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PROFESSIONAL SINCE 1982

WWW.PROFESSIONALPHOTOGRAPHER.CO.UK

FOR PROFESSIONALS, BY PROFESSIONALS

MAY 2013 £4.20

BIG INTERVIEW:

HARRY BENSON’S NEW TASCHEN BOOK ON THE BEATLES

ASCOUGH ON WEDDINGS

PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR 2013 LAUNCHED GEAR: LEICA M-E TESTED

HASSELBLAD: THE STORY SO FAR SALGADO ON HIS HEROES


FRONT COVER: HARRY BENSON THIS IMAGE: CHRIS YATES

How would you like to be contacted by a publisher charging you a random sum of money for the use of your own image? Or have your image fees been set without your consent by a self-proclaimed licensing collective? It sounds like a made-up scenario from a 1984-esque dictatorship, or Martin Middlebrook’s Photopia gone wrong, but as you’ll discover in the pages of this month’s Insider feature it’s a threat that could become very real if the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill becomes law. This means it’s more important than ever to guard your metadata and try to repatriate any old negatives or prints you’ve sold in the past. But it also means that we need to stick together as a community of professionals, looking out for our own interests in the future. Here at PP we already have a very active community of readers and contributors debating issues that affect us through our Facebook and Twitter channels, and I hope you will join us and share your thoughts. We’re stronger if we stick together, and as always I welcome any thoughts, comments and feedback to me and my team directly as well as online.

MAY

Adam Scorey, Editor, adam.scorey@archant.co.uk

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4

CHRIS YATES

Love Professional Photographer? Get £1 off June’s issue with code GB172 through buyamag.co.uk with free delivery!


NEW PHOTOGRAPHY 13 Portfolio

A selection of the best images you’ve posted online this month

27 PPOTY 2013 Launch As we wave goodbye to the 2012 awards we say hello to the new influx

NEED TO KNOW

8 Kate Hopewell-Smith: A Question of Integrity As photographers we always need to be kept on our toes; our columnist Kate explains why

10 Fifty Shades of Craig Craig Fleming gives his two cents about Jessops, Focus and Photoshop

25 Folio Album Tour A mastermind in creative marketing, Stewart Randall invites you in on the fun

30 Middlebrook: Move Over Sontag A literary genius in the modern age, Middlebrook tells us to stay true to our craft

35 Immune Boosters Outdoor photographers with a cold listen up, Sarah O’Neill has just the medicine

36 Psychology For Photographers Jenika puts you in the mindset of the linen salesman for marketing success

38 The Camera Never Lies

Photography has made in onto reality TV but what has it revealed

43 Insider: The Collapse of Copyright Matt Henry discusses copyright, a privilege we could lose if a new bill is passed

51 Styling your Shoot: Modern Day Rat Pack Chris Yates takes us back to the golden age in his styled editorial shoot

56 DSLR Movie Making: Lighting Tom Martin shows you how to turn a good shot into a great one

58 DSLR Movie Making: Lighting Buyer’s Guide You’ve got the know-how, now you need the kit; here’s our best lighting round-up

61 The Business: Kevin Mullins We’ve come full circle, it’s time for the annual review

64 The Business: Paul Tansey

Get networking without moving from your desk, this calls for a hangout

82 Hasselblad: Then and Now To infinity and beyond, Hasselblad have defied physics in more ways than one

INTERVIEWS & CHATS WITH... 66 Working Pro: Jeff Ascough

PP talks to the big name behind documentary wedding photography

73 Big Interview: Harry Benson From The Beatles to Bobby Kennedy, Mr Benson has certainly got some tales

98 Heroes: Sebastião Salgado After an eight-year exploration Salgado looks at the light of his work

NEWS & REVIEWS

87 Gear: Leica M-E

A brand synonymous with street photography, we put it to the test

92 Light Blue Software Put down the pen and paper and speed up your workflow with Light Blue v4

94 Gear: Pimp My Lens Paul Sanders has gone mad and takes a hacksaw through a £2,000 lens

96 Gear: Green Screen LED You’ve seen it in the Hollywood movies but how about green screen in stills?

KEEP IN TOUCH 48 Subscribe Subscribe to Professional Photographer now and get 6 issues for £12!

5


contributors

  

SOFTWARE

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He is Britainâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most celebrated wedding photographer and widely regarded as the father of documentary wedding photography. JEFF ASCOUGH tells Keith Wilson about his pioneering approach and the rangefinders that got him on the track to success

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Photography finally made it on to reality TV - but what did the BBCâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s The Fixer reveal about our business, asks working pro JULIAN CLAXTON

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P66 Jeff Ascough Jeff was the first to do documentary wedding photography and is considered to be one of the best in his field.

P38 Julian Claxton Julian is an editorial and social documentary photographer, and a first-time contributor to PP with his column on reality TV.

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P92 Rossella Vanon Rossella is a fashion, beauty and nature photographer based in London, and she was one of last yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s PPOTY award winners.

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Fancy losing your copyright? We didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t think so. Matt Henry talks to campaigners PAUL ELLIS and SERENA TIERNEY about the threats of the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill, which may well be law by the time youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re reading this

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 Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m a photographer, but Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m also a Macintosh technical consultant; my client base is mostly photographers. I got involved in copyright campaigning about this time three years ago in 2010 when I read the governmentâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s proposals for what was then the Digital Economy Bill and was incensed at the likely effects on photographers. I saw a three page write-up on the Copyright Action website and made bullet points and posted these on various pro photographer lists and the thing just took off from there. I set up the Stop 43 website as a central distribution point for the campaign which took over my life for the next month. We

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 The Digital Economy Bill came first in 2010 and contained clause 43 which had 





P51 Chris Yates Chris is a fashion and beauty photographer based near Milton Keynes. He takes us behind the scenes of his styled editorial shoot.

ended up as the major rallying group and had a dozen photographic organisations backing us. We had a meeting with Ed Vaizey and we won the debate, getting clause 43 struck out of the bill.

P73 Harry Benson Harry is best known for his coverage of the Beatlesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; rise to fame, but he has a long list of scoops under his belt.

P87 Matt Henry Matt is a commercial photographer and writer. He hosts PPâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s monthly insider roundtable and this month he also tests the Leica M-E.

GEAR: DIY &1,&)443-&2'.&3)6&:4

PIMP MY LENS

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P94 Paul Sanders Paul was Picture Editor of The Times until the beginning of last year. Now he freelances and runs photography workshops for kids.

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SEBASTIĂ&#x192;O SALGADO tells Kathrine Anker about his eight-year-long exploration of the world and where his incredible light comes from

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For most people, taking a hacksaw through a ÂŁ2,000 Zeiss lens is unthinkable. For PAUL SANDERS it was the beginning of a DIY test of nerves

MEET THE TEAM

       

TaDa!!



P98 SebastiĂŁo Salgado SebastiĂŁo has travelled all over the world and is currently exhibiting his latest opus, Genesis, at the Natural history Museum.

Features Editor Kathrine wrote for a Danish broadsheet and edited an online magazine before joining PP in 2011.

Features Writer Jessica joined our team a year ago. She films and edits our videos and writes features for the mag.

Multimedia Writer Jade is our online news hound and the guardian of our Facebook and Twitter presence.

Art Editor Rebecca has six yearsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; experience in magazine design and has been with the PP team since September 2010.

7


KATE H

ITH -SM

EWELL OP

It’s a question of integrity It’s been quite a week here at base camp and various unconnected episodes have led me to this month’s column subject: integrity. Before I go any further I want to be clear that I am not talking about the much debated issue of image manipulation techniques that some believe lose the integrity of the original image. Rather, I am referring to photographers being able to reliably and consistently reproduce imagery of a standard that they put in their shop window. So it’s really not a technical debate but rather a human issue. A few things have happened this week to make me have to rethink how I run part of my business. For instance, two industry friends have pointed out how the new website of one my ‘seconds’ has a very similar brand and all of the key images selling her skills were the result of my direction – in terms of light, location and expression. Of course I have to accept that this could happen, I’m just not sure that I thought it would happen. I am absolutely not questioning second shooters using imagery shot at weddings – rather how they use it. When I had the pleasure of second shooting a wedding in Spain last summer my resulting blog post made this very clear and I gave due respect to the lead photographer. This was despite the fact that all of the ‘posed’ images in that blog post were directed by me. The US seems to be full of cases at the moment where clients are taking photographers to court over the usage of wedding imagery shot by second shooters. Indeed, lead photographers are taking second shooters to court as well. As a result I have just introduced a new contract to cover this in my wedding business. Today I spent five hours with a good friend of one of my 2012 brides. She rang me in desperation after being given a disc of 1400 unedited JPEGs from her wedding photographer. I managed to find 150 acceptable images and edited them for her so she can have an album of her wedding day. Having looked at the website of the photographer in question I can say with certainly that he is totally misrepresenting himself online. This week I was also invited to join the panel of The Guild of Photographers, and when I logged in to the inner workings of the website I immediately recognised an image from one of my training courses which had done well in a competition. And two images from that training day were part of this individual’s qualification panel. Obviously the above can be dealt with by a combination of guidelines and image usage restrictions. Both the Guild and I are reviewing our processes as I write this. When I started out I did a lot of training and those portfolio images were

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KATE HOPEWELL-SMITH

Second shooters, copyright and learning lessons; this month KATE HOPEWELL-SMITH reminds us always to keep on our toes

important to me. Yes I did use them on my website but I knew that I was 100 per cent capable of reproducing the same standards under the real pressure of a paid shoot. What I would never have done is present these images to fellow photographers as being my creative vision. This seems to be the crux of it to me – perhaps it’s actually about copyright – about having ownership of a creative moment. When I train individuals or groups I don’t hold anything back, I share as others have shared with me. Many delegates get very hung up on the technical data – my exposure settings – when in reality the most important thing I am sharing is how I am using the light, the location and the subject. This is what I call creative vision; the ability to see potential where others cannot. And what I have learnt recently is that I don’t like others taking credit for that vision. Please understand that I am the first to celebrate fantastic shots created by second shooters without my input, and indeed encourage them to use these as their portfolio heroes or to enter them in competitions. I am publicly taking responsibility for allowing this to happen. What I haven’t been doing is providing explicit ‘rules’ about what people can do with images that are produced under my tuition. Many of you may be shaking your heads but it will probably be with the benefit of hindsight and experience. As an individual running a business you will rely on your own standards to make decisions. I value honesty and integrity in myself and my significant others. So, readers, I end with a heartfelt plea; place these values at the heart of your business – for the sake of the industry and our consumers who, quite frankly, are confused enough by us photographers already. PP pp@katehopewellsmith.com @Kate_H_S_Photo www.katehopewellsmith.com


ALAN HARFORD, UK

PORTFOLIO We’ve chosen our favourite images from Professional Photographer’s online gallery. Don’t forget to upload your work for a chance to be featured next month

STAN LAU, UK

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CAMERON HENDERSON, UK

OLIVER POHLMANN, UK

MARIA DRAGAN, UK

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PORTFOLIO

CHRIS HODGSON, UK

GREGOR REID, UK

PHILIP COZZOLINO, UK

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PORTFOLIO LUKE WOODFORD, UK

LEO EDWARDS, DUBAI

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PORTFOLIO ANA GREGORIC, SLOVENIA

NATALIA ZARODOVA, RUSSIA GEORGE FAIRBAIRN, UK

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PORTFOLIO

SASHA HITCHCOCK, UK

KATY THOMAS, UK

VICTOR SALTMERIS, UK

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ALL THIS FOR YOU...

FREE DIGITAL EDITION, REALLY? Did you know that, as a subscriber, you get access to digital editions of both current and back issues of Professional Photographer... for free? Just go to: www.subscriptionsave.co.uk/howto to find out how to view your copy. * * Note that your free digital access is via your web browser only, TWITTER If we were to say that the Twittersphere would be lost without our news feeds, we’d be telling the truth. Ask our 16,500 followers. With free breaking gear news, competitions, requests and off-beat photography fun, our following is growing every day. Hop onto www.twitter.com/prophotomag for more than just an info blast. You won’t be disappointed.

OUR WEBSITE More than just a place to find the latest news, gear, competitions and subscription offers, our portfolio area is a busy place with people from all around the world uploading their images – the quality of the work is breathtaking and we are never short of a great image for the print version of Portfolio in the magazine. www.professionalphotographer.co.uk

OUR APPS Read PP on your tablet device and you’ll be able to download and save individual pages or full editions to enjoy offline when you are on the go. Our app features search functionality to find keywords relating to recent content, a zoom function to enable clearer reading and social networking integration to keep your friends up to date with news from the magazine. You can purchase the app from the Apple Newsstand and Google Play.

FACEBOOK

Looking to subscribe to Professional Photographer ? Scan the QR code to take you to our latest offer!

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We let you have a sneaky peek of our front covers before the magazine goes on sale each month, and Facebook is our hub for conversations with our readers on anything from gear to the ethics of retouching. We have as much fun as you do commenting on photos and stories, as well as sharing pictures, links and videos with friends, so join in! www.facebook.com/prophotomag


Folio’s Freedom Tour After the buzz of last year’s tour, Folio Albums is setting its heights higher again with a camper van creative tour that everyone is welcome to join Following a successful tour last year, which saw Stewart Randall motoring his way round the country to eight different locations in his camper van, he is ready to hit the road once again. But this time he wants you to come with him. Folio Album’s Freedom Tour is all about getting likeminded photographers together to talk about and enjoy the products and people that intertwine with their business whilst educating and making friends along the way. “It’s all about the buzz, rather than just the products, and we want everyone to get involved and come along on the road,” says Stewart about this year’s tour. Sponsors such as Olympus are backing the latest venture, which promises to be a fun and educational event for all photographers. “Olympus are really energised about it and they want to give stuff away and be a part of it, as are the guys from Light Blue, Aspire and Epson, so we have some great support,” says Stewart. “It’s not about selling stuff, it’s about educating and supporting. All of these companies should be an extension to the photographers’ business, like partners, and that’s what I want the tour to be.”

CREATIVE CAMPERS

step at a time! So hopefully next year the final fling will be even bigger again, and it’s all about getting people involved so they can see the tour grow over the years. It’s definitely not a tradeshow!”

GET CRAFTING The tour will visit four locations including Manchester, Bristol and London with a final big event in Birmingham. “On the final day of the tour we will have a craft corner and challenge photographers to come and make a leather cover and get hands-on and appreciate what goes into making an album. Of course we will have talks about packing and how to make them look presentable to your customer, looking at branding and all those important elements. We’re hoping to have some great headline speakers on the final day too,” says Stewart and adds: “I really wanted a festival with tents for different types of photography with a big stage and rock bands… that’s the dream, and it’s achievable, but one

CALLING ALL CAMPER VANS Stewart is known for his innovative marketing and branding ideas and spreading the word through photographic involvement is firmly on the cards again for this year’s tour. “We’re going to encourage people to Instagram pictures of camper vans using hashtags about the tour,” explains Stewart. The camper van involvement is something that was prominent in last year’s tour, as Stewart travelled in a VW Camper between destinations, but it can get a little lonely on the road, and so the idea was born to get a group road trip running with people hiring out camper vans and joining Stewart on the road. “When I did it on my own it was actually quite lonely and

Road trip fans can either bring their own camper or hire one through Folio Albums when picking up their tickets. There are eight colourful campers to choose from with a seven-day hire costing around £700.

though I loved it I thought it would be nice if there were a few of us. You pull up, have lunch and take photos of each other and turn it into a real adventure,” he says. Evenings at the tour’s four different destinations will include talks from inspirational photographers as well as live bands, food and drink. Tickets for the tour can be acquired through an online booking system, where you can get your free tickets right up to the day of the event. So dust off your driving gloves and rev up your camper for a fun, educational and creative tour with Folio Albums.

www.folioalbums.com

DATES & DESTINATIONS Manchester: Monday 3 June I Bristol: Tuesday 4 June I London (West): Wednesday 5 June I Birmingham: Thursday 6/7 June

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JAIME TRAVEZAN WWW.JAIMETRAVEZAN.COM

OFFICIAL LAUNCH: PPOTY 2013

Professional Photographer of the Year 2013 Hot on the heels of this year’s competition, we have brought everything forward and launched the 2013 PPOTYs just one month after the 2012 competition ended Yes, we are starting it all over again, celebrating all things professional photography in this year’s Professional Photographer of the Year 2013 competition. We have 12 single image categories and one triple image category, plus there will be an overall winner chosen from the category winners, as we have done this year, and that person will win the coveted title of PPOTY 2013. The full terms and conditions will be posted online. We will shortlist ready for the December 2013 issue, and inform winners accordingly.

We will celebrate with the winners at an awards ceremony in November 2013, at a location yet to be finalised. The closing date for the competition is: 16th October 2013. Good luck to all of you who are entering, we look forward to seeing your images online soon. To enter you’ll need to register on our website: www.professionalphotographer.co.uk and click on the link to the PPOTY 2013 competition.

For the winners

Here is the final list of categories for this year’s competition.

Each winner will receive a professionally produced print of their winning image, a specially designed and created logo they can use for the marketing purposes on their stationary, social media or website, and will be invited to the exclusive awards night with magazine staff, judges, the other category winners, the competition sponsors and specially selected VIP guests. We will also be printing a PPOTY Special supplement in the January 2014 issue celebrating the winner’s images, including an interactive multimedia version that will be emailed to magazines purchasers, subscribers and winners. Pictured above is the winning image from the Fashion and Beauty category by Jaime Travezan.

Movie Short –

We would like a movie shot on a DSLR that has a narrative and tells us a story. It can be no longer than 90 seconds and can be on whatever you like; whether it’s a short story, a stills video or an abstract art film or homage.

Black & White –

For some, this is the only form of serious photography. We take a different view, but we do want to see the medium used to its full. Deep dark blacks, bright whites and every shade of grey in between. The subject matter of the shot should be perfect for mono. 

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We want to see your mastery of lighting, modifiers, reflectors and styling, from high end fashion to commercial still life, creativity and flair are what the judges want to see.

L NA

In the Studio –

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Medium Format –

Medium format is about optimum quality, so to enter this category your image must have been shot on a medium format camera, and it doesn’t matter if it’s film and scanned or a digital capture – the subject is up to you!

Student of the Year –

Whether you are studying how to shoot wildlife at university, going through your indentures for a newspaper on a NCTJ course, or enjoying training for a second (or third!) career, we want to see your passion and skill with camera and lens.

Weddings –

Gone are the days of the grip and grin, aunt Maude adjusting her hair piece or slightly out of focus twee images on soft focus filters. The modern wedding photographer is as much of a creative artist, whether shooting candid or posed imagery, as any other form of professional photographer. We need you to show us your talent.

50MM –

This is the lens that is oft left in the kit bag on shoots but, in our opinion, it should be a lens that gets as much use as your 24-70mm or 70-200mm. Yes, you have to move your feet, but look at all that lovely bokeh! Go on, have some fun with your 50!

Street Photography –

You may interpret this brief, in terms of subject matter, as widely as you like, and have shot the images on anything from a CSC to a DSLR, or even a top end compact. So from grannies sticking their tongues out on buses, hard news or just for fun, tell us a story of the street.

News –

Location Flash –

From a brace of new wireless Speedlights to a full blown Profoto BatPac power pack and four 500W D1 Monolights, your submitted image should show your skill at lighting a subject, from an outdoor fashion shoot or environmental portrait to a car or architectural shoot.

Travel –

Capturing the ambience and character of a destination is what travel photography is all about. The judges want to get to know a location through your stunning image, whether you use a landmark, a location’s people or even its wildlife to inform the viewer.

Lifestyle –

From a creatively shot wedding, to a boudoir masterclass and anything from family portraits to pets, carefully capturing your subject in great light and with a sensitive environment, showing your subject’s character to the full are what this category is all about.

MARTIN BEDDALL WWW.MCBWEDDINGS.COM

From dodgy politicians to ‘papped’ celebs, show off your technique with a camera and lens, either in the bun fight of a press call or perhaps more of a feature-based image that creates a narrative.

The Judges Here are this year’s esteemed panel of judges.

Adam Scorey

Portfolio of Three –

This is the ONLY category in the competition in which you are able to submit more than one image, in this case a total of three. Treat this as a triptych; a story made up of three connected elements from one single shoot.

The Photographer of the Year Award 2013 – Coming only from the winners of the above categories, the judges will decide who will be crowned our prestigious 2013 Photographer of the Year. PP

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PP’s editor spent over ten years as a professional photographer in local, regional and national newspapers, agencies, BBC TV and for PR and marketing clients. For the last eight years he has been a magazine editor, and is now Group Editor for Professional Photographer, Photography Monthly and Turning Pro.


“A huge congratulations to Martin for his winning wedding image. It really does encapsulate so much about the special day for the couple. It almost has such a strong narrative, plus adds a touch of creative excellence with the reflection. It’s a portrait, an abstract, a wedding image and a photojournalistic grab shot all rolled into one – and the mono conversion takes it to the next level.” Adam Scorey, Group Editor, PP A big thank you! As always, we must say a huge thank you to all of the sponsors who have helped support the competition so far, we could not do it without your generous financial support.

Kate Hopewell-Smith Kate is fast becoming a regular in PP as she has such a unique style to her work. Described as a lifestyle portrait and wedding photographer, not only has she carved a niche with her stunning photography, she is keen to share her expertise and experience with other professionals as a trainer for Aspire Photo Training. Fun, creative and passionate about photography, she’ll bring something new to this year’s panel. www.katehopewellsmith.com

Dr Michael Pritchard Michael has had a career in photography since leaving university - as a photography specialist at the auction house Christie’s, as a photo-historian, researcher and lecturer. He joined The Society as Director General in September 2011. Michael represents The Society publicly, heads The Society’s staff, manages the headquarters building and works with The Society’s Council and volunteers. www.rps.org

Mick Cookson What started out at 15 as a hobby with a Zorki 4k camera, bought with saved up pocket money, continues today to remain an absolute passion of mine. I’ve now photographed over 200 weddings – so bring a wealth of experience and expertise to my natural style of wedding photography – and also a little influence from a previous career directing and producing TV commercials. The film ‘feel’ is very present in my imagery. www.mickcooksonphotography.co.uk

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MARTIN MIDDLEBROOK

MOVE OVER SONTAG, THERE’S A NEW KID IN TOWN! MIDDLEBROOK asks whether commercial requirements stifle the work we really want to create. How many of us are brave enough to challenge convention – and our clients?

In the spirit of experimentation (and Lucien Clergue), there is a certain pleasure in trying something you have not tried before. The pregnant mother gave birth to a baby boy two hours after this photo (right) was taken.

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When Susan Sontag wrote her landmark book On Photography 40 years ago, little did she think that she would be usurped, knocked off her perch, replaced so soon by a little-known photographer from the UK. But read on; by the time you have finished this your lives will never be the same (not better granted, possibly more exasperated). On Friday last I received an email from the features editor at PP asking for my next article for the following Wednesday. These things come around so quickly that I am always unprepared – it’s only 1,500 words but some months there just aren’t 1,500 words in me. I am sure you may have noticed. At the same time I have been building a new website of ‘other work’, some which have been seen in the pages of PP, but most of which is personal stuff. In so doing I was collating all the articles I have written ‘on photography’, and in counting them up discovered that I had penned 50 or so in a little over two years. The old rule about photography writing still applies; write an article on ‘x’, wait two years, repeat. That’s how the system works. And as I scratched my empty head over the weekend I contemplated the same, ‘maybe they won’t remember my piece in… they probably never saw it, hell even I don’t recall a word, let’s rehash that little baby one last time’. I was, as far as I could work out, out of words, I had nothing left to say. And then yesterday I went to see the Eileen Gray and Salvador Dali exhibitions at the Pompidou Centre in Paris, and all my troubles were over.


As I threaded myself neatly past the last installation of the Eileen Gray retrospective on my way to Dali, I stood adjacent to a panel on which a letter she had written was replicated. It said thus: “I can understand you ask yourself sometimes why go on, when painting seems to aim either at total facility or total destruction… I can see what Tapié means when he says it’s unnecessary that painting should express anything at all, but just be.” Eileen Gray’s letter to Prunella Clough, 1970’s, private collection. Well I doff my cap to such wisdom, I am sure you can say just about the same about any visual art, photography included, in fact photography particularly. A photograph of a barn owl on a summers evening gliding silently over a field of wheat doesn’t really tell us very much, but it’s a splendid thing and we all feel connected at the human level. Picture editors look at my work and comment: “What were you trying to say with this photograph Martin, what’s the backstory?” Well I don’t bloody know, I just saw a nice field and thought it would look pretty, I didn’t realise it was incumbent upon me to always make some *$%^&*£ statement about the price of horse meat. I once submitted a selection of images to a panel member of the RPS, and they commented that the images were not appropriate because they were very ‘pictorial’. ‘We need something a little more illustrative’. I still don’t know to this day what that means (I understand the illustrative bit, just not the pictorial bit). I thought about it a lot, in fact for a while it directed

my photography. But then I realised that many people who comment on our work are often not really qualified to do so, they just happen to be in a position where they can. As Tapié says in Eileen Gray’s letter: “Why should anything express anything, why should it not just be.” There is a singularity about creation and I have discovered over time that I need to create alone. We all have our paymasters and as professionals we have to produce what clients want, but at what cost? Last week I received a phone call from a global think tank that have launched a new initiative. Amongst other things, they are interested in me being involved on-going, in perhaps some ‘Ambassadorial’ role, because our overarching ideologies are the same. As part of this new initiative called The Other Hundred they are asking for submissions for a book they are publishing, the determination for which is a desire to reflect humanity more honestly in our images. They lamented that the World Press Photo Awards is fixed and focused almost 

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entirely on images of war and destruction. “You would think the world is completely on fire,” they said. They commented on how sad it is that photographers are forced to chase these kind of stories because it is the only work that pays, the result of which is a deluge of misery, something I believe I have written about before. They would like to change that, reflect the world in a different way, no backstory, not necessarily illustrative, but at the very least something we can humanly connect with. Why does anything have to express anything at all, why can it not just be? We need to question to what degree we follow the ‘guidance’ of others, in creating what the market thinks consumers want, because consumers often want something entirely different to what they are being fed. When I take my work around I receive different comments from all. I have a third meeting with the editor of National Geographic France this week; we have started to develop the idea for a possible article for 2014. “But no black and white, I hate mono, just your colour work,” he said. And a senior picture editor for National Geographic in Washington said to me last year: “I like your black and white, not sure about your colour work though.” If I listened to everyone I would be a very confused man.

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As Tapié says in Eileen Gray’s letter: “Why should anything express anything, why should it not just be.” MM But I prefer this. It’s probably more ‘pictorial’, whatever that means, but still, ones own personal sense of taste is as valid as anothers. Taken from the roof of the Pompidou Center on a late winter’s afternoon.

Portfolio reviews produce some very honest and frank comments, often very helpful at burning away the fog of creation, but they are also the personal opinion of one person, often a person whose rationale for liking a picture doesn’t necessarily fit with your motivation for creating it in the first place. This is where my amble around the Pompidou Centre yesterday provided so much fodder that for this month 1,500 words will never be nearly enough. Eileen Gray and Dali did not do what clients asked them to, they did not have to, which is of course a very fortunate thing indeed. They created what was


MARTIN MIDDLEBROOK

inside them, an answer to personal questions, a challenge to convention, a pursuit of philosophies – they were a generation that was able to do that of course. But they were a generation of visual artists who changed the way we see the world. The products we buy, the chairs we sit in, the houses we reside in – all these conventions were challenged because people were allowed to think differently, and in so doing they saw the same problem in an alternative way. There is a sense of constructivism in it all. In a book called John Dewey Between Pragmatism and Constructivism (Fordham University Press) I read that “constructivists do not look for copies or mirrorings of an outer reality in the human mind,” but instead they rather see humans as “observers, participants, and agents who actively generate and transform the patterns through which they construct the realities that fit them.” Fine words indeed, and not mine, but they are a truth for me all the same. If we mirror and copy what others do, we are merely falling into the same trap of not challenging those who commission us, not asking the right questions of ourselves, of taking the money. You are professionals and so am I and we are all bound by certain requirements, but the simple truth is that the client does not always know best. One of my great friends was the former VP of global marketing for a major fashion brand. Over lunch one day, and discussing such issues, he said: “Honestly Martin, when we create a campaign, we have no idea if it’s going to work or not. The ones that work are often a surprise, the ones that fail were bankers. We haven’t got a clue, it’s just luck”. So in the end everyone copies the latest trend, mirrors what they see elsewhere. It’s a safe bet because you know that many of those who are commissioning work are doing the same thing, following the market. I love fashion photography, there are some brilliant photographers out there; respect where respect is due, they are way beyond my meager talents. I picked up a copy of French Vogue last week and leafed through

A typical news image, which I do appreciate, don’t misunderstand me. It tells us something about modern Paris in one picture. Graffitti, old values such as the baguettes, modern habits (bottled water), and reliance upon new technologies, the backpack to carry our laptop in.

the first 100 pages, every one of which was an advert for some major brand or other. But as I write these words just a few days later I cannot honestly recall anything that stood out, that was different, because it was all palpably the same – the same look and feel that has infiltrated fashion photography over the last 10 years or so. It is not constructivism of the individual, it is ‘sheep’ mentality, and it is driven by the corporate need to balance risk and to file healthy returns. The innovative work is increasingly unseen in this world, in all genres, except through the portals of amateur competitions where freedom of expression still exists. But that does not mean that you shouldn’t create what you want and avoid following the market, because Dali did, and so did Eileen Gray and a thousand more of her generation, and unknowingly everything that you see today is a result of their thinking. Oh, and you can call me Susan if I am wrong. (I anticipate a lot of letters titled ‘Dear Susan’). PP

Follow Martin’s journey on: www.martinmiddlebrook.com www.twitter.com/martinmiddlebro www.facebook.com/Martinmiddlebrook

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Fit for Work blogazine

FFIT IT FOR WORK

by Sarah O’Neill

Watch my workout videos – click www.sarahoneill.co.uk

Immune Boosters!

Got that nasty cold again, and a big shoot looming? SARAH O’NEILL knows just the thing…

T

raining outdoors I get to know the Great British weather rather well. My findings: it is entirely unpredictable. No more so than in the spring, which can spell snow one day, sunburn the next. Outdoor photography also leaves you vulnerable to our erratic weather system. Decent waterproofs aside, the capricious nature of this season’s weather can be challenging to your health and your ability to work. This month’s blogazine imparts some wisdom regarding nutrition and the immune system. Nutrition can both nourish and heal. It can compensate for a lack of balance, for example if you have too little vitamin E or your body needs more at a time of high demand. When we fight infection, certain nutrients are in much higher demand and therefore an increased intake may be necessary. To the right I have listed some foods that give you the important nutrients to support your immune system, boost your antioxidant level and stay healthy. The variety of foods I’ve mentioned suggests that eating a wholesome diet rich in fresh, natural foods should see you through. However the temptation is to eat processed foods full of salt and devoid of nutrition as a source of ‘comfort’, and then neck a few beroccas. Multivitamins should only be taken as an insurance policy and never in replacement of natural food sources of the vitamins. Real foods provide a much higher bioavailability of nutrients than their capsule counterparts – i.e., a more useable form that can be better absorbed and assimilated. Furthermore, excessive intake of vitamins can be damaging, so beware overloading yourself with everything from the Boots counter. Interestingly, being overweight reduces immunity as a high number of fat cells triggers the release of pro-inflammatory chemicals in the body. Inactivity has also been shown to reduce immunity. Regular exercise and weight control could therefore be the best way to combat ailments.

IMMUNE BOOSTERS Nutrients that support immune function are zinc (red meat, liver, oats, oysters, pumpkin seeds, wheatgerm), vitamin C (kiwis, strawberries, papayas, berries, broccoli, sprouts, peppers, oranges), protein (consider also non-meat sources), vitamin A (cheese, eggs, oily fish such as mackerel, milk, fortified low-fat spreads, yoghurt and good old liver), vitamin B6 (chicken, turkey, cod, eggs, vegetables, peanuts, milk, potatoes, fortified breakfast cereals) and folate (blackeyed beans, spinach, green leafy le veg). ANTIOXIDANTS ction are vitamin C, Nutrients that provide antioxidant prote tables, yellow and vege leafy n carotenoids (carrots, dark gree sweet potatoes, oil, olive s, seed , (nuts E in orange fruits), vitam d, eggs, nuts). Just brea t, peanut butter), and selenium (fish, mea requirements, your of 100% ide two brazil nuts a day will prov in the diet. It is ium selen of ce sour st riche the g with brazils bein especially if nts, xida antio in worth focusing on eating a diet rich in areas of work or live ts, shoo e activ you do a lot of exercise or y traffic. high pollution or cycle in areas of heav

OMEG Om EGA mega-3 A-3 3s are anti-inflamma tory and are incorp within immune cells. ora ted Increasing your intak e of omega-3 is all-round healthy an d a very popular top ic of mine! There is much research to su pport their role in ca rdiovascular health, cognitive function an d mental health. Th e best sources are fish such as salmon oily , herring, mackerel , an chovies and sardine Veggie sources inc s. lude flaxseed, linse ed, walnuts, pecans , hazelnuts, butternu ts. TOP IMMUNE-BOOSTING TIPS: 1. Eat foods your grandmother would recognise: i.e. as much fresh ‘real’ food as possible, and less packaged and processed foods of all kinds 2. Swap a couple of ‘meat meals’ for fish during the week 3. Ask yourself: does every meal/snack contain vegetables or fruit? This is the best way to up your vitamins and minerals 4. Avoid loading up on multivitamins and instead adapt your meals: be kind to your body as well as your purse 5. Drink lots of fluids (hot and cold) but if you’re thick with cold avoid milky drinks which can increase mucous production

FLIGHT MODE - Got onboard healthy, returned to terra firma with the flu, correct? Aircrafts seem to be an incubus of viral plague, with lack of sleep weakening our defences against the germ vacuum in which we are transported from those destination shoots. Avoiding alcohol, caffeine and reducing consumption of sugar, salt and fat can play a protective role. Inflight meals are ludicrously high in salt and preservatives, so consider ordering the vegan meal, bringing something with you or boosting your nutrient intake with fresh fruits and veg before you board.

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CONVINCING CLIENTS YOUR PRODUCTS ARE WORTH IT In the last of her series JENIKA MCDAVITT asks the vital question, are you doing all you can to help your customer buy? Just for a moment, imagine that you’re not a photographer. Let’s pretend you sell sheets, blankets and pillowcases instead. How would you advertise these bed linens on your website? Would you:

have a line of text that says “We sell high-quality bed sheets, A Simply pillow cases and blankets, all sizes and colours”? a picture of a single, folded sheet on a blank background with a B Have sentence underneath like: “Look how gorgeous our sheets are! You’ll love them”?

Or would you:

Make up an actual bed display with well-styled linens and ensure it looks C as sumptuously comfortable as possible? You might even put a tea tray and an open book next to it on the bed to suggest a lazy morning. You’d photograph that luxurious bed with sunlight spilling onto it from a nearby window, and place that image on your website underneath a headline like: “Create your own master bedroom retreat.” Most of you would probably go with option C. Rather than simply telling people that you offer bed linens, or showing them a sheet in isolation, you’d show people what those bed linens would add to their life. You’d display a lifestyle people crave and suggest that it’s a natural extension of owning those comfortable sheets. And you’d make it look so deliciously relaxing that the potential client wants to climb through their computer screen and curl up in that bed with their favourite book, turn off their phone and bask in lazy luxury. So why is it that so many photographers choose options A and B when talking about their products on their website? Why is it that after the client wanders through galleries and session information, they may not see any mention of what they’ll actually purchase at the end of their session? If they do, they usually encounter a mere line of text suggesting that the photographer offers products, or perhaps a photo of the product (sometimes snatched from the vendor’s website, or hastily snapped with the photographer’s kitchen floor as a background). Many photographers despair that clients only want a disc of images,

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rather than the beautiful canvases, albums and wall prints they offer. Yet photographers also tend to spend most of their time advertising digital files and nothing else. Clients see digital files in galleries on the photographer’s website, digital files shared on Facebook, and digital files on the photographer’s blog. Why would they want anything other than digital files? They’re not visually introduced to other products until much later, if at all. They haven’t been daydreaming about canvas galleries, or imagining a flush mount album on their own coffee table, and thus they don’t know yet why those products are worth every cent. We like to show off our images because we pour our hearts and skills and sweat into creating them. But at some point, those images have to physically change hands. Whether that happens on a disc or an elegant album is going to have a lot to do with how the client imagined they’d be using the images from the beginning. When a photographer spends all their time selling a client on the idea that their images are great, it makes clients want just that – the images. This increases the chance that they’ll blanch at the price of other products, like prints or albums, later on. After all, clients came for the images, and they can make albums and prints (or something functionally similar) by themselves at a lower cost. The average client doesn’t understand screen calibration and print quality, they’re used to the prices of the local drugstore, and they’ll balk at buying anything other than what was advertised all along, unless you give them a great reason to consider it. If you were selling bed linens, you would recognise that you’re not really selling sheets and pillowcases. You’re also selling the idea of lazy mornings, relaxation and rest. And you’d show clients how your products help them achieve that dreamy lifestyle. It is no different for your photography products. You aren’t just selling pictures you’ve taken, you’re selling those pictures produced into products that are going to add to their life in some way. So, what are you really selling? A hallway gallery that the mum can gaze at each morning as she stirs her teacup in the kitchen, giving her the chance to savour her family and remember why she loves her life so much, even when she feels tired? An album to place at a child’s bedside so they can look at it after they’ve been tucked in, feeling secure in knowing they’ll always be loved? Showing clients your products in ‘real life’ situations not only gets them


FOR

PSYCHOLOGY PHOTOGRAPHERS PART 6

emotionally involved with what the products will do for them, it also syncs with how people naturally make buying decisions. If you market to women, as many photographers do, it’s important to recognise that women, on average, tend to make purchasing choices with the end use of a product in mind. Meaning, she probably isn’t shopping for a dress at random, she’s shopping for a dress for the party on Friday. She’s thinking about whether or not each dress will work for that particular occasion. Once she finds something, then she’ll start evaluating other things (whether or not it will work for other occasions, whether it’s washable, the quality of the fabric, etc). She wants to maximise each purchase and get a good deal, yes, but she’s shopping with an end use in mind. And that end use will influence whether or not something is a good deal. So, just as your client probably isn’t strictly shopping specifically for a knee-length purple cotton dress, she’s probably not shopping for an 8x12 UV-coated gatorboard-mount print either. She’s shopping for a dress for a Friday party or something to send for her mother-in-law’s fast-approaching birthday. These are the end uses. Thus, showing how your products directly fulfil those end uses makes decisions easier and more natural. If you show an image of a grandma unwrapping one of your beautiful gift prints on her birthday, it reframes what the client is buying. Rather than thinking of an 8x12 mounted print as an overpriced piece of paper for an image she already paid for, your client starts thinking of it as a reasonably-priced gift for a relative’s birthday. Or an album that her child can look at with a flashlight at night before bed. Or a way to make her home reflect her priorities. Just as you might create a catalogue of bed linens with the title “Create your own master bedroom retreat,” you can make your products similarly appealing. A wedding photographer might create a catalogue that says ‘Create Your Dream Wedding: Seven ways to use your engagement photos for the ultimate personalised reception.’ Inside, clients see products like metal prints being used in the context of a reception, giving a bride new ideas and making her as attached to the products as she is to your images. Similarly, a portrait photographer might create a ‘Four Steps To A Cosy Living Room’ guide, showing people relaxing on a couch beneath a canvas gallery, or an open album on a coffee table next to a flickering fireplace. By showing clients specific uses for your products, and wrapping them up in the lifestyle they aspire to have, you’re making your products as appealing and worthwhile as the images they feature. Show your clients what they’ll buy and why they’ll buy it from the moment they find you online, and you’ll create a lot more excitement for the items you most want to sell. PP

If you would like more concrete ideas on how to help your work sell itself, we suggest checking out Jenika’s popular e-book, How To Build An Absolutely Irresistible Photography Website at psychologyforphotographers.com/irresistiblewebsite. Professional Photographer readers can use the code PP2013 to snag $10 off through May 31, 2013.

You aren’t just selling pictures you’ve taken, you’re selling those pictures produced into products that are going to add to their life in some way. JM

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Jenika McDavitt is the author of Psychology for Photographers, a blog that helps photographers run meaningful and profitable businesses through a savvier understanding of people. She holds a master’s degree in psychology, loves shooting portraits and spends far too much time in bookstores. Wave hello on Facebook! www.facebook.com/PsychologyforPhotographers www.psychologyforphotographers.com

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THE CAMERA NEVER LIES Photography finally made it on to reality TV - but what did the BBC’s The Fixer reveal about our business, asks working pro JULIAN CLAXTON Reality television is the new fad in the entertainment business. It is one of the cheapest forms of shows to produce, audience numbers are high and some would argue that such shows contain the necessary mix of drama, excitement and suspense. Dinner parties to bed and breakfasts, it seems that all of society is catered for in our need for an insight into somebody else’s life, secretly happy to see confrontation, tears and above all failure. Very rarely do we get to glimpse inside the life of a fellow photographer. I was quite looking forward to sitting down and watching how someone from outside of the industry would interpret a photographer’s thoughts, observations and business knowledge in the world of portrait photography. Coffee in hand, I settled down to watch Alex Polizzi, the so-called ‘Fixer’, take on a failing photography studio in a run-of-the-mill shopping centre in Aylesbury. The TV cameras strolled around the small premises, providing the viewer with a tour of the studio, watching Alex raise her eyebrows, squirm and pull faces at the seemingly unaware staff. It was blatantly obvious to all that the rather uninspiringly named PeachyPics.net suffered from not only a lack of professional identity, but also a rather drab, uninteresting location. Charging premium prices for their photographic service, the family-run business was pulled apart by Alex as she strived to create drama and tears for the cameras. Demonstrating rather predictably just how useless everyone is, before raising their spirits and telling them just how marvellous they all are. The story of these programs is always maintained, usually one or two key members of staff are shown to be utterly useless and argumentative, wiping tears from their face and facing the true reality of the situation. Amazingly within a few weeks, the very same staff are

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transformed and become the shining lights of the new business with a new energy and a hearty slap on the back from Alex who is always amazed at their transformation and development. While the tour of the premises continued, I watched in horror, taking note of the signage which was composed using ‘comic sans’ font (NO!), employed questionable colour schemes and there in the windows sat some rather budget-inspired cheesy photographs. Hardly an inspiring and aspirational image to provide to potential customers. No-one with an ounce of common sense would imagine this business was trying to market itself as a high-end portrait studio. Whilst some of the portraiture was actually very good and quite compelling, the distinct lack of business nous from the owner was a horrifying trait which is worryingly witnessed in many photographers in today’s industry. While there is no doubt that the programme was edited to specifically create drama and dumb down the staff, the fact of the matter is that there are many elements from the show that we, as photographers, should adopt. Naturally it is hard to take a look at our own business; we are artists, we love what we do (most of the time), and find it a privilege to get paid doing the job we love. But the fact of the matter is, whether you are running a photographic empire from a spare room, workshop or high street studio, the principles of business should be at the forefront of your every decision. While the ‘Fixer’ continued to highlight the problems and suggest some quite sensible and practical solutions, it was frightening just how naive the staff appeared to be. The transition from hobby photographer to that of making a living from photography is a hard one, as this program proved. Throwing money at a project and burying one’s head in the sand, just hoping everything will be okay, is not an option.

With the weeks rolling by, Alex continued to test the staff, encouraging the team to demonstrate their passion, motivation and undoubted photographic ability, pushing themselves to experiment and try something new, removing them from their comfort zone. Although done for drama and to no doubt embarrass some members of the team, it did provide yet another lesson for the photographer: eventually, the ghastly PeachyPics.net was thrown to one side, and the decidedly more professional Peach Lane Studios was rolled out. Undeterred from the already significant and improved changes, Andrea, the owner, decided to up sticks and move to an improved location. Neglecting advice and seemingly having already forgotten about business sense, the lease on a large property was agreed. No doubt with the logic that many of us are guilty of, ‘if only I had X or spent more money, I would be able to take better pictures’. Unfortunately, life very rarely works like that and while moving to what appears to be a significantly better location and with better facilities, it remains to be seen whether taking on the large new premises will be the final nail in the coffin of this family business. While Peach Lane Studios is due to open anytime – in fact it may well have done – only time will tell whether they are successful in combining business nous and photography. Whilst we as professionals would question numerous elements that were played out in front of our eyes, there can be no doubt that we can learn something from the principles of the show. Taking a step back and looking in at our business, re-examining the business plan and allowing ourselves the luxury of professional development can be part of a more successful business. Remember, photography is a business. Forget that at your peril. PP www.julianclaxtonphotography.com


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EPISODE 17:

{INSIDER }

THE COLLAPSE OF COPYRIGHT Fancy losing your copyright? We didn’t think so. Matt Henry talks to campaigners PAUL ELLIS and SERENA TIERNEY about the threats of the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill, which may well be law by the time you’re reading this

MATT: Hi to Paul Ellis and Serena Tierney. If I can get you both to introduce yourselves to the readers and explain what you’re involved in, in terms of copyright? SERENA: I’m head of Intellectual Property law for a law firm called Bircham Dyson Bell. I also stood for parliament, so I have a campaigning as well as a legal background. I met Paul discussing Lib Dem policy issues on copyright matters back in 2010. The two skills do come together and are particularly useful when faced with proposals like the ones we’ve got at the moment with the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill (ERRB). I’m also a director of the Copyright Hub which is a not for profit company that has been set up to build a digital licensing facility to make it easier to license copyright.

MATT: So the ERRB is the big threat we’re facing at the moment. We’ll come on to this. Paul? Can you tell me a bit about yourself and your role in copyright campaigning?

PAUL: I’m a photographer, but I’m also a Macintosh technical consultant; my client base is mostly photographers. I got involved in copyright campaigning about this time three years ago in 2010 when I read the government’s proposals for what was then the Digital Economy Bill and was incensed at the likely effects on photographers. I saw a three page write-up on the Copyright Action website and made bullet points and posted these on various pro photographer lists and the thing just took off from there. I set up the Stop 43 website as a central distribution point for the campaign which took over my life for the next month. We

ended up as the major rallying group and had a dozen photographic organisations backing us. We had a meeting with Ed Vaizey and we won the debate, getting clause 43 struck out of the bill. MATT: Wow that’s fantastic.

PAUL: But we also realised that it was only a temporary reprieve and that the issue would rise again. And it has. MATT: Okay let’s take things back a little now and assume our readers know nothing of the Digital Economy Bill or the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill and the potential for the intellectual property of photographers. Can you run over the original bill, and educate us all of the problems with this new one?

PAUL: The Digital Economy Bill came first in 2010 and contained clause 43 which had 

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enormous copyright ramifications for photographers. We managed to get that clause removed with a great deal of support. That got kicked into the long grass. The rest became the Digital Economy Act but has yet to be implemented and no longer has anything to say about weakening copyright. MATT: And the ERRB is another bill with ramifications for copyright that is being debated at the moment? SERENA: Correct. The ERRB doesn’t sound as if it’s got anything to do with copyright but there’s a little section tucked away at the end which attempts to make some very substantial changes to the protection that’s available to photographers and others in this country. Originally it aimed to do four things. We’ve got rid of one of them, so we’re down to three now. The original clause would have given the government the power to effectively abolish copyright via regulations. MATT: That’s huge. SERENA: That’s as big as you can get, so we have successfully campaigned and got rid of that. We did have to fight for that. These things come back around though as Paul will testify. MATT: So where are we in the parliamentary process of the bill now? SERENA: It’s coming to the end of the Report stage. It may or may not get Royal Assent by Easter.

PAUL: It might be law by the time you publish. MATT: What about the three remaining things you’d like to get struck out? SERENA: I’m not going to give you details of clause numbers as I don’t think it’s useful to everyone but you can get the detail on the Stop43 website if people want it. MATT: So Stop43 is still running as a campaigning hub under that name? SERENA: Yes, fortunately we didn’t decide to change the name every time they changed a clause number because they’ve changed the clause numbers for this bill four times now... MATT: Okay, just to let the readers know. So the three things are… SERENA: Unpublished works, orphan works and something called Extended Collective Licensing (ECL).

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MATT: If you can talk through each with Paul filling in on each from a photographer’s perspective? SERENA: Unpublished works… there is a proposal that unpublished works should have the copyright taken away from them. They should be put in the public domain. It’s being justified on the basis that in our major heritage institutions, such as the British Library, the Bodleian Library, the BBC and so on, there are massive numbers of medieval manuscripts which can’t be made available to the public because they haven’t been published, and therefore haven’t passed into the public domain.

the public domain. We’re lobbying very hard for a correction here. MATT: Paul what are the ramifications for photographers?

MATT: I see. SERENA: Now everyone’s sympathetic to the idea that these works should be made available to the public. What we are not sympathetic to is the means by which this particular bill is attempting to do that. If it proceeds as worded, then all photographs and films made before August 1989 will fall in to the public domain.

PAUL: There are two ramifications. First of all, an unpublished work is your own private property. It’s your own. There are a lot of reasons why people don’t publish stuff. There are lots of reasons why people don’t publish their diaries for example. Photographers take personal images that they have no intention of publishing. Originally there were transitional provisions in the bill that ensured things would stay in copyright until 2039. Unfortunately the internet made everyone greedy and spurious arguments were made in favour of releasing this material immediately. To chop these provisions arbitrarily deprives people of their property and their privacy which they were previously guaranteed. This breaches the Universal Declaration of Human Rights article 12 and article 17. It’s against people’s human rights to do this.

MATT: Oh my God. SERENA: That removes copyright from archives of film and photographs even where their owners are currently exploiting those works commercially. I’m hoping it’s an unintended consequence but the definition of ‘published’ for pre-1989 films and photographs currently means that almost all of those works – even feature films and news broadcasts – are unpublished, and hence will be released into

MATT: But, to play Devil’s advocate, if it’s unpublished, it’s in people’s homes anyway, so how would the public have any chance of getting hold of it? SERENA: It’s not necessarily in people’s homes at all. It’s all over the place. There are personal archives which have been deposited with university libraries or deposit libraries. There are photographs that have been provided to third parties. There are films deposited for


{INSIDER } safe-keeping with the BFI and newsfeeds that have been sent to broadcasters. There are any number of places where these things are in third party hands. The really bad thing about it, other than for the fact that people thought they would have 26 more years to plan for this, as Paul says, and now they’ve got till Easter, is that once these works lose their copyright they pass into the public domain. It will then become lawful for anyone to publish them.

Are they being lobbied hard by Google?

PAUL: Google is certainly a very active and high spending lobbyist. SERENA: There are very clever arguments being put up by all sorts of people that are acting as a smokescreen for the real changes that are being made. MATT: How likely is this unpublished works

The first person to publish a previously unpublished work gets this publication right, which is essentially copyright, for a period of 25 years. The first person to grab it and publish it will get a right for 25 years that they can exercise even against the person who’s created the work! ST MATT: So any photographer who took photographs prior to 1989, all of a sudden, risks having that work commercially exploited without any recompense? SERENA: It goes even further than that as there’s a thing called ‘publication right’. The first person to publish a previously unpublished work gets this publication right, which is essentially copyright, for a period of 25 years. The first person to grab it and publish it will get a right for 25 years that they can exercise even against the person who’s created the work! MATT: Wow, this is crazy. So there’ll be an enormous race to get these things out there.

PAUL: Yes, and who do you think’s going to win the race Matt? MATT: Getty? PAUL: No, Google. Google will win the race. MATT: Oh, so they have access to all this archive material? PAUL: Correct – or at least to a lot of it – and

they’re digitising it. They’re behind all of this. They want everything because they will end up owning everything. It’s the biggest ever rights grab. SERENA: Just looking at it from a UK economy perspective, it’s taking UK assets and transferring them to foreign ownership. MATT: It seems nonsensical that the government would want to push this through.

clause to go through? SERENA: I’d say at the moment it’s probably 60-40 that it will. We’ve put up very strong arguments to get photographs and audio visual works exempted but we don’t know that we’ve succeeded yet. MATT: Let’s take number two now of the three. SERENA: The next one is orphan works, and the definition is where the owner of the copyright either isn’t known or can’t be found. That sounds innocuous at first glance but the moment you start thinking about photographs from which the metadata has been stripped and which have been put up on the internet, you realise it’s actually a huge land grab again. Photographers, journalists and illustrators are particularly vulnerable in these cases.

PAUL: Most photographers don’t bother to put in metadata. We’re talking about photographers in general. Most photographers use smartphones. Most photographers are amateurs. Most images floating around the internet lack any meaningful metadata which will lead you back to the copyright holder. Prints knocking around in archives; if they don’t have a label with the name on the back, they are simply unknown. If they’ve been removed from an album with a photographer’s name on, they’re unknown. These are all orphan works. The argument is that they represent a goldmine of content. No they don’t. It’s all bollocks. Some of them do,

but it’s a thin layer of ore in that gold mine. What it means is that people will be able to use this stuff without permission or payment to the copyright holder. They can just turn around and say, I looked for the copyright holder and I couldn’t find them. MATT: Do they have to try?

PAUL: You’re supposed to undertake a ‘diligent search’ but we all know this requires staff time and it’s expensive. If you’re an institution which claims to have millions upon millions of orphan works, you’re simply not going to spend the time: you want to be able to use other people’s property without searching or paying. The first line of the 1988 Copyright Act states that copyright is a property right. It’s defined that way in the Berne Convention which most nations sign up to. One of the basic rights of copyright is that it’s yours by right. You don’t have to register it; it’s just yours as soon as you create it. Orphan works legislation breaks with this legal right as long as you ‘search diligently’. MATT: How do you define a diligent search? SERENA: The government is drawing up regulations that are supposed to define this and the European Commission which published an orphan works directive in 2012 has also done some work on what constitutes a diligent search but there are a lot of issues around it as to whether it does go far enough. For example, if you have a group of works, is it sufficient to search for one and then assume all of the others are the same? The BBC is said to have 12 million photographs in its possession (and don’t forget to distinguish between possession and ownership) and until it was named and shamed by Richard Hooper in his report last year, the BBC routinely stripped the metadata from photographs that it put up on its website. That doesn’t fill you with a lot of confidence. MATT: Who are the winners here? If it was Google for the first, who for orphan works?

PAUL: It’s Google. There was a documentary broadcast by the BBC about three weeks ago under the Storyville banner called ‘Google and the World’s Brain’. If you search for it on YouTube you’ll find it and I recommend you watch it because that will give you all of the backstory to what’s going on. MATT: Let’s discuss the third aspect now. SERENA: Extended Collective Licensing is an arrangement that exists in a number of other countries, notably in Scandinavia. It refers 

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{INSIDER } MATT: Wow. Is this related to DACS (Design and Artists Copyright Society)?

PAUL: Yes it is. It runs a de facto ECL in this country. DACS represents photographers through its Payback scheme. They sell collective licenses to schools, colleges, libraries and whatnot, to enable them to photocopy books and magazines for limited purposes. Extended Collective Licensing will allow an organisation like DACS to extend this to non-members; people who might have never heard of it. That money will not go to the non-members. Either it will be disbursed among the members or the extra will end up dumped in the Treasury. So it’s a stealth tax that works by depriving people of their property at the outset.

[It’s] not a complete answer for works in existence, but for future works, making sure that you’ve got good, sticky metadata on your works is going to be so important. I can’t emphasise this enough. ST to the system whereby artists of a particular kind all club together and appoint an organisation to collect the royalties for the use of their rights. That organisation charges and distributes the royalties depending on how much usage has been made of each of the works. People are familiar with PRS and PPL for music licenses. Those are collecting societies. We don’t have formal ECL schemes in the UK called that at the moment but there are similar schemes operated for photocopying by the ERA (Educational Recording Agency) and NLA (Newspaper Licensing Agency) and CLA (Copyright Licensing Agency) for newspapers, books and magazines. MATT: Okay... SERENA: The Scandinavian countries are each a lot smaller than the UK and they don’t have such a huge creative sector. They also culturally have a practice where authors and artists tend to belong to collecting societies because the societies in those countries tend to be a bit different. They’re a cross between a trade union, a club and a collecting society. Typically they have premises where members can go and meet and use various facilities; a very different setup from ours. The ECLs in these countries are

governed by statutes which dictate the uses of copyrights that can be authorised by ECL and they are very narrow indeed. Essentially it’s about photocopying. The UK authorities looked at these forms of licensing and thought this is a good idea, we’ll have extended collective licensing but what we mean is something much broader. First of all, for any particular sector, if there’s a collective licensing agency for that sector and it represents a significant number of people, then they can apply for a licence that will give them the right to collect royalties for all artists operating in that sector regardless of whether or not they’re members, unless those artists opt out. And to opt out generally people need to know that they’ve been opted in, which a lot of people will not know. There isn’t a collecting society yet for photographers but it will be open for someone to come and set one up. The concern is that they will eventually control all the rights in a particular sector under the legislation that’s proposed here. And that means they would be setting the rate card for it. Instead of the market setting the rate, a state-authorised operator will be setting the rate card for you.

MATT: What concerns me is that by the time the magazine comes out, if the bill has gone through, there’s not much our readers can do is there? SERENA: There are two answers. One is that the law itself has to be consistent with the UK’s international obligations and people’s fundamental rights under the Human Rights Act. If the legislation appears not to be compliant, then there’s an opportunity for the legislation to be challenged in the courts. There are some actors who are considering making this challenge if it goes through. Secondly, in terms of individual photographers, what I would say is that if they’ve got copies of their work in somebody else’s possession without their permission and they know about it, they should try to retrieve them. And they need to pay much more attention to putting metadata onto their photographs before they circulate them to anyone else in the future. In due course, the metadata answer will be a helpful one. Not a complete answer for works in existence, but for future works, making sure that you’ve got good, sticky metadata on your works is going to be so important. I can’t emphasise this enough. If the bit about ECL goes through, photographers also need to keep a keen eye out for any organisation that attempts to form as a collecting society for photographic works, and oppose it. MATT: I hope people take this message on board and keep an eye out for the results of this bill. Thanks very much to Serena and Paul for their hard work in campaigning and giving up their time to talk to us. PP

www.stop43.org.uk www.matthenryphoto.com

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Styling your shoot

Modern Day Rat Pack

CHRIS YATES

Stepping back in time to east London’s era of rock ‘n’ roll, glamour and the rebellious Teddy Boys, CHRIS YATES tells Jessica Bracey how he made the crème of cool contemporary for an editorial shoot

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THE TIME WARP With access to a total of 13 rooms within the Princelet Street property, the options were aplenty and the shot opportunities were in their dozens. Chris doesn’t take the task of location hunting lightly; his grasp of finding a place that oozes character and archaic architecture is one of the things that make this shoot so successful. “I spent a lot of time looking for the right location to complement the shoot. Numerous hours were spent on web searches and I finally whittled it down to this one, which offered bountiful shooting areas and an incredible setting. During the venue recce I looked at all of the available rooms to shoot in and also the lighting balance in there,” explains Chris. “It would have been a big accomplishment to shoot in all of the rooms but some didn’t match the concept and environment for the shoot.” Dishevelled wallpaper, floorboards that have faced many a raw shoe and furniture given a good few punches, Chris utilised the nooks and crannies that waited to be dressed up to the nines with glamour and attitude. From melted

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candles to dusty cups, embodied rugs and rusty window panes, Chris created a look that went against the grain when it came to Ah yes, the bath. fashion and mixed old with new We all just looked to create an air of glamourous yet at it, I looked at the rebellious youths taking over a mystical dishevelled house. Tomas and said ‘in “As the location had a period you get then mate.’ feel, we wanted to create the Shot done and same look when it came to styling. It was imperative to still probably one of the have a ‘styled’ look, so using best of the day! The different textures and colours rest of the rooms were against the period building created a bold, breathtaking shot pretty much as look,” said Chris. seen with a little Hawking back to 50s dressing here and references, hair and make-up played a significant role in there. CY finishing off the retro look, a key component when styling shoots with a vintage theme. “The hair was also important, having elements of a retro feel but with a modern day twist, so making the hair with a vintage wave but adding texture created this style. For the girls, the mock-up side was equally important in the preparation. We wanted the skin looking fresh and porcelain using a combination of creams and shimmer powders.” Complementing the choice of location with a man-about-the-house style fashion, the contrasting textures with silky suits that glimmered under softboxes and beauty dishes. “For the male model we went for a Teddy Boy look to define those decade references, using a mix of vintage clothes with current, known designers. Mixing the old feel with a modern twist.” One unexpected fixture of the day that sparked a stroke of genius with a hint of downright bizarre to the collection was the bath. “Ah yes, the bath. We all just looked at it, I looked at Tomas and said ‘in you get then, mate.’ Shot done and probably one of the best of the day! The rest of the rooms were shot pretty much as seen with a little dressing here and there.” Posing as a standout image in the set, this landscape shot created those moody scenes with high contrast whites which were pristine compared to the surrounding scene of grime and decaying wood. “We worked on the placement of the models in the sets and worked with subtle off-set poses. Nothing harsh,” says Chris about directing the models. A hand here, a tug on a dress there and a striking look of empowerment defined the atmosphere of the shoot with a ‘morning after the night before’ type finish.

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t’s 1958 and the hipsters of the time are taking over east London in the most fashionable way possible, driving their anti-establishment antics with glamorous parties in properties that have been deserted by the capital’s high-flying bourgeoisie. Sporting duck arse hairdos and vibrant prom dresses that encapsulate innocence and seduction, Buckinghamshire photographer Chris Yates took on this editorial assignment with a nod back to the times of rock ‘n’ roll and a wink to contemporary fashion. Taking influence from days gone by, this high-maintenance shoot called for an eye for technical detail and clever styling that played with diverse decades. “The brief for the magazine was: ‘An editorial that is beautiful, bold, youthful and timeless’. We knew that any content from the shoot would have to be of a high standard and with authority to stand out,” said Chris. “The shoot idea and concept was born from the inspiration of using a period feature combined with a retrospective feel. Conveying two ages together to create a mixture of periods that would not seem out of place but complement each other.” Accustomed to shooting in the studio, Chris and his Motley Crew ventured to the trendy district of London’s Shoreditch but to a location that is a far cry from cosmopolitan. Away from the security of a ready-made set complete with a stream of equipment on standby, his mobility for this shoot in the centre of the capital demanded strict organisation and consideration for the conditions both indoors and beyond the windows. “Obviously in a studio you have the comfort of controlling your lighting and set. After a pre-shoot recce, I deliberated which areas would work best for the concept and as the venue had pretty low light in some areas I also had to plan the balance of controlled light against the time of day. In January you don’t tend to have a big window of natural light inlets.” Post recce and pre showtime, Chris’ analogy for the two-day shoot consisted of a ‘get in there, get out once you’ve got the shot’ approach, a difficult task when there’s a plethora of stills to bring to life to complete the editorial collection. “When they’re on set and once you’ve got the shot that’s it, there’s no point firing off hundreds of images, a quick review of detail and image check, then move on to the next look or setting,” Chris says. But to get to that point, a lot of preparation has gone in to the setup. “In the main a lot of time is spent preparing the models for the shoot, so an early morning call time for the shoot was needed on both days.”

MOODY BLUES Stepping away from the studio and on location, Chris ensured that he had all the right equipment to hand just in case one of the plentiful 13 rooms needed dressing differently or the light was in need of a lift. “I took along as much gear as I could cram in my car boot. Bowens 500Pro Travelpak, Å


Styling your shoot

Behind the scenes

SHOOT STATS Photographer: Chris Yates Assitant: Olivia Neocleous Assistant and behind the scenes images: Chris Morley Models: Fran Turner, Kelly and Jina at Lenis Model Management, Tomas Malecki, Monika Gasparaviciute and Jessica Turner at First Model

Management London Make-up artist: Gemma Horner and Abbi Rose Nail team: You Love Nails Styling: Joey Bevan Wardrobe: Oh My Honey Dress Location: 4 Princelet Street, Shoreditch, London Shoot duration: Two days

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Styling your shoot

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reflectors, an octobox, softboxes, a beauty dish, batteries, spare cables, spare this and spare that. I’d rather have too much kit than and up thinking ah, I wish I had bought that piece of equipment.” Shooting in January, London’s grey skies were in full flight which always presents its challenges for photographers, but with Chris’ plethora of gear on standby he was able to boost the conditions whilst incorporating the decade’s moody blues with harsh shadows and spotlit cheeks. “From a lighting perspective and considering the time of year, we had a smaller time frame of natural light coming through the windows. Some areas offered great natural light spill where others were low on light. To balance this, I used controlled lighting in the form of either a reflector bounce or a studio head. I was looking for a balance of natural and controlled lighting in the overall images,” he says. “In low light conditions I stopped down a lot with a slower shutter speed of 1/125sec and an aperture between f/11 and f/2.8 to obtain the images, whereas in controlled light environments you can be a bit more lenient.” With a stream of black and white images mixed with vibrant bursts of greens and pinks from the female models’ dresses and sepia shots that presented hints of vintage heritage, this collaboration of alternating colours fulfilled Chris’ goal of creating something ‘bold, beautiful and a set of images that stood out’. This was helped with his work in post production where the boost of colour and dynamic textures popped with high contrasts and electric tones. “I wanted the end production to have a mix of pastels, desaturation and monotones to reflect CHRIS’ TIPS ON different atmospheres and variation to the scenes. STYLING A SHOOT Some areas complemented colour while others < Investigate the venue and carry out a recce were great to strip back. In the main, a quick in advance at the same time of the day you are clean up and exploring the different planning to shoot. variations of toning in post production < Take as much kit with you as possible on location, was done to see what complemented the so that you don’t forget a vital piece of equipment images best.” when you’re miles away from base. < Put a good team together, they will be essential AFTER DARK when it comes to styling. When the light turned low and the party < Experiment with different colours and tones in of the 50s glamourati came to a close, post-production to create an atmosphere that Chris and his team packed up after a matches the theme of the shoot. tiresome two days of shooting, and he < Look around the location for quirky features and cast his eyes upon the end results of what interesting textures, they’ll bring your images to life. he achieved. “The biggest challenge of the < When styling a shoot with a retro theme, days was the prep versus shoot time. A lot of hair and make-up is a great way to present references of the decade. work went into the prep, and the difference of light from the beginning of the day as opposed to the afternoon meant that a shoot order had to be placed and we had to rearrange some of the looks.” Overwhelmed by the amount of styles and locations the team had to cram into the shoot, what advice does Chris offer on shooting an editorial piece such as this? “Investigate the venue and carry out a recce in advance at the same time of day you are planning to shoot. This will give you a great indication of what the areas look like and then you just have to pray to the weather gods that it’s a bright, sunny day!” But above all, the success lies in the collective efforts of the group who conducted such a high-maintenance shoot, encapsulating an era that empowered youths and brought fashion to the party. “There is an ‘I’ in ‘Team’”, Chris says, “and that’s the inspiration that everyone brought to the shoot!” PP

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www.chrisyphotography.com

GEAR Camera: Canon 5D Mark III Lenses: Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L Mark II and Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM Lights: Bowens 500Pro Travelpak, Bessel pop up umbrella, octobox, Bowens softbox, Bessel beauty dish, Lastolite 5:1 reflectors

Behind the scenes

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LIGHTING

YOUR MOVIES This month our DSLR movie technical guru Tom Martin talks about considerations for lighting your productions Lighting is the very essence of producing images; be they still or moving. It has been said that producing moving images is the art of painting with light, and indeed lighting is less a technique to be learnt than an art to be mastered over time. A very skilled gaffer once said to me that many people are proficient at illuminating, but few are skilled in lighting, the difference being in your skill in crafting and shaping the light for artistic effect. Regardless of whether you’re taking stills or video, the camera you use or your level of skill, lighting is the difference between a mundane image and a striking one. Many tomes have been written by people with far more experience than I in the field of lighting for cinema and video. Thus, I felt it would be most useful to explore some of the differences in lighting for video versus stills, and to explain the basics of a lighting set-up I use in my everyday work. Generally speaking, when shooting stills, you have the option to use flash (strobe) lights or continuous lights. In my experience, most professional photographers I work with opt to use strobe lights when shooting. This is the most obvious difference between lighting for video versus stills; you have to use continuous lighting sources when shooting video. This has both advantages and disadvantages for those used to shooting with strobes. Unlike strobe lighting, continuous lighting is WYSIWYG, i.e. what you see is what you get. This makes it easier to set up and adjust, especially as your subject will often be moving over the course of the shot. The drawback to continuous lighting, however, is the additional power needed, which (unless you’re using expensive LED or fluorescent ‘cool’ lights) generate a large amount of heat, which can make working conditions uncomfortable for you and your subject and the lights difficult to reposition without the use of heat proof gloves. DSLRs’ increased light sensitivity work in your favour here, as it allows the use of less powerful (and thus smaller and cooler) lights to achieve the same effect. Indeed, DSLRs are so light sensitive when compared to traditional professional video cameras that you can easily shoot without lights in many situations to great effect, and it can be tempting to not bother lighting properly because of this. However, as I’m sure you’ll appreciate, a well lit image will almost always look better than an unlit one, and this is particularly true with DSLR video. Lighting your scene can help

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DSLR YOUR

MOVIE MAKING

ON mask and overcome some of the technical limitations that DSLRs have when shooting video, and help improve the overall perceived quality of the video. Broadly speaking, and similar to lighting for stills, lighting for videography can be broken down into two main types, hard light and soft light. Soft lights refer to a soft, diffuse light, which ‘wraps around’ the subject. This kind of lighting is often achieved through the use of softboxes, and allows a pleasing, flattering light to be achieved with relative ease. Hardlight refers to a harsh light which casts hard edged, crisp shadows. This is often produced by a standard tungsten or fresnel light without any diffusion, and can be unflattering in some situations, but can also add a sense of drama in others. Hard lights can be made into soft lights through the use of a soft box, or by shining them through some diffusing gel. The reverse, however is not easily possible, thus if you have to purchase one type of continuous light, a hard light will be most versatile. In practice, lighting for video makes use of a combination of the two types of light playing to their respective strengths to produce good looking results quickly. This is especially important in the kind of work I undertake, where we often shoot on location under a lot of time pressure. In these situations, I light using a very versatile set-up known as a three-point lighting set-up. This is most useful for lighting interviews, but the basics can be adapted to produce great looking effects in a wide range of circumstances. The basic three-point lighting setup, as the name suggests, is achieved through the use of three light sources. The first is the key light. It is the most important light in the set up, and it is used to primarily light the subject. It is usually positioned at a 30˚ angle left or right from the camera (which is at 0˚) The light is commonly positioned above the subject, slightly facing downwards, in an attempt to replicate natural ambient light. Depending upon the effect you want to create, hard or soft light can be used. In the case of interviews, I usually use a soft light in the form of a large soft box to give a flattering diffuse key to the subject. It also allows me to get the lighting looking nice much quicker than when using a hard light, which without diffusion will give a lot of harsh shadows, which take time to mask or correct. The second light is the fill light. The purpose of this light is to fill in areas of the subject that may be thrown into shadow by the key light. This light is often positioned lower down than the key light, and is often a much softer, less intense light. It is positioned at a side angle relative to the key light, allowing it to fill in the shadows the key might produce. I tend to favour using another, smaller soft box as the fill light, again to give a more pleasing light with less set-up time. The third and final light is the back light, also variously known as the rim or hair light. This light shines on the subject from behind and to the side, often directly opposite the fill light. The purpose of this light is to pick out the edge of the subject, separating them from the background and giving them and the shot a sense of depth and threedimensionality. For this purpose I tend to use a hard lighting source without any diffusion, and use

the barn doors to shape and direct the light onto the subject’s shoulders. Here the hard light’s power and crisp edge really helps to highlight the edge of the subject. This basic technique will enable you to set up great looking interview lighting for video in a very short space of time. It is also represents the basics of lighting for film and video, and the basic concepts of key, fill and backlight can be adjusted to create many different effects. For example, the key light could be replaced by the sun if shooting outside. Similarly, a bounce board can replace the fill light in some situations by bouncing the light from the key light back onto the subject, producing the desired softer light. For a more dramatic style of lighting, the fill light can be removed altogether, producing harsh shadows on one side of the subject’s face, perfect for adding mood or drama to your shot. This can be exacerbated by using a hard lighting source without any diffusion for the key light. Finally, a fourth light can be added to the set up as a background light. This is often placed lower than the other lights, and casts its light on the backdrop. This can be used to eliminate shadows cast on the backdrop by the other lights, or to add more depth or interest to the shot by highlighting and drawing the viewer’s eye to something in the background. Lighting, be it for stills or video, is an art mastered by practice over time. These tips will be a good start in learning how to light for video, but it will be your creativity and the amount you practice that will determine your success. PP www.fastforward-media.co.uk

JARGON BUSTER BARN DOORS — An attachment fitted to the front of a light, used for shaping the beam of light and preventing it spilling into areas where it’s not wanted. REDHEAD — A very popular type of light used throughout film, TV and theatre. A powerful 800W tungsten hard light, it is useful for filling areas with light, but is too hot and lacks the finesse to use in a lot of situations. DIFF — Short for diffusion, a type of heat proof gel placed over hard lights to diffuse and soften their light output. Available in varying levels of diffusion. CTB/CTO — Colour Temperature Blue and Colour Temperature Orange are gels which are used to correct the colour temperature of lights to match your desired white balance. CTB matches tungsten lights to daylight, while CTO matches daylight balanced lights to tungsten. C47S — On set nickname for clothes pegs, which are used to affix colour correction gel or diffusion to the barn doors of lights. Their wooden construction does not transmit the heat from the lights, making them ideal to use as they remain safe to touch after long periods of use.

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LASTOLITE RAYD8 C3200

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Å

This entry-level 3200K continuous tungsten kit packs two heads with stands, reflectors and two 80cm umbrellas, and you don’t have to break the bank to obtain it. Price: £235 www.lastolite.com

IANIRO 800CE REDHEAD / VARIBEAM

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This open-faced tungsten light is a classic in movie making and although getting very hot and lacking the finesse of some of the newer continuous lights, there is still a place for the cheap, powerful redhead if you need to throw a strong light at a far distance. Price: £224 www.ianirouk.com

Å

DEDO LIGHT KIT KD3B

Dedo is Tom Martin’s choice when it comes to continuous lighting, due to the sturdy build and life-long durability of the kit. This 150W three-head kit comes with stands, power, barn doors and a dimmer unit for each light, as well as a soft and a hard case. Price: £1674 www.prolightdirect.co.uk

The Silverdome nxt softboxes are designed to be used with continuous light, so they can withstand the heat that your light generates over the time you spend on your shoot. The front is removable so your light source can be as hard, soft or diffused as you like. Large (91x122x64cm) £245 Small (41x56x33cm) £120 www.cirrolite.com

MANFROTTO ML360

This very portable LED light can be fitted horizontally and vertically to a hot shoe and has a light temperature of 5600K. It can light a person from 3m away and be used off-camera as a macro photography light. Price: £85 www.manfrotto.co.uk

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Å

SILVERDOME NXT SMALL & LARGE

SUNBOUNCE REFLECTORS

Sunbounce has a reflector for every situation, from huge, yet light-weight boards that are easy to hold, to compact pop up kits that fit into a 6-8cm diameter bag when collapsed. Their patented frames are made by anodized aluminium and we’re impressed with the range of different screen fabrics available. Price: from £65 www.sunbounce.com

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THE BUSINESS PART 16

IT’S THAT TIME OF THE YEAR AGAIN

KEVIN MULLINS

It’s time to glean some insights from a crucial part of KEVIN MULLINS’ successful business strategy: THE ANNUAL REVIEW

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Previously I’ve talked about the importance for me of running through an annual overview of my business, my own and my family’s wellbeing. This is usually done at the beginning of the year and I often make quite substantial changes to both my business and personal lifestyle. I’m going to discuss this year’s analysis in this article. As always, I’m going to be as candid as possible. When I sit down at the beginning of January to look over the books and pour over the previous year, there are a couple of rituals I go through (I know, I know….). The first one is to make sure I’ve set aside a whole day of uninterrupted time to myself. The phone goes off as well as the broadband. I make sure I’m well stocked with sustenance for the day and then I start by quickly thinking over the previous year. I try to identify just one overall factor that has been the largest issue for me over the last year. Once I have that one issue, it becomes the base theme of my analysis and the groundwork starts from there. An example of some of my number one issues in recent years have been: • Too much work and too little family time (resulted in a price rise) • Too much time spent at weddings without being paid (resulted in a time-based pricing model) • A need for a more professional appearance and brand (resulted in a new office space, products and studio) This year, when I honestly thought about which one factor affected me the most in the last year it was my studio. I love my studio. It’s 1,075 square feet. It has a lovely shooting area, a gallery, an editing suite, a loo, changing rooms, etc. The rent is good too. But…. And it’s a big ‘but’ – I didn’t use it. I moved into this studio two years ago with the idea that I would shoot a few less weddings and perhaps try to build up a studio business too. It didn’t happen, primarily because I remained very busy with wedding work, and actually when I think about it, because I just wasn’t that interested in studio work. I’m a documentary photographer so studio work doesn’t really come naturally to me. Nor does posing and directing people. I had some shoots in there of course, but not enough to justify keeping it running. Coupled with a tightening of the small business rate relief in my area, it simply meant that it was a costly luxury

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and it was time for that to go. So, the studio has closed and I’ve moved into a smaller but more manageable office locally. I meet clients here and work here but its £12,000 saved over the year which is a large amount in the current economic climate. I was sad to let it go, but the wise head told me it was the right thing to do. I’m a bit of a stat-a-holic, and track lots of things throughout the year. I track all enquiries (even if I’m not free), where they referred from, the date of the wedding, the venue, etc. Looking back and comparing my stats over the previous two years it showed me that my overall enquiries, on average over any given month, were down by about 5%. I’m not too worried about that. The figures are dependent on the economy, of course, and as we all know that is having quite an impact at present. Of the enquiries I received however, my referrals from past clients was down by 30 per cent but my referrals from internet searches were up dramatically. This tells me that my web presence and online marketing is working, but that perhaps I need to put a little more effort into my post-wedding client handling. To that end, I sent out a little questionnaire to each of my wedding clients, which they could fill in anonymously, which will hopefully allow me to tailor my offerings in the future. Amongst a lot of other revealing information I also worked out that: 64 per cent of my initial enquiries were from grooms (rather than brides): I’ve often been told that the reportage/ documentary approach is preferred more by men than women. I guess this goes some way to supporting that. I undertook a brand refresh during this time too and took into consideration this statistic when I briefed my designers with regard to the logo, etc. I wanted my new brand identity to reflect me and my type of business so I can use this figure to support my choices there (more on the brand refresh next month). The venue I worked at the most over the year yielded the least average print/post sales: I shot at one venue five times last year (I’m not a preferred vendor at any venues), and yet the average spend on post-sale items was the lowest. This had me scratching my head a little. I don’t get a huge amount of print sales I must admit, but a quick trawl through my website and I think

I figured out the problem. My average time from wedding to blog post at that venue was 11 weeks. The wedding I received the highest print sales from was blogged three weeks after the wedding. The inference is obvious, the quicker you blog, the higher the chance of print sales. So, armed with this new logic I will concentrate on blogging quicker, especially at high turnover venues where my SEO and social marketing impact is higher. I met less than 10 per cent of my couples before the wedding last year: This is something I’ve talked about before. I’m not a huge fan of meeting people before the wedding. My chosen style doesn’t demand it and I prefer, instead, to make sure that my website and brand marketing sell me before they need to interact with me.

However, all of my referred weddings from last year’s clients (i.e., for weddings this year and beyond) came from clients that I had met before the wedding. So, this tells me that perhaps, if I want to increase referrals from past clients, a more personal interaction from the offset may be required. Remember I said my referrals from clients were down 30 per cent? Well, the year before, when it was obviously higher, I had met a lot more clients prior to the wedding. It could well be that those clients thought they knew me better on a personal level. It’s something to make me think and as I’m stepping


THE BUSINESS

Previously, I’ve always been of the attitude that I will book any given date to the first client who wants it... I’m more conscious now that if I wait a little longer, the chances are I will get many more enquiries for the date as it approaches. Of course, this is a high-risk strategy, but I’ve employed it for a couple of key summer dates this year and they have, in fact, been booked out ultimately. KM

up my branding this year I will be aiming to engage with more clients before the wedding anyhow, so it will be interesting to see this statistic next year. The average time from enquiry to wedding date has dramatically reduced from 17 months to eight months: I’m fairly sure all of us wedding photographers have noticed that the clients are generally waiting much longer before looking for a

photographer. Presumably this is down to the economy and I’ve spoken to several clients who stated “we just wanted to see how much budget was left before we decided if we wanted a photographer.” The jump is quite staggering, though. 17 months on average, to eight months is a big differential and though it may seem fairly innocuous on the base of it, it does have an impact on how I book my weddings. Previously, I’ve always been of the attitude that I will book any given date to the first client who wants it. Now, that wedding could be hundreds of miles away at a venue I’m not really fond of. I’m more conscious now that if I wait a little longer, the chances are I will get many more enquiries for the date as it approaches. Of course, this is a high-risk strategy, but I’ve employed it for a

couple of key summer dates this year and they have, in fact, been booked out ultimately. So, at the end of my little analysis I have decided to shut the studio, interact more with clients prior to the wedding and concentrate less on booking dates quicker but to think about the quality of the booking more. It has led to a complete rebrand of the business and an adjustment in my packages and prices too. As an activity it’s pretty mundane but just examining the information at my fingertips has allowed me to hone in on the important facets of the business which will hopefully lead to more positivity in the next year. And who knows what the stats will reveal then… PP www.kevinmullinsphotography.co.uk twitter.com/kevin_mullins

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WHAT IS IT AND WHY DO I NEED IT? Do we really need another social network? Yes, says PAUL TANSEY, your photography business needs Google+ I get this question a lot – almost every day in fact – so I’ll try to answer this question in a way that makes sense to the non-technical and those interested in the business benefits rather than the geeky stuff. Google+ on the face of it is (yet) another social network – something most of us need like we need an extra nose or another 200 SPAM emails every day. It really isn’t just a new social network though; it’s far more than that. It is what will ultimately join the dots between all the Google products and link them together to create a complete, integrated Google ecosystem. Some time ago Google began asking us if we minded having a single log-on to all its offerings, rather than one account for YouTube and another for Picassa, for example. A single Google account to rule them all. This was the first clue that Google planned to integrate everything it did. What do I mean by integrate? Let me explain by illustrating how adding Google+ to an existing Google product like YouTube adds value to both, such that 1+1=3… or more.

THE NEW HANGOUT SPOT Google+ has built-in video conferencing called Hangouts. It’s really very cool indeed. The idea is that two Google+ users equipped with either PCs, tablets or smartphones can video chat with each other in seconds. That in itself is pretty cool, but not unique. You can do this in Facebook, Skype or even with Microsoft Windows 8. Where Google scores is that we can use Hangouts to talk to groups of people as well as one to one chats – online, live webinars if you will – and record those Hangouts directly to YouTube for others to see later. We can share videos we like from YouTube directly with Google+ and our Google+ picture and profile is available from our YouTube channel so people can check out who we are if they like our videos. We can take this further. Imagine you find a YouTube video you really like and want to share the moment with a friend or colleague. With a single click you can start a Hangout with your friend and put the YouTube video on screen while you chat about it. Google+ is already integrated into more than 100 other Google applications and, in this way, makes each application more useful by doing so – provided you use Google+ of course.

550 MILLION USERS Google+ as a social network is probably the best social media product I have ever used. It makes sharing the right information with the right people incredibly easy and is something I use daily now. It fits into my world in a neat way. I use Facebook to chat with my friends and keep my finger on the pulse of my social world. Linkedin is where I do my business networking and

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THE BUSINESS Google+ is where I hang out with those that share my particular passions – web marketing and motorcycles. I’m not the only one finding it useful either. Let’s be clear, Google+ is the fastestgrowing social network in history. Latest figures from Google suggest that more than 550 million users have set up accounts, of which maybe 160 million are active on a regular basis. That’s already roughly the same number of people that use Linkedin, and Google+ is still some way off being two years old. It is also a damn fine product – as one might expect from Google.

YOUR PROFILE EVERYWHERE This initial success is not enough for Google though. Google is prepared to get significantly “more aggressive,” in the words of Google founder Larry Page, in making Google+ part of our lives. Up until recently it was elegantly integrated into Gmail. Moving forward you will have to have a Google+ profile to use Gmail and other services. By making Google+ mandatory for many of its services, it will effectively force us into having a profile in its online directory of the world. This makes many people deeply uncomfortable but personally, I don’t have a problem with it. I have long felt that cyberspace is a place where people can hide behind weird and obscure user names and behave very badly indeed. Just look at the vile filth that YouTube comments often contain. Would these online chavs behave like that if their real world identity were used? You’d like to think not. Would online reviews be more genuine if the identity of the reviewer could be checked out? Absolutely. Let’s all stand up and be counted. Anonymity is often a cover for online cowardice and I welcome this move toward a more accountable and respectful virtual world. It doesn’t end there though, oh no. Google+ will change the world in more fundamental ways still. Google+ will impact search in a huge way. It gives us an easy way to signal our approval of web pages and other content. The +1 button is the “like” button for Google+ and increasingly we can use it anywhere and everywhere we are online. This +1 is a signal to Google and others that we approve of content we find. Increasingly authors of online content are discovering how to use Google Authorship techniques to ensure Google knows who created their work. By connecting your content – photos in Picassa and blog posts in WordPress that extend your brand – to your Google+ profile you can ensure that Google knows you created each of your masterpieces.

Google+ will impact search in a huge way. Google+ gives us an easy way to signal our approval of web pages and other content. The +1 button is the “like” button for Google+ and increasingly we can use it anywhere and everywhere we are online. This +1 is a signal to Google and others that we approve of content we find.

SO WHAT? WHY DOES THIS MATTER? Well, we now live in a world where finding information is not a problem (type “Aardvark” into Google search and Google will find more than nine million pages for you to peruse), so the problem moves from finding information that might not be relevant to finding information you can trust. Use the +1 button to tell Google you like content by a specific author and you are effectively telling Google to show you more by that author. Continue to like and engage with this content and you’ll find more and more of that author’s content showing up in your search results and throughout your Google world. Your friends become aware of your endorsement of this author via the +1 button, they check out the content and then they use the +1 button to signal their approval. Before you know it, Google is deciding that this author’s content rocks and it is showing up all over search results everywhere and as more and more people endorse the content the author gets a higher and higher profile. And thus, a new age of Google+ rockstars is upon us. The opposite is also true. I’ll end with a quote from Google CEO Eric Schmidt that I believe illustrates perfectly why you have to use Google+. “Within search results, information tied to verified online profiles will be ranked higher than content without such verification, which will result in most users naturally clicking on the top (verified) results. The true cost of remaining anonymous, then, might be irrelevance.” I interpret that as: “Link the online content you create to your Google+ profile or it won’t show up in searches like your competitors’ content does...” That is just my take. You may, of course, feel free to interpret Mr Schmidt’s comments as you see fit. PP

Paul Tansey is MD of South Coast digital agency Intergage and has spent over a decade in the digital marketing arena in consulting, sales and management positions. He has worked with clients as big as Microsoft, Motorola and Toshiba but prefers the challenges of working with growing small and mediumsized businesses. www.intergage.co.uk

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Reinventing Weddings He is Britainâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most celebrated wedding photographer and widely regarded as the father of documentary wedding photography. JEFF ASCOUGH tells Keith Wilson about his pioneering approach and the rangefinders that got him on the track to success

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{WORKING PRO }

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{WORKING PRO } JEFF ASCOUGH

J

eff Ascough’s ascendency to the top table of British wedding photography is far from typical. Here is a man who never dreamt of being a photographer: “When I left school I wanted to be a psychologist.” Until he was 21, he had never used an SLR: “I don’t think I’d ever taken a picture other than a snap on a compact camera.” And when he did embark on a life as a photographer in 1989, it wasn’t weddings he had in mind: “My inspiration was the street photography of Garry Winogrand, Robert Frank and Cartier-Bresson, that’s what I wanted to do.” So what happened? Where did it all go… err, so right? Jeff is the first to admit that he owes a big debt to his parents for the way things turned out. “The whole idea was that my Dad was going to become a full-time photographer. At the time, he was employed by one of the universities in Leicestershire and they were supposed to be making him redundant in three years time, but that never happened. Basically, it ended up with me running what was supposed to be their business.” So, instead of reading psychology at university, young Jeff embarked on a part-time City & Guilds photography course in Leicester. His interest in street photography was sparked by two of the City & Guilds’ tutors, but he had to suspend all romantic notions of being the next Robert Frank when faced with the financial realities of running a studio. “The economic pressures to earn money for the business meant I ended up being a studio portrait photographer for a couple of years,” he explains. “Then the people who I did portraits for asked me to do weddings, so that’s how I got into weddings. I didn’t get the chance to indulge my interest in street photography and black and white work until later on in my career.”

Washington Post; three years later American Photo named him one of the world’s 10 best wedding photographers – the only European to make the list – and Newsweek described him as ‘one of the planet’s most evocative wedding photographers’. You would think that international recognition and the rewards it brings would make Jeff immune from the economic pressures faced by every other wedding photographer in the land. In fact, in a market saturated with photographers, even the celebrated Jeff Ascough has to travel further for work these days. Unsurprisingly, he doesn’t mince his words when I ask him about the threats to wedding photography. “I think the days of running a really successful local wedding photography business for the majority of photographers are gone,” he declares. “It’s mainly because of the quantity of photographers that are in the industry at the moment. In the old days, the photographer was catering very much for his local market and there might be two or three other photographers in a five or six mile radius. Now you have 30 or 40 photographers. It is a shame because there are a lot of talented photographers out there who just can’t get the breaks at the moment.” Of course, wedding photography has always been highly competitive, but Jeff believes

success is not earned by being the cheapest or the quickest. In his opinion, your work has to be recognisable. “I have always believed that if you can create a style, which is your own, that you are recognised for, then people will naturally gravitate towards that style. If you produce a style that is the same as everyone else, then the choice will come down to money.”

FRESH APPROACH Jeff’s own transition from jobbing Leicesterbased portrait and wedding photographer to international shooting star is a case in point. Back in 1994, bored and disillusioned with the repetitive, formulaic method to photographing weddings, Jeff was desperate to find a fresh approach. “One day I came back from a job and I said to my wife, ‘I can’t do this any more, this is not me. This is the same regimented bunch of pictures that we do at every single wedding.’ I found that you’d get to the end of August and didn’t know one wedding from the other except for the different faces in the pictures.” Soon afterwards, Jeff went to a seminar given by American celebrity wedding photographer Denis Reggie and discovered there could be more to photographing a wedding than forever resorting to the traditional line-up of group shots and staged portraits. He remembers: “Denis Å

GLOBAL RECOGNITION Now based in Lytham St Annes, Jeff is widely regarded as one of the world’s best wedding photographers. Ever since he broke with tradition and turned to a documentary style of wedding photography, shooting mostly in black and white, there hasn’t been a year without industry awards, international accolades and media acclaim. America in particular has been lavish with its praise. In 2004, he became the first British wedding photographer to be featured in the

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Reggie had just shot Arnold Schwarzenegger’s wedding and he was showing these really candid photographs and I thought, ‘Hang on, if he’s making it work then why can’t I make it work?’ After that, at every wedding I had booked, I did the formal stuff that was expected and in between I did all the informal photography. I stayed a little bit longer at the end and arrived a bit earlier so I could get more informal shots. I would then produce albums of this work without the formal pictures in it so that when people came to look at the photos of their wedding day I had something else to show them that was completely different to anything they had seen. That’s how it took off. We went up to about 80 weddings a year very quickly.”

BREAKING CONVENTIONS This new documentary wedding style also meant that Jeff had at last found a way to incorporate his beloved black and white street photography into the formal world of the white wedding. “I deliberately went for pictures that weren’t considered to be normal wedding pictures,” he says. “They looked as if they weren’t taken by a wedding photographer, but by someone who was just observing the day. It was very much that fly-on-thewall look, with no flash and in black and white, which was unusual at the time. Nobody used to shoot black and white because it was so expensive to shoot it and print it.”

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Another break from convention was Jeff’s choice of camera. He used a Leica and just three prime lenses: 28mm, 35mm and 50mm. “Some people have asked me what was the biggest influence in my career that got me to where I am now and I said it was using the rangefinders. I bought them purely because there was an f/1.0 lens and there was no mirror in the camera, so I was able to shoot in really low light and still get images. I became known for being able to shoot in low light while everyone else was resorting to flash. The Leicas were bought because they were the best tools for low-light photography. You had to get in close to people and get your photos quickly and not be in their face all the time. Picking up a rangefinder to shoot a wedding is the hardest thing to do. Once you’ve done it everything else is easy.”

FUTURE TRENDS Jeff has been shooting digitally since 2004, first with the Canon EOS-1D Mark II, it was the low-light capability of digital that impressed him; the improved resolution and reduced noise at higher ISO ratings meant he could happily select faster shutter speeds in low light. He now uses two Canon EOS 5D Mark III bodies and eight Canon EF lenses ranging from the 8-15mm f/4L fisheye zoom to the 135mm f/2L short telephoto. This year he says he is going back to basics by using just three prime lenses: the 24mm f/2.8, 50mm f/1.2L and 85mm

WHY JEFF AVOIDS FLASH “I don’t use flash because I find it so intrusive. For example, if I’ve got a bride getting her make-up done, or she’s getting into her dress you can take as many pictures as you like with ambient light, and she’s not going to notice. As soon as a flash goes off she immediately thinks, ‘God, what was I doing?’ She immediately becomes self-aware, her whole body language changes, everything changes. I’m not against flash itself, I just don’t like the intrusion of it. “Having said that, I have to use flash on two parts of the day now. One is the cake cutting. When you have the cake cutting in the evening, everybody gets their cameras out – it’s usually in a dark part of the venue – and you’ve got all these flashes going off. I can’t compete with that, so these days I have to use flash for the cake cutting just to kill everyone else’s flash. The only other time will be with family groups. If I can’t get even lighting with a family group then I’ll use flash to even out the lighting. But for the main coverage I don’t use flash at all.”


PRO } {WORKING JEFF ASCOUGH JEFF ASCOUGH

I have always believed that if you can create a style, which is your own, that you are recognised for, then people will naturally gravitate towards that style. JA

f/1.8. It’s a selection that harks back to his formative days of using the Leica. Although describing himself as a documentary wedding photographer, Jeff still takes the traditional formal shots that have been the hallmark of wedding photography since the earliest days of the genre. “We probably do four or five formal pictures, usually instigated by the families I hasten to add! It doesn’t take too much time and it gives them the pictures that most people want, these formal traditional portraits, because that’s what wedding photography has been since the dawn of time.” However, Jeff says he shot four weddings last year “that had no formal photographs in them whatsoever.” But that didn’t mean getting pictures of the happy couple was any less important: “On the contrary, it creates its own pressure because you still have to get a decent picture of the bride and groom together!” With the rise of wedding photography apps for smartphones, it’s not just the official

photographer who is working hard to get images of the bride and groom for the wedding album. Does Jeff feel at all threatened by such trends? “I haven’t taken much notice to be honest,” he shrugs. “I’m under the impression that if they’ve booked me to do the wedding then they’re not too worried about what everyone else gets. I don’t really care what everyone else gets because mine are the main pictures. The technology’s great but you still have to get a decent picture.”

TRADITIONAL STRENGTH If wedding apps have failed to make an impression on Jeff, he can’t help noticing the more conspicuous presence of the photo booth whenever he turns up to the reception. “Booths are a massive business now in the wedding industry. Every wedding I’ve been on in the last year has had some kind of booth in it. That’s where I am seeing a big change. The guests go into the booths with funny hats and wigs on and it just gives the bride and groom a different angle

on all their friends, which I think is great. It’s great for taking the pressure off the photographer because he doesn’t have to worry about getting everything that moves. As for friends taking pictures, it’s always been the case, it’s just more prevalent now.” For all his efforts to create a style far removed from the orthodox, Jeff still respects the traditions of wedding photography and the considerable strength of place it occupies in modern culture. “I think wedding photographs have been so ingrained in our culture that it is too important to trust anybody else,” he says. “After buying the house, a wedding is the most expensive thing you will probably do. It’s a time for getting together, a special occasion that’s really important to the couple. From that point of view, having a visual record is very important. They always say, if your house is burning down what’s the first thing you’d take out? It’s the wedding album.” PP www.jeffascough.com

JEFF ON THE SHIFT TO VIDEO “I think video is going to have a massive say in the next five years. I think the current technology and the technology that’s on its way, means you will have one image-maker at the wedding. You will have a videographer of the day and then you will take the stills from the video and present them as the pictures for the bride and groom. Or it may be that the bride and groom see the video and choose where to stop the play for the stills they want and print them off. I think that’s where wedding photography is going. The styles and fashions come and go, but the actual capture method will have the biggest influence on the way things go in the next four to five years. At the moment, everybody’s into all this vintage stuff, which I despise to be honest. I just can’t see the point of it.”

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{THE BIG INTERVIEW } HARRY BENSON

GIGI BENSON

DIRTY HARRY Almost 50 years after touring with The Beatles, photojournalist HARRY BENSON has unveiled a book about the assignment he never wanted to cover. He tells Lorna Dockerill how playing dirty and killer instincts brought him success

Harry Benson’s slumber is interrupted by a shrill telephone call. “You woke me up,” he stirs. “I’ve covered every piece of shit around Lorna,” Harry continues, the ‘r’ rolling off his Glaswegian tongue as he chats to me from his London hotel bedroom. The potty-mouthed former Fleet Street inhabitant is weathered, hardened by a career spent photographing a tsunami of political events and current affairs in 1960s America – a place he now calls home. His staying power is proven in his portfolio spanning every US president since Eisenhower and the assassination of US Senator Robert Kennedy (he fell just feet before him), to manoeuvres with the IRA and the Meredith march with Martin Luther King Jr. He’s covered conflicts in Afghanistan, been invited into Michael Jackson’s infamous Neverland quarters and was in the same room as Nixon when he resigned in 1974. Hardly as revelatory, his most well-known picture encapsulates four fresh faced Merseyside musicians beating each other with pillows following news of their first US number one chart smash I Want to Hold Your Hand. Reluctant to cover The Beatles’ Paris Olympia Theatre tour in January 1964 for the Daily Express, Harry, who was 34 at the time, was scheduled to leave for an assignment in Africa the day he was briefed to photograph the hype behind the band. He told his photo editor he didn’t want to go but obeyed anyway, and almost 50 years on has created the book The Beatles on the Road 1964-1966, detailing his travels during ‘Beatlemania’ on their first American tour in 1964. PP rinsed 83-year-old Harry for answers on whether it was all worth it as he remembers the wonder years of his working life.

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Morning Harry

HB: You caught me. I’ve just woken up. You woke me up.

LD: I have lots to ask you, let’s start with The Beatles. It seemed like you planted the seed for your infamous pillow fight image because John Lennon wasn’t keen on the whole thing? HB: We worked it out together. I was in a room with The Beatles after the Paris show, there were a few of us there. They said: “That was some pillow fight we had the other night,” and I thought that’s not a bad picture. I didn’t suggest it then because there was another photographer there from the Daily Mail and I didn’t want to share it. About two or three days later was a very opportune time because they had their number one in America and were going to be on the Ed Sullivan show within about two weeks. When it was suggested they said yes, then John Lennon said: “No we’ll look a bit childish and we can’t go around looking like little boys all our lives.” And I thought well that’s it. I was sitting there drinking away, then John slips away and comes back and hits Paul in the back of the head with a pillow. That was it. They were off having a pillow fight.

LD: What did you shoot them with? HB: The whole pillow fight was done with a wide-angle Rolleiflex, then I moved to the Hasselblad. I’ve still got the Rolleiflex. I should never have moved to the Hasselblad, the Rolleiflex is a much better camera. I use a Canon 5D Mark III now. Don’t let me roll out of my bed to see what it is, ya know! It’s the latest one. LD: How does it make you feel when some just remember you for that Beatles image, seeing as though you’ve covered all sorts in your life as a serious photojournalist?

HB: That’s fine. They were great composers, the music is still with us and coming up to 50 years. It’s a happy picture and it’s got movement which is very hard, I kept the whole thing moving. I don’t care if people think I’m conceited about it. It’s obvious it’s a good photograph. I’ve done a lot of pictures that I would like to have gone back and done over again been given the chance, but in the kind of photography I do, each picture is a glimpse and gone forever. It can never happen again. For me, that is a good photo. LD: Which ones would you like to take again? HB: Oh dozens. I’d like to go back and spend longer on the civil rights with Martin Luther King, you know, but at the time you think it’s more important to go and have dinner with a nice girl or something like that. Bobby Kennedy would be the same, I would’ve liked to have spent more time with Bobby but I was beside him when he was shot. LD: In the past you’ve said when that scenario was in front of you, it was what you came into the business for. Is there more of a thrill from negative stories? HB: News happens unexpectedly, it isn’t how the day started. The day started as ‘I’m covering this and I’m going to do my job and at the end of the day I still hope I’m on the payroll’. Then something good, bad, horrific happens. You’ve got to try and be near the centre or on the centre of the story when it happens. Sometimes you are, sometimes you aren’t, but you’ve got to get in there because that’s what you’re being paid for, that’s your job, your life. LD: I heard that you think too many photographers dance around the edge of a story, too afraid to get to the centre. Do you think they’re too soft these days? HB: Yeah sometimes they don’t want to take the centre. You wanna be near it or you shouldn’t be there, but really that’s not their fault. They should never have been sent out to do that specific job in the first place. They should have been sent to do a story on a piano player or something, and I’m not knocking when I say that, there are different people for different things.

Fischer with Horse, 1972.

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LD: Do you think it’s different from when you were working as a photojournalist? HB: Yes but that is not their fault, that’s the fault of editors. I mean, I just didn’t do a


{THE BIG INTERVIEW } HARRY BENSON

HARRY BENSON

George V Hotel, Paris, 1964.

lot of violent stories in my life. LD: What qualities were you assigned for each time? You know, when your editor thought ‘I want Harry for that story’? HB: I think my quality was that I would be first in and last out, then get onto the next one, and never get too close to a subject. It’s hard, but what’s interesting is that I became friendly with Bobby Kennedy’s family and just last Saturday I had dinner with Kerry and Ethel on Palm 

They were great composers, the music is still with us and coming up to 50 years. It’s a happy picture and it’s got movement which is very hard, I kept the whole thing moving. I don’t care if people think I’m conceited about it. It’s obvious it’s a good photograph. HB 75


Beach. They know exactly who I am, the last one to leave the kitchen before their father and husband was murdered. Blood all over the place. I’m friendly with them, but as a rule I do not make friends with people I photograph because that is not the point of me being there. LD: Must be difficult. HB: It’s what I’ve done. Basically I can’t wait to get out of town. LD: Was that the case with The Beatles? HB: Oh sure. I didn’t wanna stay with them. I did them for two years, I liked them. I took them out to see Muhammad Ali (Cassius Clay) in Miami and they didn’t want to see him. He made them do this and that, and afterward John Lennon said: “He made us look stupid and do silly things – it was all your fault,” and didn’t speak to me. Ali completely dwarfed them, took over. The Beatles were the cocky ones and he was way ahead. I didn’t care because the following day I was going to Jamaica to photograph Ian Fleming because a James Bond movie had just come out. LD: Did you feel they let their guard down because they knew you? HB: Yeah they were used to me but when there were PRs around John was a moron – they didn’t listen to him. After I stopped photographing the band they started to get organised, but the pictures don’t look so good. I know this is self serving, but I like my pictures because they aren’t organised, yet they are together. When somebody tells them ‘stand together, do this, stand there’, you get three of them right and one of them looks really stupid. It’s just an impossibility. LD: How did you avoid a relationship with the band? HB: That’s a good question. I couldn’t care less if my subject likes me or not, sure it helps if I’m getting what I want to get, I’m a happy boy. LD: It must make your job more difficult if they don’t like you? HB: In some ways you’re much better off them disliking you. They would rather not be doing this today, but that’s tough, I’m here. I’m not going out of my way to become a personality because I don’t want anybody to say ‘Harry that picture in the bubble bath… please don’t use it’. Bang goes my best picture because I’m a best friend and with my smarmy stupidity I’ve made a major error. LD: What can you do to get one over on your competitors? 

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Above: Legendary televised performance on The Ed Sullivan Show, viewed by around 75 million people, New York, 1964. Above left: Arriving at JFK Airport with Benson right behind them, February 7, 1964.


{THE BIG INTERVIEW }

HARRY BENSON

HARRY BENSON

I know this is self serving, but I like my pictures because they aren’t organised, yet they are together. When somebody tells them ‘stand together, do this, stand there,’ you get three of them right and one of them looks really stupid. It’s just an impossibility. HB 77


{THE BIG INTERVIEW }

HARRY BENSON

HARRY BENSON

HB: You are competing against them but sometimes you come together, you now have lunch, although I never ate much while I was working during the day. It slowed me down and let my opposition know I was there. If I’m sitting in front of them, I can’t be doing anything, and visa versa. If one goes missing you think well where the hell is he? Ya know?

Above: Churchill at Harrow, 1964. Below: Canton Mississippi Teargas, 1966.

LD: You’ve been known to pinch unsuspecting journalist’s shoes from outside their hotel room doors to distract them from a story. You also retagged three competitors’ bags at an airport luggage centre so their film would take a detour. Was that the way it had to be? Most would say that was very calculated. HB: That’s a whole different story [pauses]. That never happened with The Beatles and I’ll tell you what that was. That was covering the Queen and the Royal family in 1966 in the West Indies. Basically there were four photographers from The Mirror, The Mail, The Express and The Times – or something like that. You’d share information about what was going to happen to try and get pictures, because it was just a hellish trip with the heat and all the rest of it. There was a ball one night and somehow nobody told me that I had to get a certain credential to get into the ball to take photographs, and it had to be gained at a certain time and place. The other three didn’t tell me. Now we came to send the photos back (it was hopeless transmitting) and I got there [to the airport] after the other photographers. We all had them in these fancy red bags with ‘urgent’ written on them and there was a special bag going to London. There was also a bag beside it going to Buenos Aires – all about the same time. You’ve got the picture. Because there was only a little man cleaning the floor, I just put my hand in there, lifted their three 

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{THE BIG INTERVIEW } HARRY BENSON

packages up and sent them to BA. It’s a shit trick, but to this day I do not regret it because they could have had the courtesy and the decency to tell me about a picture that everyone had, it wasn’t like they got hold of an exclusive! It was competitive between the papers in those days and I don’t regret it one bit. LD: What’s the dirtiest trick you’ve done to get one over on other photojournalists? HB: I think the one I just told you, that takes a lot of beating! And revenge was very quick. It was a spontaneous one. LD: You say in the book that you were a ‘mean son of a bitch’ and you didn’t want to just beat your competitors, you wanted to ‘kill them’. HB: Take them out of their misery. [Laughs] All this sounds awful now, awful! What a complete piece of shit, God! Excuse my language. It was fun. LD: Fleet Street was a tough business then, capable of making or breaking you. Were you ever close to breaking point? HB: You mean cracking up?

LD: You’ve photographed some huge moments in history. Do you ever regret spending the time photographing celebrities such as Michael Jackson and the like? HB: I would rather have done real stories like civil rights, going on a tour with a president or hunger in Somalia than doing celebrities, but if I wanted to keep eating that was it. But somebody like Michael Jackson was more than a celebrity, he was a massive talent, not a stupid, empty-headed man. LD: You said photographers and writers shouldn’t always research a subject because it can lead to being overwrought. Why do you think that? HB: Because when you’re reading about someone you’re writing about, you’re reading about their accomplishments and that isn’t encouraging news for you. I’m just going to meet a human being. You get overwrought and stop pushing them and they say ‘is that enough?’ And on plenty of occasions I’ve said ‘yes I’ve got enough for two pages, but I was hoping to get a cover and eight pages out of it. I just need more pictures’. Never let on to them you’re satisfied, which is a mistake that photographers make. [Mocks] ‘Have you got enough? Oh yes, yes’. Even if you’ve got more than enough you don’t say it, because they might be about to do something outrageous and show you something they’ve never shown anyone in their life. LD: When has that happened to you? HB: When Michael Jackson let me into Neverland at the last minute and three times afterwards. He let me into his bedroom and there was his throne, the King of Pop. It sounds kinda silly but it was important at the time and people wanted to see this throne.

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HARRY BENSON

LD: Yes. HB: No, no. Bobby Kennedy being shot in front of me showed that. I would’ve broken down if I hadn’t have done my job, because I know a well-known photographer who took one good picture in the kitchen then he ran away and was never the same again. He kept on moping about it.

Above: RFK Ethel in the Kitchen, 1968. Right: RFK at Ambassador Hotel, 1968.

When Richard Nixon allowed me into San Clemente two days after he got put out of office – that was only because I stayed at it. There have been plenty of cases where I haven’t accepted what a person was prepared to give me that day – but the point is I got it because I moved quickly and didn’t waste time ensuring the lighting was falling at the window or have stupid assistants fussing around, or stylists. They fuck everything up. It’s only my eyes that are there and if I have an assistant, he holds back and does not play a role in what I’m doing. He doesn’t understand which way I’m coming. LD: Why did you want to live in America? HB: So I could work for LIFE magazine and there was a lot happening. The Beatles were the perfect thing to be going with, I did the civil rights and race trouble, revolutions in the Caribbean. I tell you something, I’m lying in bed, you gather that, and I’ve covered every piece of shit around, I was never choosy. I never said ‘this job is above or below me’ because some of my best pictures have been taken when other photographers turned them down.


LD: What’s the one question you would like to be asked that you’ve never been asked? HB: [Long pause] Was it worth it. LD: And what would you say? HB: I don’t know. LD: Why? HB: Was all this ambition… was it worth taking certain risks for, because there are about 50 that you take and nothing comes out of them. Not every one you do results in a home run. PP www.harrybenson.com

HARRY BENSON: A Life in Pictures • Born in Glasgow in 1929, Harry worked for the Hamilton Advertiser in 1954 before moving to the Daily Sketch in London and later, the Daily Express. • He arrived in America in 1964 to cover The Beatles’ stateside tour and made the US home, working for People, Architectural Digest and was under contract to Vanity Fair from 1970-2000 • Harry has photographed every president from Eisenhower to Barack Obama • He received a CBE in 2009 • His work is permanently on display at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery

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THE STORY OF

HASSELBLAD Documenting a camera that has stood the test of time, JESSICA BRACEY travels through Hasselblad’s history and looks to its future

asselblad. One word, a thousand connotations, millions of users and billions of images captured in the hands of the prestigious body that bears the name of Swedish descent. It encapsulates everything that is grand about photography, from the image makers that have shaped our history in the form of the first snapshots on the moon and candid shots of Marilyn Monroe, to the innovation of fashion photography as we know it today – thanks to one Norman Parkinson. Their aim is simple; to produce the finest camera equipment known to man.

THE BEGINNING Its first master, Arvid Viktor Hasselblad, who crafted the HK7 back in 1940, was commissioned by the Swedish government after capturing a rival’s cargo during the second world war which held a German aerial surveillance camera. Upon being asked to reproduce an exact replica, founder Viktor Hasselblad answered: “No, but I can make a better one.” And with that determination to be the best, a legacy was built on manufacturing a camera that would continually present high standards in the still image. From the 7x9cm 80mm film camera with interchangeable lenses that started it all, to its most recent product the H5D with a staggering 60MP sensor, Hasselblad have continued to develop models that keep up with the modern day photographer. Picking out impeccable detail and colours, its end results are remarkable when capturing reality and fantasy, a trait that Hasselblad has sustained for decades. Its quality in manufacturing is unquestionable and that’s why photographers remain loyal to the brand. The

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most popular models under the Hasselblad name include the V System cameras, and with the progress in megapixels the clear triumph is its monumental H Series.

VERSATILITY AT ITS FINEST The Hasselblad user is a professional photographer who understands the craft of photography. Its users include masters such as Perou, Ansel Adams, Tim Flach and Bert Stern, illustrating the scope this brand can reach. When you think Hasselblad you may think pristine portraits and high-maintenance fashion shoots sprawled across nationwide billboards, and although its presentation in this genre excels beyond belief, it’s far much more than that. From landscapes to portrait, fashion and wildlife, its means have no end and its versatility can match any needs. Although Hasselblad is synonymous with professionals, its arms are open to enthusiasts too who share the same ethos and passion for image making. If you, like many others, glance upon the price tag of a Hasselblad we imagine it’s the same sour face you experience when pepping through the Rolex window, but just like a Rolex you want the best and see it more as an investment than a chunk out of the bank. It’s a camera that can stand the test of time and will see you through your professional career, compared to a lower-priced brand that you know will need upgrading in a couple of years’ time.

REACHING THE STARS The Hasselblad brand is out of this world, and we don’t just mean the aesthetics it produces, we’re talking science. Hand in hand with the small steps of man and one giant leap for mankind, the Hasselblad captured a milestone in history, for it was the first camera on the moon. Capturing those iconic

images which marked that extraordinary day, it stood the test of physics even though it was never intended to survive in zero gravity – heck the designers probably didn’t even know that man would ever attempt a moon landing let alone take a Hasselblad up with them. From that day on, Hasselblad was associated with this great legacy. The camera of choice for NASA, surely it doesn’t get any better than that.

THE IMAGE MAKERS An avid photographer, naturally, Arvid Viktor Hasselblad opened up a photography division within his father’s business, F.W. Hasselblad and Co., and set about importing supplies for the innovation of photography. Reported to say: “I certainly don’t think that we will earn much money on this, but at least it will allow us to take pictures for free,” little did he know that its success would skyrocket to unimaginable heights. Making it through a moon landing, the turn of a millennium and thousands of faces to glare into its very pristine lens, Hasselblad is much more than just a camera, it’s an institution. Like its Swedish translation as ‘hazel leaf’, Hasselblad takes pleasure in flourishing buds of talent and developing them as accomplished and well-respected photographers with the Hasselblad Masters Awards. Since 2001 the prestigious awards has recognised the likes of Charlie Waite and Patrick Demarchelier, and their gift to photographers worldwide doesn’t stop with awards. In 2012 Hasselblad opened up their London studios to all photographers regardless of what camera they carry and they present regular workshops to develop the craft of passionate image makers too. Beyond this Hasselblad’s help also lies in rhino conservation with their award that honours those who fight the cause of rhino poaching in Africa. 


GEAR: THEN AND NOW

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THEN AND NOW

Apollo 17 on the moon.

THE ORIGINAL: HASSELBLAD HK7 (1941) – The first Hasselblad camera was a HK7 with a 7x9cm format using 80mm film and featured two interchangeable lenses, a Zeiss Biotessar and either Meyer Telemegor or a Schneider Tele-Xenar.

THE BEST YET: HASSELBLAD H5D (2012) – With a new look and upgraded performance and reliability, the H5D features a macro converter, more accurate focusing with True Focus II, new compressed multi-shot Raw files for faster and smoother workflow, larger and more ergonomic buttons and improved weather sealing.

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The timeline of Hasselblad 19th Century MID 19TH CENTURY Arvid Viktor Hasselblad set up a photography division within his father’s home commerce company F.W. Hasselblad and Co.

20th Century

1888

1906

1935

1937

After a chance meeting with the founder of Kodak, George Eastman, Hasselblad began importing his products as the sole Swedish distributor.

Great grandson to Arvid Viktor Hasselblad, Victor, was born and raised to be the natural heir to the family business and developed a love of photography through his heritage.

Victor published the book Migratory Bird Passages which featured a number of birds in flight, a rare sight to see in the still image at the time.

Victor Hasselblad opened up his own shop, ‘Victor Foto’ in central Gothenburg, complete with a photo lab.

WHY PHOTOGRAPHERS THINK HASSELBLAD IS OUT OF THIS WORLD

Victor Hasselblad.

Vicente Ansolo, winner of the Up & Coming category in the 2012 Hasselblad Masters, has been a Hasselblad user for 25 years. “Having won the Hasselblad Masters has meant the beginning of a new stage in my career and seen a dream made reality. Thanks to winning the Hasselblad Masters I’ve had the opportunity to return to work with a Hasselblad, in this case the H4D-40, and I could revive old feelings. It’s a new way of working where composition, framing and focus on the shot are more powerful because of the breadth through the H4.40 viewfinder, plus a breathtaking picture quality that also allows me to release my creativity. I think being able to work with a Hasselblad is like shooting with a legend to which technology has given wings to remain a perfect reference tool for both professional and amateur photographers.” David Stanbury, FBIPP, has been a photographer for 18 years and a Hasselblad user for two years shooting on a H3D-31 Mark II. “I love the image quality, image size and speed. The speed part is probably the biggest thing I love, you can’t shoot like crazy; you have to think, see, frame and expose the image, all things that many photographs seem to forget. It’s all about the after sales service, which is absolutely brilliant, because the Hasselblad family is small compared to Canon, Nikon, etc. You are a person not a number and we do receive a very personal service.” Robert MacNeil shoots on a 503CW and has been published in over 30 international magazines. “Its history alone surpasses any other camera out there. I love the timeless design of my 503CW, the thought and process in its creation and development, it’s a work of art, every detail has been thought out meticulously to give the user the best photo experience. At a height of 6ft 3in, it is sometimes hard to get down on my knees to look through my Canon 5D Mark III viewfinder, so the Hasselblad top-down viewfinder works much better. Sure there are faster, lighter, and easier-to-use cameras out there but if you had to drive every day to work, would you choose a budget car or what James Bond drives?” The globe.

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GEAR: THEN AND NOW

21st Century 1940

1941

1941-1948

1969

1978

2002

2012

Following the surrender of a German cargo holding a camera, the Swedish government asked Victor if he could produce an exact replica, to which he replied: “No, but I can make a better one.”

Serial production of the first Hasselblad camera, the HK7, was in full force after moving the HQ of the small business to bigger premises. At the end of 1941 a new order from the Air Force asked Hasselblad to design a larger negative format camera that could be mounted onto an aircraft, the SKa4.

Continuing work with the Swedish military, Hasselblad delivered a total of 342 cameras between 1941 and 1945. In October 1948, Hasselblad introduced the first consumer camera, the 1600F.

The first images of man on the moon and first image of Earth were shot on the Hasselblad 500EL/70 by Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin.

Victor Hasselblad passed away leaving the majority of his fortune to the Erna and Victor Hasselblad Foundation, which aims to promote research and academic teaching in the natural sciences and photography.

6x4.5 digital medium format camera was launched featuring the latest technological developments including autofocus and advanced electronic chip control.

Hasselblad secure a collaboration with Sony to produce a line of products including a DSLR and a compact camera.

THE FUTURE IS BRIGHT Slowly moving their headquarters back to their native Swedish home, Hasselblad have never stopped moving with the times, the digital revolution and the needs of its consumers, the photographers. Priding themselves on continuing that legacy into future design, Hasselblad’s feet are firmly to the ground when it comes to research and design, their relationship with other manufacturers throughout history including the early days with Kodak as the sole Swedish distributor, their partnership with Broncolor that pairs high-end lighting equipment with the finest camera devises and their most recent collaboration with Sony that promises to enter the Medium Format camera into new market divisions. Speaking at Photokina 2012 at the launch of the H5D, Chairman and CEO of Hasselblad, Dr. Larry Hansen, spoke about the brand’s place in the market and what he believes is the future. “I have long held a desire to enable every fan of the iconic Hasselblad brand to have the opportunity to own one of our cameras. You will also see a further expansion in 2013 of new products, which will develop our new ultimate luxury and quality customer segments further.” On Hasselblad’s relationship with Sony, Hansen announced their decision to provide cameras to the enthusiasts that want a piece of the Hasselblad legacy but stop at the thought of its technical offerings. “We will work together to cultivate new markets for photo enthusiasts and consumer digital imaging products, whilst offering a state-of-the-art, ‘ultimate luxury’ mirrorless, interchangeable lens camera, which embraces the traditional Hasselblad iconic and emotional experience. Hasselblad’s future is bright, thanks to the company’s teams of experts who share exactly the same passion for Hasselblad as our customers and our many admirers.” PP www.hasselblad.co.uk

Photograph of astronaut’s foot print in the lunar soil during Apollo 11 extravehicular activity on the moon. (July 20, 1969)

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GEAR: LEICA M-E

I LEICA

The Leica has serious history as the camera of choice for the world’s best street photographers. MATT HENRY puts the new Leica M-E to the test on the unsuspecting populace of Brighton

There’s something about a manual or near-manual camera that brings intense joy to the DLSR user. Theirs is a tale of daily struggle with assorted buttons, switches and dials and countless menus and sub-menus and sub-sub-menus. Cameras like the Leica M-E bring us back to the good old days of plain sailing with the most minimal of controls. No PASM modes to worry about; you’ve got your aperture settings on the lens and your shutter settings on the main dial. So there’s your manual mode. Turn the dial to A and you’ve got aperture priority. Half-press the

shutter button in this mode and then adjust the aperture ring while it’s still half-pressed and you’ve got your exposure compensation. No fiddling, no fuss, no need to take your eye away from the lens; just pure, unbridled analogue speed.

MASTERING THE LEICA So this is the first thing that you’ll probably jump on if you haven’t taken a camera like this out of the box for a while; though it might take a short time to make the leap from DSLR land, it takes a little longer to truly master the camera. The Leica is designed to become a faithful

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GEAR: LEICA M-E

QUICK SPECS:

+ 18MP, full-frame CCD sensor

long-term companion, not a fleeting friend that you might bump into for a coffee now and then and expect to have great conversation with. The movements should be about feeling rather than looking, and this takes some time to grasp. Legend has it that Henri Cartier-Bresson could successfully focus his Leica behind his back. There are some nice touches as you’d expect from the German manufacturer to make this feeling-based usage a real possibility. The main dial has half increments for the shutter speeds, and these half notches stop when you reach the Bulb and Auto settings, so it’s possible to work out where you are on the dial without even looking. And the aperture and focus rings are fixed at each end, so again you can work out where you are by feel alone. The Leica M-E is a rangefinder as you probably already know, and while this isn’t the place to debate the pluses and minuses of rangefinder systems set against SLR systems, suffice to say that the focusing will take a little time to get used to, as will the lack of an autofocus system. It’s a fraction slower in use than SLR manual focus first off, but that’s not to say that those gaps can’t be closed with time and practise. Some

+ ISO 80-2500 + 2fps frame rate + DNG Raw

+ 2.5in LCD with 690,000 dots + Street price: £3,900 (body only) + Leica Summicron-m 35mm f/2.0 Aspheric Lens £2,100

expertise will certainly be required to track a fast-moving subject; it’s more likely that the M-E will find its potential through the use of pre-focusing and anticipation in the old manner of capturing the ‘decisive moment’. For street photography, its ideal usage, using the distance measurement on the lens and firing from the hip when your subject of choice enters into range is a great way to go about things, providing you can use a wide-ish angle lens and narrow-ish aperture to give you a bit of room for error.

[The screen] looks like something from a first-generation DSLR [...] Still, perhaps this will encourage you to forget the LCD and get on with the business of taking photographs as per the days of old. MH 88


Legend has it that Henri Cartier-Bresson could successfully focus his Leica behind his back. MH THE MENU AND CONTROLS Also useful for this type of work is the Auto ISO setting in the main menu, which lets you specify the slowest possible shutter speed to use. The max is 1/125sec though; it would have been nice to see 1/250 or even 1/500sec to properly guarantee the freezing of human movement, especially as vibration seems to sneak in at times at 1/125. A faster frame rate than 2fps would also be on the wish list for this type of work. The menu itself is novel in that it contains no sub-menus; everything is there under one single banner, meaning a bit of scrolling time but it does seem to simplify things nicely. No need to divert precious brain power when your attention is on something else on shoot. It’s unfortunate then that the menu scroll wheel and button combo is let down with no centre OK button. Instead you have to move your hand leftwards to the Set button, which feels awkward and unnatural. The Info screen is thoughtfully organised (and great that you get a histogram of a zoomed section) but the LCD as a whole is unforgivably bad for a camera with this price tag or indeed any price tag. It looks like something from a first-generation DSLR in terms of size, contrast and resolution. It’s worth noting that the new Leica M boasts a bigger screen (3.0in instead of 2.5). Still, perhaps this

will encourage you to forget the LCD and get on with the business of taking photographs as per the days of old.

METERING AND IMAGE QUALITY The centre-weighted metering system doesn’t impress, at least if you’re used to the intelligence of the evaluative forms offered by modern DSLR cameras. Some shots in our street test came out as much as three stops underexposed, with a decent number at one and two stops under. You have to be careful not to tilt the camera up too much to include the sky if you’re shooting from the hip, and perhaps keep a keen eye on the tones in shot, shifting a stop here and there with the aperture ring to suit, as per days gone by. This will take time and practise but shooting the DNG Raw files gives plenty of latitude for post-process correction which is the good news. Boosting by two stops didn’t reveal nasty blotches of hidden shadow noise even at the higher ISO settings. No such problems with image quality from its 18MP CCD sensor which is absolutely first class. The 35mm f/2.0 lens supplied is superb with gorgeous bokeh and a rich contrast that blows away anything that Canon or Nikon have on offer. The areas where depth-of-field falls off are as attractive as those in focus, even at a 

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GEAR: LEICA M-E

DISLIKES

+ No OK button in menu selector

+ Terrible LCD screen

LIKES

+ Simple layout + Superb build quality + Small size and low

+ Metering requires intervention

+ Slow frame rate

noise

Its size and sound, or the serious lack of both, is incredibly advantageous for street photography in these paranoid times. You can point it anywhere and no-one seems to care too much. MH middling aperture like f/8.0. And where the DSLR lenses often deliver washed-out-looking images that beg for a bit of Lightroom treatment, the Leica lenses show rich colour and startling contrast straight out of the can. The only place where the DSLRs trump the M-E is with ISO noise, which is definitely a little higher on the Leica at all settings, though not high enough to pose anything of a problem (it’s also nicely uniform across the tonal range).

THE BUILD The least controversial aspect of the Leica is obviously the build quality, which reminds you of the sort of safe someone might own if their hobby was collecting diamonds. Like the M9 (which the M-E effectively replaces for most users), the body is magnesium alloy with anthracite grey brass top and bottom plates. It feels like you couldn’t really break it if you tried; not least without a jackhammer or something else seriously industrial. So it’s obviously heavy for its pocket size but this does help with balance when push comes to shove. Its size and sound, or the serious lack of both, is incredibly advantageous for street photography in these paranoid times. You can point it

+ Superlative optics + Excellent image quality

anywhere and no-one seems to care too much. See how far you get with a DSLR before someone moans or security wades in with its size sixteens.

VERDICT DSLRs just aren’t practical to lug about on your travels and certainly no use for street photography where they can be spotted a clear mile away. And what use is shooting on a camera phone or a crappy compact when you’ll never be able to hang these pictures from a gallery wall or stick them in your folio. It’s here that the Leica M-E really excels. It’s compact enough to take anywhere, yet delivers images on a par with those from a Canon and Nikon. There are gripes that it would be nice to see dealt with by Leica in future updates, not least the awful LCD. Those with another £1,200 might prefer the 3.0inch LCD on the Leica M, as well as the 24MP CMOS sensor which allows for Live View and video capture. Drawbacks aside, it’s a superb camera for those with deep pockets and a true passion for the art of manual photography. PP www.uk.leica-camera.com www.matthenryphoto.com

VERDICT 8.5/10

(((((((((

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SOFTWARE

LIGHTENING THE LOAD ROSSELLA VANON puts her pen, paper and diary to one side to see if Light Blue v4 can speed up the business side of her workflow

GETTING STUCK IN Without a software like Light Blue you rely on your diary a lot, plus paperwork which can end up all over the place and a crammed inbox which you have to search through every time you need to refer back to a shoot. Many photographers are used to this process, so they probably don’t question it. You do have to get used to using a business software like Light Blue, especially if you’ve had your own system before. It’s a relatively complicated software because it lets you do a lot of things. I had a good look at the tutorials that Light Blue offer online, they’re really useful and there are many of them. There are three main introductory tutorials, but when I came up with more advanced questions I also managed to find the answer to those in the additional, more indepth videos. If you familiarise yourself with the tutorials Light Blue not a difficult software to learn how to use.

HOW IT WORKS You access the software with a username and password, which means nobody else can access your account – rather important given that there is accounting and finance involved. You can create a contact list and import contacts from your computer, your email and so on, and whenever you have an enquiry about a

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shoot you can create a new ‘enquiry’ and enter all the information – when the shoot would take place, how much you would charge, who the client is (if they’re in your system already you can find them very easily). The system tells you straight away whether you’re free or not. From that point on you can decide to confirm the shoot and you can decide to set up a list of tasks related to that enquiry. Maybe you want to follow up with the client a week after your confirmation if you haven’t heard form them, or send an invoice, and you can set up all these tasks so that you will be reminded on the day. The contact with clients will be through your existing email account, which links up with the software. When you open your software you will see all relevant reminders and until you’ve completed your tasks they will show up in red, it’s a very visual system. If you sell prints or retouched images you can create a sale and add the option to send out invoices.

Sometimes it can be hard to keep track of how much you spend on a styled shoot so the fact that you can check how much money you’ve made and spent over a month, or a year, or however long you want to monitor, is really useful for freelancers. RV

WHAT’S NEW? One of the best things about Light Blue v4 is the new syncing feature. You allow the software to go online and it takes your data and stores it on the Light Blue server. You only have to be online for a very short time to facilitate syncing. Once the data is saved on the server it’s backed up so if you end up losing your computer of phone you’ll still have all your business data. At first I wasn’t sure about this so one of my questions for the people at Light Blue was how safe the server was. Obviously, if you upload all your clients’ data on someone’s server you want it to be safe. They explained to me that all the information is encrypted so nobody can access it – Light Blue don’t hold on to your username and

password, so you are the only person who can access your files.

ACCOUNTING AND WORKFLOWS Sometimes it can be hard to keep track of how much you spend on a styled shoot so the fact that you can check how much money you’ve made and spent over a month, or a year, or however long you want to monitor, is really useful for freelancers. The invoicing system is very quick and Light

ROSSELLA VANON

There’s so much finance and administration involved in running a photography business and the great thing about Light Blue is that it puts everything together in one place. Short of editing your photos you can do everything – dealing with enquiries, confirming shoots, sending out invoices, seeing how much you’ve made and spent at each shoot and over the year; I find it very useful to be able to do all my administration in one place.


INFO

Standalone price (for businesses with one computer): £295. Including online services/sync: from £7.50 monthly + £295 stand-alone fee. Compatible with: Mac OS X 10.6 or higher, or Windows Vista or higher. www.lightbluesoftware.com

Blue offers templates to make it even quicker. You can also set up ‘workflows’ for different types of shoots, say, editorial shoots and lookbooks shoots. When I get an editorial booking, my first task is to find the team, second task to email everyone the details and third task is to find the location, and so on. You can make this workflow apply to all editorial shoots, so once you confirm an editorial booking these tasks will come up on your list of things to do, at the date that you have decided. It keeps everything

under control and saves you a lot of time if you have repetitive procedures for your shoots. If a client hasn’t been I touch for a long time, it will become visible to you and you can decide to cancel the shoot and make the date available to other clients.

VERDICT My overall conclusion after using the software for a month is that it really helps with the admin and financial work – keeps it tidy and in one

place. To me, this together with the online sync feature that safely backs up your data and contacts, makes it worth investing in. You do have to spend some time in the beginning figuring out how the software works, but then I don’t know how a software that lets you do so many things could be made any more approachable. And now that I know how to use it, it’s helping me incredibly. PP www.rvanonphotography.com

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GEAR: DIY

PIMP MY LENS

For most people, taking a hacksaw through a £2,000 Zeiss lens is unthinkable. For PAUL SANDERS it was the beginning of a DIY test of nerves When I heard that Zeiss were about to launch their 15mm f/2.8 I was so excited I nearly burst. I’d been using their 21mm for about 18 months and to say it’s sharp is an understatement. Without any doubt it’s the best lens I have – I rarely leave it at home. I had dreams of how amazing the 15mm would be; sharp, clear optics with little distortion. It was supposed to be the perfect lens for my landscapes. The first look at it I got was at Photokina. I patiently queued to handle it and was cooing over the glass, when I tried to take off the lens hood. To be fair to the security guard at the Zeiss stand, he had every right to ask me to stop trying to unscrew the hood as strangely they had designed it not to be removed. I asked about Zeiss removing it if I bought one and was asked, ‘why would I want it removed?’ “To use my Lee filters,” I replied. “Oh yes, you must do landscapes – well you should do exposure merging then, that would be one way of managing the contrast,” was the reply from the sales man from Zeiss. Yes I could, but why should I? I want to get it right in camera as often as I can. I’m so old fashioned, I know!

OPERATION HACKSAW I spoke to the nice chaps at Lee Filters who were kind, sympathetic and as helpful as they could be, but there was no Lee filter solution for the Zeiss 15mm as yet. After a few weeks on back order the lens arrived – I ordered it after hatching a cunning plan. Two days later the Lee SW-150 starter kit arrived and my plan started to become a reality. In true A-Team style, I gathered my tools, gaffer tape, screwdrivers, glue and a hacksaw. Yes, dear reader, I was going to re-fashion the lens to make it work for me. Carefully I covered the front element, a lens cloth cut to fit, some tissues and a piece of cardboard shaped to fit, then a hefty layer of gaffer tape to keep the glass free of metal shavings.

CUT OF NO RETURN Taking a hacksaw to the petal lens hood of a £2,000 piece of the finest

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glass around is not something I would normally do, or recommend. But with zen-like concentration while on the phone to a friend in the Netherlands, I made the first cut. My friend, a fellow photographer, asked what the grating noise was as we spoke. After explaining what I was doing she called me crazy and said I shouldn’t try to multitask! Five minutes and a considerable amount of sweat later there was no going back, I was minus one petal! I tweeted a picture and got a barrage of messages suggesting I was a little short on sanity and I was ready to carry on. The second petal seemed to almost fall off as my confidence in my skill with a hacksaw grew. After ten minutes I had a lens that looked like it had been in a car crash, all serrated metal and silver scratches. The once pristine black paintwork was damaged beyond belief. On a positive note the lens element was still safe despite my best efforts at sawing a crooked line!

FILE AND GO Not to be put off I started to file the sawn edges smooth. Like a master craftsman I worked at the metal body for a few hours to get the jagged lumps of metal back to some semblance of the original finish. Finally I fitted part of the Lee SW-150 filter holder to the lens, and as it was quite a tight fit, I wedged it on with the aid of a small hammer and secured it in place with a healthy application of Araldite. Once more I attacked the lens with a file and emery paper to get a nearly mirror-like finish to the metal. Once I had got the metal in shape I decided I had best re-spray the lens so it at least looked reasonable. The filter holder itself needed some minor modifications too, so that any cut-off was avoided, but that was very straightforward. After two days of work I had what I wanted, the very best wide-angle on the market that now takes Lee filters. Am I happy with my handiwork, hell yes! I love the lens and the results surpass anything I had hoped for. Yes, it’s a beast with the filter holder on but worth the effort. PP www.paulsanders.biz


TaDa!!

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KEY REFLECTIONS TOM MARTIN strips his pictures of backgrounds to test the powers of Reflec Media’s ChromaFlex green screen system Whether you’re a photographer or a videographer, chroma keying is an incredibly useful technique, allowing you to place your subject in any location you please. However, producing an image which will enable the easy removal of the green or blue background is a relatively complex task to accomplish, especially if you’re under time constraints. Enter Reflec Media, and their unique chroma keying solution, which promises to make chromakeying a breeze. Traditional chroma key solutions involve the use of a green or blue background in front of which your subject is stood. You then shoot the action in front of the screen before retreating to the editing suite to make the magic happen. Here you use a piece of compositing software to remove the background, by essentially telling the computer to treat anything that is the same shade of green or blue as transparent. A few clicks later and the blue or green backdrop has

disappeared, allowing you to place your subject on top of any backdrop you like. Simple eh? Well actually, not really. To produce a good result your backdrop needs to be a completely uniform colour so the computer can easily remove it. If the colour varies too much across the backdrop it won’t be removed properly. This often occurs when there are creases in the backdrop, which produce shadows, and hence a darker shade of green or blue is recorded. This often leads to hours of additional post production work to fix your now very costly mistake. In order to prevent this and produce an image which will key easily, you’ll need to carefully light the backdrop and the subject evenly, and ensure your subject is stood far enough away from the screen to avoid any light spill from the green/ blue screen tainting the edge of the subject, again producing a poor key. Thus, a traditional green screen set-up requires a reasonable amount of time and space to assemble and produce good results,

Green Screen.

THE KIT

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something which is often distinctly lacking in the situations where we need to use green screens. Reflec Media’s system aims to change all that, and greatly simplify the process of chromakeying. There are two main components to the system; a fold up backdrop of their ChromaMatte material, and a LiteRing light attachment, which clips onto the front of your lens using the included screwon adaptor, and then plugs into a control box with an LCD display, which can be powered from the mains or a battery. The kit is well made and fits together snuggly. It’s reassuringly heavy and looks like it could easily deal with the rigours that come with daily professional use. The way the system works is really quite clever. The ChromaMatte background material appears dull grey to the naked eye, but contains millions of tiny glass beads that act as mini reflectors. The LiteRing attachment contains powerful LED lights in both green and blue, the intensity of which can easily be adjusted using


GEAR: CHROMAFLEX GREEN SCREEN

the attached control box. This directional light hits the fabric and is then returned on the same path back into the camera’s lens. This retroreflective process means that the camera sees the grey fabric as an evenly lit green or blue background, removing the need to light the backdrop. As long as your lights are kept off-axis from the LiteRing, you’re free to light your subject as you normally would. Because of this, you can also stand your subject much closer to the backdrop than in a normal green screen setup with no ill effects; incredibly useful if you’re working in a confined space.

TESTING The proof of the pudding, as they say, is in the tasting, so with the large backdrop setup (you’ll want to support it as it’s very large, a couple of spare light stands and some clamps did the trick for me) I went about finding a suitable subject. With no willing volunteers, I press ganged our faithful family hound into service as a (mostly) obedient model, and went about testing the product, using my 60D to shoot both stills and video footage. I lit her relatively simply, using a Dedo softbox for a key and two Dedo lights as a fill and backlight; trying to emulate a speedy lighting setup in cramped conditions. I then tweaked the level of the light emanating from the LiteRing using the easy-to-use control box, and went about shooting some stills and video. In both cases, the setup produced a good, evenly lit background with ease. I then imported the stills and video clips into After Effects, and went to work removing the background. Using the built in KeyLight plugin, I was able to very quickly and easily remove the backdrop from each and every shot, often in only a matter of

Background keyed out.

clicks and with minimal tweaking required. I was very impressed to see how cleanly the subject had keyed, with sharp, clean outlines; especially impressive given the hairy nature of my faithful test subject! I was then able to easily replace the backdrop with a background image of my choosing. After testing was complete, I packed everything away with relative ease into the included carry bag (the generously proportioned backdrop took a bit of effort to fold away, however, and is ideally a two man job!) Overall, the product performed admirably, and lived up to its promises and my expectations of it. It’s fast and easy to set up and use in cramped environments, and allows you to get near perfect results with ease. It’s well made and portable, allowing you to easily take it on location for a shoot at a client’s premises and still get great results, even under time constraints. The ability to switch instantly between a green or blue screen at the flick of a switch is invaluable as it enables you to easily deal with subjects wearing clashing colours without having to replace the screen and go through the hassle of relighting the whole setup.

Blue Screen.

Background keyed out.

Background composited in.

VERDICT With a price tag of £1,355 for the kit I tested, you’ll need to be doing a fair amount of chroma keying work to offset the price of ownership. However, the ease with which the product gives great results will likely mean you’ll find yourself using the technique more often anyway. If you need an easy-to-use, portable and versatile chroma key setup which gives great results then this comes highly recommended. PP

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Background composited in.

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KA: You’re just about to launch the exhibition of your eight-year project, Genesis. Is this the end of a chapter in your life? SS: Yes, it’s the end of a period in my life where I took great pleasure in being where I went. I went to the most incredible, beautiful places on this planet so it was an amazing gift I made to myself. It’s a shame it’s come to an end but that’s how it works, I collaborated with a group of publications under certain guidelines and that is what we agreed to do. KA: So what happens now, are you planning to retire? SS: Yeah I’m at an age where I could retire, I’m 69, but you know photographers never really retire. That’s a big advantage with the job that we do. Most probably I’ll be going back to a few of the places I went to for the project. My work was divided into chapters; the southern part of the planet, northern part, Amazonia, Africa – the sanctuaries of the planet. In the south I spent a lot of time in South America, Antarctica and the Falklands, Argentina, Chile… and I want to go to the other side. I want to go to New Zealand, and then reach the Antarctica from that side because I’ve only reached it from the South American side. Antarctica is a huge continent. And I’m planning to go back to the Amazonas. I had an Amazonian chapter and I’m going back in June to do another story with a group of indigenous people who are having a very difficult time. I’m going with Survive International from England, they invited me to go there to do a piece about the people and their fight for their land. I’d like to go to the Amazonas a few more times and who knows, maybe I can create another body of work from there. KA: Your pictures have been described as ‘biblical’ and your project is called Genesis – is The Bible a source of influence for you? SS: It is not, I’m not a believer [laughs]. I don’t know, the light that I use is the light that I bring with me from the interior of Brazil where I was born, and sometimes people look at it and imagine that it is biblical. Of course naming my project Genesis would add to that, you would imagine that it’s linked to The Bible but it isn’t. I use the term as the religion uses the term, just to define the beginning. It’s a perfect definition of what I want to see. But in the course of this work I went much more into the concept of evolution, to try to understand what Darwin saw. I started my work in Galapagos where Darwin finished his research. I started there and I went

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to exactly the same place that he described and saw exactly the things that he saw, they are there. Exactly as they were at the end of the 1860s when he went there. The climate there is so special that things don’t move within 150 years. It might take millions of years. KA: Who has been your main source of inspiration? Is there an artist who has influenced you more than anyone else? SS: I love the classical school of Dutch painters and the French ones – I love their light. It’s not the same as my light and it’s not where I’ve got my light from. You always bring the light from inside to outside. From the shadow to the light. You have a photographer who was not British but was known as a British photographer, Bill Brandt, I love his work. I think he was an incredible photographer. And then there are photographers like Martin Chambi and Manuel Álvarez Bravo, Martin Chambi lived in the interior of Peru, in Cusco, and he was an incredible portraitist and the most fabulous photographer I ever saw. And Manuel Álvarez Bravo from Mexico was really great too. I also love Cartier-Bresson. Each photographer is unique and has their own way of seeing what they are born with and grow with. KA: So the light comes from within them? SS: Absolutely. I remember once I was at a conference and someone asked a photographer, ‘explain how you use light’. And I started wondering, can I explain my light? And I concluded that I can’t. The only explanation of my light is my life. Photographers bring the light from within themselves, except the photographers who work in the studio and work with flash, that’s different. Some like to shoot with the sun to get soft light. I like to work against the light to get the incredible design and shapes that it brings, and it’s more difficult because you have to expose to allow for that light. Others work with diagonal light but whichever light you use you bring it from within yourself. KA: What’s the most important thing you’ve learnt from another photographer? SS: The systematisation of my work. Organising my contact sheets,

SEBASTIÃO SALGADO/AMAZONAS IMAGES/NBPICTURES

SEBASTIÃO SALGADO tells Kathrine Anker about his eight-year-long exploration of the world and where his incredible light comes from


Above left to right: In the Upper Xingu region of Brazil’s Mato Grosso state, a group of Waura fish in the Puilanga Lake near their village; Qorilasos of Chumbivilcas, Cusco, 1930 by Martin Chambi; Steeple Jason Island is home to more than 500,000 couples of black-browed albatrosses, the largest colony of albatrosses in the world. Right: Manos de un Artista by Manuel Álvarez Bravo. Left: Sebastião pictured with his wife, Lelia Wanick Salgado

printing, better ways to edit the work. All the organisation and preparation that allows you to do your work better. The photography is intuitive. If you consider all my pictures that will be on show at the Natural History Museum, about 250 pictures, they are taken at an average speed of 1/250sec. In this fraction of a second you have your light, you have the way that you frame the picture. It’s instinctive, it’s you. KA: What is it like to work with your wife, Lelia Wanick Salgado? How has she influenced your work? SS: Very much. Next year we’ve been together for 50 years. I don’t know where to start or finish, we’ve built everything together. Lelia is an architect and she does almost all the layouts of my books. She is the curator of my shows and the organiser of all my work. She’s very creative. I really like her classical taste and the way she builds the layouts and sequences the pictures. I have a lot of respect, admiration and love for her. It’s fantastic to be able to work together in this way.

Manuel Álvarez Bravo’s image, Manos de un Artista, was kindly provided by The Photographers’ Gallery. Alongside talks, exhibitions and workshops, their print room sell prints by Sebastião Salgado starting from $7200+VAT and by Manuel Alvarez Bravo starting from £2,500 + VAT. For more information, please visit www.thephotographersgallery.org.uk

KA: When you left your career as an economist to become a photographer, were you driven by a desire to document what you knew or was it more of a desire to express yourself artistically? SS: When I started photography I tried everything, I tried portraiture, landscapes, nudes. One day I saw myself doing documentary photography, which makes sense in my case. Economy is a social science – it’s sociology quantified. I did macroeconomics and national accounts, it wasn’t enterprise economy. My focus was on economy for a society, so it’s natural that my photography developed in the direction that it did, all the way to Genesis where I came very close to nature. In the end every story that I did was about my life, the things I believe, my ideology, my ethics. PP www.amazonasimages.com

[

Sebastião Salgado’s Genesis is the culmination of eight years’ work exploring 32 countries. 250 of his images will be on display at the Natural History Museum from 8 April to 8 September 2013. £10 adults, £5 child and concessions Cromwell Road, London SW7 5BD www.nhm.ac.uk

[

PHOTO ARCHIVE MARTIN CHAMBI, CUSCO – PERU WWW.MARTINCHAMBI.ORG

SEBASTIÃO SALGADO/AMAZONAS IMAGES/NBPICTURES

Salgado on Chambi and Bravo

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