-old lens dates back to 1992. It’s one of the stockier optics here, but is still lighter and more compact than the Samyang or Sigma lenses. It gives an extra-wide 94° viewing angle on full-frame cameras (measured on the diagonal of the frame), although the widest available aperture of f/2.8 is relatively modest. Despite its age, the lens boasts some up-to-date features, such as ring-type ultrasonic autofocus and Canon’s Super Spectra coatings to combat ghosting and flare. Build quality feels ‘consumer’ rather than ‘professional’, but includes a focus distance scale with depth of field markings. The optical design is based on 11 elements in nine groups, with a sparse five diaphragm blades controlling a not very rounded aperture.

uch newer than Canon’s 20mm lens, this 24mm option was launched in 2012. Like its similarly youthful 28mm and 35mm wide-angle stablemates, it features optical image stabilisation, which makes it unique in this test group. The seven-blade diaphragm gives a more well-rounded aperture than Canon’s older 20mm lens. Again, the aperture itself isn’t exactly ‘fast’ at f/2.8, and this time around, the viewing angle of 84° is relatively blinkered. It feels rather difficult to come up with a compelling reason to buy this lens if you already have a 24-70mm f/2.8 zoom in your kit bag. With a price tag of £460/$600, you could also be forgiven for thinking that Canon has a cheek charging extra for the ‘optional’ lens hood.

S

Performance Autofocus is fast and very quiet, with the usual full-time manual override that’s enabled by a ring-type ultrasonic system. Image quality is good overall, but there’s a lack of sharpness towards the edges and vignetting is extreme at apertures wider than f/5.6. 126

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M

SHARPNESS higher is better 2,500

2,000

1,500

1,000

500

f/2.8 f/4

f/5.6

Centre

f/8

f/11

Middle

f/16 f/22 Edge

Edge-sharpness is poor through most of the aperture range; best performance is f/5.6.

FRINGING Lower is better

f/2.8 1.85 f/8 2.59 f/16 2.49 Red and cyan fringing is noticeable towards the edges, even on an APS-C format body.

DISTORTION Nearer 0 is better -0.57 -4

-3

-2

-1

0

Verdict Features BUILD & HANDLING performance Value OVERALL

november 2015

2,000

1,500

1,000

500

f/2.8 f/4

Performance Performance-wise, the image stabilision system gave just under a four-stop benefit in our tests. Sharpness across the whole frame is better than from the Canon 20mm lens, and vignetting is less of an issue here. Distortion is slightly more pronounced, but more regular and easier to correct.

f/5.6

f/8

Centre

Middle

f/11

f/16 f/22 Edge

Sharpness is better through the aperture range, compared with Canon’s 20mm lens.

FRINGING Lower is better

f/2.8 2.06 f/8 2.24 f/16 2.13 Less colour fringing than from the Canon 20mm but it’s not a stand-out performer.

DISTORTION Nearer 0 is better -1.67 -4

1

Barrel distortion has an irregular moustache shape when used on full-frame bodies.

SHARPNESS higher is better 2,500

-3

-2

-1

0

1

Barrel distortion is a little worse than from most competing lenses in the group.

Verdict Features BUILD & HANDLING performance Value OVERALL

www.digitalcameraworld.com


KIT Zone

wide-angle Primes

H HHfor HH EST lm B ujifi F

APS-C Fujifilm X-Series

APS-C Fujifilm X-Series

Fujifilm XF14mm f/2.8 R

Fujifilm XF16mm f/1.4 R WR

£650/$900

£730/$1,000

Quality build meets strong performance

A new upmarket, weather-sealed lens

here’s a high-quality feel SHARPNESS higher is better to this lens, with its metal 2,500 barrel and focus ring. The 1.5x crop factor of Fujifilm’s X 2,000 mount system gives it an effective focal length of 21mm, along with 1,500 an eye-popping viewing angle of 89 degrees. The design looks retro and 1,000 features an aperture ring and depth 500 of field scale, with markings for all apertures between f/2.8 and f/22. The aperture ring enables easy f/2.8 f/4 f/5.6 f/8 f/11 f/16 f/22 and intuitive control in Aperture Centre Middle Edge Priority and Manual shooting Centre-sharpness is excellent, but edgemodes, with one-third EV sharpness takes an f/stop or two to catch up. incremental click-steps. In its A position, automatic control is FRINGING (at F/8) lower is better engaged for Program and Shutter f/2.8 0.43 f/8 0.44 f/16 0.52 Priority modes. The smooth-acting There’s very little colour fringing, even at focus ring is similarly slick, with the extreme corners of the image frame. a push-pull mechanism for DISTORTION Nearer 0 is better switching between autofocus and manual focus, as featured in many -0.31 Tokina lenses. In the manual focus -4 -3 -2 -1 0 1 position, the focus distance This lens beats everything else in the becomes visible. group for minimising barrel distortion.

he look and feel of this lens are very similar to the Fujifilm 14mm. That’s no bad thing, with its precision metal parts, smart aperture ring and push-pull focus ring. This lens has a slightly longer effective focal length of 24mm, and a correspondingly narrower viewing angle of 83° rather than 89°. Enhancements over the Fujifilm 14mm lens include a more complex optical design based on 13 elements in 11 groups, rather than 10 elements in seven groups. Nano coatings are applied to further reduce ghosting and flare, and the minimum focus distance shrinks from 0.18m to 0.15m, enabling a larger maximum magnification ratio of 0.21x instead of 0.12x. There are nine rather the 14mm’s seven diaphragm blades, and the build adds weather seals that are lacking on the 14mm lens.

Performance

The superb build and handling are matched by excellent performance. Sharpness is fabulous across the whole frame at all but the widest f/1.4 aperture, where it drops in the corners. Fringing is practically non-existent, and there’s only minimal distortion.

T

Autofocus is quick and quiet, and centre-sharpness is impressive. There’s very little distortion, and colour fringing is minimal. The overall image quality is excellent, making this lens a good ultra-wide option for Fujifilm X cameras.

Verdict Features BUILD & HANDLING performance Value OVERALL

T

Performance

www.digitalcameraworld.com november 2015

SHARPNESS higher is better 2,500

2,000

1,500

1,000

500

f/2.8 f/4

f/5.6

f/8

Centre

Middle

f/11

f/16 f/22 Edge

Edge-sharpness is better than Fujifilm’s 14mm lens throughout the entire range.

FRINGING (at F/8) Lower is better

f/2.8 0.29 Mid 0.47 Edge 0.46 There’s almost no fringing, even around high-contrast transitions at the corners.

DISTORTION Nearer 0 is better -1.81 -4

-3

-2

-1

0

1

Images aren’t quite as distortion-free as from the wider Fujifilm 14mm lens.

Verdict Features BUILD & HANDLING performance Value OVERALL

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wide-angle Primes

H HH HH reate G lu Va

Full-frame Full-frame

Canon M Fujifilm X-Series Nikon FX Pentax K

Nikon AF-S 20mm f/1.8G ED

Samyang 14mm f/2.8 IF ED UMC

£650/$800

£280/$370

A new Nikon with added attractions

One size fits almost all mount options

ikon’s antiquated D-mount 20mm f/2.8 was finally replaced by this G-mount offering last year. The aperture ring has gone, which was superfluous on Nikon SLRs anyway, and the addition of ring-type ultrasonic autofocus makes autofocus available with any digital Nikon SLR, including those that lack a built-in AF drive motor. The new lens also features a faster f/1.8 aperture, nano-crystal coatings for better control of ghosting and flare, two ED (Extra-low Dispersion) elements and a closer minimum focus distance of 0.2 instead of 0.25m. It’s not weather-sealed, but does feature a rubber ring on its mounting plate. Unlike the two Canon lenses in this test group, it comes complete with a hood and carrying pouch.

his Samyang lens is available in a massive variety of mount options. However, as a full-frame compatible lens, it naturally gives its greatest viewing angle of an astonishing 116° when paired with a full-frame body. On APS-C cameras with a 1.5x crop factor, you still get an ultra-wide 94°, but just 76° in FT and MFT mounts. All editions have purely manual focusing, with no autofocus facility. Until recently, only the Nikon fit option came complete with an internal processor to enable camera-driven aperture control, and the illumination of focus assist lamps in the viewfinder. A new Canon edition of the lens is also now available, which boasts the same electronic enhancements.

N

Performance The relatively wide f/1.8 aperture is nice to have, but edge-sharpness is poor if you don’t stop down to at least f/4. Overall sharpness is significantly better than from Canon’s 20mm lens, and vignetting is less severe. There’s also slightly less colour fringing, but a bit more barrel distortion. Di g i t a l C a m e r a

T

SHARPNESS higher is better 2,500

2,000

1,500

1,000

500

f/2.8 f/4

f/5.6

Centre

f/8 Middle

f/11

f/16 f/22 Edge

Centre-sharpness is great, but edgesharpness drops off significantly.

FRINGING Lower is better

f/2.8 1.75 f/8 2.38 f/16 2.46 Fringing is well-controlled and autocorrected in recent Nikon cameras.

DISTORTION Nearer 0 is better

-3

-2

-1

0

Barrel distortion is low in magnitude and more regular than from the Canon 20mm.

Verdict Features BUILD & HANDLING performance Value OVERALL

november 2015

SHARPNESS higher is better 2,500

2,000

1,500

1,000

500

f/2.8 f/4

1

The manual focus ring is smooth and precise. Image quality is pleasing on the whole, with reasonably good sharpness throughout the aperture range for such an ultra-wide lens. However, vignetting and barrel distortion are heavy, and the built-in lens hood precludes the easy attachment of screw-in filters or filter holders.

f/5.6

Centre

f/8

f/11

Middle

f/16 f/22 Edge

It’s not as sharp as most here, but edgesharpness is better than Canon’s 20mm.

FRINGING (at F/8) Lower is better

f/2.8 1.1 f/8 1.15 f/16 0.81 The lens does a pretty good job of correcting chromatic aberrations,

DISTORTION Nearer 0 is better

Performance

-1.5 -4

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Canon EF

Samsung NX Sony A Sony E Micro Four Thirds Four Thirds

Nikon FX

-3.22 -4

-3

-2

-1

0

1

Barrel distortion is heavy and, as with the Canon 20mm, has a moustache effect.

Verdict Features BUILD & HANDLING performance Value OVERALL

www.digitalcameraworld.com


KIT Zone

wide-angle Primes

Full-frame

Canon EF

Canon M Fujifilm X-Series Nikon FX Pentax K

Samsung NX Sony A Sony E Micro Four Thirds Four Thirds

Full-frame Canon EF Nikon FX Sigma SA

Samyang 24mm f/1.4 ED AS UMC

Sigma 24mm f/1.4 DG HSM | A

£480/$500

£700/$850

Best served in Nikon flavour

A new addition to the A line

ike the wider Samyang SHARPNESS higher is better 14mm that’s also on test, 2,500 this manual-focusing 24mm lens is available in the same 2,000 selection of 10 different mount options. This time, however, it’s 1,500 only the Nikon F-mount flavour that has built-in electronics. On 1,000 Canon SLRs, you can’t control the 500 aperture from the camera, and have to keep manually opening the aperture every time you need a f/2.8 f/4 f/5.6 f/8 f/11 f/16 f/22 bright viewfinder image for Centre Middle Edge focusing. Similarly, only the Sharpness is more impressive than from Nikon-fit edition has electronics the Samyang 14mm lens, across the frame. needed to drive focus-assist lamps in the viewfinder. FRINGING (at F/8) Lower is better Again, the 24mm lens is f/2.8 1.39 f/8 1.75 f/16 1.75 full-frame compatible, but viewing Marginally more colour fringing than from angles on crop-sensor cameras are the Samyang 14mm, but well-controlled. rather more restrictive. On the plus DISTORTION Nearer 0 is better side, filters are much easier to use, thanks to the provision of an -2.2 attachment thread (77mm) and -4 -3 -2 -1 0 1 a bayonet-fit hood.

igma’s range of Art lenses has rightly been earning a reputation for quality. One of the newest prime additions to the line-up, this 24mm lens gives an 84° angle of view on full-frame cameras. It’s two full f/ stops faster than the Canon 24mm lens on test, but it’s significantly larger and more than twice as heavy at 665g. Build quality is excellent and includes top-grade materials, although the lens isn’t weathersealed. Feature highlights include ring-type ultrasonic autofocus, a nine-blade diaphragm, three FLD (F Low Dispersion) elements and four SLD (Special Low Dispersion) elements. It’s certainly not a cheap lens, but it’s worth bearing in mind that Canon’s direct equivalent, the EF 24mm f/1.4L II USM, costs an eye-watering £1,225/$1,550.

Performance

Autofocus is fast and extremely quiet. Image quality is sublime, with exceptional corner-to-corner sharpness. Colour fringing and distortion are also very well controlled, and vignetting is also minimal at apertures of f/2.8 or narrower. It’s a real beauty. A Sony A-mount version is due soon.

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The 24mm lens is very soft at its widest f/1.4 aperture, but centresharpness is pretty good through the rest of the aperture range. Along with its longer focal length, vignetting and barrel distortion are rather less noticeable than with the Samyang 14mm lens.

There’s noticeable barrel distortion, but it’s regular and easy to correct during editing.

Verdict Features BUILD & HANDLING performance Value OVERALL

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SHARPNESS higher is better 2,500

2,000

1,500

1,000

500

f/2.8 f/4

Centre

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f/8 Middle

f/11

f/16 f/22 Edge

Sharpness is exceptional, and the dip in corner-sharpness at f/1.4 is still fine.

FRINGING (at F/8) Lower is better

f/2.8 0.79 f/8 0.64 f/16 0.76 Colour fringing is extremely low, even at the extreme edges and corners of images.

DISTORTION Nearer 0 is better -0.77 -4

Performance

f/5.6

-3

-2

-1

0

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There’s only a very small amount of barrel distortion, and it’s very regular in shape.

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KIT Zone

wide-angle Primes

The Verdict

It’s a win for Sigma’s A-team The excellent Sigma 24mm f/1.4 DG HSM | A comes first ontinuing a theme in which the Sigma 50mm f/1.4 A won last issue’s group test of standard primes, the 24mm takes top honours this time around. It’s beautifully built and has impeccable handling. Autofocus is fast and deadly accurate, corner-to-corner sharpness and peripheral illumination are excellent, while distortion and colour fringing are absolutely minimal. The overall image quality is simply spectacular, making it the best buy for Canon and Nikon cameras. While we weren’t completely won over by Fujifilm’s standard 35mm lens for its X mount cameras last issue, we’ve been thoroughly impressed by its 14mm and 16mm wide-angle lenses. Both have great handling

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How the lenses compare

Canon EF 20mm f/2.8 USM

Canon EF 24mm f/2.8 IS USM

and deliver excellent image quality, although the 16mm edges ahead with greater sharpness, superior control over colour fringing, and a weather-sealed build. Nikon’s 20mm lens is the best of the rest. It outguns the competing Canon 20mm for sharpness and peripheral illumination, justifying its higher selling price. Meanwhile, Canon’s 24mm lens is the only one in the group to feature image stabilisation but, apart from its conveniently small size, there’s not much to recommend it over a zoom lens like the Tamron 24-70mm f/2.8 VC USD, which also features stabilisation. The Samyang 14mm and 24mm lenses are best suited to Canon and Nikon full-frame SLRs (just Nikon for the 24mm).

Fujifilm XF14mm f/2.8 R

www.canon.co.uk

Contact Street price

£410/$540

£460/$600

Fujifilm XF16mm f/1.4 R WR

www.fujifilm.co.uk £650/$900

£730/$1,000

Nikon AF-S 20mm f/1.8G ED

Samyang 14mm f/2.8 IF ED UMC

www.nikon.co.uk £650/$800

Samyang 24mm f/1.4 ED AS UMC

Sigma 24mm f/1.4 DG HSM | A www.sigma-

www.syopt.com

imaging-uk.com

£280/$370

£480/$500

EF M

X FX K

EF M

X FX K

NX A

E MFT FT

NX A

E MFT FT

£700/$850

Mount options

EF C

EF C

FX

FX

FX N

Full-frame compatible

Yes

Yes

No

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Elements/Groups

11/9

11/9

10/7

13/11

13/11

14/10

13/12

15/11

Diaphragm blades

5 blades

7 blades

7 blades

9 blades

7 blades

6 blades

8 blades

9 blades

Autofocus type

Ultrasonic (ring)

Ultrasonic (ring)

Electric motor

Electric motor

Ultrasonic (ring)

None

None

Ultrasonic (ring)

Manual AF override

Full-time

Full-time

Push-pull

Push-pull

Full-time

N/A

N/A

Full-time

Min focus distance

0.25m

0.2m

0.18m

0.15m

0.2m

0.28m

0.25m

0.25m

Max magnification factor

0.14x

0.23x

0.12x

0.21x

0.23x

Unspecified

Unspecified

0.19x

Angle of view (diagonal)

94°

84°

89°

83°

94°

116°

84°

84°

Optical stabiliser

No

Yes (4-stop)

No

No

No

No

No

No

Filter size

72mm

58mm

58mm

67mm

77mm

N/A

77mm

77mm

Hood

Hood, pouch

Built-in hood, pouch

Hood, pouch

Hood, soft case

EF FX SA

Included accessories

None

None

Hood

Dimensions (d x l)

78 x 71mm

68 x 56mm

65 x 58mm

73 x 73mm

83 x 81mm

87 x 94mm

83 x 95mm

85 x 90mm

Weight

405g

280g

235g

375g

355g

530g

565g

665g

Features BUILD & HANDLING Performance Value OVERALL

KEY:

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Fujifilm

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Pentax

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Samsung

Sigma

Sony

Four Thirds

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K IT Z O N E

MINI-TEST

Flashgun modifiers Flashguns are great pieces of kit, but they need a little help to really make them shine

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BounceLite

Enlight Orbis

£100

£149/$199

Hähnel Universal Flash Accessory Kit

ONE of the easiest ways to get softer

The ring flash is a firm favourite among

illumination from your flashgun is to bounce light off a white ceiling or wall. You can’t always do that, though – so the BounceLite aims to recreate the same effect, wherever you’re shooting. Simply slot the box onto your flashgun, and its white interior walls and roof bounce the light through the diffusion panel on the side. The roof can hinge open, allowing you to reflect just the right amount of light onto your subject. There’s even a slot to insert a diffusion panel or coloured gels. The result is improved light softness with great controllability and minimal light loss – although a ring light modifier will produce an even softer effect.

fashion photographers wanting the most flattering illumination with minimal shadows. Dedicated ring flashes are pricey propositions, but the Orbis creates the same effect from your flashgun, funnelling its flash-burst into a ring of light surrounding your camera lens. Your flashgun needs to be hung below your camera using an optional bracket, or you can simply hold the Orbis around your lens. Either way, you’ll still need an off-camera flash cord. The end result is a pretty unwieldy set-up, but the quality of light is worth the workout. The Orbis’s near-shadowless illumination is stunning to behold, although it will sap around two stops of light power.

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£50/$80 Despite this being the cheapest option here, you certainly get a lot to play with. There’s a compact softbox to take the edge off shadows, plus a honeycomb grid and a roll-up snoot to concentrate light into a tighter beam. Several gels are included to add colour, plus a small panel to use as a reflector or bounce card. Each accessory fixes to your flashgun using a Velcro strap system, and Hähnel includes a useful adjustable bracket to attach your flashgun to a tripod or stand. While the kit can indulge your creativity, the softbox isn’t all that effective: you only get seven gel colours and the honeycomb attachment is very basic.

OVERALL

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MINI-TEST

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Light Blaster

Rogue FlashBender 2 Portable Lighting Kit

Roundflash Ring

£100/$99

£150/$200

Want to liven up your portraiture with beautiful backdrops? Just slot the Light Blaster onto your flashgun and it’ll project any pattern, image or scene from a 35mm slide onto a plain surface. You can also buy packs of transparencies with different themes. The beauty of this system is you can mount a lens on the front to control the focus and spread of the projected image. The Light Blaster’s built-in mount is for Canon lenses, but Nikon owners can buy a separate adaptor. It’s also worth remembering that no transparencies are included with the projector, which makes the price seem a little on the high side, given this is just a simple plastic shell.

OVERALL

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This revised version of the versatile FlashBender modifier kit includes large and small collapsible FlashBender reflector panels which fix to your flashgun with a faster, more secure attachment strap. They’re still just as easy to bend into shape and will even roll into a snoot, plus you get a pair of diffusion sheets that’ll convert each reflector into a soft box. For even more creative effects, fit the three-in-one honeycomb grid modifier to get a more focussed light beam. You’ll also find 20 coloured gel inserts to go with it, plus an additional gel set that’ll fit neatly over a bare flash.

OVERALL

£66/$113 When it comes to light softening, bigger tends to be better. At 45cm wide, the Roundflash is twice the diameter of the Orbis but, thanks to fabric construction, it’s 30% lighter and folds smaller. Set-up is easy with a pop-up design that just requires you to snap five magnetic rods into place and strap your flashgun into the back. A web of elastic cords secures the Roundflash to your lens, but avoid wide-angle or short prime optics, as vignetting can be noticeable. There isn’t much room to access zoom or focus rings, but the pay-off is light that’s so soft and shadowless that even the Orbis can’t compete. Just remember to crank up your flashgun to compensate for the three-stop light reduction.

OVERALL

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Camera raw Skills 144 Learn how to take control of contrast and tone in your black-and-white images

Transform your photos with our easy, effective guides

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Photo Skills

Sean McCormack shows you how to enhance tone and colour using the Tone Curve in Lightroom

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TOOL SCHOOL

Discover how to transform your photos into striking art using the Mixer Brush in Photoshop. James Paterson reveals all

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Artist Insight

Glyn Dewis shows you how to quickly create studio effects and make your images stand out from the crowd

November September2015 2015

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Sean McCormack

Photographer and writer Sean McCormack is an experienced photographer and writer based in Galway. He is the author of The Indispensable Guide to Lightroom CC.  seanmcfoto.com

discover how to Add amazing photo effects Lightroom

Sean McCormack shows you how to enhance the tone and colour of  your photos using Lightroom’s very useful Tone Curve tool

get Start files from www.bit.ly/dc170files Colour Grading

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photo. The Tone Curve offers two ways to manipulate the photo. The Parametric Curve is perfect for quick contrast work, but does limit the degree of change in the curve. The Point Curve is more like Curves in Photoshop, allowing you to completely change the

Apply an old technique using modern tools One of the most famous techniques used by Man Ray was solarisation. This effect mixes a negative and a positive image together. It’s one of the oldest effects in photography, even known by Daguerre himself. To achieve it in modern-day Lightroom, you’ll need to select the Point Curve. Drag the leftmost point from the bottom to the top. Now, drag the middle point to the bottom to create a U-shaped curve. While the effect works in colour, black and white is preferable, so you have to press V to convert to black and white. By dragging the points to extreme settings, you will be able to create your own unique looks.

NOVEMber 2015

photo with effects such as Solarisation and Colour Grading. With the Point Curve, any point can be fully increased or decreased in brightness, both in tone, via the RGB channel, or in colour, via the three colour channels: Red, Green or Blue.

This is the process of changing the mood of the image via colour. Choose Red, Green or Blue from the Channels dropdown. Move a point up to add colour, or down to add the opposite colour. Cyan-Red, Magenta-Green and YellowBlue are the complementary colour pairs. In addition to creating curves, change the endpoints for variation.

RT PE P E X TI

Extreme effects

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

www.bit.ly/ dc170video

SOFTWARE Lightroom 6 GET IT FROM www.adobe.com/creativecloud

ptimising the tones in your image is something you’ll want to do with every photo you take. You could use the Contrast slider, but there’s another tool that gives far more control over both the contrast and the colour in our

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Parametric Curve The four sliders correspond with the four draggable areas on the Curve: Highlights, Lights, Darks and Shadows. The grey area that bounds the curve shows the limit of where the curve can be dragged. The three triangles at the bottom set the range of the four areas.

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Photo Skills

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

LIGHTROOM ANATOMY Presets AF

Any of the settings you make can be saved for reuse as a Point Curve Preset. Once settings have been changed, the Point Curve dropdown menu will say Custom. Click on this and select Save from the list to create a new Preset. 

TER

Point Curve Click the tiny square curve icon to open the Point Curve. Click and drag a point to change the contrast in the photo. The steeper the curve, the greater the contrast. Here we see a typical S curve, used to increase contrast.

Fading a photo

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To fade a photo, move the leftmost point up slightly. This point sets the deepest black possible in the photo. (For richer blacks, move it to the right.) As this affects the whole photo, place a second point and straighten the rest of the curve.

Targeted Adjustment Tool To the right of the curve is the Targeted Adjustment Tool icon. Click the icon to activate the tool. The cursor will change, and you’ll be able to click and drag on the photo itself. All areas of similar tone will change as you drag.

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JAMES PATERSON

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

B

Create digital paintings with the amazing Mixer Brush Photoshop

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Wield one of Photoshop’s most creative tools with confidence, and discover how to transform your favourite photographs into realistic brush-based art in a few easy steps

Software Photoshop CC Get it from www.adobe.com/creativecloud Get Start files from www.bit.ly/dc170files

Step by step FROM PHOTO TO PAINTING

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PREPARE THE TOOL Open the Layers Panel and click the new layer icon to make a new empty layer. Grab the Mixer brush, and in the tool options, tick Sample All Layers. Click the presets dropdown and pick Very Wet. Ensure the ‘clean brush’ icon is enabled and the ‘load brush’ icon is disabled.

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SMUDGE THE COLOURS Select a bristle brush tip (we used Round Curve Low Bristle Percent) and start painting on the empty layer to smudge the colours. Block in the background with a large brush, then hide the layer, make another new layer and use a smaller brush to add details.

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Tool school

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

PHOTOSHOP ANATOMY Use a tablet

Load Brush

A pen and tablet like the Wacom Intuos range give smooth brush strokes beyond anything you could achieve with a mouse. Photoshop’s Bristle brushes will behave naturally as you apply different levels of pressure or tilt the pen. The bristle brush preview gives an idea of how it behaves. (Shift-click it to change the greyscale preview to 3D.)

The ‘load brush after each stroke’ icon is important. With the icon toggled on, the brush will be loaded with a fresh amount of the chosen foreground colour for each new stroke. Leave it off if you want to smudge existing colours.

Clean brush As the name suggests, the ‘Clean brush after each stroke’ icon will dip your brush in an imaginary cup of water after each stroke to clean it off so you can start afresh with the next stroke. Turn it off and the brush will retain the colour residue from previous strokes. If unticked, you can load or clean the brush manually with the colour dropdown beside the icons.

Bristle brushes The 14 or so Bristle Brushes that are available to you can be found in the Brush Picker. Each one behaves like a realistic artist’s brush and features differences in the number of bristles, length, thickness and stiffness. In addition, the brushes can be customised to your liking by opening up the Brush Panel and adjusting the Bristle Qualities.

Wet, Load, Mix, Flow Wet sets the wetness of the canvas. Load refers to how much paint is on the brush tip – a low load will mean the brush dries out more quickly. Mix determines the ratio of brush to canvas mixing – at 100% the brush picks up all the paint from the canvas, at 0% it only adds the loaded colour. Flow controls the overall strength of the brush.

Wet or Dry?

DRY WET There are a range of mixer brush presets, from Dry, Light Load to Wet, Heavy Mix. ‘Dry’ or ‘Wet’ refers to the state of the canvas, not the brush. A dry canvas will not smudge the existing colours, while a wet canvas will behave as if the paint has been freshly laid, so the underlying colours are smudgeable.

Sample All Layers The Sample All Layers option is hugely useful when painting with the Mixer Brush. It allows you to sample from a photo to turn it into a painting, while working non-destructively on a separate layer.

RT PE P E X TI

Painting on layers Paint from broad strokes to finer detail As with painting on a real canvas, it’s best to block in colours first before moving on to finer details. The beauty here is that each level of detail can be preserved on its own layer. Begin by blocking in the background colours [1] with a large brush tip, smudging the colours to eliminate the subject. Once done, make a new layer, hide the first sky layer and work in stages, adding finer

details with smaller brushes [2]. As you paint, you can vary the opacity of the photo layer while still sampling colours from it [3]. Round things by adding ridges to the brush strokes: merge a layer with Ctrl/Cmd+Shift+Alt+E then go to Filter > Stylise Emboss [4]. Once applied, change the Blend Mode to Overlay to give your strokes a subtle 3D quality.

www.digitalcameraworld.com NOVEMber 2015

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GLYN DEWIs

Photographer and author

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Glyn is a commercial photographer, retoucher and also an Adobe Community Professional trainer. He is the author of The Photoshop Workbook. www.glyndewis.com

learn how to quickly create studio effects Photoshop

watch video www.bit.ly/ dc170video

Setting yourself assignments such as this retouching project will force you to create new images and keep your portfolio refreshed at all times

SOFTWARE Photoshop CC GET IT FROM www.adobe.com/creativecloud Get Start files from www.bit.ly/dc170files

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ithout doubt, personal projects are a huge part of my photography and retouching career. Giving yourself assignments that force you to create new images regularly will not only keep your portfolio fresh and updated, but will also help to develop new skills and keep you excited and in the creative zone. Recently I have put together what I’m calling my ‘Anytime,

Anywhere Portrait’ kit, which consists of a camera, a Speedlightstyle flash and a small soft box modifier. This light and portable kit is great for portraits and in this tutorial I take you through the retouching steps for a portrait, which in this case is of a Border Collie. On the disc accompanying this tutorial I also cover the photography for this picture, so be sure to check that out too.

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1 3 Sharpening Twice for Impact Sharpen the image in the Detail tab, increasing the Sharpening Amount to around 60. Restrict sharpening to the main focal area by increasing Masking to around 95. Using the Adjustment Brush, increase Sharpening to 30, and paint over both of the dog’s eyes. Next, increase the Clarity to around 35 to make the eyes stand out.

There are countless ways to add vignettes to your image, but one way that is non-destructive and very easy to adjust, plus great for those of you without Camera Raw as a filter, is to draw out a selection using the Lasso Tool. Then add a Levels Adjustment Layer and in the masking tab

Black & White Conversion Darken the outside area a little more with a vignette by going to the Post-Crop Vignetting in the Effects tab and decreasing the Amount to -40. Go to the B&W tab to create a black and white conversion and to draw more attention to the dog’s face. With an Adjustment Brush, turn on the Mask Overlay and paint over the centre area. Increase Clarity to around 20.

click on Invert and increase Feather to 250px. Use the Mid Tone Slider to darken the outer areas. You can also click on the layer mask and move the vignette and also use Edit > Transform to change the shape and size of the vignette.

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RT PE P E X TI

Discover the smart way to add a vignette to your photograph frame

Clone and Heal The dark hair by the dog’s right eye is distracting, so we’ll remove that using the Spot Healing Brush. With it set to Heal, increase or decrease the size of the brush using the left and right bracket keys so that it’s slightly wider than the width of the hair, and paint over to remove. See if Clone gives a more pleasant result by clicking between Heal and Clone.

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Clean up the Background Starting off in Lightroom we’ll clean up the background and ensure it is all black. Now there is one area just above the dog’s ear that we’ll remove using the Spot Removal Tool set to Heal and then with the Adjustment Brush bring the Exposure down to around -0.75 and paint around the top right-hand corner of the picture.

Quick and easy vignette

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The Painterly Effect – Part 2 For added effect, repeat Filter > Noise > Reduce Noise; increase Strength to around 7 and click OK. Next, click on the Sharpness layer, then go to Filter > Other > High Pass, increase the Radius setting to 1 pixel and click OK. When you’ve done this, change the Blend Mode of the Sharpness layer to High Pass.

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The Painterly Effect – Part 1 Go to Photo > Edit In and send the image over to Photoshop. Create two copies of the Background layer by pressing Ctrl/Cmd + J twice. Rename the first copy ‘Look’ and the second copy ‘Sharpness’. Turn off the Sharpness layer and click on the ‘Look’ layer. Go to Filter > Noise > Reduce Noise and with all the sliders set at 0, increase the Strength setting to 10 and click OK.

Mask the Eyes With this painterly effect applied to the image, although we’ve added back some of the sharpness using the High Pass Filter and Overlay Blend Mode, we’ll remove the effect entirely from the eyes. With the upper Sharpness layer active, hold down Shift and click on the Look layer. Put both layers into a group by going Layer > New > Group from Layers; name it ‘Painterly’. Then with a regular brush and black foreground colour, paint the effect off the eyes.

Make use of a special filter to decrease the image’s depth of field

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As this picture had to be photographed at around f/16 to give a dark background, it has a deep depth of field. To fake the look of a shallow depth of field as if the picture was photographed with an aperture of around f/2.8 or wider, we can use the Iris Blur Filter. I’d recommend doing so by

NOVEMBER 2015

first converting the layer to a Smart Object to give yourself the ability of easily and quickly adjusting the amount of blur, should you wish.

RT PE P E X TI

Iris Blur for depth of field

Shaping the Light Add a merged layer to the top of the layer stack and name it ‘Light’. Go to Filter > Camera Raw and choose the Radial Filter. Reduce the Exposure to -1.10 and ensure that the Effect is set to Outside. Then drag out an ellipse from the centre of the dog’s face to darken down the ears and neck area.

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JAMES PATERSON

Editor, Practical Photoshop

Photoshop

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There’s more to black and white than just removing the colour. Learn how to take control of contrast and tones in Camera Raw for different looks

SOFTWARE Photoshop CC GET IT FROM www.adobe.com/creativecloud Get Start files from www.bit.ly/dc170files

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RESENTING a scene in black and white is more than just transformative, it also gives you greater options for fine-tuning tonality. Black-and-white images can often withstand greater

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

Master tonality in your monochromes

shifts in brightness than their colour counterparts so we can push things further than with a colour image, by tweaking the contrast or dodging and burning. Camera Raw handles this particularly well...

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Punchy high contrast Images converted to black and white will often benefit from a boost in contrast, and you can push things much further. Go to the Camera Raw Tone Curve Panel, click the point tab, then plot an S-shaped curve like the one shown to lift the highlights and darken the shadows.

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Delicate low contrast Open the image in Camera Raw then go to the HSL/Greyscale Panel and tick Convert To Greyscale. Go to the Basic Panel then drag Highlights down to reveal detail in the sky, and Shadows up to lift the upturned boat. Hold Shift and double-click the Whites and Blacks sliders to auto-set the points.

Colour range control We’ve stripped the colour out, but can still use the colour data for fine-tuning. Adjust the colour sliders in the HSL/ Greyscale Panel or drag over points in the image with the Targeted Adjustment Tool. Darkening blues reveals cloud detail and lifting yellows lightens the grass.

Learn how to increase midtone contrast to make the edges of your images sharper and more defined

Selective enhancements Use the Adjustment Brush, Graduated and Radial Filters to help draw the eye in. Grab the Adjustment Brush, set negative Exposure and positive Clarity, then paint to boost the island. Grab the Radial Filter, set Exposure -1.00 then hold Ctrl/Cmd and double-click in the image for a vignette.

CLARITY crisps up edges by increasing midtone contrast. Try dragging the Clarity Slider in the Basic Panel upwards. If you want even more than 100% Clarity, grab the Graduated Filter Tool, load it with extra Clarity using the sliders on the right, then drag a grad outside the image window and direct it away from the image.

www.digitalcameraworld.com NOVEMber 2015

RT PE P E X TI

Crisp details

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MACRO LENSES

Discover the beauty of the world in close-up. We test eight of the best macro lenses

ShootOut

Join two resolute readers in stuning Snowdonia on an epic landscape mission

Patrick Ward

One of the UK’s finest documentary photographers looks back on a long career

PLUS Scott Kelby Dennis Stock Glyn Dewis How to use flash Image Analysis Photo Projects Lightroom And loads more...

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BACK ISSUES R e a d A N Y I S S U E B Y D O W N L O A D I N G O U R D IGITAL E D ITI O N S

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Apple iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch Get the free Digital Camera app for your iPad or iPhone at www.bit.ly/DC_app (UK) or www.bit.ly/DCW_app (the rest of the world), then browse through our back issues or buy a subscription using the app.

Android, PC or Mac Zinio: www.bit.ly/DCW_Zinio Google Play: www.bit.ly/DCW_GoogleP

Other options Digital Camera is available for Kobo, Kindle, Nook, Windows 8 and more. Check out all of our partners in the column on the right of this page.

The digital advantage

Your digital magazines can travel with you – even if you delete them, they’re free to re-download at any time

Binders for your print issues Teach yourself Lightroom Prefer print? Keep your mags together with our binder, which neatly holds a year’s worth of issues

228-page guide revised and updated to cover Lightroom 6 & Lightroom CC. 55-lesson DVD also available.

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BACK ISSUES

Issue 169 

Issue 168  September 2015

Issue 167 

Take your best shots ever as we explain how to make the most of your camera’s Raw setting / Fast prime lenses on test / Free Teach Yourself Photoshop 50-video training course (DVD with print edition; online video with digital editions)

October 2015

Unleash your lenses with our guide to getting better shot from your glass / Super telephoto zooms on test / Canon 5DS R vs Nikon D810 / Free download: DxO FilmPack 3 (instructions in magazine; offer ends 31st Oct)

Master new camera skills as seven top pros and past masters introduce you to the practice of Zen photography / Meet Paul Hill and Chris Leslie / Fun lenses for retro effects on test / Free Master Photoshop in a Day ebook

Extreme Exposure special! Plan a photo trip and master long exposure / Meet Lynsey Addario / Canon 750D & 760D / Free download: on1 Perfect Effects 9.5 (instructions in magazine; offer ends 25th Sept)

Issue 165 

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June 2015

May 2015

August 2015

Spring 2015

Issue 166 

July 2015

Apr 2015

Take super shots with our guide to weddings, including a bonus ebook / Meet the landscape maestro Charlie Waite / Superzoom lenses on test / Free HDR Projects 2 on the disc / Video disc and tips cards

Shoot stunning fine-art nudes / Make darkroom prints from digital images / The greatest cameras ever! / Elliott Erwitt: the master of mischief / Street photo tips / Bonus videos, tips cards and Lightroom ebook

10 creative techniques for urban photographers / Printers or photo labs: which are better? / Mary Ellen Mark and Susan Meiselas interviewed / Off-camera flash basics / 11 videos, eight tips cards and B&W ebook

Master the art of landscape: tips from five top pros / Don McCullin interview and gallery / Studio lights on test / Take control of exposure / Retouch Photos ebook / 70 minutes of videos / Eight free tips cards

Issue 161 

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Mar 2015

52 ways to spice up your shots: inspirational projects to try today! / Image-editing software on test / Martin Parr interview and images / Metering system basics / 15 expert videos / Eight free tips cards

www.digitalcameraworld.com 

Feb 2015

Master your camera now! Your ultimate photo starter pack / Wide-angle prime lenses on test / ISO setting basics / Get to grips with long exposures / Make a ring light / 12 expert videos / Eight free tips cards

Jan 2015

10 creative home photo projects / Canon 7D Mk II reviewed / Medium-format mega test / City photography / Shutter speed made simple / 12 expert videos / 68-page dictionary of photography / Eight free tips cards

Dec 2014

Discover the skills and techniques you need to take creative photos at night / Master the art of macro / Best budget cameras on test / Eight free tips cards / 68-page photography trivia book / 11 expert videos

NOVEMBER 2015

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DESERT ISLAND D-SLR

Brett Harkness

Portrait and wedding photographer www.brettharknessphotography.com

What’s your favourite place on Earth? Apart from my bed? India. What’s on your memory card right now? A bit boring, but nothing. I download and delete after every shoot. Who would you most like to thank for getting you where you are today? My wife. To crop or not to crop? Always crop in-camera. I am a great believer that what you see is what you get. What is your screensaver? On my phone, my little girl. On my computer, you can’t actually see it as my desktop is too full! What is at the top of your bucket list? To be happy and have a healthy long life with my family. My photo bucket 156

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

NOVEMBER 2015

list is to shoot more portraits in some amazing locations around the UK and the world. Be honest – what kind of photography are you bad at? Babies in plant pots. Tell us a secret about your photography that you’ve never told anyone before. At the first wedding I shot in Miami, where we used to roll out our own film, I rolled the film in the canister upside-down. Not a great day! Things have slightly improved since then. What’s in your kit bag right now? Pentax 645Z, 90mm macro, 55mm macro, Canon EOS 1 DS, 50mm f/1.2, Elinchrom Ranger RX speed AS, Elinchrom Quadra ELB, and various modifiers. If you weren’t a photographer, what would you have done? Interior designer/coffee taster/ chocolate connoisseur. How would you describe your photography? Ongoing.

Which books should every photographer read? Don McCullin; Annie Leibovitz at Work. Whose work do you most admire? Don McCullin, Sebastião Salgado, Bill Brandt, Joey L and Josef Koudelka. What’s the most you’ve ever sold a picture for? Not sure about a single image, but my largest job was £70K. How many pictures do you shoot? Around 200,000 a year. What words of wisdom can you give to aspiring pros? Don’t think you will ever know it all. Don’t strive to copy photographers you admire most – try to be better! Any regrets? Ask me in 30 years. Unfulfilled photographic ambition? Ask me in 30 years. What is your desert-island D-SLR? The Pentax 645Z – which I am now the UK ambassador for. www.digitalcameraworld.com

Self-portrait: Brett Harkness. Illustration: Andy McLaughlin

W

hich photographer (living or dead) would you like to have round for dinner? Josef Koudelka.


Your exclusive digital camera tip cards

Landscapes

Moving water

Light trails polariser reference guide

tripod & remote release guide

woodland abstracts

fiery autumn leaves

twilight SEAscapes

dramatic fireworks

motocross action

autumnal portraits

deer parks

Visit www.digitalcameraworld.com for more great photo tips


Your exclusive digital camera tip cards WOODLAND abstracts

tripod & remote guide

polariser guide

For your first shot, try...

three key situations in which to use a tripod and remote release: Landscapes For landscapes, you’ll typically use a narrow aperture such as f/11 to ensure that most of the scene is as sharp as possible. This can require a slow shutter speed. Using a remote reduces the chances of camera shake.

three essential tips for using a circular polarising filter: Polarising effect Turn the filter while watching the image in the viewfinder. You’ll see reflections grow fainter and disappear altogether. Tiny adjustments make all the difference, so go slowly to check you’ve found the optimum angle of rotation.. Slower exposures Polarisers cut down the light entering the lens by up to two stops. If you’re shooting indoors, the light levels will already be low, so exposure times will make handheld photography difficult. To compensate, increase the ISO or use a tripod.

Exposure mode Shutter Priority Focal length 16–100mm Shutter speed 1/15 sec or slower ISO 100

TO IMPROVE YOUR SHOT… Take control by switching to Shutter Priority or Manual shooting mode and dialling in a slow shutter speed. Anywhere from 10 sec to 1/15 sec will work – we shot at 1/3 sec for this image. Use a tripod and three-way head so that you can precisely control the movement. Top tip: Start moving the camera vertically just before you fire the shutter so that you capture a fluid motion.

Moving water You’ll need to use a slow shutter speed to capture moving water as a blur. Again, a remote reduces the chances of camera shake during the exposure, as well as allowing you to fire the shutter at the right time. Light trails Light trails usually require extremely long shutter speeds. A remote release enables you to trigger and end the exposure without having to touch the camera.

Outdoor photography These filters are great for making skies bluer – but watch out if you’re using a wideangle, as the effect will be uneven.

dramatic fireworks

twilight seascapes

fiery autumn leaves

For your first shot, try...

For your first shot, try...

For your first shot, try...

Exposure mode Focus mode Aperture ISO

Manual Manual f/11 200

TO IMPROVE YOUR SHOT… Experiment with different shutter speeds; try starting with exposures of 1-4 seconds to ensure the sky remains dark. Pre-focus at the distance the fireworks will be and switch the lens to MF to lock this in. For sharp shots, fix your camera to a tripod and trip the shutter with a remote release.

Exposure mode Manual Aperture f/11–f/16 Shutter speed 1/30 sec or slower ISO 100

Exposure mode Aperture Priority Focus mode Manual Aperture f/2.8–f/11 ISO 200

TO IMPROVE YOUR SHOT… Use the settings above as a rough guide. If the image is dark, set a slower shutter speed. Too bright? Fit an ND filter.

TO IMPROVE YOUR SHOT… Experiment with different apertures. Large apertures (f/2.8-f/5.6) will help to soften any background details.

A strong ND filter will enable shutter speeds that last for several seconds or minutes, creating smooth water.

 se Live View in magnified mode to help U you manually focus the lens accurately.

Use an ND grad to retain detail in the sky.

 se a polarising filter to remove glare from U glossy leaves and to punch up the colour.

Top tip: Capture one or two bursts at a time, then try combining the shots in Photoshop using the Lighten blend mode.

Top tip: Set the Tungsten/Incandescent White Balance, or dial in a low Kelvin setting in order to add a cool overall tone.

Top tip: Shoot in raw rather than JPEG: this will allow you to fine-tune the white balance and saturation settings later.

deer parks

autumnal portraits

motocross action

For your first shot, try...

For your first shot, try...

For your first shot, try...

Exposure mode Aperture Priority Focal length 300mm+ Shutter speed 1/1,000 sec ISO Auto

Exposure mode Focal length Aperture ISO

Manual 50–85mm f/1.4–f/5.6 200-400

Exposure mode Shutter Priority Focus mode Continuous Shutter speed 1/500 sec or faster ISO Auto

TO IMPROVE YOUR SHOT… Use a large aperture to help isolate the deer from their background.

TO IMPROVE YOUR SHOT… Take test shots to work out the exposure – use Manual mode to lock the settings in.

Be up and in position early – deer activity is usually most intense just after dawn.

Use a reflector to add light. A gold one can add warmth too, but use it sparingly.

TO IMPROVE YOUR SHOT… Try pre-focusing on a spot where you know a rider will pass, such as the top of a hill or a bend. Switch the lens to MF to lock this in.

Deer activity can be sporadic, so set your camera to its fastest drive mode and shoot in bursts when it happens.

Get your subject to throw leaves into the air just before you shoot. To blur the falling leaves, try a shutter speed of 1/80 sec.

Top tip: Brown deer against brown trees can be dull! Look for ways to add contrast between subject and background.

Top tip: Focus on the nearest eye to the camera, especially when using large apertures to give a reduced depth of field.

 ou’ll need a shutter speed of 1/500 sec Y or faster to freeze a bike. Try 1/100 sec or slower when panning with the rider. To add drama, shoot from a low height. Top tip: A big lens soon feels heavy. A monopod will save your arms, but still give you enough freedom when shooting.

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Find bonus videos and start images www.bit.ly/ dc170files

PHOTOSHOP guide

THE SECRETS OF

L AY E R S

www.practicalphotoshopmag.com

December 2011 Practical Photoshop

1


the secrets of layers

Get creati v e with Adjustment Layers watch video www.bit.ly/ dc170video

Learn how to tone an image with ultimate control using Adjustment Layers Often all that’s needed to enhance an image is a boost in contrast, a shift in colour or a tonal tweak. Using Adjustment Layers to make changes like this gives you complete control over the finished look, as any changes you make are completely editable and non-destructive. You can fine-tune any settings at any time simply by double-clicking the layer thumbnail. You can also use the wealth of options within the Layers Panel to change the Blend Mode.

1 Black and White

Start

Use it to…

Give an image a clean classic, timeless quality that emphasises shape, form and the strength of the image

Settings used…

A Black and White layer converts the image to Mono. Use the hand slider at the top left of the Adjustments Panel to drag left or right in the image for interactive control over the conversion. Mono conversions often benefit from extra contrast – a Curves layer with an S-shaped curve does the job nicely.

2 Cross Process Use it to…

Cool colours in a portrait. Skin is mostly made up of red tones, so replacing these with cyan not only gives you a cooler finish, but also lets you boost contrast dramatically without turning a person bright red.

Settings used…

A combination of two Adjustment Layers. First, create a Colour Balance layer with the Cyan/Red slider set  to -85 and the Yellow/Blue slider set to +27. Second, set up a Curves layer to add contrast with two points: one dragged down in the shadows, the other dragged up in the highlights.


Adjustment Layers 3 Hue/Saturation Use it to…

Change colours in the scene with the Hue slider and control the intensity of the colours with the Saturation slider.

Settings used…

Add a Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer, then choose Yellows from the Master drop-down. Knock the Saturation slider down to -71 and the Lightness slider up to +42 to tone down the yellow background.

4 Solid Color Use it to…

Quickly change the colours, or tint an image with any shade that you like.

Settings used…

Add a Solid Color Adjustment Layer, choose a colour in the Color Picker Box and click OK. Go to the Blend Mode drop-down and choose Color.

To map different colours onto the original tonal range, add a Gradient Map Layer To tone down the yellow background add a Hue/ Saturation layer and use the sliders in Yellows

5 Gradient Map

Use it to…

Map different colours or shades onto the original tonal range. The left of the gradient is mapped onto the shadows, the right to the highlights.

Settings Used…

Add a Gradient Map layer, then Click in the preview box to access the Gradient Editor. Here you can choose a preset gradient – click the Play icon to load in different sets – or alternatively double-click the squares of colour to design your own.


the secrets of layers

DiscoverBlend Modes Get to grips with the power and versatility of Blend Modes and mix layers together to create a striking range of effects

Color Dodge

Layer Opacity

Difference

What it does…

What it does…

What it does…

Brightens the colours in the fish layer while reflecting the texture colours. As the texture layer has fairly bright colours, the result is a punchy vibrant blend.

Use it for…

Here it’s boosted colour saturation and contrast. You can also create glowing light effects on dark backgrounds. Make a white shape on a layer above a dark background and change the Blend Mode to Color Dodge.

watch video www.bit.ly/ dc170video

Strictly speaking, it’s not one of the Blend Modes, but the Opacity slider is by far the most useful method for blending two layers together. Move the slider in the Layers Panel to make a layer more or less visible.

Use it for…

Absolutely everything. It’s particularly useful on Adjustment Layers, as you can use the slider to lower the Opacity of an Adjustment Layer to make a tweak more subtle.

Difference subtracts the colours in your base and blend layers, depending on their brightness. This means that it will emphasise the difference between the colours.

Use it for…

It’s great for psychedelic blends, but also has a practical use. If you need to align two layers that are part of the same image, change the top layer to Difference then use the arrow keys to nudge the layer into place.


Use the image on the DVD!

fish

Texture

Blend modes Blend Modes

explained

A look at the many ways, or modes, to blend layers together

Vivid Light

Color

What it does…

What it does…

Vivid Light has the effect of dodging or burning colours by comparing the colours on your Blend Layer and those below with 50% grey. Any tones lighter than 50% grey are brightened; any darker than 50% grey are darkened.

Use it for…

It’s a great quick fix if you want to boost a dull image. Just copy the background, set Blend Mode to Vivid Light, then lower the Opacity of the new layer to 30-40% or until you’re happy.

It uses the colours in your Blend Layer to replace the background colours while retaining the image detail from below.

Use it for…

Any situation in which you want to use the Brush tool to paint colours without affecting the image detail, such as hand-painting a black-andwhite photograph. Often the effect can be too strong, so you may need to lower the Opacity of your Blend Layer.

The list of Blend Modes can be found in the drop-down menu at the top of the Layers Panel. Blend Modes allow you to change the way layers interact with each other by mixing the pixels on a layer with those below in different ways. The best way to see how they work is to create an image with two layers, then experiment by flicking through the various modes. They have numerous uses, whether you want to quickly brighten an image, lay over a texture, change a colour cast or make effortless effects. The Blend Modes we tend to use the most are Screen, Multiply, Lighten, Darken, Overlay, Soft Light and Color. Watch the video on the disc where you got this ebook for an explanation of each mode and advice on how to use it.

Shortcuts

Often the best way to find the right Blend Mode is to cycle through them with the mouse wheel or press Shift + or –. Make sure you don’t have a tool that uses blend modes (such as the Brush tool) selected or you’ll change the tool rather than the layer. If you use a certain Blend Mode often, you can use a keyboard shortcut to switch to it quickly. Here’s the full list: Normal: Shift+Alt+N Dissolve: Shift+Alt+I Darken: Shift+Alt+K Multiply: Shift+Alt+M Color Burn: Shift+Alt+B Linear Burn: Shift+Alt+A Darker Color: None Lighten: Shift+Alt+G Screen: Shift+Alt+S Color Dodge: Shift+Alt+D Linear Dodge: Shift+Alt+W Lighter Color: None Overlay: Shift+Alt+O Soft Light: Shift+Alt+F

Hard Light: Shift+Alt+H Vivid Light: Shift+Alt+V Linear Light: Shift+Alt+J Pin Light: Shift+Alt+Z Hard Mix: Shift+Alt+L Difference: Shift+Alt+E Exclusion: Shift+Alt+X Subtract: None Divide: None Hue: Shift+Alt+U Saturation: Shift+Alt+T Color: Shift+Alt+C Luminosity: Shift+Alt+Y


the secrets of layers

Masterlayer masking Learn how to use Layer Masks and you can make our invisible man and more... In a nutshell, all a Layer Mask does is let you control the opacity of a layer. So it’s similar in function to the Opacity slider – but while the slider only lets you change the level of transparency over the entire layer, masks allow you to selectively make parts of a layer visible or invisible. Black parts are hidden, white parts can

be seen. Masks can be added to any type of layer: Image Layers, Adjustment Layers, Shape Layers, Type Layers and Smart Objects. Click the Add Layer Mask icon at the bottom of the Layers Panel then use the Brush tool to paint with black to hide parts of a layer and white to reveal them. Paint with grey or lower the Opacity

of your brush to make a layer partially visible. Use other tools like the Magic Wand or Gradient tool to help make your black-and-white mask. Our wine-guzzling invisible man has been created from a combination of six images. The suited man, glass and hat were shot separately, then Layer Masks bring the whole scene together.

Mask the head

1

Open your start images ‘mask_bg.jpg’ and ‘mask_suit.jpg’. Duplicate the suit layer then use the Quick Selection tool to select the hat, suit and shirt. Click the Add Layer Mask icon. Use the Move tool to drag the suit and hat into the background image.

Add a collar

2

Open ‘mask_shirt.jpg’ and select the back of the shirt with the Lasso tool. Drop it into the main image and position over the collar. Hold Alt and click the Add Layer Mask icon for a full black mask, then paint with white to reveal the shirt behind the collar.

Bend the wine

Mask the hat rim

3

Open ‘mask_hat.jpg’ then select the hat rim in the same way. Drop in and position, then mask again to hide all but the inside rim.

4

Open ‘mask_wine.jpg’ and duplicate the layer, then select the background with the Magic Wand tool. Invert the selection with Ctrl (Cmd on a Mac)+Shift+I, then add a mask. Drop into the main image, then go to Edit > Puppet Warp and shape the wine.


Layer masking Our wine-guzzling invisible man composition is made up of six seperate images

watch video www.bit.ly/ dc170video

Change the colour

Hide the fingers

5

Paint on the wine mask to hide the fingers and make the wine disappear behind the collar, then select the suit layer and paint with white over the missing glass to fill in the area.

6

Add a Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer. Select Yellows and set Saturation to -100. Set Red Saturation to -70. Press Ctrl/Cmd+I to invert the Hue/Saturation Layer Mask to black, then paint with white over the glass to match the colours with the background.

Add a texture

7

Use the Clone tool to paint in the inside of the sleeve and tidy up any rough edges, then drop in the ‘mask_texture.jpg’ file and finally set the Blend Mode to Overlay.


the secrets of layers

Understand Layer Styles Discover how to make a realistic 3D badge using Layer Styles Layer Styles is a set of effects, which can dramatically change the appearance of a layer. You can add a shadow, make a glow, overlay a pattern and do much more with them. There are hundreds of options and settings within the Layer Styles dialog box, so the best way to find out how each setting works is to experiment. You’ll most often see Layer Styles applied to Type

Make a circle

1

Open the start image ‘styles_before.jpg’ and click the Create New Layer icon in the Layers Panel. Grab the Elliptical Marquee tool, hold Shift and draw a circular selection. Choose any foreground colour then press Alt+Backspace to fill the selection with it. Press Ctrl/Cmd+D to deselect. Doubleclick the layer and apply the Layer Style settings listed in the panel.

layers to give text impact or make it stand out from a background. But they can work equally well on image and shape layers. You can also build up an effect with a selection of different styles, and even use the Fill slider to keep the effect visible while hiding the image. We’ve used an array of styles to create a life-like badge. You can add more easily by copying the Layer Style to other layers.

Add light reflection

2

Once you’ve applied all the Layer Styles, create a new layer then use the Elliptical Marquee tool to draw an oblong selection. Grab the Gradient tool and set white as your foreground colour, then go to the Options Bar and choose a white-to-transparent gradient and the Radial Gradient style. Now draw a gradient through the selection.

Copy the reflection

3

Press Ctrl/Cmd+D to deselect, then hold Ctrl/Cmd and click the layer thumbnail of the gradient layer. Use the arrow keys to nudge the selection down a little, then hit backspace to delete the selected pixels and leave a thin white line. Deselect then duplicate the Layer with Ctrl/Cmd+J. Use the Move tool with Auto-Select Layer and Show Transform Controls ticked to position the layers at opposite diagonals, then lower their Opacity to 60%.

Add an image

4

Open ‘styles_flag.jpg’ and use the Move tool to drop it into the main image, then place it over the badge. Drag the flag layer behind the circle layer in the Layers Panel, then hold Ctrl/Cmd and click the circle layer thumbnail. With the flag layer highlighted, click the Add Layer Mask icon to mask the flag. Next, lower the Fill Opacity of the circle layer to 0%.

watch video www.bit.ly/ dc170video


Layer styles Make a Layer Styles badge The Layer Styles dialog box is your control centre for amazing effects. Use these styles

and settings to create a 3D badge.

Drop Shadow

Inner Shadow

Inner Glow

Satin

Gradient Overlay


the secrets of layers

LayersDo’s and don’ts Use these excellent tips and tricks to speed up your workflow and get the most out of your layers

Always use Adjustment Layers

Tonal tweaks are best made with Adjustment Layers. If you change your mind or want to make an enhancement stronger or weaker, Adjustment Layers give you the option.

Never erase, use a mask

The Eraser should be one of the least used tools. If you want to hide part of a layer, use a non-destructive Layer Mask.

Use Smart Objects

If you want to add filters or use transform controls to change the appearance or shape of a layer, the smart thing to do is convert to a Smart Object. Therefore, any changes you make are completely editable and don’t affect the original pixels.

Never work on your background Always create a new layer or duplicate your background before doing any painting, healing or work that directly affects the layer. You never know if you’ll need to go back to the original later.


Always save files as a PSD

Do’s and don’ts

It may take up disk space, but it’s always worth saving a file as a Photoshop document so that all the layers stay intact. This not only gives you the option to go back and change a layer later, but also means you can use layers or effects that you like on future images.

Don’t flatten, merge a copy

You may come to a stage in your workflow when you need to work on a flattened version of your image. One option is to go to Layer > Flatten, but you can copy all your layers into one merged layer by creating a new layer then pressing Ctrl/Cmd+Shift+Alt+E.

Use Layer Groups

If you’re working with a bunch of layers, it’s a good idea to group them together. This will tidy up your Layer Stack and also allow you to select and move whole groups around. Ctrl/ Cmd+Click on several layers to highlight them then press There’s a reason why the Move tool sits at the Ctrl/Cmd+G to pop them top of the Tools Panel. It’s the king of the tools. into a group. OK, that’s maybe a bit of an exaggeration, but it is one of the most useful. Not only can you move layers around, you can also click on them to select different layers in your stack. Just make sure you have Auto Select: Layer ticked in the Options Bar.

Get to know the Move tool

Organise your layers

Use shortcuts

There are three shortcuts that will really help you to speed up your workflow. Ctrl/Cmd+J duplicates a layer – or if you have an active selection, it will copy this onto a new layer. Ctrl/Cmd+E will merge a layer down with the one below, and Ctrl/Cmd+Shift+N will create a new layer.

It may be a chore to rename layers as you work, but it’ll probably save you time and confusion in the long run. Doubleclick on a name to change it. You can also change the colour of the layer: just right-click over it and go to Layer Properties.


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inspirat ion idea s in-dep t h reviews

things you’re

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body politic

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s t o p doin g t h e m !

c a p t ure s ub t le t a s t e f ul nude s

stop the

action!

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nikon 1 J5 review: learn how to shoot from unusual perspeCtives

is this nikon’s best CsC?

the ultimAte Pre-shot CheCklist! g e t s e t u p t o s h oo t any s ubjec t or s cene

extreme expoSure di s cover h ow t o p lan a p h o t o e x p edi t ion

Learn essential camera skills Expert video guides to shooting and editing In-depth video reviews of all the latest cameras Inspirational galleries of the world’s best photos Creative ideas, tips and must-try photo projects

9000

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Digital camera world november 2015