Page 1

Issue 247

Do Home Studios Work For Portrait Photographers? Enhancing The Eyes In Lightroom Jannick Clausen’s Landscape Masterpieces Studio Posing Basics

Nov/Dec 2016


CONTENTS 4

Managing People and Performance

6

Do Home Studios Work?

Whether you have a staff of 20 or a single subcontractor, managing people is an essential skill for a professional photographer running a profitable business. AIPP National President Vittorio Natoli outlines his suggestions for getting the most out of your staff and contractors.

Some portrait photographers work from a retail studio, others from their personal residence. But is it really possible to run a profitable photography business from your home? Mary Trantino has the answers!

Cover

Ang i e Co nnell 2016 AIPP AUSTRALIAN EMERGING PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR

AIPP JOURNAL is the official newsletter of The Australian Institute of Professional Photography (AIPP). Editor Peter Eastway APP.L, FNZIPP, Hon. FNZIPP, G.M. Photog., Hon. FAIPP, FAIPP Disclaimer The information provided in the AIPP JOURNAL and associated publications is made in good faith, but is general in nature. Neither the editor, the publisher or the AIPP accept responsibility for or will be under any liability for any recommendations, representations or information provided herein. The AIPP JOURNAL presents information, opinions and suggestions for subscribers to evaluate in coming to their own decisions in the light of their own individual circumstances. The information should not be relied upon without readers first obtaining independent advice from their own financial and legal advisers. Unless otherwise noted, all articles are written by Peter Eastway. Publication The newsletter is published 10 times a year – monthly with November/ December and January/February being combined. The AIPP JOURNAL newsletter is published by Pt 78 Pty Ltd, ABN 75 003 152 136, PO Box 351, Collaroy Beach, NSW 2097, Australia. Phone: (02) 9971 6857; Fax (02) 9971 6641. E-mail eastway@betterphotography.com

AIPP Membership Contacts Suite G.03, 171 Union Road, Surrey Hills, Victoria 3127 Phone: 03 9888 4111 E-mail: admin@aipp.com.au

2

10

More Signature Worthy From Epson!

12

Epson has extended its partnership with the AIPP to present our annual state photography awards around Australia and its special Signature Worthy Print Award. Details below!

APPA Media Coverage Summary Peter Myers reports that media coverage for the 2016 Australian Professional Photography Awards was up a massive 550% on last year, with outlets from traditional television and newspapers to online sites taking great interest.


ISSUE 247 / NOVEMBER-DECEMBER 2016 16

Jannick Clausen’s Landscape Masterpieces Are this year’s winning landscape photographs straight captures or figments of the photographer’s vivid imagination? Find out as Jannick Clausen relates the inspiration behind his 2016 APPA print entries.

24

APPA’s First 40 Years

34

At the 40th AIPP Australian Professional Photography Awards dinner in Melbourne this year, APPA Event Team Manager Sue Lewis presented a brief history of the Awards. There are many stories that create the legend of APPA, unfortunately too many to include in this short article!

Enhancing Eyes In Lightroom The best way to capture great looking eyes in your portraits is to do it in-camera with correct lighting and reflectors, but if you’re stuck and need to enhance the eyes in post-production, it can be achieved in Lightroom. Here’s one suggestion how.

38

Posing Your Subject Positioning your subject within the frame to create an interesting and engaging portrait is part technique and part art. Do you direct your subject into position, let them pose themselves, or something in between?

44

NiSi Filter Systems Now Available A new filter manufacturer is challenging both the quality of what makes a filter great, as well as the design and functionality of a filter system that ‘just works’. Is NiSi now the best filter system out there?

48

LaCie Storage In the Studio & On The Road Storage is the professional photographer and video producer’s most important duty and with all the technology available, there simply isn’t a good reason for ever losing a file. LaCie has a range of durable and rugged storage solutions for a range of imaging situations.

3


NEWS

Managing People and Performance Whether you have a staff of 20 or a single sub-contractor, managing people is an essential skill for a professional photographer running a profitable business. AIPP National President Vittorio Natoli outlines his suggestions for getting the most out of your staff and contractors. Whether you’re dealing with staff

performance appraisal.

photographers, assistants and office

administrators, or outside providers such

we should start with a clearly defined job

as bookkeepers, photo lab staff and web

description, a list of responsibilities and of

developers, people skills are essential if you

course Key Performance Indicators (KPIs or

want to reach your business goals.

Stats). These can be simply written down in

For each staff member and sub-contractor,

point form on a sheet of paper – one sheet per

NURTURING INVOLVEMENT

employee or subcontractor.

Getting people to understand exactly what is

TAGS Busine s s Peo ple Management

4

required of them and why their involvement is

PERFORMANCE REVIEW

essential to the success of the business isn’t that

The performance review doesn’t just happen at

difficult.

the meeting. It’s really all about observing on

It just requires you to spend the time

a continuous basis what gets done and what

with them, listening to their questions and

doesn’t and why. Once you have seen what is

explaining to them your goals. It should be a

happening, then it’s time to sit down with those

two-way communication.

staff members or sub-contractors to achieve

more.

I have found that even the best people still

need accountability, direction and guidance on

a regular basis.

a performance review, say 45 minutes, and do

it on a regular basis, say once a month. Before

Everyone needs motivation and purpose

Allow a specific amount of time to conduct

because they need to feel valued and they need

you go to the meeting, think about what you’re

to feel that they have achieved something. In

trying to improve, what your goals are, and

this way, performance management is about

acknowledge to yourself that it can take time to

preventing and solving problems. It’s not just a

achieve things.


Give your employee all the information

and training they need and have open lines of

don’t know how, why or what to change, how can you expect any improvement?

communication back to you. Employees and sub-contractors can have great ideas for your

MEASUREMENT SYSTEM

business if you’re willing to listen.

Develop a performance system to measure employee progress that is appropriate for your

BE SPECIFIC

business – even very small businesses.

When directing people, use lots of questions

rather than statements when communicating.

steady growth.

In other words, don’t say, “The workroom is still

messy”, rather ask them if they can see any areas

80 per cent of telephone inquiries into studio

in the workroom that could need tidying up?

interviews. Goals like these are easy to measure,

They will quickly understand what you mean.

but they should also be achievable.

In these meetings, plan precisely with clear

In this way, you can all aim for constant and For instance, your aim may be to convert

There are many ways to get results from

goals and be prepared to change those goals

our employees and sub-contractors. Most of

when needed.

the people we work with want to do well and

It’s important to align an employee’s goals

help our business prosper, it’s just a matter of

with your own by beginning with your vision

developing a comfortable two-way system of

of how the business should work. Describe to

communication.

them the big picture and then relate this to all the specific goals your employee is asked to meet. Producing results also makes people feel good, contributing to their sense of ownership

vittorio.natoli@aipp.com.au

and pride.

0400 418 888

As the business owner, our management

role is to help our employees hit their targets and get their bonuses.

In this way, our communication should be

more about solving challenges than assigning blame.

Employees need regular and specific

feedback about how they can improve. If they

5


EDUCATION

Do Home Studios Work? Some portrait photographers work from a retail studio, others from their personal residence. But is it really possible to run a profitable photography business from your home? Mary Trantino has the answers! Many photographers start their business

4. What should I display and how?

‘out of the boot of their car’, so to speak.

5. Can I run a profitable studio if I don’t have a

They photograph clients on location, burn

leased space and can’t work from home?

the images to disc/stick and move onto the

6. I have no idea how to set it up, do you have

next location. More generally this goes on for

a checklist?

a number of months (if not years) until the

So here’s what I know about retail and

photographer realises that he or she is not

photography spaces.

making any profit using this business model.

So why do we do this for so long? The most

DON’T OVER COMPLICATE IT

common answer is, “I can’t afford my own

When creating a business model, the first place

space right now”.

to start is with your clients. Establishing a client type or genre who you love to photograph is

TAGS Po r trai tu re Busine s s M a r k eti n g

6

PRICING FOR RENT

critical to your business model and the space

The thing is, you will never be able to afford

you will create for them.

your own retail space if you continue to shoot

and burn. In fact, if your products are not

dogs, you need to truly understand dog owners

priced correctly so that you are being paid for

and the love they have for their dogs. You need

both your time and product, then you are in

to understand how they treat them, where their

exactly the same position as a shoot and burn

dogs sleep, the luxuries they purchase for their

photographer.

dogs etc.

Here are my most commonly asked

For example, if you are going to photograph

Once you truly understand a dog lover, you

questions about studio spaces:

can start to create a space that clearly shows

1. Can I run my photo studio from home?

these clients that you can be trusted with their

2. When should I transition to a leased space?

dog and that they will enjoy their experience

3. How big do I need the space to be?

and want to spend money with you.


What would this space look like? Maybe

What about boudoir? Women are coming

sterling silver dog bowls, pet treats displayed on

to you for pampering and a luxury experience

a cake stand, plush floor cushions made for their

that includes a hair and make-up artist, a

dogs to rest on and a whoopsy station ready to

photo shoot and a cinematic viewing of their

clean up any little accidents.

photographs.

When a dog lover walks into a space that

is purpose built to cater for their fur children,

BOUDOIR AT HOME?

the value of your products and service just

Let’s say you have enough space at home to

quadrupled!

photograph them. Walk through your home as your client would. Drive up to your house

THE TOP 4 QUESTIONS

and look around you: can they easily find your

Now, it is up to you to answer the top four

home? Is it signed? Is the house number clear?

commonly asked questions listed earlier. Let’s

continue to use the dog studio as an example.

park in? Is the garden immaculately manicured?

Is there another sign at your front door with

Can you run a dog studio from home? If

Do you have your driveway clear for them to

you photograph on location, but meet your

your business logo? Is the lead up to the front

client beforehand to design the photo shoot

door spotless or are all your family’s shoes, dog

and bring your clients back to view their

leads, hats and school bags piled up around the

photographs in person, can they bring their fur

door? This is all before they even walk inside!

child? After all, to a dog lover, this is their child.

meeting you, even if they had a ‘fantastic’ phone

Is your home equipped with the type

Your client is often very nervous before

of space that allows your client to part

conversation with you beforehand. They are

with copious amounts of money for their

walking in with no make-up, their hair is not

photographic artwork and then hug you and

done and they have their arms full of clothes

thank you for creating an experience they will

and items for the photo shoot. And they are

never forget? Is it big enough to cater for dogs

not really sure this is a ‘legit’ business because

both large and small? Do you have enough

they’ve rocked up to your home address and

wall space to display large feature photos and

they can’t park, they see kids bikes laying

photographic collections to showcase how your

around and clothes on your line (items they just

work should be purchased?

should not have to see!). Then if they see big

If so, then yes you can run a profitable

photography studio from home!

muddy work boots at the door, they are just not sure this is where they should be parting

7


EDUCATION

with their hard earned dollars.

worried that it could be something dodgy.

Mum then went onto say that when she saw

This is all commonsense stuff, right? I wish

it were. I can’t tell you how many studios I have

me welcoming them that she instantly felt

visited who have lost sight of why they are

relaxed and at ease.

photographing, who they are photographing

and ultimately what is the experience they want

But don’t treat it as your home when your

their clients to walk away with. Running your

clients are there. Be ready, clean up every

business out of your home should not be just

surface as you would if you had a leased space.

because it is convenient for you.

So yes, you can run your studio from home!

I have helped many studios transform their

home spaces into a photography business. I

HOMES CAN WORK

have also seen them go from a home space to

Recently I visited a client who has successfully

a leased premises where they can command an

transformed spaces in their family home into

even higher product price tag.

a photography business. It is immaculate, it’s

welcoming, it’s signed and branded, it has

the jump to a leased space at the beginning of

everything their clients would expect to find.

your business, that’s okay. Start with what you

Still, it is a home address.

have, go back to your clientele type and arrange

One girl arrived with her mother, whom we

your space to suit them. Take baby steps with

If you are not fortunate enough to make

were not expecting. Because we knew what

the vision and direction of moving to a purpose

time their appointment was, I watched out for

built space when your cash flow allows and you

their arrival and went outside into the driveway

are clear on your business, marketing, sales and

as they parked. I greeted them at their car

customer service model.

on the street, introduced myself and helped

8

them carry in anything they needed. I was well

Mary Trantino is the founder of the Photography

dressed, make-up on and wearing a branded

Business Academy. The Academy specialises in im-

name badge. I immediately offered them a

plementing marketing, sales and customer service

freshly ground latte to have with the beautifully

systems designed to help portrait photographers

presented chocolates on the coffee table.

gain qualified leads, high-paying clients and repeat

customers. For free one-on-one consultation call

During the consultation, the client’s mother

confessed that she came along because her

Mary NOW. Contact Mary on (03) 9448 2303 or via

daughter had found the studio on Facebook,

Facebook www.facebook.com/photographybusi-

realised it was a home address and were

nessacademy


SAVE THE DATE

25 -27 AUGUST 2017 TH

TH

APPA awards dinner | August 28th Entries open | July 10th Entries close | August 10th

MELBOURNE PARK FUNCTION CENTRE

9

C H A R M A I N E H E Y E R A P P. L G M . P H O T O G . I P. B .


NEWS

More Signature Worthy From Epson! Epson has extended its partnership with the AIPP to present our annual state photography awards around Australia and its special Signature Worthy Print Award. Details below!

Craig Heckenberg, General Manager, Business Division, at Epson Australia

Epson has furthered its commitment to

Award is now an integral part of the AIPP

promoting excellence in Australian professional

Epson State Awards and one of the most hotly

photography by extending and expanding

contested. We look forward to our partnership

its partnership with the Australian Institute of

with Epson and its impact on the profession of

Professional Photography (AIPP). As part of its

photography in Australia going from strength to

new partnership, Epson will present the AIPP

strength.”

annual State Awards and its Signature Worthy

Print Award, which honours the quality of the

papers is designed in collaboration with the

printed image.

world’s leading creative professionals. Each

Signature Worthy paper is developed and tested

Craig Heckenberg, General Manager,

Epson’s collection of Signature Worthy

Business Division, at Epson Australia said,

at the highest levels to work in concert with

“Epson’s business is all about the image,

Epson’s industry-leading professional printers

whether it’s how it’s captured, printed or

and inks.

presented so the more we continue to Peter Myers, Executive Officer of the AIPP

TAGS Pa r tn e r s State Awa rd s

10

encourage excellence in this field through

Epson is a global technology leader dedicated to

ventures like our partnership with the AIPP as

connecting people, things and information with its

the only membership organisation of choice

original efficient, compact and precision technolo-

for professional and aspiring image makers,

gies. With a lineup that ranges from inkjet printers

the better it is for the world of Australian

and digital printing systems to 3LCD projectors,

photography and the amazing talent within it.”

smart glasses, sensing systems and industrial ro-

bots, the company is focused on driving innova-

Peter Myers, Executive Officer of the

AIPP added, “Epson’s support of professional

tions and exceeding customer expectations in ink-

photography over the years has been invaluable

jet, visual communications, wearables and robotics.

and truly helps our industry and our craft

http://global.epson.com/

progress and improve. The Signature Worthy

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•

Chri sto pher I an M.Photo g. I

11


APPA Media Coverage Summary Peter Myers reports that media coverage for the 2016 Australian Professional Photography Awards was up a massive 550% on last year, with outlets from traditional television and newspapers to online sites taking great interest.

Media Coverage Summary

12


We tried something new this year. We hired a part-time in-house PR Manager to handle publicity for APPA. As a result, there were 79 pieces of coverage published to-date – a whopping 550% increase on last year when publicity was held by Canon. We were featured in just about all major national media outlets including: The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Daily Telegraph, The Herald Sun, The Daily Mail Australia, Australian Geographic, Brisbane Times, Canbera Times, News Corp Australia’s Kidspot, to name a few, as well as prime time TV interviews (including 6pm news), trade publications and dozens of regional and local newspapers. This robust amount of publicity has placed a number of APPA category winners at the very forefront of the industry with prominent national media chasing them for interviews (including prime time TV shows) post APPA. I believe this illustrates that our new in-house PR function has contributed to building and strengthening our members’ profiles within, not just the industry and the wider community, but also amongst news producers, editors and reporters. This has also placed the AIPP on the “media map” with national mainstream publications starting to approach us for comment on various industry developments/ issues on an on-going basis. Many of our category winners have also reported their website traffic increased by between 20 and 40 percent in the days and weeks following the APPAs, with business inquiries and bookings also increasing “significantly”. Some category winners reported receiving such high numbers of inquiries in the weeks post APPA, they were quickly booked out well into 2017 and couldn’t take more bookings. One was head hunted and invited to exhibit her work at a prestigious national gallery. As you know, exhibition organisers rarely chase photographers themselves. A number of APPA winners have been invited as speakers at prominent photography seminars around the world. One category winner was approached by one of the largest publishing companies in the world to discuss a possible book deal. And of course Selena Rollason and Natalie Howe were chased by channel Nine’s producers for TODAY EXTRA show, on the topics of birth and newborn photography, respectively, illustrating they are now regarded as ‘thought leaders’ in their genre of photography. Below is the snapshot of the 2016 APPA coverage for your review.

Peter Myers

13


Summary

COVERAGE

TO DATE • 79 media clips achieved in total (plus 9 pending) ***26 of which national/tier 1

• TV: 4 (all prime time) • Radio: 1 (national/tier 1) • Podcasts: 2 • Print: 11 (plus 4 pending) • Online: 52 (plus 5 pending) ***20 of which national/tier 1

• This media activity to date has a potential global audience reach of more than 700 million • Total estimated cost of media coverage achieved: in excess of $300k

15


Jannick Clausen’s Landscape Masterpieces Are this year’s winning landscape photographs straight captures or figments of the photographer’s vivid imagination? Find out as Jannick Clausen relates the inspiration behind his 2016 APPA print entries.

16

A beautiful and emotive portfolio of

Jannick Clausen APP M. Photog. the 2016 AIPP

predominantly black and white images earned

Australian Professional Landscape Photographer


of the Year award. Perhaps the judges could

passport ready, so I travelled on my own.

sense the depth of feeling in the quietly

Unfortunately, my father passed away, but in the

atmospheric depictions of Jannick’s Danish

days following I went travelling with my mum

masterpieces.

around the countryside.

“I had to take a bit of an emergency trip

home to see mum and dad in Denmark.

ISLANDS BIG AND SMALL

Dad wasn’t well and my wife didn’t have her

“My dad was a keen photographer and we used

17


FEATURES

to go out on day trips as a family, so mum and I

“There are many times when I’ve heard

revisited some of these places. The locations are

judges say an image was a composite and got it

all on Fyn Island where mum still lives – but it’s a

completely wrong.”

big island.”

TAGS Awa rd s L a n dsc a pe Po r tfo l i o Clau sen

18

Considerably bigger than the islet that

IN THE MIST

features in one of his winning images - and

Jannick seems to like birds because another

perhaps more tangible (see photo on opening

can be discovered with close inspection of his

pages).

tightly cropped image of a stand of trees in

mist.

Explaining where the unusual island with the

trees and stone fence came from, Jannick said it

was from his imagination.

taken while driving around, looking for places

“There are three different captures. The

to shoot. I found a small plantation forest and,

island and the background are from one shot.

except for the bird, the photograph is basically

However, the trees and the stone circle were

straight out of camera. I felt the photograph just

from a different location and then I added in the

needed that little extra element, otherwise it

birds as well.

was just another bunch of tree trunks.”

“When driving around with mum, I found

“This was an early morning photograph

Jannick prints his own photographs using an

the stone circle with the trees and thought it

Epson Stylus Pro 3880, although he has his eyes

was really cool, but it was missing something. It

on Epson’s new SureColor SC-P800.

wasn’t special on its own.

“Then a couple of days later I drove past the

doing one of Les Walkling’s fine art printing

location with the small island and thought this

workshops, even though I have been in the

is it, so I turned around with the idea of placing

printing industry myself for much of my life.”

the trees on the island.”

photographer, Jannick supplements his income

So, why were the birds added in? “I don’t’

“The biggest learning curve for me was

In addition to being a wedding

know, I just like them! They add a bit of freedom

as a printer technician, working on larger

and motion to the image.

reproduction machines.

“Personally, I would like to see the return of

“I guess over the years I have developed

composite and non-composite sections in the

an eye for printing. My process is to print out

landscape category for the Awards, so when

a couple of versions, hang them up and view

you do capture something in camera, the

them for a few days. I had already decided to

judges can appreciate it for what it is.

include the bird in the composition with the


Two landscapes from Jannick Clausen’s portfolio from Denmark that were not entered into APPA in 2016.

19


FEATURES

trees, but I did note that the mist was a little

However, he is also more than a little excited

thicker towards the top and unbalanced. The

about an upcoming trip to Tasmania. After

solution was to change the exposure up the

shooting a wedding, he will spend a week

top, producing a more even tonality across the

travelling around with a Phase One medium

whole image.

format camera.

“I crop by eye in Photoshop, taking out any

“I have never had a camera that includes a

elements that don’t add to the picture. I don’t

seismograph – that’s just fantastic.

have any hard or fast rules – I just keep working

at it until I find a composition that I like.”

Awards dinner and said he had a Danish

“Bruce Pottinger came up to me at the

product I should try, but I am worried that after

INSPIRATION

Tasmania I won’t want to hand it back!”

Jannick says he doesn’t really follow a lot of

other photographers, preferring to keep his

ago and became a Master of Photography in

own counsel.

2014. He says he enters the Awards to better

himself as a photographer and to see how he

“I have a bunch of friends on Facebook

and of course I see their work from time to

compares with everyone else.

time, but my personal inspiration comes from

nature, its patterns and simplicity. I like finding

the scenes as a print handler. That was also

compositions that draw your eye into the image

a huge learning curve, just being there and

– like the tree in the field with the tracks leading

being so close to all those beautiful prints.

up to it.”

The handlers used to have a game trying to

second-guess what the judges would score –

In the original capture, the tractor tracks

“I started in the Awards by working behind

were a little off centre, so Jannick moved

sometimes we were close, but often we were

them so they lead directly to the tree. He then

way out!

brought up the contrast in the tree, while

maintaining the softness in the rest of the

as good. It’s one thing to look at a computer

image.

monitor, but something completely different

when you see the actual print in good lighting.

“I’m happy to emphasise elements in

“Watching the judging online is not nearly

the composition, but I don’t want it to look

unnatural.”

texture of the papers – it’s a real print! In fact,

there are images you see on screen which you

Jannick shoots with Canon’s EOS 5D Mark

III and is looking to upgrade to the Mark IV.

20

Jannick joined the AIPP around eight years

“You see all the details in the image and the

simply don’t get, but when you see the real


Two more landscapes from Jannick Clausen’s portfolio from Denmark that were not entered into APPA in 2016.

21


FEATURES

print you suddenly understand what the judges

are talking about.”

take home.”

“I must remember to give my mum a print to While in recent years Jannick has

REFLECTIONS

experienced some success with several Gold

The trip to Denmark was about reflections

Awards (including three this year), he has had

in more ways than one for Jannick. The

his share of entries that score in the 70s as well.

photograph taken in the grounds of a Danish

castle includes a tiny figure in the distance:

they enter, but they come back with what they

Jannick’s mum.

get! It’s awesome to get a Gold, but you learn a

lot from the lower scores too.

“There was no wind that day and the water

“Everyone packs away four gold prints when

was like glass. The castle is behind me, so what

you can see are the stables and a little summer

a little with a series of infrared shots out of a

house, with the ocean behind and out of sight.

moving car. I thought they would do quite well,

but perhaps not in the landscape category!

“The walls were painted white and the only

challenge was to match the roofs as one side

“Last year I tried to push the boundaries

Hindsight is a wonderful thing.”

was considerably older than the other. I also

22

corrected the perspective so everything was

For more information, visit Jannick’s website at

nice and straight.

www.clausen.com.au


The three images on this spread were part of the winning set of four images that earned Jannick the title 2016 AIPP Australian Professional Landscape Photographer of the Year.

23


AWARDS

Peter Foeden. Photo by David Oliver

Early judging rooms had a table and dividers for the judges.

APPA’s First 40 Years At the 40th AIPP Australian Professional Photography Awards dinner in Melbourne this year, APPA Event Team Manager Sue Lewis presented a brief history of the Awards. There are many stories that create the legend of APPA, unfortunately too many to include in this short article! In the late 1960s, a number of IAP members

club.

returned from overseas where they had

attended professional photography awards and,

interesting idea and Peter pressed his case,

following their recommendations, the Federal

citing the successful American PPA annual

Council (the AIPP Board of the time) appointed

awards.

However, others thought it was an

a committee to investigate an awards system for Australia. The committee comprised Peter Foeden, John Cato, Max Townsend and Max

24

Williams.

Years of debate followed during which these

members fought vigorously to keep the issue

In 1970, Peter Foeden proposed that a ‘merit

awards system’ be established. It was initially

on the agenda. They met regularly to come up

received with a certain amount of disinterest,

with a workable program, which was finally

with some members commenting quite

approved and called ‘The Merit Awards’, with the

strongly that the IAP was not a glorified camera

aim of encouraging consistently high quality


AWARDS

Richard Bennett’s print case still going strong after 36 APPAs.

The print turntable was an early invention for the judging system.

photography.

a decorative display and creating a talking

point, the exhibition gave visitors a yardstick

The first Awards Chairman was Peter Foeden

and in July 1977, the first Merit Awards print

with which to compare their own photography

judging was held in Melbourne. There were 30

standards.

Merit winners from 268 entries (or just over 10

per cent).

have today when the winning prints are hung

This exhibition, which we essentially still

after judging, has become a focal point of the

FAIRNESS & CONSISTENCY

Awards system.

It was important to ensure consistency of

judging and this was the role of the Chairman of

for the second Merit Awards, that of packing

Jurors, shared in the beginning by Peter Foeden

and re-packing the entries.

and Val Foreman.

of wrapping materials took far too many hours

Peter remembers that if a judge scored too

There was one very significant rule change

Opening, indexing, and storing all manner

high or too low, he could be sacked and after

of volunteer’s time, to say nothing of the

scoring an entry with 27, Atilla Kirally was not

time spent returning prints to their original

invited back!

packaging.

Ensuring fairness is a huge task and one that

Sometimes a couple of months passed

Michael Wood took on. For more than a decade,

before entrants received their prints.

he was instrumental in keeping the judging on

track from the back room.

standard print mailing cases from China at an

extortionate price of $10.14, including sales

At our early annual conventions, it was

To avoid this irksome task, the IAP imported

the custom to have a small exhibition of

tax. One more challenge was solved, with the

professional photographs. In addition to making

promise that a print case would last you a

TAGS APPA Award s

25


AWARDS

One of the photos that earned Robert Imhoff the first Master of Photography in the AIPP.

Ian Hawthorn, the second Chairman of APPA.

lifetime. Richard Bennett says his print case has

judge. Judging must never become a contest

now been used at 36 APPAs.

between one judge and another.

The winners from the first Merit Awards

In the early ‘80s, Lindsay Brown volunteered

were printed in the Professional Photography

his time to computerise the judging system.

in Australia magazine and so the committee

Previously the Awards had used pad and paper

correctly expected a larger response the

along with a rather antiquated keypad that still

following year.

required someone to write everything down.

Rob Imhoff also became the Institute’s first

Keypads were re-designed to plug into a

Master of Photography through the Awards

computer, along with a sophisticated database

system.

program.

26

David Puddefoot, Co-Chairman of APPA.

Many nights were spent programming and

FOCUS ON THE POSITIVE

improving the system and one of the most

After the third Merits in 1979, sadly there was

useful productivity improvements was the

some talk that, ‘the judging was rigged’ and the

introduction of a barcode for each print.

judges were, ‘just ego tripping’.

Hawthorn in 1984 with David Puddefoot as co-

As with all organisations, there are jealousies

Peter Foeden passed the chair over to Ian

and criticisms, but the Institute decided not to

Chair.

waste time on the negatives and do everything

humanly possible to make The Merits fair and

started to put a window mount around their

effective. Does this remind you of Facebook?

print to protect it from scratching. Some

entrants then noticed that smaller prints were

Attention was turned to judge training,

It was during the mid ‘80s that entrants

encouraging judges to be objective and willing

getting better scores, perhaps because they

to listen to a good argument from another

were different and just maybe because the


AWARDS

1985 Professional Photography Handbook.

Doug Spowart, the third APPA Chairman.

Ruby Spowart, one of the APPA team’s great workers.

judges didn’t get out of their chairs to inspect

Australian Institute of Professional Photography

them closely enough! A new rule was required

and The Merits became the National Print

for minimum print sizes.

Awards.

Keen to set up a permanent record of the

Then in 1987, the AIPP joined forces with

winning award entries for each year, in 1984 Will

Photo Imaging Council of Australia and the

Street persuaded the team at Iris Publishing to

photo industry to combine the print judging

produce a special Professional Photographer’s

with an annual trade show. This proved to be

Handbook. Although this was a soft cover for

of enormous benefit to both parties and after

some years, it was the forerunner of the high

a few stops and starts, has become a regular

quality hard cover awards book published ever

partnership.

since.

year sponsorship with Hanimex/Fuji, 1990 saw

The consolidation of the Merit Awards into

With Kevin O’Daly’s persistence and a three-

a key event on the Institute’s calendar can be

the National Print Awards printed in a hard

largely attributed to Melbourne photographer,

cover collector’s book.

David Puddefoot.

1991 and under the direction of the National

David was the enduring strength of the

Doug Spowart became APPA Chair in

Awards from 1979 to 2004 and an extremely

President Malcolm Mathieson, was asked

efficient organiser who handled the ever-

to expand the event for all professional

growing task of coordinating the judging

photographers, whether an AIPP member

process with his dedicated team.

or not and so the Australian Professional Photography Awards was born.

APPA IS BORN

In 1986, the Institute changed its name to The

Year awards had also been running, requiring

A separate Professional Photographer of the

27


AWARDS

After Fujifilm, Agfa sponsored the Awards book for many years.

Canon became a major sponsor in Richard Bennett, fourth APPA 2000. Chairman.

two judging events, so in 1995 the Professional

innovation and Australian photographers led,

Photographer of the Year was incorporated

and still do, the world in new directions of the

into the Awards system itself, with much of the

art and the craft of image making.

machinery driven by David Puddefoot, Ruby

Spowart and a dedicated committee.

of digital imaging capture and enhancement.

The APPA committee responded initially to the

With increased entry numbers the Awards

This era also saw the gradual introduction

became a huge logistic undertaking. An

industry’s acceptance of the new technology

APPA Handbook was developed to control

and the new image potential derived from it.

operations, the functions and responsibilities of

roles of the APPA Committee as well as judges

his partner Victoria Cooper, judge training and

and the newly instituted student teams.

mentoring programs took place around the

APPA was changing. Members previously

country and during the APPA event, enabling

had entered the work that represented their

a broader member base access to the honour

client’s brief. Now they were increasingly

and privilege to be an APPA judge. A significant

entering personal work – except in categories

aspect of this initiative was to resolve the

that required client commissions like wedding

historical gender imbalance on judging panels

and commercial. This change meant that the

by creating the opportunity for more women

work coming into the APPA/PPY space was

judges to serve.

innovative, creative and inspiring.

Under Spowart’s guidance, supported by

The legacy of these changes is that they

made an important contribution to the

28

NEW ERA

development of the Awards event as we know

Ultimately the nature of photography changed

it today.

in this country due to this experimentation and

Agfa started sponsoring the printing of


AWARDS

Lyn Whitfield-King, the first Grand Master of Photography.

The old wire baskets for handling the thousands of prints..

The new computer system was introduced in 2007.

the Awards book in 1993 and in 1994, the

Photography Awards and during that time,

requirement for print titles was removed from

Craig Bassett gradually assumed the role of

our entries.

event team manager from David Puddefoot.

No longer did the panel chair have to read

out useless titles like, “Girl in front of red door”, or

GRAND MASTERS

worse, “Heavenly beauties”.

There had been talk of a ‘Grand Master’ from

the time of Ian Hawthorne, but it was Richard

In 1995, Robyn Hills took on the role of the

APPA publicity officer and wrote a media guide

Bennett who introduced it in 2005 and the first

for winners.

Grand Master of Photography was awarded to

Lyn Whitfield-King.

She even managed to convince Bert Newton

to interview the 1996 Photographer of the Year

Peter Eastway on national morning television.

in 1986 and received her Grand Master of

Photography some 19 years later.

In 1999, AIPP National President Richard

Lyn received her first silver merit point

Bennett became our next APPA Chairman and

with the National Board, spearheaded the idea

Peter Eastway stepped into the role in 2006,

of obtaining a long term sponsor to secure the

the year he also became a Grand Master of

growth and development of the event.

Photography.

Under the watchful eye of Eric Victor, Canon

With Richard’s retirement as APPA Chairman,

Some of the most important changes from

came on as part sponsor of the Awards book in

APPA’s perspective seem relatively small, like

2000 and later signed a contract as the Naming

changing from wire baskets to specially made

sponsor of the Awards in 2003.

containers so the event team could transport

the entries from the ‘breakout’ location to the

Thus the Awards for many years have been

known as the Canon Australian Professional

judging venue.

29


AWARDS

The APPA Committee under Richard Bennett and David Puddefoot.

The 2005 APPA Team.

Trade affiliates like L&P and Kodak in

awards had been introduced as encouragement

Sydney, NMIT college (as it was then) and PSC

for scores of 75 to 79.

in Melbourne allowed our small APPA army to

invade their space to prepare the entries for

Awards increased exponentially, they were

judging, a process that used to take five days

phased out and the half point returned to

but with new efficiencies was reduced to just

scores of just 78 and 79.

However, when the number of Bronze

three.

30

APPA was in a constant state of change and

NEW COMPUTER SYSTEM

refinement.

But the biggest challenge for 2007 was the

introduction of new judging software. Entrants

We set up three judging rooms in 2006,

with the concern that it may dilute the judging

could now enter on line, judges had new

pool. We had five rooms this year! However,

consoles and gone was the old DOS system

gone were the binoculars for viewing prints

(for those who are too young to know, it was

and the tables for the judges to sit behind.

a Microsoft disk operating system). In fact, we

Now they had chairs with side tables so it was

had no choice but to move to a new system as

much quicker for them to get up to view the

we could no longer hire the computers needed

print. It might seem like a small change, but it

to run the old system, not to mention the

saved literally hours of judging time over the

challenges of making contact with the previous

weekend.

software developer (his new wife didn’t want

him to spend any time with us).

Half points for scores of 78 and 79 were

available for photographers aspiring to become

The change was not without its issues, but

an Associate, but because it was so difficult for a

once it was working, gone were the hours

number of years to earn a Silver Award, Bronze

trying to work out Excel formulas to run reports.


AWARDS

Essential judge training from Jacqui Dean.

Peter Eastway, 5th APPA Chairman

David Paterson, 6th APPA Chairman.

(One of my first memories of APPA is in Perth

checking that the results were being correctly

in 2002, sitting at a table making certificates

recorded, Peter notified Nathan that the scores

until 1.00 a.m. while David Puddefoot sat at the

were not being calculated correctly! The

computer, working on those formulas, and then

programmers had been warned about all our

a few years later watching the reams of paper

special rules, like majority scores and reviews,

growing on the floor as Craig Basset printed

but had forgotten the one basic calculation:

reports, but forgetting to clear the report from

add up all the scores and divide by five! Thank

the previous run and so we had double ups of

heavens we had an accountant as our Chair!

everything!

in love with the APPA system and worked with

Those problems all seem like a distant

However, Nathan and Trent from IC12 were

memory now.)

the APPA Committee to resolve our issues. The

new automation helped us to easily handle a

Some things I will never forget, like the time

we first turned on the new judging system at

massive increase in entries the following year to

8.34 am on Friday the 4th of May. Although the

over 2500.

boys from IC12 had tested the new wireless judging, when the trade turned up to their

MORE CHANGES & REFINEMENTS

exhibition stands next door and turned on their

In 2009 we had the largest floor plan for APPA

own internet connections, our system came

and credit must be given to PMA for the

crashing down.

assistance they always provided. The Gold Wall

display brought an air of prestige to the APPA

system all night to make sure it was ready for

We quickly went to our wired backup plan,

but then we had a second small problem.

arena and the judging was made even more

Sitting around the database in the back room,

accessible to the public. Craig Bassett resigned

31


AWARDS

The APPA Gold Awards wall is now a fixture.

APPA was transformed into a huge event with the assistance of PMA and the trade.

as Event Team Manager and somehow I’ve been

years!

in that role ever since.

failed to deliver the copy images for the book

Reluctantly in 2010, along with all the other

sub-committees and councils, we had to hand

on time when, at 2.30 a.m., the hotel guard

over to National Office the accounts that Jacqui

turned off the power in the handicapped toilet

Dean, our treasurer had worked on meticulously

where he and Mercury were - well, who knows

over the years to keep APPA in the black.

what they were doing!

The APPA committee sadly lost another of its

Yes, in the old days we used to copy every

dedicated members with the passing of Robyn

gold and silver award with a copy camera

Stewart and the beautiful Jessica Dean, our

system for reproduction in the book.

coordinator for many years, also left the National

Office.

was the Awards book coordinator as well.

David also served as Chairman of Jurors and

Judges training continued to be a challenge

and the training package was revamped.

LIVE STREAMING

This was also the year that commercial and

After a suggestion from Jacqui Dean that

all judges should be aware of the history of

editorial entries went digital and judges viewed

photography, the DVD, Genius of Photography

the entries on EIZO monitors.

was purchased and sent to all judges at the

time.

had verticals, horizontals, changing screens. -

don’t start me!

In 2011, David Paterson moved into the

Well, that was interesting as well because we

Chair along with a record 3057 entries.

which is now ardently viewed by thousands of

It was about time after dodging his

responsibilities on the Event Team for over 20

32

On one occasion (around 15 years ago), he

More successful was our 2011 live streaming

photographers around the world.


AWARDS

Yes, it’s true! Judges used to use binoculars to view prints, rather than getting out of their chairs!

We had over 50,000 page views for the 2016

The 2016 APPA Event Team lead by Sue Lewis.

Ancora. And the National Office is intimately

event, which is fantastic when you think back to

involved with the running of the events.

the early years when the only people who had

any understanding of APPA were those who

as you’d expect, still a work in progress.

attended. Live streaming has transformed the

Awards not only for the entrants, but for how

introduced with the appointment of Josh

the AIPP can present professional photography

Marshall as our programmer and the Epson AIPP

to the world.

State Professional Photography Awards are now

under the overall Awards banner to achieve

In 2013, the APPA Committee was

The most recent chapter of APPA’s history is, A new computer system has been

restructured to form a new AIPP Awards Team.

consistency from the state events to APPA.

Some of the former committee members took

their leave, while the remaining members

in effect, could be staged and managed from

helped form the new team.

anywhere in the world.

We introduced our new chairmen of Jurors,

We now have a fully online system that,

And we still have the support of major

Melinda Comerford and Mark Zed for domestic

industry sponsorship, in 2016 represented by

and commercial sectors.

Leica and Digi-Direct.

We involved the greater AIPP membership

I know I haven’t mentioned everything or

in the awards process by opening Category

everybody, but to the hundreds of people who

Advisory Groups.

have been involved with the Awards over the

years, you are to be thanked and admired.

We are now structured to handle larger

entry numbers with our seeding requirements.

As Peter Foeden wrote in the 1980s, APPA is

Felicity Biasi took on the new role of Awards

truly an event where many will benefit because

Chair, followed by our 2016 chairman Rocco

of the efforts of a few.

33


EDUCATION

Enhancing Eyes In Lightroom The best way to capture great looking eyes in your portraits is to do it in-camera with correct lighting and reflectors, but if you’re stuck and need to enhance the eyes in post-production, it can be achieved in Lightroom. Here’s one suggestion how.

TAGS L igh tro o m Tech n i q u e

Lightroom can do a lot of

the edges of the irises and the pupil,

different things and is an amazing

and you enhance or add catchlights.

creative tool, but for professional

There are four separate steps and

photographers, the question

if your client is purchasing a big

is about working quickly and

print, then it is worth getting the

efficiently so you spend less time

eyes looking as good as you can - in

and earn more income.

other words, you can justify a little

time spent on post-production.

Successful portrait

photographers will tell you that

On the other hand, say you

you can capture a perfect portrait

have just photographed 100

in camera if you know how to set up the lights,

accountants for their LinkedIn pages and the

reflectors and, most importantly, your subject(s)!

practice website – there’s no way you want to

individually lighten their eyes this way! It would

This is the best way to operate as a

professional photographer, especially if you

be too time-consuming and there are other

have tens or hundreds of photographs to

products around that will let you enhance

process.

portraits much more quickly and efficiently.

The technique in this article explains how to

enhance eyes using a series of steps adapted

photographed them correctly in the first place

from Photoshop. The Adjustment Brush in

and didn’t need to use post-production at all!

Lightroom effectively works as a layer, allowing

you to make small, selective adjustments

and the eyes are just one component.

without affecting the rest of the image.

following pages and adapt it to the way you

With this technique, you whiten the whites

of the eyes, you lighten the irises, you darken

34

Of course, it would be even better if you had

There are many ways to enhance portraits Have a look at the technique on the

work.


35


EDUCATION

STEP 01

STEP 02

STEP 03

STEP 04

The best looking eyes happen when you get the lighting right in the first place. Some photographers would consider this portrait to already have reasonable lighting for the eyes, but let’s take it a step further to see what is possible.

Let’s begin by lightening the whites of the eyes. Select the Adjustment Brush and set the Effect to Whites +20. (You will need to experiment with this number.) Now use a very small brush to lighten up the whites of the eyes. The brush is set to 100% Feather, 100% Flow and 100% Density, but you may wish to use different settings. Paint to lighten the whites.

36

In Lightroom, enlarge the image on screen so you are working at 100% magnification. If the subject is smaller in frame, you may need to enlarge to 2:1 (200%) or even larger. You will be using small brushes on small areas, so make it easy for yourself and enlarge the image on screen.

When you compare the results, the whites of the eyes shouldn’t be so white they hurt! The improvement should be subtle. Adjust the setting until you’re happy.


Next, let’s lighten the iris in each eye. Sometimes this isn’t necessary or won’t work with brown eyes, so don’t push it if it doesn’t help. Add another Adjustment Brush with the exposure set to +0.50 and the contrast to +15. Again, experiment with these settings depending on your subject. More accurate results are achieved with a high quality monitor like those from Eizo.

STEP 05

STEP 06

STEP 07

STEP 08

The final step is to add or enhance the catchlights. Add a fourth Adjustment Brush and set the Whites to +50 or higher. If there aren’t any catchlights to begin with, you may need to set the Highlights to a positive setting as well. Now paint over the existing highlights or add in your own if there aren’t any already there.

The third step is to darken the edges of the iris and the pupil. They are already dark, so make them a little darker still. Use a third Adjustment Brush with the Black set to -30 or -50. Once again, don’t overdo it, but remember that your clients won’t be looking at the photograph at 100% or 200% like you are on the screen.

The final result should have a sparkle to it, but not so much it looks completely fake! If it looks too strong or not strong enough, revisit your adjustment brushes and adjust the settings to taste. However, note how long this has taken - as professionals, this may not be good use of our time. Better to get it right in camera in the first place!

37


EDUCATION

Posing Your Subject Positioning your subject within the frame to create an interesting and engaging portrait is part technique and part art. Do you direct your subject into position, let them pose themselves, or something in between?

TAGS Tech n i q u e L igh ting Po sin g

Not everyone likes to have their photograph

this series with Peter Eastway) has been taking

taken, so while smartphones mean that

portraits for over 40 years.

everyone is used to having a camera pointed

in their direction, sitting under studio lights

something that comes from shooting

(whether indoors or out) creates a certain

thousands of portrait sittings.

formality to proceedings.

put at ease. He is friendly, always smiling and it

It’s no longer just ‘a photograph’, but

When you meet David, you are immediately

a ‘portrait sitting’ and there are great

is easy to feel comfortable when you’re in his

expectations!

studio.

(Of course, for those who know David, he

BE AN OBSERVER

prefers to shoot in the home or outdoors, in fact

Professional portrait photographers with years

anywhere but in a studio these days, but that’s

of experience pose their subjects so easily, you

another story).

often wonder if it’s the photographer or the

subject who is doing all the work! The answer is

that you’re relaxed and friendly, too.

a bit of both.

you will be a bit nervous, in which case, tell your

AIPP Grand Master of Photography David

Oliver (who captured many of the portraits in

38

His approach is relaxed and easy going,

If you’re doing a portrait shoot, it’s important If it’s your first portrait shoot, chances are

subjects what’s happening and you’ll all relax a


POSING SAMPLE

POSING SAMPLE

TO CAMERA

AWAY FROM LIGHT

Front On

Angled

Turn ing t he b into ody the s hado can h w e l p hide cloth the ing o r a la phys rger ique . The no ri ght o re's r wro what ng work s for or yo you ur su bject ?

g n i o g g n i h t y l n is e The o s o p c i t a t s s i h h for t c i h w g n i t h g i l the e e r h t e m o s s d ad . y t i l a n io s n e m i d

While the lighting on the subject might be acceptable,

The easiest change for a standing portrait is to ask your

the pose is very static. This is how people stand for

subject to stand three-quarter or side on. This creates a

their passport photograph to be taken and is really

more dynamic composition. It can also hide someone's

a pure record photograph. Artists have sometimes

thicker physique. Think about which way you ask them

used this banal pose very effectively, but for successful

to turn - towards or away from the light. Here the body

family and commercial photography, it rarely works.

is in shadow. Is this what you want?

39


EDUCATION POSING SAMPLE

Angled

TOWARDS LIGHT

To reveal more interest in your subj ect or his or h er clothin g, it may be sensible for him or her to tur n towards t he key lig ht to be bett er lit.

40

POSING SAMPLE

Use The Hands TO ADD INTEREST

To strengthen t a h w , e s o p the t c e j b u s r u o y can r e h r o s i h h t i do w e h t e k a m o t s hand e k i l s s e l k o o l o phot a passport?

When turning your subject one way or the next,

To create more excitement and interest in the portrait,

experiment with how far they turn. Watch for creases

ask your subject to do something with his or her

on the neck if they turn too far to the side. It is usual

hands. Crossing arms is a good place to start, while

to ask your subject to turn towards the key light so he

putting a hand in a pocket or on a hip (the latter

or she is better lit, but even so, a straight portrait with

doesn't always work so well for men, of course) can

the hands to the side remains static.

greatly improve the overall feel of the portrait.


POSING SAMPLE

Angle Shoulders TO CREATE MORE INTEREST

POSING SAMPLE

Use The Angles WITH BODY PARTS

Ask your subject to put their weig ht on one leg o r the other, thu s tilting the shoul der line. This impr oves the composit ion with a diagona l.

The perfect pose is a search for one that matches your subject's expression and personality.

So far, our poses have been relatively static because

Watch the angle of the head and counter-balance

the main compositional lines - the body and the

it with the angle of the shoulders and the position

shoulders are vertical and horizontal. By tilting the

of the hand(s). You can also think of posing in terms

shoulder line, you can introduce a diagonal line which

of personality and encourage your subject to pose

is much more dynamic and interesting. Ask your

himself or herself naturally - but now you also

subect to put more weight on one leg.

know what to look for in terms of lines, shapes and composition.

41


EDUCATION

lot more.

pose and so we don’t have to work so hard in

precisely posing our subjects.

If you’ve been shooting quite a few portraits

and you’re struggling to get the best poses,

check your proficiency with your equipment.

boring and with experience, you learn what

Knowing your camera and lights back to front

these are.

means you don’t need to worry about them

during the shoot.

or sit for the camera, he will let them do their

own thing and, once they are comfortable, he

And if you’re not worrying about your

There are some stances that are just plain

So when David invites his subjects to stand

equipment, chances are you’ll automatically be

will move in and suggest some (usually) minor

a lot more relaxed!

changes.

The advantage David has is years of

There are lots of things to consider. First,

experience observing the human body. He

what is the angle of the body relative to the

knows what poses work and what ones don’t. It

camera - front on, side on, back on?

has become second nature for him, but when

you try to pin him down as to exactly how he

- front on, side on, tilted?

positions someone, he says he lets his subjects

pose themselves.

Are they square or angled? Which shoulder is

Next, what is the angle of the subject’s head Now, what about the angle of the shoulders?

higher?

NATURAL POSES

And to a certain extent, he is right. David will set

Are they in view or out of view? We’ll look at

up his lights and invite his subject to stand or sit

hands in more detail in a future issue.

in approximately the right position.

differently depending on your subject’s size,

In David’s view, the best poses are those that

All of these questions may be answered

look natural, so if your subject stands naturally

shape, clothing and personality.

in position, shouldn’t that be a good pose? Yes

and no!

we’ve been focusing on.

For fashion and swimsuit photography,

And, then there’s that little issue of lighting Sometimes a particular pose doesn’t work

the poses can be quite complex and the line

because it doesn’t suit the light - so either you

between success and failure can be just a few

change the light to match the pose, or vice

centimetres.

versa.

For family and commercial portraiture,

however, we’re generally looking for a natural

42

And what about the hands and the arms?

Lots of decisions!


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43


NEWS

NiSi Filter Systems Now Available A new filter manufacturer is challenging both the quality of what makes a filter great, as well as the design and functionality of a filter system that ‘just works’. Is NiSi now the best filter system out there? There are lots of filters to choose from, but one

because its filters are currently less expensive

argument hasn’t changed over the years: If you

than some well known brands, yet appear to

have spent a lot of money on good quality

offer superior quality.

lenses, you don’t want to ruin the result with

TAGS Co lo ur ma n a a g e m e n t M o n itor s

44

poor quality filters.

NEUTRAL DENSITY FILTERS

Landscape photographers find neutral density

Indeed, many photographers resist adding a

filter in front of (or behind) their lenses, fearing

filters very useful, especially when wanting

it will degrade image quality. In reality, that fear

to blur the water or clouds. However, long

is unsupported because with a good quality

exposures can result in unwanted colour shifts.

filter, any image degradation really is invisible to

the eye.

filters over the years and the NiSi is the most

neutral in my experience. One of the problems

However, it’s true that some plastic filter

I have used a range of neutral density

systems can produce inferior results, although

I encountered with other brands was a warm

to be fair, it’s not so much a problem with

colouration which I put down to being a

image sharpness or clarity as colour fidelity. The

characteristic of the Bayer filter array over the

quality of the UV or polarising effect may not be

sensor (on the basis that the same filter would

as good as a glass filter, and when it comes to

give different results with different cameras).

neutral density filters, the ‘neutral’ aspect can be

However, I now believe the colouration is due

coloured, producing a non-neutral result.

more to infrared light. Many filters include

UV coating, but NiSi filters also include an IR

These issues also flow through to the more

expensive glass filters to some extent and,

coating that absorbs infrared light, explaining

generally speaking, the more you spend on a

why its ND filters produce such a neutral result.

filter, the better your chances of getting a better

quality result.

noticeable with standard one, two or three

stop filters, but at 10 stops and exposures of 30

However, NiSi filters is challenging that

Colour shifts with ND filters aren’t easily


Above: The NiSi filter holder design for ultra wide-angle lenses is functional and easy to attach, but you will need the larger 150mm or 180mm filter systems to provide the necessary coverage. Below: NiSi filter holder, professional kit and smart leather filter holder.

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Above: Standard exposure at 1/125 second. Below: 30 second exposure with NiSi ND1000 (3.0) 10-stop filter. There is no colour cast difference between the two exposures, which is exactly what photographers want! Photographed on Canon EOS 5DSR with 11-24mm lens.

46


NEWS

seconds or more, you’ll quickly see if there are

manufacturers is a special filter holder and

colour shift issues to deal with.

larger filter sizes. However, some of the solutions are awkward to use, requiring you to mount

SQUARE OR ROUND?

the filter holder from behind the lens, meaning

Round filters are screwed onto the front of

you have to remove the lens from the camera

lenses, so if all your lenses have the same filter

before you can attach the filter holder.

thread, you will only need one of each filter

type. Unfortunately, this is rarely the case, so

elegant design that slips over the front of the

you end up with two, three or more sizes of

lens and secures itself in the corners of the built-

the same filter type for different filter thread

in flower-petal lens hood with four locating

diameters.

pins. It is quick and easy to attach.

The more sensible option is to buy a square

In comparison, the NiSi holders use an

Nisi offers both 150mm and 180mm system

filter system based on a filter holder. You need

sizes, the latter designed for the bulbous Canon

one filter holder adapter for each lens filter

11-24mm. It also has standard 70 and 100mm

thread diameter, and now your filter holder and

systems and all four sizes offer extensive ranges

filters will work with all your lenses. It’s also a

of ND, graduated ND and polariser filters.

great cost saver.

and they have an online shop at www.nisifilters.

Naturally, you’ll need a holder that covers

NiSi is distributed in Australia by Pixel One

the largest lens diameter you have – and that

com.au. If you’re looking for a new filter system,

may be a reason for still having two square filter

NiSi offers a range of packs that include adapter

systems because the largest filter in the NiSi

rings, filter holders and various sets of filters –

range is 180mm, which seems a bit unwieldy in

and it is cheaper to purchase the kits than the

comparison to a smaller 100mm system.

items individually.

SUPER WIDE-ANGLES

NiSi ND (Neutral Density) sizes include: 70x70mm,

One of the challenges for DSLR photographers

100x100mm, 150x150mm and 180x180mm.

FUR THER DE TAILS w w w.n i si f i lters.com .au

using super wide-angle lenses, like the 1124mm from Canon and the 14-24mm from

GND (Graduated Neutral Density) sizes include

Nikon, is the large front element. You can’t easily

70x100mm, 100x150mm, 150x170mm and

fit a filter over the front and certainly there is no

180x210mm.

filter thread.

The solution from a number of

www.nisifilters.com.au

47


NEWS

LaCie Storage In the Studio & On The Road Storage is the professional photographer and video producer’s most important duty and with all the technology available, there simply isn’t a good reason for ever losing a file. LaCie has a range of durable and rugged storage solutions for a range of imaging situations. There are two types of people in this world:

shoot is progressing. And certainly this seems

those who have had a hard drive crash and

to be the norm for video productions. So, what

those who are going to have a hard drive crash!

sort of external drive do you use?

Despite this gloomy prediction, modern

hard drives and storage solutions are getting

drives available from main-stream stores like

better and better. Even so, hard drives do

OfficeWorks, but these drives are not really

not last forever and so a system of updating

designed for the rough and tumble of a

and refreshing drives becomes a part of

location shoot. Drop one of these drives just a

a professional photographer and video

short distance or knock them a little hard and

producer’s annual maintenance schedule.

they are likely to break.

TAGS Co lo ur ma n a a g e m e n t M o n itor s

48

There are many inexpensive external

In comparison, the LaCie range of Rugged

ON THE ROAD

external drives can take the rough and tumble

Whether you’re travelling through remote

of professional life.

Bhutan for a fortnight or shooting a local

wedding on a Saturday afternoon, all

me to Bhutan to test it out for my still and video

professional photographers need portable

files. I confess I was careful, of course, but the

storage devices.

drive lived in my camera bag for two weeks

between a couple of lenses and never missed a

In the case of weddings, professional

I took the LaCie Rugged Mini 2TB drive with

photographers should be using cameras with

beat.

two-card slots and duplicating the shoot onto

both cards. The easiest solution is to have

metre drop, it will survive a one ton weight

sufficient cards for the whole wedding, but

rolling over the top of it, it’s rain and dust

even so, often it’s an assistant’s job to download

resistant and if you wish, you can password

the files to an external drive and check how the

protect it. The USB 3.0 drive is up to four times

The Rugged Mini is shock resistant for a 1.2


The LaCie Rugged comes in several different flavours and sizes, but all are small - and rugged, ideal for location work.

49


NEWS

faster than USB 2.0 and software on the drive

can help. As drive capacity increases, it is more

will let you format it so it will work with both

helpful to discuss external drive systems in

PC and Apple computers (by partitioning the

terms of the number of drive bays the unit

drive). And at 240 grams, you won’t notice it is

offers. The LaCie d2 offers a single bay, while

there.

the LaCie 12big offers 12 bays. Other models

include 2big, 5big and 8big and you can guess

Of course, a single backup is never enough,

so my files also remained on my memory

how many bays each has!

cards and my laptop as well, until I was able to

transfer the job to my computer and storage

transfer speeds of up to 2600MB/s, suitable

system back in the studio. I think I need two

for 6K video editing, and with current storage

LaCie Ruggeds next time!

options, equates to a massive 96TB of storage.

The LaCie Rugged range includes capacities

Currently the 12big offers Thunderbolt 3

While the 12big comes as a tower, the

of 500GB to 4TB and comes in various

8big sits in a 1U rack and offers speeds up to

configurations, including a RAID Thunderbolt

1330MB/s for 4K video editing (and more than

model with transfer speeds of up to 240MB/s

fast enough for photography). It offers hardware

and RAID 0/1 flexibility for speed or security.

RAID and full component redundancy. There are

dual Thunderbolt 2 ports for daisy chaining, so

However, back in the studio, chances are we

need something more!

you can add further components as well.

The 5big and 2big units are currently a little

LACIE BIG

slower, but still fast enough for 4K video and still

Many larger studios don’t (or can’t ) keep every

photography editing, with the 2big including

photograph ever taken immediately available.

USB 3.0 connectivity for both PC and Mac

They need a backup and archiving system.

compatibility.

Normally, it is current files that are kept

The LaCie units are smartly designed,

locally, but many computers don’t offer the

well built and are designed to be part of a

capacity needed by photographers and

photographer and video producer’s storage and

certainly video producers with their internal

archiving solution. And as with all computer

drives. The solution is an external drive that

storage options, they should be just one of your

operates as quickly as an internal drive, and

strategies for storing your valuable digital assets.

also allows you to swap drives around as jobs

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require.

http://www.lacie.com/as/en/professional/

This is where the LaCie ‘big’ series of drives

LaCie is distributed by better retailers. Visit –


The LaCie 12big (top) and 5big (below) are described by the number of drive bays they have, not their total capacity.

51


PROUDLY SUPPORTING THE AIPP

AIPP Journal - Nov/Dec 2016  

The Official Journal of the Australian Institute of Professional Photography