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ISSUE 119 MARCH 2011





OLYMPUS XZ-1 The great new compact that both looks and works like a classic

PANASONIC LUMIX DMC-GH2 We review it as a camera for stills and the moving image

PENTAX OPTIO WG-1 Is this a new breed of tough waterproof camera?



MARCH 2011

Learn how to shoot at the edge of the world


The 5 lies of monochrome shooting revealed

Essential tips & advice on finding the right course for you





3-inch display, Live Wheel feature menu, Bluetooth capability and kitted with new smaller virtually silent 14-42mm lens.



Looking for outstanding image quality and control but not complicated menu screens or bafing photographic jargon? The innovative and easy-to-use LIVE GUIDE makes true SLR quality as simple as point and shoot. Set everything just like the pros only without the fuss. Find out how it works at www.olympus.co.uk/pen

MARCH 2011 | ISSUE 119



WHEN PEOPLE START TO TALK ABOUT LANDSCAPE PHOTOGRAPHY I FEEL THEY OFTEN CONCENTRATE ON TOO NARROW A FIELD OF SUBJECT AND APPROACH. If we take landscape to mean everything we see that surrounds us, then shooting landscape becomes a far more exciting prospect to people such as myself who are not so enamoured with nature and walks. Whether its travelling to the Hebrides, clinging to a vertical rockface or seeking out architectural possibilities we have it covered this month. For those of you who favour a more traditional form of landscape and who like to develop your skills on photographic courses, we get regular contributor and experienced course guide David Ward to provide the valuable information you need when trying to find the right one for you. I might even look into going on a course myself to see if I can get to embrace nature at first hand. I hope you are enjoying the magazine each month as well as our podcasts, iPhone and iPad apps, and all of the information we put on to our websites. Its so exciting for us to see so many of you accessing our content through so many different new mediums. Over 100,000 of you have now downloaded our podcasts from iTunes alone, more than 13,000 of you have downloaded our World of Photography iPad app and over 26,000 of you are following us on Facebook and Twitter. Thats a lot of people and a lot of photographers to thank individually for their support, so I hope a general big thanks will do. Until next month. PM

Grant Scott Editor, Photography Monthly


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9-15 ESSENTIAL NEWS FROM THE WORLD OF PHOTOGRAPHY, INCLUDING: Pentax limited edition K-5, the London Street Photography Festival, Olympuss range of tough compact cameras, Canons new DSLRs, PM at Focus on Imaging 2011, Sony World Photography Awards and The Royal Photographic Societys 154th International Print Competition.

27-35 JIM RICHARDSON National Geographic photographer Jim Richardson loves Scotland, in particular the Hebrides. Cass Chapman caught up with him to find how he captures these stunning landscapes. 37-46 JIMMY CHIN National Geographic photographer Jimmy Chin is an adventurer and extreme photographer. As an accomplished mountain athlete he fills his images with drama, life and majesty. Find out how.

51-58 KRISTOPHER GRUNERT Award-winning architectural photographer Kristopher Grunert offers his expert and invaluable advice to help you create outstanding images of buildings and industrial landscapes using lines, light, colours and shapes.


62-64 GBP WINNER ANNOUNCED Find out the identity of the winner in the most popular competition we have ever run. 66-71 DAVID WARD Contributor David Ward offers advice to help you get the most from a photography course.

82-83 FILM SCHOOL John Campbell brings you the latest news and kit, as well as inspiration from the world of film making on your DSLR. 85-91 MARTIN MIDDLEBROOK This month Martin tells you why and how to break all the rules when it comes to shooting in black-and-white. 92-95 TRIPOD ROUND-UP Jessica Lamb takes a look at the best heavyweight and lightweight tripods available on the market today. 96-97 READERS CHALLENGE Win great prizes by uploading your images to the gallery. This month still life.

79 EMILY ANDERSEN Read about Emilys fascination with twins and her portrait project to capture them.
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72-77 NEIL TURNER This month lighting master Neil Turner shows you how to create beautiful winter still lifes.


Every month we feature the very best of our readers pictures that have been posted in our online gallery

Monthly news from the Editor.

Those who have helped us to put this months issue together.

Join our community and save even more money by subscribing to two magazines.

Find out what award-winning photojournalist Kieran Doherty made of the latest compact DSLR in the Lumix range.


Editor Grant Scott gets graphic in downtown Las Vegas with this impressive and good-looking compact from Olympus.

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Each month we introduce you to the people we work with to produce Photography Monthly



Jim Richardson
Jim is the first of two world-class photographers featured in our Edge of the World special this month. A National Geographic magazine veteran, his first passion is the environment, which he strives to communicate in every picture he makes. In Highlander on page 27 he explains his great love for Scotland and why great photography is rarely about the kit you use.

Jimmy Chin
Jimmy is the second photographer in our Edge of the World special. An accomplished adventurer, he is also an exceptional photographer and film maker. He has captured the worlds foremost extreme athletes in some of the remotest and most hostile environments on Earth. In Born of Fire & Ice on page 37 Jimmy shares his experiences and offers expert advice.

Kristopher Grunert
Kristopher is an award-winning architectural and industrial landscape photographer. His use of lines, light and shadow infuses his images with intense atmosphere and scale. In Blurring the Lines on page 51, he explains what he is looking for, how he approaches his subject and using long exposures of more than 10 seconds to complete his photographic vision.

David Ward
David is a regular contributor to Photography Monthly. He is also a master of composition and a veteran tutor, regularly sharing with his students the years of experience he has gained working as a professional photographer. In The Right Course of Action on page 66, he offers sound advice on how you can get the most from a photography course.

GROUP BRAND EDITOR Grant Scott grant.scott@archant.co.uk DEPUTY EDITOR Sean Samuels sean.samuels@archant.co.uk ART EDITOR Adrienne Wheeler adrienne.wheeler@archant.co.uk MANAGING EDITOR Simon Reynolds simon.reynolds@archant.co.uk FEATURES ASSISTANT Kelly Weech kelly.weech@archant.co.uk EDITORIAL ASSISTANT Jessica Lamb jessica.lamb@archant.co.uk SPECIAL THANKS Mandy Pellatt

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Archant Specialist. Archant Specialist is part of Archant Ltd.
I While reasonable care is taken to ensure the accuracy of the information in Photography Monthly, that information is obtained from a variety of sources and neither the publisher, the printers nor any distributor is responsible for errors or omissions. All prices and data are accepted by us in good faith as being correct at the time of going to press. Pound conversion rates correct at the time of going to press. Advertisements are accepted for publication in Photography Monthly only upon Archant Specialists standard Terms of Acceptance of Advertising, copies of which are available from the advertising department. All advertisements of which the content is in whole or in part the work of Archant Specialist remain the copyright of Archant Specialist. Reproduction in whole or in part of any matter appearing in Photography Monthly is forbidden except by express permission of the publisher. Competition terms and conditions: I The closing date for competitions/giveaways is displayed alongside the competition/giveaway online. I Employees of Archant Specialist, and those professionally connected with the competition/giveaway, for example, employees of the sponsor company, are not eligible to enter. I Unless otherwise stated, competitions/giveaways are only open to UK residents. I Prizes are as described and no alternatives can be given. I The editors decision is nal and no correspondence will be entered into. I Archant Specialist may wish to contact you in the future, or pass your details to selected third parties, to introduce new products and services to you. If you are sending your entry by text and do not wish to be contacted, please add the word NO to the end of your text message. If you are sending your entry by post, please tick the appropriate boxes on the entry form.


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All you need to know from the world of photography Druzhba sanatorium (I Vasilevsky, Y Stefanchuk), Yalta, Ukraine, 1985.

To enter competitions and win fantastic prizes visit www.photography monthly.com



TASCHEN IS SET TO RELEASE a beautiful new book which anyone with an interest in architecture and landscapes will love. From 2003 until 2010, French photographer Frdric Chaubin travelled extensively across 14 former Soviet Republics to capture engaging images of buildings constructed

between 1970 and 1990. He calls this period the fourth age of Soviet architecture and believes the design styles are testament to all the ideological dreams of the period, from the obsession with the cosmos to the rebirth of national identities as an empire came to an end. For the past 15 years,

Chaubin has been Editor-in-Chief of the French lifestyle magazine Citizen K. This book, Cosmic Communist Constructions Photographed, by Frdric Chaubin, is priced 34.99 in hardcover and will be available from March. ISBN: 978-3-8365-2519-0 PM www.taschen.com

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Extreme sports fans will be interested to learn that Pentax has released two new cameras in its rugged waterproof range. The Optio WG-1 and WG-1 GPS are even more robust and water resistant than previous models. Waterproof up to 10m, the cameras can withstand a free fall from 1.5m in height and pressure up to 100kg. The Optio WG-1 can also endure extreme temperatures down to -10C. The Optio WG-1 GPS packs an added geotagging feature, which automatically calculates and stores your latitude and longitude, as well as the date. This means you can accurately place your photos on map photography sites such as Google Earth, Flickr and Picasa. Equipped with a 14MP CCD image sensor, both models are encased in a rugged aluminium alloy body and have a wide-angle 5x optical zoom lens (equivalent to a 28140mm in 35mm) and a 1cm macro function. Both models also have a 2.7in LCD screen with 230,000 dpi resolution and a 16/9 format, HD video recording function (1,280 x 720MP) at 30fps, an enhanced microscope function (allowing you to enlarge pictures by up to six times), face priority, smile detection and a blinking alert function. The Optio WG-1 comes in black/blue and purple, and the Optio WG-1 GPS comes in green and grey/black. The Optio WG-1 is priced at 269 and the WG-1 GPS at 299. Both models will be available from March. In related news, Pentax is also releasing a limited-edition version of its K-5 DSLR. Only 50 units of the camera, in silver, will be available in the UK. As well as the new finish, the thumbwheels, buttons and packaging have been updated. The rear LCD and top screen have been reinforced and the handle redesigned to make it more comfortable to hold. To complete the new K-5 silver version, three existing pancake lenses are now also available in silver: the smc DA 40mm f/2.8 Limited, the smc DA 21mm f/3.2 AL Limited and the smc DA 70mm f/2.4 Limited. Prices have yet to be confirmed, but the model is expected to go on sale in March. www.pentax.co.uk


The shortlist for the 2011 Sony World Photography Awards has been announced. With a professional competition spanning the three genres of photojournalism & documentary, fine art and commercial, plus an open competition for photographers of all abilities, the awards feature work from as far away as Afghanistan, Argentina and China with several UK photographers also making the cut. The winners will be announced on 27 April at a ceremony at the Odeon Leicester Square, London, marking a move away from Cannes, which has hosted the event in previous years. The overall Photographer of the Year will win a prize of $25,000, as well as professional Sony camera equipment. www.worldphoto.org

At the start of the year Lexar released a 128GB SDXC memory card providing speeds of 133x for quick download times of both stills and 1,080p HD video. Included with every card is the latest version of the manufacturers Image Rescue software. There is also a 64GB version. The cards come with a limited lifetime warranty and free, dedicated professional technical support. They are expected to hit the shops in the spring priced 249.99 for the 64GB version and 449.99 for the 128GB version. www.lexar.com

The UltraPod II is a useful bit of kit for any outdoor photographer who would rather not carry a full-size tripod. Weighing just 4oz it has been designed to support 35mm cameras, compact camcorders, spotting scopes and binoculars. As well as a tripod which can be used on uneven ground, it can also be attached to trees or fence posts with an adjustable Velcro strap. The unit folds to a compact 7in to fit in a pocket or camera bag. It is made in the USA, but available in Europe from the following distributor, in black only, priced 25 euros. www.trekking.fr/photo


Theres no need to leave the comfort of your own home to get your copy of the latest issue of Photography Monthly magazine. You can now get the latest edition delivered direct to your door by simply ordering straight from the website. And if you live in the UK, its free delivery. www.photographymonthly.com


If you havent already entered The Royal Photographic Societys 154th International Print Competition, now is the time to do so. The deadline is fast approaching as entries will not be accepted past Monday, 21 March 2011. Up for grabs is a top prize of a Gold Society Medal and 2,000, with five other prizes also on offer. Up to 125 prints will be selected for the exhibition which will tour from July 2011 to April 2012. Exhibitors will be selling copies of their prints and all of the selected images will be reproduced in a full-colour catalogue. Entry forms can be downloaded from the societys website, www.rps.org
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Regular contributor to the magazine and lighting master Neil Turner has launched a new course in photography and photojournalism. As a vice-chairman of The British Press Photographers Association, Neil is well-placed to help students learn how to cover news, sport and entertainment events using both stills and video. The 12-week courses, which cost 4,000, are running at Up to Speed Journalism in Bournemouth. Students will also be taught writing skills and media law at the centre, which is based at the Bournemouth Daily Echo newspaper. The next course begins at the end of September 2011. http://uptospeedjournalism.co.uk



2011 Sony World Photography Awards open short list (Action): Abyss by Stanislaw Pytel, Poland


Canon has added two new cameras to its entry-level range. The first is the EOS 600D, a compact DSLR that comes in above the existing EOS 550D. The second is the EOS 1100D, which is aimed at those just starting out in photography. The 600D is capable of recording full HD (1080p) video and features automatic shooting modes and artistic filters. It also has a feature guide to help you learn about the camera as you use it. Inside is an 18MP APS-C CMOS sensor with 14-bit DIGIC 4 image processor giving an ISO range of 100-6,400 that can be further expanded to 12,800. The camera is capable of shooting at 3.7fps, making it an interesting option for shooting action,

especially when used with the nine-point autofocus system. Borrowing technology from the semi-professional EOS 7D, both the cameras carry the same iFCL metering system, which is a 63-zone dual-layer metering sensor. The EOS 600D also comes with a vari-angle 7.7cm, 3:2 ratio LCD display. The dedicated movie shooting mode means you can switch between stills and HD video instantly and you can reach distant subjects using the movie digital zoom function, which crops the centre of the sensor from 3x to 10x, while still maintaining full HD quality. The video snapshot mode shoots video in two, four, or eight-second segments. As the clips are recorded, they are saved to a video snapshot album and combined into one movie. A soundtrack can be added by choosing from tracks uploaded to the camera and the result viewed on the cameras LCD, or on an HDTV via the built-in mini HDMI connection. Launching with the camera is a new kit lens. The EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS II features optical image stabilisation and allows photographers to use shutter speeds four stops slower than would normally be possible. The EOS 600D (body only) will be available from early April 2011 priced at 679. Two kits are available: The camera with the EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS II lens is priced at 769 and the camera with the EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS lens is 949. The EOS 1100D provides video at 720p HD video. A newly-designed, bright optical viewfinder offers 95% coverage of the scene before you, but there

is also Live View that will enable you to see on the large rear screen how different shooting modes will affect the final image. A feature guide in the menu system provides a description of each key camera setting and its effect, as well as several automatic settings which remove the need for a lot of technical knowledge. There is a large 6.8cm LCD screen image. Alternatively, the camera can be connected to a larger HDTV screen through the HDMI port. Inside is a 12.2MP APS-C CMOS sensor and a DIGIC 4 image processor, three frames per second shooting in Jpeg files, an ISO range of 1006,400, a nine-point autofocus system and the same iFCL metering system as the EOS 7D. The EOS 1100D (body only) is available from early April priced at 419. With the EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS II lens it is priced at 499. With the EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 III lens it is 459. www.canon.co.uk

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Woman wearing dark glasses by Andrew Glickman


Lovers of street photography will be excited to learn that international photography festival FORMAT starts in Derby next month, bringing together some of the worlds best photographers. The festival, which runs from 4 March to 3 April, and features more than 3,000 works by over 300 artists, provides a comprehensive look at street photography today. We are looking forward to a major outdoor show of 140 large-scale street photos by seven leading Magnum photographers working around the world, including Constantine Manos, Richard Kalvar, Chris Steele-Perkins, Bruno Barbey, Trent Parke and Alex Webb. The work of Peter Dench, regular contributor to our sister magazine Professional Photographer, will also be on display. Images from his collection, England Uncensored, will be showing on digital screens in various sections of the festival. Peter told us: When the worlds heavyweight street photographers gather, its time to take notice. Im delighted Derby is hosting a festival fast becoming one of the most successful in the world. www.formatfestival.com


Olympus is going all out in the tough arena with the launch of a number of hardy waterproof compact cameras in a variety of eye-catching colours. As well as being waterproof, the TG-310 and TG-610 are both shock and freezeproof. Users can shoot 14MP stills photos and, thanks to Eye-Fi wireless SC card compatibility, the cameras will automatically upload your pictures and movies to your computer or website. For extra convenience they can also be charged through USB. When shooting underwater, a sliding double lock mechanism protects the battery, card slots and ports, while an additional lens barrier (metal on the TG-610 and hard glass on the TG-310) safeguards the optical zoom lens. The TG-310 is waterproof to three metres and the TG-610 can shoot images underwater at five metres. The Olympus TOUGH TG-610 also has an automatic Underwater Snapshot mode. Both cameras are freezeproof to -10C and shockproof to a free-fall height of 1.5 metres. Both cameras carry filters for giving images an artistic feel. There is even a beauty mode that will smooth away wrinkles and eliminate imperfections and blemishes. The cameras also benefit from face and pet detection. The Olympus TOUGH TG-610 is available in silver, black, blue and red, priced 250. The Olympus TOUGH TG-310 is available in silver, blue, red, white and orange, priced 200. www.olympus.co.uk

From next month Whitechapel Gallery in London will host a collection of images depicting the Whitechapel area during the 1970s. The exhibition features the work of Magnum photographer and Photography Monthly contributor Ian Berry, who in 1972 was commissioned by the gallery to capture the rapidly changing face of East London. Born in Lancashire in 1934, Ian moved to South Africa in his 20s, where he documented the struggles of the civil rights movement. He joined Magnum in 1962 and has captured several major world events in the course of his career. The gallery has revisited its archives to present 30 images from the 1972 commission for a free exhibition. This is Whitechapel runs from 11 March to 4 September at Whitechapel Gallery, 77-82 Whitechapel High Street, London. www.whitechapelgallery.org

Focus on Imaging, Europe's biggest annual imaging show, takes place between 6 and 9 March 2011 at Birmingham NEC. The Photography Monthly editorial team will be there, as well as pro photographers such as David Ward and Martin Middlebrook, so come and say hello. More than 200 exhibitors will be attending the show, so it provides a great opportunity to meet manufacturers and distributors, see the latest launches and attend seminars and workshops. www.focus-on-imaging.co.uk

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Lightscapes Photographic Workshops

Many thanks for the fantastic Glencoe workshop. I feel I now understand the use of Manual mode. It was magical to get snow on the mountain tops and along with the Autumn colours made photography extra special.Watching how the light changes the landscape made me appreciate the magical hours of just after sunrise and just before sunset. I hope to book another workshop soon. Moira Gardner - Glencoe 2010.

WORKSHOPS 2011 March
Do you want to go to the Isle of Skye but thought it too far? Isle of Skye and Glencoe - Two location workshop 1st - 5th - 695.00 - 1 place left 4 nights including dinner, bed and breakfast Lake District 18th - 20th - 425.00 - 1 place left Price includes 2 nights dinner, bed and breakfast Isle of Skye 22nd- 26th - 695.00 - FULL 4 nights including dinner, bed and breakfast

Shropshire 8th - 10th - 395.00 - 1 place left Price includes 2 nights dinner, bed and breakfast Lake District 15th - 17th - 425.00 Price includes 2 nights dinner, bed and breakfast

Isle of Skye - Glencoe 16th- 20th - 695.00 4 nights including dinner, bed and breakfast

Isle of Skye - Glencoe 4th- 8th - 695.00 4 nights including dinner, bed and breakfast

Free Post Production The courses uniquely include a free post production day at Garys studio, he will show you how to produce your favourite image from the workshop, upto 24 x 18 ALL SINGLE ROOMS - NO SUPPLEMENT Maximum 5 Photographers Free Post Workshop Telephone Support

t: 07779 122034 e: info@garygroucutt.com


Beverly Hills photographer Joe Buissink is giving a series of talks across the UK this year, starting with Focus on Imaging 2011 at the NEC, Birmingham, from 6 to 9 March. Joe is a wedding photographer whose clients have included celebrities such as Christina Aguilera and Jennifer Lopez. Photographer Annie Leibovitz once said: Joe sees the wedding as a rite of passage and approaches his subjects with great love and respect. Joes daily talks at Focus will be held at the Graphistudio theatre and are supported by the Master Photographers Association. www.joebuissink.com


GO ONLINE We update the website

daily to bring you news as it happens www.photography monthly.com

The Converge Festival returns to the National Film Theatre in London for the second year running, on 1 and 2 March. The festival, which is dedicated to HDSLR film making, is a forum for pioneers of the HDSLR world to discuss their work and explore what is happening in the world of convergence. The line-up includes one-hour workshops covering all aspects of DSLR film making from creativity to workflow, and a series of lectures. One of the guest speakers, Photography Monthly Editor Grant Scott, will be discussing the impact of convergence on photographers. www.theconvergence.co.uk

Photography Monthly contributor Michael G Jackson is a finalist in the Hasselblad Masters Awards this year. Michael is one of 110 photographers to be in the final stages of the competition. One winner from each category will be chosen and then provided with Hasselblad kit to work on their Masters project. The public poll, which counts as one vote for each category, will be added to the votes of the judges. So get online and start voting for Michaels black-and-white masterpieces! www.hasselblad.com/masters-finalists



The London Street Photography Festival takes place this summer from 7 to 17 July, but the deadlines for entries to the accompanying Street Photography awards are looming. The competition is divided into two categories a UK student award and an international award. The deadline for submissions in both sections is 31 March. The festival will feature a diverse programme of exhibitions and interactive events across London at venues including the National Portrait Gallery, the Victoria and Albert Museum and the British Library. There is also an exhibition featuring the work of Vivian Maier, a Chicago-based street photographer whose incredible archive of works spanning the 1950s to 1990s was only recently discovered.




The Foto Mags Now app means you can enjoy our magazines on your iPad, by downloading single issues or subscribing to Photography Monthly, Professional Photographer, Turning Pro, Which Digital Camera and World of Photography. Available in the iTunes store, the app lets you expand features, scroll around the page, listen to podcasts and view video footage. It even works on your iPhone. PM www.apple.com/uk/itunes
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Congratulations to Ceri Jones for his image Snow field which is the winner of our February Readers Challenge competition.

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Upload your images to www.photographymonthly.com, we choose the best and publish them the following month. Simple!






This sophisticated but simple image goes to prove that less can often be more when dealing with portraiture. This approach needs an understanding of the importance of getting the details right in make-up, styling and lighting, which is exactly what Christine has done. A beautiful portrait handled well. You cant ask for much more.

Christine Xuan Thompson Sofia Canon EOS 350D 50mm

Grant Scott, Editor

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Chris Hancock Through the mist Canon EOS 50D Canon EF 24-105mm USM

Ed Gorochowski Norton sub Hamdon Canon EOS 5D 70-200mm

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Dan Rayner Ellie 4YO Canon EOS 5D MkII Canon 24-105mm

Adrian Per Evening home Nikon D80 Nikkor 18-55mm

John Hope Katie & Gee Canon EOS 450D Canon 50mm

Gosia Wlodarczyk Her first journey Nikon D50 Nikkor 50mm

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Mary Cufflin Strolling Canon EOS 400D Canon EFS 18-200mm

Miguel A Jaen Sunset Canon EOS 7D Tokina 12-24mm Barri Elford After sunset Nikon D700 Sigma 24-135mm

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Bart Hoga Rape field Nikon D80 Nikkor 18-70mm

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Lucie Averill Cuckmere meander Canon EOS 7D Sigma 10-20mm

Scott Edwards Blue pier Nikon F5 24-120mm Jamie Skilling Through These Eyes Canon EOS 5D MkII Canon 28-105mm

Sam Kinge Shiver Nikon D2x 28mm

Andre Axford-Bryars Starfish Nikon D700 Nikkor 24-120mm

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Jukka Bjrn Zen Nikon D200 Sigma 80-400mm

Pat McDonagh The fight Nikon D300s Tamron AF 18-200mm

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Gavin Clark Icelock Nikon D300s Nikon AF-S Micro 105mm Trevor Wain Whoa!!! Nikon D200 150-500mm

Peter Langford Red Arrows breakout Nikon D200 500mm mirror lens

Joan Thirlaway Dancing in the snow Nikon D300 Tamron 200-500mm


IF YOU WANT TO SEE YOUR IMAGES IN THE MAGAZINE and have the opportunity to win an 8GB Lexar Professional memory card and reader, visit www.photographymonthly.com and upload your favourite images. We will choose the best work uploaded each month for inclusion in the magazine, and the Editors Choice will win a card and reader. SD or CF, the choice is yours.
If you want the ultimate in memory cards, look no further than Lexars Professional range. Even if you shoot at machine-gun speeds, theyll keep up; the 133x SDHC cards can sustain write speeds of 20MB/sec, while the 400x CF cards are even faster, at 60MB/sec and at that rate you will need their 8GB capacity. Thats room for more than 5,000 RAW files from a 10-megapixel DSLR. So, if you want to shoot away unhampered, secure in the knowledge that your pictures are being stored safely, start uploading your images today to www.photographymonthly.com. For more visit www.lexar.com.


& WIN!

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Learn the techniques and get the best tips from the professionals



The Storr, Isle of Skye The Storr is part of the Trotternish Ridge and the largest of the rock pinnacles is the Old Man of Storr. The Cuillin mountains are on the horizon.

National Geographic magazine photographer JIM RICHARDSON is a master of innovative and daring photography. Through patience, perseverance and little thought for his personal safety, he captured these incredible images of the Hebrides in Scotland. CASS CHAPMAN caught up with Jim to find out what drives him to photograph extreme landscapes.

LTHOUGH HE CLEARLY HAS A GREAT LOVE FOR THE RUGGED AND WILD RURAL CORNERS OF SCOTLAND, it is the calmness exuding from professional photographer Jim Richardson that explains how he is able to spend weeks shooting in locations as harsh and isolated as the islands of the Hebrides. I have been doing stories on Scotland for 15 years, my first being a National Geographic piece back in 1994 or 1995, he explains. I have been out to the

summer solstice at the Callanish stones, on the Isle of Lewis, and Ive covered whisky country, so Scotland has always had a great, soft spot in my heart. The Hebrides hold a particular attraction for Jim and, as such, became the subject of a stunning National Geographic magazine spread that ran in the January 2010 edition of that iconic publication. The colour of the sky, the rugged, jagged rock emerging from a ravaging sea and the birdlife flocking above

the little boat from which Jim shot the images bring to mind a film set beautiful, magical and almost unreal in form. Yet in reality the work is the result of Jim spending a lot of time with the locals of these far-flung islands, sailing the waters and observing the wildlife. After he pitched the story to National Geographic and had it accepted, the real challenge came with researching how this landscape had been shot before and finding ways in which to make his own mark.

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Jims objective in presenting the Hebrides was opening it up to those who were unfamiliar with its harsh, but breathtaking beauty. After he had completed a series on United States national parks, I expanded into great landscapes, having already done one in that series on a place very close to home, the flint hills of Kansas, which

with time to stay in the Argyll Hotel on Iona and stay the night on Staffa, and all those things? Thats a good scheme, he laughs. Having had the project accepted by National Geographic, Jim determined that he wanted to shine a light on this wonderfully wild and beautiful place for folks who hadnt discovered

are the largest stretch of tallgrass prairie left in America, a sort of unsung landscape. I wanted to draw attention to a place with its own quiet beauty. Jims thoughts soon wandered across the Atlantic to the Hebrides. Both those places, I thought, could be conducive to preservation. Im a believer that places that arent appreciated are at much greater risk either of exploitation or of being degraded by senseless development. Just as Kansass flint hills arent well-known outside the States, the Hebrides are not as unknown, but curiously lesser-known in the US than I thought. For instance, if you mention the Hebrides Overture by Mendelssohn, nobody knows what youre talking about; that has been a favourite of mine since high school. Although seeking to increase peoples awareness of the Hebrides was his main goal, Jim was also relishing the chance to return to the islands. Im always scheming to come up with new projects and an assignment that would take me to the outer islands and off to St Kilda it yet as a spectacular place with a wonderful geological story to tell. Research was imperative: Its really important for photographers to know who has been there before and what has already been done, not just going out and blindly repeating things, because that will show you havent done your homework. People have done the Hebrides before. I dont want to claim nobody has been up to the Old Man of Storr before. But before shooting anything, Jim sought out the advice of landscape photographer James Smith, who is based on the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides and is well-known for his panoramic landscapes of the islands. He shoots just beautiful stuff, states Jim, a healthy dose of respect evident in his voice. I called him and asked for his take on locations. He was incredibly generous. By the time I visited James I had already done a bunch of research that had really involved pulling out the map. I asked him if I was missing something. It gave me some reassurance. Inside advice on the area was all that Jim sought

Isle of Lewis The Callanish standing stones are thought to have been erected nearly 5,000 years ago.

from James before shooting. I didnt want to copy anything; he has done it beautifully, but he is a rich source and I had already been through his website looking for locations, so it was only fair to go to him personally. Jim stresses the importance of this research, especially as there is such a wealth of material to shoot. I was looking for some place that had much more, the raging wildness, the turmoil, where you could make the process invisible, and so I let that be my guide. I looked for ways, not of doing beautiful pictures that wasnt the motivation but of telling a story and to make the geology visible and vibrant.
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The Hebrides Jim Richardson


Among his subjects were the extraordinary Callanish standing stones on the Isle of Lewis, which are thought to have been erected nearly 5,000 years ago and are sometimes referred to as the Stonehenge of the North. Its Lewisian gneiss and they are some of the oldest rocks on the Earth; you can see in the rocks the way they are folded and you notice those layers and how this rock has been thrown back into the cauldron of the Earth over again. Finding a way to shoot them in an innovative way again proved the challenge: The problem is that I and many other photographers have already done a whole lot of pictures on them so you cant go back and do the

Mangersta, Isle of Lewis The sheer cliffs and rugged sea stacks on the west coast of the island, seen here at sunset, make a dramatic sight.

same thing. So he sought out the wild story of geology over time. Jim looked for the effects of the sea washing into the core of the volcano at Fingals Cave [on Staffa] and this whole huge landslip that created the Old Man of Storr on Skye, the way you could see it and the interconnection of the geology and the range of mountains; and the way that the islands sit out there as the bowl against the raging Atlantic and how that makes the outer edges of the west shores of Lewis and Harris wildly rugged, whereas some of the inner islands have a softer, protective look to them; and the last outpost of St Kilda, where you have both the wild, rugged look and this

incredible melancholy of the lost people and the safe haven for all the seabirds on their migration to nesting that you get at the island of Boreray, the fangs of rock coming out of the sea and their incredible hostility to humans, but so beloved to sea birds looking for secluded spots.

Jim Richardson photographs for National Geographic and is a contributing editor of its sister publication, Traveler magazine. He has photographed more than 25 stories for National Geographic and gives talks about his work internationally. He lives in Kansas, USA. www.jimrichardsonphotography.com

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Once Jim was clear as to what he wanted to shoot, he spent approximately five weeks in the Hebrides, although the assignment didnt last as long as he had hoped. We got to what is known as a halfway show at National Geographic, which is where you show the editors what stage youre at. They can then make changes or pull the plug if they think its an absolute disaster. In fact, his editors were thrilled with what he had shot already, but sadly for Jim, it meant they did not require any more images. Id anticipated going back for the winter season to capture the raging storms dashing against the rocks. Unfortunately, I had apparently done too good a job, so I didnt get to go back. The resulting shots are epic in both proportion and the effect they have on viewers. The landscapes are not conventionally beautiful, but they are breathtaking in their ferocity. The scenes are intimidating as one imagines the cold air, harsh sea and jagged rocks around them. A great sense of movement pervades each, something Jim sought to achieve.
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The Hebrides Jim Richardson


Boreray, St Kilda Gannets flying out from Boreray Island which is famed for its colonies of birds in the St Kilda archipelago, the remotest place in the British Isles.

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The Hebrides Jim Richardson


Landscape photography falls into some complacency, a bit of a rut, too often, because we have conventions of what beautiful landscape pictures look like and we tend to go out looking for the spots where we can get those sorts of pictures. I sense, while talking to Jim, that this unconventional, un-pretty beauty is what keeps drawing him back to Scotland, particularly the Hebrides. Looking at the pictures I cant help but wonder how exactly he set himself up for some of the shots. One image is clearly taken from the water amid

Boreray, St Kilda Remote and wild, Boreray Island was the site of incredible feats of cliff climbing by the St Kildans who hunted the birds. The last inhabitants left the islands in 1930.


Fingals Cave, Staffa

what looks like a brewing and heavy storm. In this situation, lighting was a big consideration, although Jims methods were anything but sophisticated or expensive. He had shot Fingals Cave several times before, all miserably, and the same problem occurred time and again: The deepest part of the cave is black and the light dwindles, so when you look at pictures other people have done theyre all pretty much the same picture. I had seen some old line drawings, lithographs maybe, of these Victorians in boats going into Fingals Cave and in some you see them standing on the bow with a lantern. It was hardly innovative stuff, but these simple illustrations provided Jim with just what he needed: That was my key and I thought, there we go, we need to light the inside of the thing. We need light from the back end so we can see it. Soliciting the help of a few local enthusiast photographers to act as lighting crew with large torches, Jim got his shots.

The same worked for the Callanish stones. I was pretty sure I wanted to do something at night. I experimented with a flashlight and did multiple versions of the shot to get it right. A good old-fashioned torch gave him just what he was after, although he admits he spent years thinking about these shots before taking them, so the mental preparation was substantial. His stunning shot of the birds flying out from Boreray Island had some hairy moments and proved the trickiest of the lot. On his previous visits to St Kilda (the remotest part of the British Isles), Jim had experienced nothing but solid rain, although he hastens to add: I didnt have many moments where I couldnt use the weather. Realising that Boreray had never been shot at sunrise or sunset because of day trip boat schedules, he decided to get there at an unusual time and get some rare shots. He hired a boat at not inconsiderable expense to go out there for sunset, but when we got there it was socked in with cloud.

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The Hebrides Jim Richardson
After he had done several rounds in the water, a shaft of light suddenly burst through the dense cloud and all these birds, the gannets, swarmed down by the tens of thousands, it looked like to me, and there was this beautiful light for about 15 minutes. The boat was tossing us around and Im on the back deck and a guy is holding my belt to keep me from going off. Hes holding on to me and Im trying to shoot pictures that are halfway level. This cannot have been easy but the resulting shots are astonishing. There was a tiny window of only three or four minutes in which the birds were really streaming out and that was magical. I was hooting and hollering. Almost as quickly as the light and the birds emerged, they went away again. We stayed in the bay of St Kilda, sleeping on the boat overnight, and I got up at4am to see if we would have light again and it was total solid grey. So it cost me about $2,500 (1,600) to get a boat out there for about 15 minutes of light. I was lucky though because it could have been for nothing. There were many moments when Jim questioned whether he would get what he was after. He even wondered what on earth he was doing in such a rough terrain, intimidating even during the summer he spent there. I can think of a number of moments that left me wondering what I was doing, he laughs. I was on the Isle of Skye one day and it was raining. I hiked seven miles up the valley and stayed there way too long, thinking I could get this dramatic shot. I stayed until dusk; it was still pouring with rain, and I then had seven miles of hiking back to my car that evening. I thought that I was going to die out there. It was stupid, because Im not a mountaineer. There were, however, moments that were magical and intensely memorable, one in particular being the time he spent in the Callanish stones at 2am. I hope that [place] never changes. I hope its always remote enough. It was incredibly cold, but every once in a while some bird that hadnt gone to sleep yet would twitter from some place and there would be the odd creak of the earth. Then at about 2.45am, being summer and that far north, morning comes pretty darn early and it never really gets dark, but all of a sudden you would hear this first twitter the

signal that morning was coming, and to be out there by myself among the stones that night was pretty remarkable. Most of our time together is spent reminiscing on the nature and one-off geological structure of the Hebrides, but as we talk about lighting challenges and setups, I am intrigued to know whether Jim compensated for torch lights and handheld shots with more complex

was 4am. The torches and that give it a nice warm colour. Jims photographs have certainly done what he intended: To bring the unique and rugged beauty of the Hebrides to all who view them, but its clear he will be back there as soon as he can get another commission. The place is loaded with good material, he says, implying that he only scratched the surface with his latest National

equipment. Absolutely not, is the answer. My kit was pretty simple. I used my Nikons a D700 and a D3 and basic kit, a 14-24mm lens, a 24-70mm lens and a 70-200mm. I also had a 24 PC-E (perspective control) lens, Nikon designation, tilt-and-shift lens, flash and camera bag with the occasional flash light. Jim did not do any significant post-production, although he admits people often question his shot of the Old Man of Storr. Thats because its crystal. Im not quite sure why it had that look but it was good light that day and there was lots of contrast in the scene. He is a big fan of digital equipment and gives it a lot of credit. A lot of these [shots] I couldnt have done without digital. The lighting of Fingals Cave, for example, I shot it at ISO 1000, so it wasnt that high, but the exposure was 180 seconds and it Geographic spread. Ill keep coming back and conspiring to find ways to get more stories out of it. Those little communities out there have a hard time of it. He has clearly become intertwined with the communities where he stayed: Tourism numbers are always precarious because any ferry boat ride knocks out about 95% of tourists. Most go to mainland Scotland, come into Edinburgh, take the bus tour 45 minutes north and think theyve been to the Highlands. These scenic places are perfect for a wind farm and you dont have the political body of people with enough clout to stand up and say no to that. There always lingers in me, not some idea that Ill change the world, but maybe if I could be one of those people that contribute something to the place Id be happy with that. PM


St Kilda The abandoned village and the bay.

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Graphic landscapes Jimmy Chin

DVENTURER JIMMY CHIN IS A RARE BREED OF PHOTOGRAPHER. His passion for creating breathtaking images of places few people will ever see is matched only by a calm and cool confidence that enables him to execute every project he undertakes. Speaking with him I suspect there are few challenges in the world that would faze him. An accomplished climber, skier and explorer, he has worked with and captured some of the worlds foremost athletes in these fields. He has

travelled to Tibet, China, Pakistan, Nepal, Tanzania, Mali, South Africa and Argentina, and participated in several pioneering climbing expeditions, from first ascents of towers in the Karakoram mountain range of Pakistan to being one of a handful to have climbed and then skied down Mount Everest during the autumn. This confidence is a combination of experience, drive and a youth spent outdoors.

National Geographic photographer JIMMY CHIN is a world-class adventurer whose expeditions have placed him in some of the worlds most dramatic landscapes. SEAN SAMUELS caught up with him to learn more about his approach to photography at the edge of the world.



Grand Teton, Wyoming Jimmy Hartman climbing the Ford Couloir

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Jimmy was born in Minnesota, USA, in 1973. While doing Asian studies at Carleton College, Northfield, he took up climbing. Little did he know this would lead to a hobo lifestyle that would last six years, fuelled only by a sense of freedom and the mental and physical challenges of climbing increasingly difficult ascents all across America. During the winters he would ski in the Tetons of Wyoming and on Mammoth Mountain in the Sierras of eastern California. After college he moved to Jackson, Wyoming, where he carved out a living doing odd jobs while continuing to ski, climb and travel the world, building valuable experience in rough conditions. In 1999, while training in Yosemite National Park for an expedition to Pakistan, Jimmy picked up the camera of a climbing buddy and

immediately felt the same rush he had while climbing. Returning from the successful trip to Pakistan, Jimmy sold one of the photos he had taken. It earned him $500, which at the time was a lot of money to him, and Jimmy realised this was a way to fund his adventurous lifestyle. He bought his own camera and began developing this new skill. Photography quickly became a big part of his climbing and skiing. The biggest thing for me when I started shooting was the total surprise I felt, because it came very easily and I found I had a passion for wanting to share what these world-class athletes were doing. They werent playing in an arena or stadium, yet they were performing at a skill level that could easily match any of the worlds greatest athletes, but there was nobody there to see it.

Kit and Rob DesLauriers on the summit ridge of Mount Everest before their ski descent. Yuji Hirayama on a sport climbing expedition, Turkey.

People love sports, they are inspired by athletes and here were these first-class athletes operating in some of the most amazing locations and beautiful landscapes with no way to share the experience and to inspire others. I found it was my calling to share this. These athletes are not making millions; they are just incredibly passionate about what they do. I related to that. Jimmys favourite photographic style is documentary with big cinematic shots. He found his eye was drawn to the people interacting with these amazing landscapes that were difficult to get to. He wanted to capture the space before him while featuring a figure in the concept and found the composition was straightforward. He also discovered it was hard not to shoot these sorts of images.

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Graphic landscapes Jimmy Chin
his photography comes from a place that is honest and authentic, which is why friendship and trust are vitally important to the way he works. He and his fellow adventurers are forced to depend on each other, not only to keep each other safe, but also to help give his shots the sense of Everyone going into a shoot with Jimmy knows from the start exactly how much direction he is going to give and what impact the photography is going to have on whatever the team is doing. If it is a really serious expedition, a life-or-death situation, then of

intimacy and authenticity Jimmy expects, even when shooting the more structured shots required by his commercial clients. Often the more difficult the climb, the more trust is required. After a while I was moving into really serious climbs, ski descents and expeditions where I had to be really close to the people I was with, shooting from that perspective and then bringing back that kind of story. The more serious the climb, the less of a director Jimmy is and his shots are made on the fly, often anticipating things or trying to stay ahead at certain points to shoot the group behind him. He wants to get all the different angles without affecting the speed or efficiency of the climb or ski descent, but when the project is more commercial and the climbing, skiing or trekking situation is less dangerous, then he can plan his shots more and orchestrate the situations clients require, which is a combination of an image that looks really intense, but also meets the brief. I started to realise that what made the photography unique was the ability to see something from the inside. This is something we see in great photography and great photojournalism, and I tried to take this to my subjects in the adventure, climbing and skiing realm, and I leant on my personal connection with the athletes who were my friends. There is a difference between commercial photography, when a client has particular needs, and the style Jimmy favours, but he is still the man clients call when they require a photographer to be in the mountains in an inaccessible location. It would be impossible to do this alone, so he relies on others to get him where he needs to be. Some photographers might view this as a handicap, but Jimmy draws strength from it. He believes
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course its purely documentary and getting what I can without hindering the climb, and I pride myself on being able to do that. Thats something I try to instil on really difficult expeditions and thats why people call me to come and shoot with them, because they know I am not a liability and that I have a good sense of the objectives and how to balance them. There are obvious obstacles in this kind of work. In the mountains problems are far more extreme and often unexpected, so it requires a flexible attitude to adapt when necessary. If you are trying to climb up and then ski down Everest, for example, the extreme cold and being completely physically drained are difficult conditions in which to be creative. There are many variables to consider when on a really difficult climb or expedition. Its probably at the opposite end of the spectrum of studio shooting and there are so many things that can go wrong then, which is a controlled environment.


Arita Sherpa carries a load to Camp 2 through the Western Cwm on Mount Everest

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Graphic landscapes Jimmy Chin


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Jimmy Chin Graphic landscapes

Outside theres physical stress when you dont even want to get out of the sleeping bag because the wind is blowing at 80mph and it is -20C outside. People trying to cope in that situation can make for an amazing photo and you know the most rewarding pictures come from the most challenging moments, so you learn to be prepared to shoot in those situations.

Jimmy and some that dont, and the success of the photography depends on how successful the trip is. This expedition was an amazing trip because everything came together. The objective was what I call a very low percentage trip. There are high percentage trips that you go into feeling pretty good and knowing you are going to get some good images. But climbing Everest in the autumn

Skiing down Everest was one of Jimmys most memorable and successful expeditions. The people he was with were all close friends and he trusted them implicitly. He was also really pleased with the photography. There are expeditions that go well for is challenging in the first place; we were the first people in six years to be climbing it in the autumn. Then on top of that we had to ski down it, so essentially when we got to the top we were at the beginning of the real objective and had to be on our absolute A-game, because the skiing up there was a case of if you fall you die. So it didnt seem very likely that we would pull it off, but you put one foot in front of the other and you go for it. One of his primary aims on this trip was to bring back a photo nobody had ever seen before, something that would stop them in their tracks. So they say, that is somebody skiing down Mount Everest or skiing above the Hillary Step at about 28,000ft and, believe me, its not an easy shot

Professional photographer Jimmy Chin shoots for a wide range of commercial and editorial clients, including The North Face clothing brand and National Geographic and Outdoors magazines. He has received the Rowell Award for his excellence and breadth in adventure photography and has been recognised by National Geographic as one of their emerging explorers. In 2003, People magazine named him one of the most eligible bachelors of the year. www.jimmychin.com

Sam Elias during a sport climbing expedition, Turkey.

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to get when you are skiing as well. So I was really happy everyone was safe and I was able to come back with a couple of photos that I liked. There are also challenges when going after a specific type of image in a limited amount of time. This is the same challenge all photographers face when they are under pressure to create something that is produced, but again Jimmys calm confidence, bordering on nonchalance, surfaces. All you can do is set up everything the best you can, try to work with the right people and hope the conditions are right for shooting. Gear is a particular cause for concern moving tons of it around in the mountains or not forgetting something on an expedition. The details in packing and making sure you get everything where you need it to be are important; something I have learned over the years is that its critically important to have the right people on the team and that comes from being a climber, skier and photographer. The amount of kit Jimmy carries does vary, but not a great deal. If he is going on a really difficult climb, such as the Meru Peak in the Himalayas, he takes one body and one lens, which is already far and beyond what he should be carrying, given that he is weighing food down to the ounce for every day.

Jimmy Chin Graphic landscapes


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Eric Henderson skiing in the Selkirk Mountains, British Columbia, Canada

Jimmy Chin Graphic landscapes
Cedar Wright and Kevin Thaw climbing Kaga Tondo tower on the Hand of Fatima rock formation, Mali, Africa

www.photography monthly.com

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For this particular trip we battled it out at 21,000ft for 20 days on a really slim eight days ration even carrying a camera body, lens and spare batteries was something, as you can imagine. It has been attempted 20-plus times and nobody has done it and thats probably without a 10lb camera set up on top of everything else. We got close; 300ft from the summit and that is the top end of highly technical alpine big wall climbing. The camera setup is very similar if Jimmy is going to Chad or Mali in Africa where the objective is big desert towers. Here the heat is a hazard, but its not that bad, says Jimmy, and with base camp relatively close by hell probably take a couple of bodies, three lenses and two flashes. He can then cruise around for shots. Its a little uncomfortable to climb around with all that stuff, but its not so much of a life-and-death scenario. On trips where Jimmy is taking only one lens, he packs a Nikon D3s with an 18-200mm lens. This choice of lens is often met with a mixture of disbelief and wonder, but as he is clipped in and not going anywhere, the only kind of variants he can have on a photo is the focal length. If he has a little more space hell shoot with a Nikon D700 with 14-24mm, 24-70mm and 70-200mm lenses and probably a 50mm f/1.4

and 85mm. The primes usually stay at base camp for when he has a specific shot in mind. You dont often have the chance to scout locations, so when you are clipped to a rope hanging from a giant wall it is helpful to have a little bit more control over focal length. Besides, Ive had two-page spreads in magazines such as Outside and National Geographic using the 18-200mm lens; Ive had a building in Munich wrapped in a photo and billboards, so it does the job. While we have been talking, Jimmy has been preparing for a month-long trip of publicity events. His career swings from year to year between being creative and being an athlete. Photography dominated in 2010 with multiple shoots and commissions, including a celebrity shoot in Tanzania with actors and musicians climbing Kilimanjaro, a climb in Turkey and The North Face athlete teams expedition to Chad. Jimmy also shoots film and last year formed the Camp4 Collective production company to meet clients ever-increasing demand for video. This year he hopes to concentrate on his sport. He will try to ski Lhotse in the Himalayas in the spring and

To see film footage taken by Jimmy and other extreme photographers visit the website

then head back to Meru in the autumn. He will be shooting and filming both for The North Face as well as an editorial client, and he is not going to accept as many photo assignments, so he can prepare physically for the trips. First and foremost, Jimmy Chin is an athlete. His ability to endure extreme discomfort for extended periods of time has meant he is able to go further both as an adventurer and as a photographer. He does not rely on kit or technical ability, but rather his vision and the way he sees the world around him. He has been to parts of the world that most of us will never come close to reaching, but we can still learn from his photography. His images are inspiring, colourful, and encompass awe and spectacle. Drama, ambition and exceptional beauty are contained within the frames. Granted, the locations are intrinsically exciting, but far from bring elusive to all but the hardiest photographers, these qualities are the key ingredients to successful images. Rest assured it doesnt take extreme measures to achieve this feeling; it just takes passion and confidence. PM


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Each month the masters will hold master classes, sharing their knowledge with Photography Monthly readers

Balloon Caught, a temporary architectural installation in Vancouver, Canada, by Satoshi Matsuoka and Yuki Tamura. Kristopher took this photograph with a Hasselblad 500C/M, using Fuji Provia 100, for his own architectural portfolio.



Professional photographer KRISTOPHER GRUNERT explains to RACHAEL DCRUZE how he uses lines, light, atmosphere, movement and mystery to create stunning architectural images, and offers his top tips to help you improve your own photographs.

THE BOUNDARIES THAT WERE PLACED ON ME AS A CHILD and the general isolation growing up on a farm instilled a strong curiosity and fascination with things outside my reach. I remember noticing the planes flying high overhead, Id wonder where on earth all those people were going, says architectural photographer Kristopher Grunert. He cites his upbringing in rural Canada, where the landscape is vast and linear, with strong lines of the horizon and contrasting vertical lines of endless roads, as playing an important part in developing his spatial sense and natural ability to compose a photograph.

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Kristopher Grunert Photographing architecture

In the winters my father worked in a boiler room and I remember going with him occasionally and being fascinated by all of the pipes, lights and gauges, says Kristopher. This is where his interest in industrial subjects and man-made infrastructure was born. Because he grew up in a small farming community, architecture did not really play a big role in Kristophers environment as a child, but after finishing high school, he moved to Vancouver and immediately became fascinated with the large buildings, bridges and infrastructure of the city. I didnt fully appreciate it until I discovered photography and looked at a building through a camera. The camera definitely plays a role in changing the way I look at the world, it is like a microscope, he says. Add into the mix his obsession with skateboarding as a youth, which before photography gave Kristopher a reason to continually explore the

photographer Rob Melnychuk as a full-time assistant/digital technician. At the time Rob was primarily shooting architecture and interiors; he was a fantastic employer and mentor, says Kristopher. After a two-year stint with Rob, he set out out on his own and started to get his own commissions while still assisting occasionally for his mentor and a handful of other carefully selected photographers. For two years after leaving Rob, Kristopher took a second job managing the artists domestic/work apartments where he lived, which provided a regular wage and also enabled him to be constantly exposed to a creative environment. When asked how he initially began to make his own name in the world of photography, he says it was all about sharing his personal work. I have always loved to share my work, really just as much as producing it. I would share my work

urban environment, and you begin to see that his thoughts have never been far from the man-made. I guess this is a bit ironic considering most architects probably dont like skateboarders because of the damage they can do to the buildings. Its interesting how skateboarding has influenced architecture, architects incorporating elements that are not conducive to the skateboard. I should probably do a project on this someday soon. So how did the boy on the farm get to where he is today? Kristopher studied photography on a two-year diploma programme at Langara College in Vancouver, graduating in 2000. He was then hired by any way I could think of. Photographer friends and I would get together and organise group shows, often in non-traditional venues. Group shows are great because everyone benefits from each others contacts it nurtures community among the artists as well as those who attend. Today, as a successful professional photographer with international clients, including Chanel, Adobe and i-D magazine, Kristopher remains as amazed and enthused by the systems, processes and structures that human beings are able to engineer as he was while growing up; this enthusiasm is key to his success and shows in his work. Looking through Kristophers website, it is striking how, despite being so busy working with advertising and design agencies, architects, corporations and various publications to produce architectural and industrial/corporate images, he still makes time to produce a wealth of personal work, which he is updating constantly. As well as being instrumental in helping him to make his name in the beginning, Kristophers personal work remains incredibly important for him in keeping his passion for photography alive. Talking about the importance of personal work he

Vancouver Convention Centre. Commissioned by DDB Canada advertising agency to create a library of images for the convention centre, Kristopher was lifted 100ft up and 30ft out over the water on a crane to get this photograph.

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says: I think its paramount for photographers if they want to have a long, self-fulfilling and successful career. Clients are hiring you for your distinct vision. Unless you pursue personal work, neither you nor your clients will ever know what that vision is. Assignments that take Kristopher to new places which most people dont get the chance to visit give him a thrill and he makes sure to take personal pictures while there he will work all day for the client, have a meal and then head off with his camera to capture the place where he is staying. Passion for photography creates fuel. When Im

Seattle Central Library, USA. Interior designed by Rem Koolhaas. Kristopher took the image with a Nikon D3 for his own architectural portfolio.

out and I see something cool, suddenly Im not tired any more. Kristophers clients hire him because they know he will bring something to the table that they could not necessarily imagine themselves. Quite often I am sent to locations that my clients themselves have not seen. I am usually given a brief that contains basic parameters of the subjects they need to capture, along with examples of other photographs that communicate somewhat the mood they want to capture, he explains. Kristopher usually spends the first half a day on location touring and

getting familiar with the landscape, taking note of all the interesting aspects as well as the position of the sun and the line it will follow throughout the day. Then he will always schedule the rest of his day(s) with the light in mind. In the end, the gems are quite often the shots that neither I nor the client foresaw. Ive learned to be very flexible, allowing for change in the plan. As well as being flexible, Kristopher is incredibly patient, constantly waiting for all the elements to align, in order to get the perfect shot. The light, the clouds, sometimes the grass needs to grow, he says.

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When doing architectural shoots, location is incredibly important, especially if you want to try to sell your images. Kristopher advises asking three questions: Is the construction 100% complete; is the site clean and free of rubbish bins; and is the landscaping 100% complete. If the answer to any of these questions is no, it may be best to suggest holding off

until they are taken care of. If time is of the essence, realise that considerable post-production and retouching will be needed. If youre lucky to have the architect as a guide, be sure to ask what inspired them and about any features that play a leading role in the design. Be sure to incorporate these in the photographs, he advises.

Kristopher always walks around the entire building observing and taking reference photos of all potential vantage points, noting the direction the main faade is facing and working out where and when the sun will rise and set. You will likely want to photograph the building at least one of these times, if not both, he says. Take notice of any vantage points that

Vancouver Convention Centre. This photograph was selected for the 2010 Applied Arts Photo Annual award in the architecture category.

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Photographing architecture Kristopher Grunert

offer a higher perspective because a high vantage point almost always offers a more interesting photograph. If there arent any consider using a 10ft ladder; the builders or site maintenance workers will usually have one on the site. It is Kristophers attention to detail, as well as his creative vision, that makes his pictures. One detail he advises checking

when planning a shoot is if there are any automatic lawn sprinklers. Find out what their schedule is and arrange for them to be turned off for your shoot day. Thats a surprise you dont want, especially when composing the shot of the century. Another thing to do if you can is make sure all the lights are working and will be turned on. If possible ask the building

manager to send a memo to employees so they are aware of the photo shoot. Choosing the day of the week is also important do you want cars or people in the photograph? You would be surprised what time some people show up to work and the early birds often choose the best parking spots closest to the entrance which is likely to be in your photo.


Kristopher Grunert studied photography in Vancouver, where he also spent endless nights exploring industrial landscapes and honing his style with his 1972 Hasselblad camera. Today Kristopher's fine art and commercial assignments have taken him around the world. His work has been exhibited in London, New York, Brussels, Berlin and Vancouver. In 2010 he took first place in the industrial category of the International Photography Awards.

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Kristopher Grunert Photographing architecture
favouring Aperture for processing DSLR RAW and Infocus for processing Hasselblad files. As far as adjustments go, I keep it pretty simple. I always correct vertical perspectives if necessary and work with colour temperature, hue saturation and contrast levels. When it comes to seeing pictures, Kristopher says architecture is simple to previsualise. The subject itself limits possibilities. I usually know what the best camera positions will be after walking around the building once; it is then just about capturing it in the most flattering light. Often there are multiple times of day that work for each angle. Architects usually like to see the building in daylight and at night. He says industrial work is different, because typically the sites are huge and offer many more possibilities in terms of angles and subject matter and he ends up shooting many more frames. When I find a good spot that looks great and has the ability to communicate the particular idea that the client wants, then I will spend the time it takes to get the shot, or come back when I know the light will be right. Again, its all about keeping an open mind and staying flexible without using up precious time, he says. Although Kristopher likes working through the day, watching the light change, around 80% of the photographs he shows on his website are taken at night; a time which is of special interest to him. When taking photographs at night, time seems to dissolve. I find myself connecting or reconnecting to the world around me.

Working almost exclusively with natural light means Kristopher captures the essence of the building as it is, a big reason why clients choose him. The architect is commissioning you to document their project. I think its important to stay true to their vision and capture it as purely as possible. If they had wanted a tree to be lit, they would have suggested to the landscape or lighting architect to install a light. They hire me because they know I am going to do whatever it takes to capture the essence of the building. Kristopher shoots on manual, works with low ISO speeds and favours long exposure and small aperture work,

usually taking photos over 10 seconds. He enjoys the concept of compressing time into a single frame. He likes the light you get with a long exposure and a lens open at f/2. He has never used a lens hood, as he likes lens flare and the little starburst effects you get. Lens flare breathes life into photographs and adds unique elements. Im very conscious of it and like to work with it in terms of my composition, says Kristopher who will look for light sources, such as lampposts, and position them at the edge of his frame so the camera can use them to create a streak of light from the edge. Kristopher edits using Apple computers exclusively,

VCC-Clark Skytrain station, Vancouver. Designed by Stantec Architecture. Taken with a Nikon D3 for Kristophers personal portfolio. Later he returned to shoot a personal time-lapse project entitled My City Moves Me, which won the moving image category at the 2009 International Photography Awards.




Make a weather call the morning of the shoot. If its not raining go. The most magical shots always happen when the weather is unpredictable.

Curiosity is a source of energy that will always teach you something new while taking you to new vantage points.

The best photographs are often unforeseeable.


A higher perspective will almost always create a more interesting exterior shot. If you dont have a sky lift, then try a 10ft ladder.


Buildings are made up of lines; use them to draw in viewers and lead them on a visual journey.


It should be the motivating factor. Observe it, appreciate it and capture it.


Shoot from dawn to dusk, horizontal and vertical. Bracket three up and three down. Hold down the trigger and turn it into a time-lapse.


Get to the location an hour before sunrise. Its easier said than done but trust me, youll be glad you did once you get there.


Include them when you can. They can create interest and scale to an overall or mid shot.


Overall, mid, detail. This is the shot list, dont forget it.





Always use a remote shutter release or use the shutter timer if you want your photographs to be sharp.


Always have a plan. Know where you have to be and when, but be ready to run if you have to.

Use a long exposure to capture the movement of cars, people, planes, trains and helicopters. This will add energy and visual excitement to a photograph.

Use clouds to frame the building or as a design element in the composition. Try using a polarizing filter to accentuate them; they can breathe life into the building.

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Kristopher Grunert Photographing architecture

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All of my senses come alive, my head clears, I compose, and then focus, he says. Kristopher explains how he becomes aware of elements, including the direction the clouds are moving and the position of the moon, even if these elements will not appear in his photograph. Once my composition is fine-tuned, I become aware of the stars and the movement of the Earth in relationship to them, knowing they will appear as trails rather than points of light. Then I take a breath, breathe and open the shutter, while consciously visualising the light entering the lens, travelling through the aperture into the camera and finally recording permanently on to the transparency film or temporarily on the CCD sensor. In doing so, I feel as though I am nurturing a relationship with the light. People rarely appear in Kristophers personal photographs, as he leaves that space for the viewer. I want them to enter the image, imagining themselves there, feeling as I did when making the photograph; that sense of connection to a vast source of unlimited energy, he says. In my personal work, I love to capture or add an element of mystery. Sometimes its just there and in other

cases I add it. I want to inspire the viewer, I want them to ask questions, adds Kristopher, who agrees this does sometimes spill over into his commercial work too. For more advice and It has always been his personal techniques from the pros goal to blur the line between fine visit the website at art and commercial photography, www.photography monthly.com something he does exceptionally well, judging by his images. Over years and years of trying to blur this line, people are noticing my style, he says. Kristopher and his wife have just returned to his familys farm in the province of Saskatchewan to renovate a house on the prairie, after spending the past 13 years in Vancouver, where he studied and built his business. The photography market has become increasingly saturated in Vancouver, which is part of the reason for his move; Kristopher plans to make a buzz around himself as an out-of-town photographer, using this as something to get clients excited about, rather than seeing it as a Biosphere, Montreal, Canada. hindrance or step backwards. He will A photo taken for a be converting a grain silo into his personal portfolio studio this spring. after Kristopher had completed When I spoke to him he was an assignment gearing up for a shoot on the Baja for Adobe with OnRequest Images. Peninsula in Mexico for a Canadian


mining company. As with every shoot, he is sure to be showing up early, an hour before sunrise, to prepare himself for the golden light. He uses this time to position himself, previsualise where the first light will fall and how he will move around the building to get the most of the magic hour. The street lights are still on, youll notice the sky beginning to brighten. Start shooting and dont stop for the next hour, but dont rush. Bracket all exposures three up and three down, most likely adjusting your shutter speed too, he advises. Its time to set the alarm clock a little earlier. PM


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ELEPHANT! is the latest wildlife photography book created by Steve Bloom. From the wildest landscapes of Botswana to the bustling cities of India, Steve has documented this majestic and noble animal. The beautiful images contained in the book include aerial shots, the drama of fights between males, tender moments shared between mother and calves, the colourful

decorations of the elephants of India and extraordinary underwater images. The book is a must-have for anyone with a love of elephants or the work of Steve Bloom. The hardcover book is published by Thames & Hudson and signed copies are available from www.stevebloomshop.com priced 24.95. PM ISBN 978-0500513217 www.stevebloomphoto.com

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As the overall winner of the most popular competition we have ever run is announced, Photography Monthly Editor GRANT SCOTT talks about how the competition came into being, the incredible response from the photographic community to the challenge and the difficult task of narrowing down the vast number of entries to county-specific short lists, winners and the final winning choice.


ITS FUNNY WHAT CAN COME FROM HAVING AN IDEA IN THE SHOWER BEFORE COMING TO WORK. There I was indulging in my usual early morning wash listening to the radio when an item came on about the renewed interest in the Great British Breakfast. Instantly I thought, We have a Great British Breakfast, so why dont we have a Great British Photograph? We need a competition to find one image that sums up our nation in 2010. Open to all, of anything, taken anywhere, with people allowed to enter as many images as they want. A truly democratic competition based on pure photography.

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Competition winner

Chris Mole Swimming in December

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Competition winner

The fact that Archant publishes 45 magazines across the country, covering individual counties and areas, and also has the Great British Life website, meant that a tie-up with them was an obvious route to ensure that we could let as many people as possible know about the competition, as well as making it easy for people to enter. Thanks to the support of Great British Life we received more than 30,000 photographic entries from all over the United Kingdom. Some counties were amazingly represented with both great quality and quantity of images. Sadly, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland were unable to supply images from every county, so we decided to choose national winners from these countries. Due to the vast number of images entered, and to ensure as wide an opinion in the judging as possible, each county represented by an Archant Life magazine was judged by that magazines editorial team. (A big thank you is due to them.) Each team created a short list of 10 images from which I chose a county winner. All of those areas not covered by a title were short-listed by the Photography Monthly team with the final winners being judged by me also. Slowly but surely, as all of the short lists and winners came together, it was clear to

It shelves quite steeply at this point on the beach, so when the water runs back you can get a good white effect in the foreground. But you have to be prepared to get your feet wet because you need to be near to where the water rushes through. The silhouettes of the swimmers add an element of human interest to the scene. You have to admire anyone brave enough to go swimming in the sea in December. And then the image poses a little puzzle about what the figures in the background are doing. It transpires that they are members of Brighton Swimming Club and this is the ritual at the end of the swim where they try to push each other back into the water. How long have you been into photography? I have been interested in photography since I was a teenager. The advent of digital makes it much easier to experiment. You are in control of the image without having to mess around with chemicals in the dark. I use a Canon EOS 7D with a 10-22mm wide-angle lens. This is the standard lens I use, especially for landscapes. I took the picture with this setup. Photography is a weekend hobby so I generally shoot whatever is around. Ashdown Forest is close, which is great. We are also close to the Downs. I often go

see how high the overall standard of the entries was. As expected there was a predominance of landscape imagery, of an incredibly high standard. Other entries reflected their chosen counties in more abstract ways, while others attempted to capture a spirit or atmosphere of their chosen subjects. When it came to the final judging for the national winner, however, only one image stood out clearly. Each of the four judges chose five of their favourite images from the regional winners independently, without reference to the other judges choices, to ensure that no one could be swayed in their final choice. When all of these choices came together it transpired that every judge had chosen different images from each other except one. Every single one chose Chris Moles image of swimmers on Brighton beach. We had our winner. Not surprisingly, Chris was both pleased and delighted when we rang to tell him the good news. How do you feel now youve won? Winning this competition is definitely inspirational. Often you enter these sorts of competitions up against hundreds of thousands of other great images, so I feel very lucky to have won on this occasion. How and why did you take this picture? The picture was taken in December 2009. I am a big fan of Brighton, especially out of season. It can be much more interesting and different than during the spring and summer months. Every day you get a different combination of elements and on this day I was especially lucky with the weather. I went down on that particular day because I knew conditions were going to be a bit rough and the coast always looks spectacular then. I was drawn to this spot because it had the makings of a great winter landscape with its fabulous colours and converging lines of the sea. You can get some interesting lines and angles next to the pier. to London to take street photography. Its whatever is there, so mostly landscapes, street scenes, a little bit of sport maybe. Last year I went along to photograph the Brighton Marathon. What will you do with the 5,000 prize? I am not going to do anything really exciting with the prize except pay a few bills. Thats the mundane truth of it. I really like the kit I use and I am not really interested in kit for kits sake. I want a decent camera such as the 7D to be able to do what I want to do. Chris Mole, 50, lives in mid Sussex near Haywards Heath with his wife. He has two sons, aged 17 and 21, who are also both interested in photography. When not shooting he works for an IT company based in London. PM You can see all of the winners and shortlisted images by visiting www.greatbritishlife.co.uk/article/great -british-photo-local-winners-28816/

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Zabriskie Point, Death Valley, California


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As well as contributing to Photography Monthly every month, DAVID WARD runs workshops to help and inspire other photographers to find their own vision. Here he shares his experiences as a teacher and offers advice to help you get the most from a photography course.

HE TEACHERS OF MY YOUTH WERE SEEMINGLY EMBALMED IN CHEAP TWEED JACKETS with leather elbow patches, lightly coated in chalk dust, and masters of the withering stare often followed closely by a well-aimed duster. They singularly failed as role models, giving me little grounds to think I would one day follow in their footsteps. But to my never-ending surprise I find myself teaching for a living and actually enjoying it. To be fair, the circumstances are somewhat different. Ive swapped the dingy classroom

Get the most from a photography course David Ward


for the great outdoors; and learning from dog-eared textbooks for hands-on experience in some of the most beautiful landscapes in the world. Theres no security of tenure and the wages arent that great, but the job satisfaction is immense. For me, that satisfaction comes from two things: The broadening of my artistic horizons that teaching has brought and the pleasure of seeing my students grow in photography. The dialogue I have with students and the need to analyse how I work has altered and improved my

photography immeasurably. To teach a subject well you need to be able to dissect it so as to explain it to your students. Before I was invited to lead workshops I made images more or less completely instinctively Im pretty sure this is how most people work. The technical details are relatively easy to teach, but most of us struggle to put into words how we arrive at aesthetic judgments when making images. To become a good teacher of photography you have to find a way of explaining that procedure. The process of examining how

I make images to be able to teach others has become a virtuous circle for me, leading to revelations about how to make my own images, which feed back into new insights to pass on to my students. Good workshop leaders dont simply deliver facts to be learnt by rote; they have to be open to fresh ideas and eager to engage in meaningful conversations with each participant. These conversations, be they technical or aesthetic, should then be enlightening and enriching for both student and teacher.
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When I began teaching photographic workshops I had no idea how involved I would become in the photographic journeys of my students. Seeing how they grow in confidence and find their own voices has been both a revelation and a deeply rewarding experience For most students the journey they undertake is quite modest; they wish to master the equipment in order to make a faithful copy of a landscape that inspires them. For others it is a much longer and harder journey, one in which they move from making illustrations to making images that do much more than describe. Its equally rewarding for me to see a student progress along either path. Whatever their ambitions two things are absolutely clear to me; the student needs to make a serious commitment they cant

Most of the day-to-day difficulties we encounter present themselves as convergent problems with a single correct solution, eg 2+2=4. In contrast, art presents us with divergent problems with many different but equally valid correct answers, eg which composition should we pick from the host of possibilities. This is where the tutor can really help the student by sharing their hard-won expertise at the point at which an image is made. Lessons learnt in these circumstances really stick with the student. But theres little benefit to be gained from the tutor being either prescriptive or proscriptive; taking this

approach only leads to the production of artistic clones of the tutor. One German man, who travelled to Andalucia with Charlie Waite [of the Light & Land photographic tour company] would utter the same querulous phrase whenever the group reached a location: So, Charlie, ver is ze picture?! Charlie could simply have given the man a Charlie Waite but ultimately its better for the student if they are helped to find their own solution. The leader, therefore, needs to allow the student room to make their own choices, including making mistakes, because humans learn far more readily from their failures than from their triumphs.

expect to improve without applying themselves and they have to believe in themselves. Theres no magic wand that a tutor can wave over the student to transform them into a great (or even good) photographer overnight. As I noted above, technique is reasonably easy to pass on and I have seen workshop participants improve in leaps and bounds technically in a matter of days. But to me enhancing the students experience in this way seems the least we can do. After all, mastery of technique alone wont make them a good photographer. (Nor will simply plonking them in front of an inspiring landscape, as some photographic tour companies seem to believe.) To develop as a photographer one needs to pay as much, if not more, attention to aesthetics as to technique. Its the tutors job to help the participant achieve the right balance. With such a guiding hand the student can develop their own voice, their own personal style of photography. Sadly, there is sometimes an unreasonable expectation of how quickly one might progress. In my Fstop column this month (page 122) Ive written about how 10,000 hours practice is the minimum required to become truly proficient at anything. So a one-week workshop isnt going to transform anyone from a beginner to competent or from competent to masterful. There is simply no getting around the fact that its a much longer journey. Its a sad fact that one cannot just read a manual to master photography; it requires regular practice combined with a different way of solving problems to the one we employ in everyday life.

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Get the most from a photography course David Ward


An inspiring workshop leader whose images move you and are not just technically good. A proven track record how long has this leader or organisation been running tours or workshops? Remember that an ability to make good images doesnt prove a photographer can teach. Favourable testimonials from previous workshop participants. A clear description of what to expect in terms of locations for a photo tour and learning outcomes for a workshop. Biographical details, articles and images by your chosen leader that provide evidence of the depth of their knowledge. Talk to the leader or ask them questions by email if you have any doubts. Comprehensive insurance cover for both public liability and vehicles. Proof of compliance with EU package holiday regulations if an organisation combines any two of travel, accommodation or an activity they must protect you by holding your money in trust until the tour or workshop has been completed.
Greg, Lynn and Sandy in Pienza on Light & Lands Tuscany tour in 2010

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MelenCourses Photography Diploma Course

Module based diploma for photographers 'Learn photography from the beginning and become a professional photographer.' The Melen Courses Diploma is a modular photography course designed to help you to become a professional photographer. The MelenCourses Diploma will give you the skills to develop your photography whilst helping to develop your own style.

strategy, learn to deal with clients, tackle web development and planning for e-commerce. Using the skills learned in our businesses at both MelenStudios and Tagg Partners we want to share with you our knowledge and experiences. Showing you simple techniques which are easy to learn helping you to enhance and develop your photography business. The day will show you how to generate new business ideas, develop your style so that you can communicate your ideas clearly to your customers and giving you the confidence to gain more work. The Business of Photography is run in partnership with George Horn and is an interactive workshop designed to help you evaluate your business and manage its progress to increase your profitability. George Horn from tagg partners has been working with individuals on a one-to-one basis for over six years, helping them to manage change and build effective businesses. During the day youll gain and develop an understanding of the skills you have to help organise your time better, network and achieve more with your business. We'll

show you how to formulate a business plan, an essential element for any business, which can be the difference between success and failure. If you want to develop, progress your business reaching further and achieving your goals, then the Business of Photography course is the way forward for you.

More Female Photographers on DSLR One Photography Course!

After reviewing our statistics for photographers on our beginner photography course DSLROne there were 55% female photographers 45% male photographers. The stats are similar for 1-2-1 personal tuition where the photography training showed slightly higher numbers for female photographers 63% female photographers 37% male photographers This is better than the national average of 33% female photographers.

Business of Photography
Learn the skills needed to become a professional photographer How do you promote yourself? Do you have your own style? What do you offer as a photographer? We will help you to help yourself develop a business plan, create a marketing

One of my passions is learning new things, especially in photography and I believe that knowledge is to then be shared. The photography courses at MelenCourses are great fun which is something I personally enjoy, getting a lot of satisfaction from helping other photographers improve their hobbies or businesses. I am currently teaching an A Level photography course at a local school. PHIL RICHARDSON

T. 01582 840172 melencourses.co.uk


Get the most from a photography course David Ward
Thats not to say I would ever leave a student entirely to their own devices and there are even moments when urgent intervention is called for. On a trip to Provence four years ago the group was photographing the beautiful hilltop town of Gordes from a rocky ledge above a deep ravine. I noticed that one of the tripods was in an unstable position and was worried the camera might blow over in the stiff evening breeze, something that happens surprisingly frequently. So I turned to the lady whose camera it was and proceeded to give a sermon on the dangers of not spreading her legs always a delicate subject, especially when the client isnt a native English speaker. At the end of my speech she stared at me blankly for some time and then said in a slightly puzzled voice, But its not my camera The real owner was sitting shamefaced a couple of feet away and had, perhaps wisely, chosen to remain quiet throughout my lecture. My aim is to be available to offer advice and guidance whenever needed, but most of the direction I offer is necessarily subtle rather than blatant. Some participants are unable to appreciate the need for this at least initially. I vividly remember a client on one of my workshops in the Scottish Highlands complaining that they couldnt find any images at a particular location. I advised the man to find a spot and just sit still for a few minutes. Inspiration will come, I assured him. From the look I got, Im sure he felt he was getting the brush-off. But 30 minutes later he came over to tell me what a great image hed found and the profound lesson he had learnt. So in some ways a tutors task is simply to steer the student in the right general direction for their artistic journey, helping them to avoid the worst obstacles. A major part of what the tutor provides for the participant is confidence. Each of us needs quiet self-belief to manage our voyage of artistic discovery. Self-criticism is essential to the process so we need to guard against self-doubt. Any photographer needs to believe that what they have to say is worthwhile, only then will they have the confidence to move beyond making banal and vacuous pastiches. A poor mentor will prevent you from leaving their shadow but a great one will help you to find your own place in the light. Im always very aware that clients have chosen to spend their valuable leisure time with me so I work hard to ensure everyone is enjoying themselves. Sometimes I feel more like a Butlins Redcoat than a photographer, although youll no doubt be relieved to hear that theres never a knobbly knee contest! Perhaps I take the humour too far sometimes and people lose sight of my serious intent. A number of years ago a lady on a large format workshop borrowed a copy of my first book, Landscape Within. Next day she approached me at breakfast at my command, cameras on tripods, and make the same image at least on my tours. Last November, I was in California with a group and watched in disbelief as an American tour leader (Ill save his blushes by not naming him) told his group to do exactly that. We were at the Patriarch Grove, 11,500ft up in the White Mountains

with a slightly shocked expression and told me in a very earnest tone, Theres more to you than meets the eye! A backhanded compliment I was happy to accept. So what can a student expect on a tour or workshop? Well, it wont be (as one recent participant was pleasantly surprised to find out) like the most boring camera club evening you can imagine, but five days long! There will be plenty of laughs as well as amazing opportunities to make images. Before going on their first photo trip many people worry that other participants will be snooty about a perceived lack of knowledge or high-end gear on their part. In my experience nothing could be further from the truth and everyone is very keen to share their knowledge which further enhances the learning experience for everyone. Another great advantage of going on a workshop or photo tour is the chance to be completely immersed in photography for a number of days without worrying about ones significant other. Weve all been in the situation at one time or another when we want to make an image, but worry our companions will become bored while we mess around or wait an hour and half for a cloud to move. Time should never be a concern on a workshop. I aim to go to between three and four locations during a full day out, which gives plenty of time at each to explore and find images beyond the obvious. Much is made of the magical quality of the light at dawn and dusk, and I would certainly take the group out then if the weather is favourable, but its equally important to teach them how to work with different light and match it to locations. The leader therefore needs to know the area of the tour intimately and be willing to change their plans at a moments notice to make the best of the conditions. I will always have a number of different locations in mind during the day and keep my options open depending on the weather. You can dismiss from your mind the notion that everyone will meekly line up and home to 5,000-year-old bristlecone pines, some of the oldest living trees. I find this one of the most inspiring places Ive ever visited and somewhere that offers a huge range of possibilities for photography. Yet this other group stayed for barely 40 minutes and stood in a row to photograph a single fallen tree. My group stayed nearly three hours and spread across a wide area, making a diverse range of images. In my experience (and Ive now led close to 100 tours and workshops), its vital to give each participant the time and the room, both physically and artistically, to explore their potential. One last thought. Clients have paid for a photography trip but I dont think it should all be about photography. I want clients to go home from one of my tours or workshops feeling that theyve learnt something new and exciting about photography but just as importantly that theyve had a great time, been to some fantastic places and met some interesting people. More than 90% of my clients return for a second trip, and two have travelled with me more than 20 times without me having to threaten them with detention or lines, so I hope this means I have the balance about right. PM


Organisations you cant speak to its a bad sign if your calls/emails are never answered. A provider who is not covered by a bond through membership of a recognised organisation such as the Association of Bonded Travel Organisers Trust (ABTOT), Travel Trust Association (TTA) or Air Travel Organisers Licensing (ATOL). Companies can legally take credit card payments only if they have such cover. Organisations using vehicles with nine seats or more without properly qualified drivers. In the UK drivers of minibuses with nine to 16 seats need to hold a D1 PCV licence. Failure to do so invalidates insurance cover.


David Ward is a tutor with tour company Light & Land, which has more than 15 years experience leading in excess of 500 tours around the world. Find out more from www.lightandland.co.uk.

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At home I commandeered the kitchen table and brought my equipment into the room. I had a piece of reasonably heavy, plain black fabric about two metres by one-and-a-half metres which I spent some time arranging over the table and as a draped effect in the background. Within half an hour I had built a small set that had a black base, backdrop and sides, and I was ready to start arranging the simple dark red carnations and foliage in a small crystal vase. Im no florist so I went for something simple the stems of the flowers were kept to a similar height and the extra foliage used sparingly. I kept back several flowers to be placed on the black cloth around the base of the vase once I was ready to shoot.


This month we asked lighting master NEIL TURNER to create a still life with winter flowers and to make it feel like a detailed oil painting. Here he shows you how to do just that.
HERE ARE THREE THINGS THAT GO TOGETHER to make a scene reminiscent of a painting the same three elements that make any picture: Light, subject matter and composition. Before I started to build the picture I made a few decisions. I wanted the light to feel very much like the north light of a traditional artists studio; for the background to be black fabric; and for the whole scene to be based around the kind of simple angle of view and composition of a 17th-century painting. In addition to this I wanted the image to have a touch of the warmth that aged varnish gives old paintings. As a young photographer I was very interested in still life. This interest came largely from studying art and

the work of painters who made beautiful images from the most mundane of subjects and from the influence of an art teacher who taught his pupils to read pictures. We spent time looking at work ranging from the Renaissance masters through to Picasso and, to use the vernacular, reverse engineering them. Using the skill of a Miss Marple or a Hercule Poirot we learned to pick out the clues that mattered and see how the paintings had been made: Brush or knife? Watercolour or oils? Realism or Surrealism? When my attention turned from painting to photography I found my basic detective skills helped me to study the work of other photographers and this is a skill that I still make use of every day.











Once I had the arrangement roughly how I wanted it, I put the camera on a tripod and shot a couple of frames without flash using the ambient light and the camera set to auto exposure and auto white balance (above). With the dark background and foreground it is no surprise that the scene is badly overexposed at one second at f/3.5 on ISO 200. Looking at a whole range of still-life paintings I realised that the angle of view used by artists is often slightly telephoto and so I settled for an 85mm lens on a Canon EOS 7D body, giving me an effective focal length of roughly 135mm. The main light that I used was an Elinchrom Ranger Quadra with a small Photoflex LiteDome Q39 soft box. Other lighting would be Canon Speedlites in manual mode. Using a glass vase is something of a risk because the shiny surface will pick up



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Winter still life Neil Turner

all sorts of reflections, but it also offers an opportunity to make use of back lighting to give the scene plenty of life. The north light feel that I was originally looking for would normally mean using one very large and very diffused light source some distance away. Doing this alone would have given an even but slightly boring effect and so I decided to use a main light from the side (the left as you look at the scene) and then add some back lighting to accentuate the flowers and the vase as well as to put some modelling into the draped backdrop. This image (above right) shows the set at the beginning of the shoot. The main light ended up further away and lower and the Speedlite being used to give some modelling to the drape is hidden by the main light. The big advantage of using separate light sources for each part of the image is that you can have total manual control over the output of each and adjust them easily in relation to each other. You can also turn off some or all of the lights to see how much difference each of them makes to the overall image. In the series of images pictured right I have isolated each of the three lights: 1 Canon Speedlite with a HonlPhoto snoot from behind the set pointing at the top and rear of the vase set on 1/64th power with an orange colour correction gel. 2 Canon Speedlite on 1/128th power with an orange colour correction gel pointing down to give modelling to the drapes. 3 Elinchrom Ranger Quadra on 50W/secs output with a Photoflex LiteDome 40cm x 30cm soft box as main light. 4 Same as above but with a small reflector made of kitchen foil bouncing a small amount of light back on to the vase. Repeatedly testing and adjusting the output of the individual lights serves two very important purposes. The first is to give the photographer absolute control over how the image will look, allowing

them to experiment with subtle changes. Secondly, it tells you where any shadows or reflections are coming from. If there is something there that you dont like, knowing where it comes from lets you get rid of it without ruining the feel of the overall image. The bonus is that the more time you spend working with each of the light sources, the more knowledge you will build up in knowing when and where to place supplementary lights in the future either in still life, portraiture or even the odd landscape.

When deciding how much light to bring in from each source I kept referring back to the idea that old paintings often have much of their fine detail disguised by years of grime and dirt built up on the varnished surface of the canvas or board. Therefore, I kept the two accent lights deliberately dark and warm. I also set the white balance in the camera away from the more obvious flash preset and went for the cloudy day preset which made the whole image feel quite a bit warmer again to add to the painterly feel.







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Neil Turner Winter still life

Final image

mini-reflector and with it positioned at varying angles gives you genuine control over how the picture will look. This frame (left) shows two foil reflectors a small triangular one behind the vase to kick some light up through the glass from behind and a slightly bigger one to throw some of the main light back on to the side of the vase. You can also see the exact position of the two accent lights. You can see from the images using just the background lights that their effect in isolation is pretty minimal, but when you add them to the overall scene (above) they play an important part. The final image was shot at 1/160sec at f/5.6 on ISO 200. There isnt even a hint of any ambient light here. No post-production techniques were used in any of these pictures, other than a subtle brightening in Adobe Camera RAW.


Reading photographs or paintings isnt rocket science. There are always telltale signs that will lead you to an understanding of how the picture was lit and even give you a big clue as to whether any post-shooting changes were made. Essentially, there are two things to look out for when trying to work out how a picture was lit shadows and catchlights.

Where there is light there will be shadows. Sometimes they are obvious and sometimes not. Its far easier to see them on nice, light, clear backgrounds and surfaces. We all know that a shadow appears opposite a light source and so it is easy to see where the main light is. We can accurately judge its height and direction, but what if there are multiple shadows?

What if the shadows are not all that strong? The more time that you spend working with light and the more that you study it, the better you will become at reading shadows.

Most surfaces will show the reflections of the light source and the shinier they are the clearer those reflections will be. Most of us have learned to

recognise the shape of an umbrella or a soft box in a human eye. All light sources will have a signature catchlight but some are very difficult to read. By the same token, it is surprisingly easy to insert a fake catchlight if you want to. The absence of distinct shadows or obvious catchlights is one of the defining features of very diffuse and directionless light north light.

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Most of my still-life pictures end up with some kitchen foil reflectors before too long. If you look at the difference between images 3 and 4 on the previous page you will see that the second one has extra

light and highlights down the right-hand side of the vase. This is due entirely to a 20cm x 15cm piece of aluminium foil placed just to the right of the vase. Shooting test frames with and without the

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Winter still life Neil Turner
With the main image looking how I had imagined it, I messed about with the scene. I started off using a wider lens (24-70mm f/2.8) on a full frame body (top right) and it quickly becomes clear just how much of the feeling of an old painting is dictated by the composition and angle of view. This picture looks a lot less like a painting largely because wide-angle points of view were not part of the classical painting tradition. I removed the orange gels and increased the power on the Speedlite with the HonlPhoto snoot and shot this frame (below left), which has a far more modern feel. I also threw on a longer lens (Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L IS) with a 12mm extension ring to see what a more detailed image would look like. With this lens the depth of field at such a close range is very small but the result is interesting (centre). Finally, I put my very old and very cheap 50mm f/1.8 EF lens on to a Canon EOS 5D MkII with the 12mm extension ring and tried a few extra close-ups. I like working with a really narrow depth of field (far right). Again, this doesnt look much like a painting I cannot think of a painter who shows out-of-focus details in anything like the way that a fast lens can. Ultimately, that kind of experimental control is why I like shooting pictures and not getting my hands dirty with paint.


Every time I write a technique article I extol the virtues of shooting manually. Automation works with a single light source as long as it isnt too far around to the side of the camera and the subject matter isnt too light or too dark. Add a second light source and you might be lucky but you wont have much control, which is why it makes a lot of sense to shoot using as much manual control as your skill and experience allow you. Still-life photography is the discipline in which to build up your manual control skills. Nothing is moving. Nothing changes unless you change it. Perfect. Adding a second and then a third light source is a question of logic. When youve decided that you need a bit of light in one area of the image you have to answer a simple question: Do I add another light or would it pay to use a reflector? Most of the time another light makes sense because of the flexibility it gives you. You have independent control of two parts of the image, whereas using a reflector links two areas change one and you Sometimes there is enough light that you have to will change the other by default. be really careful to remove unwanted light, Getting everything back as it was isnt shadows or reflections; it is good practice always possible when you change a to do a test shot with all of your own light with a reflector working from it. lights turned off to make sure that the To read more Just how many light sources could available light isnt doing anything to of our masterclasses you end up with in a single, simple ruin your picture. Of course you can visit the website still life? Three, four, five or more is always utilise ambient light and make it www.photography monthly.com easy to do and usually gives you as much do what you want, but thats another lesson. control as you could possibly want. Still-life photography takes time. You can Remember though, no matter how many flash get a decent frame pretty quickly but half of the joy units or continuous lights you add to the scene you of still life is in making subtle but interesting have to take care of the ambient light. Other than changes and that requires testing and time. in a dark room, the ambient light always has to be This shoot was about three hours in total I could accounted for whether or not you want it to be have done it in one, but I honestly believe the part of the image. On this shoot I simply made sure extra time added to the quality of the image. If you any ambient light was so far underexposed that it are a beginner at this kind of thing I would strongly didnt matter. I screened off the set and used a advise you to do some research and start by high enough shutter speed to ensure the ambient copying a painting that interests you. Allow yourself light source was six or seven stops underexposed. time, do lots of testing and enjoy the ride.



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Emily is a veteran portrait photographer. A selection of her images forms part of the National Portrait Gallerys permanent collection.

This month Emily describes photographing twins and wonders just how much of the photographer is an influence on any portrait.
RICHARD AVEDON SAID, MY PHOTOGRAPHS ARE WORKS OF FICTION. ANY TRUTH YOU SEE IS MY TRUTH. With this in mind, is the portrait a photograph of the person portrayed, or is it a photograph of the photographer? Ideally, I think it is both. I have photographed pairs of people, including twins, for more than 20 years. A couple of months ago I decided to find more twins to photograph. One of the things that fascinates me about twins is that although they can look alike, they arent. There is a mystery to the outsider as to how a person feels about being a twin. The fact is, they have never been alone, right from conception. The challenge I have set myself is to photograph numerous sets of twins, then see what the images tell me; to edit them and weave a story for the audience in an effort to make them as fascinated in the subject as I am. I started to ask people if they knew any twins. The first pair recommended to me were Millennium twins Jamie and Isabella, neighbours of a jeweller friend of mine in Crouch End, north London. I emailed their mum, Helen, to ask if the brother and sister would like to be photographed. She replied, saying that they would. I arranged to photograph them on a Sunday morning. The twins live with their mum in a five-storey, post-war block of flats with plenty of daylight. When I arrived, Helen was welcoming and relaxed. Her twins were bouncy and happily met me at the door. They looked at my website to see what I do and exclaimed over the photographs, as I explained to them what the project was about. I decided to continue my portrait series predominantly in black-and-white, as I find it is less distracting than colour and has a timeless quality to it. I will shoot any colour portraits digitally.

Twins Isabella and Jamie

I used a Hasselblad 500C with black-and-white film and a Nikon D200 for shooting colour. I used the Nikon with an 18-200mm lens and took a spare memory card. I also took with me a spare Hasselblad body with three backs and 80mm, 120mm and 150mm lenses. For lighting I took the Norman 200B portable flash with its battery pack, a white brolley (which I shoot through to diffuse the light), a stand, tripod and a Minolta light meter for flash and ambient light. [With the Hasselblad 500C] I used Kodak TRI-X 120 film, because my first choice, Fujicolor Neopan 400, is no longer produced. TRI-X is the film I used when I first started taking photographs and I still like it. I used to develop Neopan in Rodinal, but Agfa has stopped producing it. So its back to Kodak Professional D-76 another developer of choice from 20 years ago. It is easy to mix as a stock solution and the development times for 1:1 stock to water are similar to Rodinal. So, back to the shoot. We were all in the sitting room, which had sunlight streaming in. It was around 11.30am and I knew we had to start as soon as possible because the light was good. There was a comfortable sofa and I asked the twins to sit on it. With the daylight on them there were strong highlights and shadows that worked. I took a light reading in the highlights and the shadows, and balanced the aperture and shutter speed between the two. I shot the TRI-X at 1/60sec at f11/16, and the digital rated at400 ASA the same. Since the shutter speed was fast enough I could handhold rather than use a tripod. I prefer to have the freedom to move around. I shot three rolls on the Hasselblad with the 80mm lens, and digital RAW and fine Jpegs on the Nikon. Helen suggested we pull the blind down for diffused light and these photographs worked too. I didnt need to use the Norman as the natural light was good and flash can be distracting, especially when shooting children. The twins were very concentrated for the 20 minutes we shot. I asked them to sit and look at the camera, and to look at each other. There was a brief break when we discussed pets and they brought in their hamster to be photographed. When we had finished they were keen to go outside to the communal garden and for me to photograph them on the trampoline, which I did. I also shot a few digital photographs of them standing outside with an avenue of trees behind them. The photographs that worked best are the interior ones. I love working with people and it was a great experience meeting these children, who were full of joy and energy. I processed and printed the black-and-white negatives and burned the colour Jpegs to disc. I sent Helen and the twins a disc and a selection of black-and-white 10x8in prints. The next set of twins Im planning to photograph are Estonian sisters in their mid-20s. Yesterday, while visiting the Bridget Riley exhibition at the National Gallery in London with my parents, we met a family they know with twins a boy and a girl aged 14 who agreed to be photographed. Their dad said that if he were given a penny every time he was asked, Are they identical? he would be a millionaire. There is a fascination with and certain confusion surrounding twins, and I will try to portray this within the project. PM www.andersenphotographic.org

Take plenty of film. Take spare batteries for the flash meter and portable flash. Bring extra lenses for your cameras. Send your sitters prints or photos on disc, or both. If you intend to publish or exhibit your photographs you will have to ask the sitters to sign model release forms. If they are under 16 their parent or guardian has to sign them.


To read more of Emilys columns visit www.photographymonthly.com

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The freedom to be more creative



In case you missed them

Thanks to everyone who has listened to our monthly podcasts over the past two years. In case you missed any, they are available via the website and can be downloaded from iTunes.

ISSUE PODCAST Grant and Sean speak to black-and-white landscape photographer Michael G Jackson about his intriguing and original images taken on Poppit Sands beach in west Wales. He shares advice and techniques for making All of our podcasts featuring unusual landscape images. They also photographer interviews and discuss this years AOP Open Awards, for industry news specials are available online. which Grant was a judge, as well as the www.photography business opportunities available to serious monthly.com enthusiast photographers from Canons range of large format printers.


MASTERS SPECIAL PODCAST In this months podcast special, Sean speaks to National Geographic photographer Gordon Wiltsie. A veteran adventurer for more than 30 years, Gordon has explored and photographed some of the worlds most unforgiving environments, often as part of a team of climbers and fellow explorers accustomed to living on the edge. PM

ISSUE PODCAST The Editor of Photography Monthly, Grant Scott, and deputy editor Sean Samuels speak to National Geographic photographer Jim Richardson about his wonderful landscape work made in the Hebrides. They also discuss the news from the world of photography. Goes live on 23 February.

ISSUE PODCAST Grant Scott and Sean Samuels speak to professional photographer Jake Chessum, who has shot many leading rock bands, about his approach to capturing group portraits. MASTERS SPECIAL PODCAST In this months podcast special, Sean speaks to our Lighting Master, Neil Turner, about how he uses flash to add depth and atmosphere to group portraits.

As well as a large selection of his images, this fantastic book charts the life and entrepreneurial career of Felice Beato, a major photographer of the 19th century. There is also an essay on Beato and the photography of war. For a chance to win a copy, worth 27.95, enter our competition at www.photographymonthly.com

ISSUE PODCAST Grant and Sean discuss their time at the CES Show in Las Vegas and reveal all their favourite things.

ISSUE PODCAST Grant and Sean speak to professional photographer James Appleton and discover how he captures extreme colour in his landscape images. They also discuss their time at Photokina 2010 in Germany. MASTERS SPECIAL PODCAST In this months masters special, Sean speaks to C J Kale and Nick Selway, two Hawaiian landscape photographers who have pioneered a new way of shooting the worlds longest-running volcano from the surf into which it flows. Find out how they risked their lives for the opportunity to make these amazing shots.

TEST ZONE AWARDS SPECIAL PODCAST Grant and Sean discuss the winners of this years Test Zone Awards, as featured in the December issue of the magazine.

MASTERS SPECIAL PODCAST In this months masters podcast special, Sean speaks to Steve Bloom about his career and approach to photographing wildlife.

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Has Sony, after dragging its heels for so long, finally updated its DSLR-A700? If so, it could be good news for Sony users and exciting for photographers, but I Convergence has finally emerged from the shadows, from all have heard nothing of the criticism, prodding and sneering. Both amateurs and the video capabilities. professionals are now using the same equipment to produce their work. This month, JOHN CAMPBELL keeps moving Surely they are offering forward with new kit, while also taking a look back at one of the founders of this movement, who produced some of the high-end 1080p full HD? Anything less and they will get film making that kick-started this journey. left way behind. It has been suggested that the Sony DSLR A800 will be CAR ADVERT SHOT ON launched at the CliQ CANON EOS 7D Shot simultaneously with annual imaging more than 20 Canon EOS 7D cameras, the new Volkswagen technology trade show, Polo Last Tango in Compton formerly known as the TV spot shows how far into the industry HDSLR shooting Photo Marketing has infiltrated. Absolutely stunning. It was shot by Association (PMA) trade director Jonathan Glazer, show, in Las Vegas in who did the famous Guinness Surfer, Sony Bravia TV Paint and Levi Strauss jeans Odyssey ads. This commercial September. So we shall is a great advert, not only for the car its trying to sell, but also for the cameras themselves, because now everyone sees the high quality they can realistically soon see...
achieve. Hiring 20 RED cameras instead would be a nightmare and too expensive. If you missed it on the box, check it out now at www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Yww2VhbFL8


Samsung has announced the arrival of the NX11, the next generation of its NX cameras. The NX11 is a mirrorless entry-level camera with a large sensor and has support for the i-Function feature, which was introduced with the NX100. The i-Function is a button that allows you to quickly access the cameras advanced settings. It can shoot only 720p HD video and a movie format: H.264 MP4 with audio. Although not truly HD, this model should be a good test to see how far entry-level cameras have come with regards to video. www.samsungimaging.com


In other camera news, the Nikon D700 has arguably been ready for a replacement for some time. As most Nikon prosumers use the D700, they would no doubt have been excited by the imminent launch of the D800. With an expected 21.1 million effective pixels and an EXPEED 2 image-processing engine, this camera is said to have the ability to shoot full HD 1080p video with full-time AF available in video mode. Reports say its sensitivity is expandable to ISO 102,400 with a nice 8fps for continuous shooting. Anticipation is gradually building among photographers and film makers, waiting to see if it will live up to the hype. For more speculation about the D800 go to http://photorumors.com/

John Campbell received his MA in film from the International Film School, Wales. He won the cinematography award at the Bristol International Film Festival for a short film called Blue Morning You in 1999. He now works as a freelance film maker for public bodies and arts organisations across the UK and mainland Europe.

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Shooting film on your DSLR John Campbell

yet structured environment. See it at http://vimeo.com/18154197 and how he did it at www.dslrnewsshooter.com/2010/12/ 28/nathan-mauger-shoots-captivatingtimelapse-of-beijing-on-a-canon-eos7d/

Camera stabilizers have become a useful tool for DSLR film makers, as we all want to create professional-looking shots. The fluid movement it gives as you move through a crowd can make a big difference. Its great for all conditions, from a wedding photographer/videographer who wants to walk through the celebration, to a film student planning a running sequence, like that at the start of the film Trainspotting. For a relatively low price the effect can be outstanding. Here are three models for different budgets, with suggested retailers.

My first film pick this month is by photographer Vincent Laforet, one of the founders of this whole movement, who has pushed both technique and technology to its limits, inspiring a lot of other photographers to grasp the opportunity and follow him into the world of film making. Being one of the first people to exploit the Canon EOS 5D MkIIs capabilities, he has made several films that you can find all over the web. Laforets most notable film is his debut, Reverie, probably also the first HD video shot on an HDSLR. But the one to see is The Cabbie, the first chapter of an eight-piece work. The short was commissioned by Canon USA to launch a nationwide campaign that was awarded three Titanium Lions at the 2010 Cannes International Advertising Festival. http://vimeo.com/8595246

The third film for this month is a special selection for all you Star Wars and action movie fans. Film maker Ross Chings 3 Minutes was shot entirely on HDSLRs and has great pace. Im not sure how serious it is meant to be, but it will only take three minutes to watch and is well worth it. http://rossching.com/3-minutes



The Hague DSLR Motion-Cam system can alleviate camera shake on cameras weighing up to 2kg such as the Canon EOS 5D and 7D. This simple system has a ball-type stabilizer which will elevate your shaky handheld footage to that of a semi-pro camera operator, allowing you to roam freely without having to worry. It is priced 186. www.cameragrip.co.uk



My second film choice is yet another excellent example of time-lapse, which has quickly become the most used technique within convergence. I think its because it utilises skills from film and photography, making it a perfect bridge between the disciplines. I never get bored with the aspect of playing with time. Too Fast Too Much from Nathan Mauger was shot on a Canon EOS 7D and is a fine example of this technique. He used a heavily populated city and traffic to encapsulate a chaotic

My favourite piece for some time is Last Day Dream by Chris Milk. The film, which was produced for the42-Second Dream Film Festival in Beijing, shows a persons life from birth to death, and utilises a Canon EOS 5D and a cheap Lensbaby pan-and-tilt lens. This film should be watched by all new film makers looking at how to create a simple yet effective film. Pay particular attention to the editing and how this is used to create pace, almost like a heartbeat, and the use of a blank screen to create the passages and links in time. http://vimeo.com/4155700

The Glidecam 2000 Pro is probably the most popular for wedding videographers. The ability to maintain a smooth motion even when running or climbing stairs has made this a key bit of kit. Priced 297. www.markertek.co.uk/Catalog/ Camera-Support-Stabilizers/ Glidecam-2000-Pro-GlidecamCamcorder-Stabilizer

The 2000 Pros big brother, the Glidecam4000 Pro, comes in at 439 and is a high-end prosumer option. Although not as good as the professional Steadicams, the Glidecam4000 and indeed 2000 can be added on to because they are designed almost as a modular piece of equipment. You can attach a body suite that will help with strain of the camera, allowing you to take longer when shooting. If youre planning to be moving around a lot while shooting, this could really be of benefit. PM www.creativevideo.co.uk/index.php?t=product/ glidecam_4000-pro


Dont be frightened of lighting your scenes with available light. In most cases, you probably wont be in control of the light, especially if youre shooting a real event. But bouncing light with a well-placed reflector or white card can really make a difference, helping texture and details to pop out of shadows. This is especially relevant when youre in a large room with predominantly downlighting. In many such scenarios, a top light on your camera could be off-putting for people, but a small reflector or card used subtly wont bother anyone and will get the effect you require. When I was a student I frequently used ironing boards and white doors taken off their hinges to achieve nice bounce light; these days Im luckily in a position to spend a few quid on a nice, small foldable reflector.

To read more of Johns Film School columns visit www.photographymonthly.com

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5 great lies of black-and-white photography Martin Middlebrook



This month professional photographer MARTIN MIDDLEBROOK reveals why you should throw out the rulebook when it comes to making black-and-white images.
OMEHOW WE SHOEHORN colour, high key, mono, landscape, photojournalism and fashion, in fact a thousand varieties of the visual art form that is photography, into one big hobnail boot. A big size 12 of a description, with steel toecaps and 3in heels, which somehow belies the subtleties and nuances that exist within this generic definition. Shooting fashion in New York is as far away from capturing a cheetah in Namibia as Strictly Come Dancing is to Premiership Rugby. I mention this because, in the same way, we somehow believe that if we can shoot in colour, then we can see the world in black-and-white as well. We shouldnt expect that just because we create great colour images, somehow we can understand and master black-and-white.



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5 great lies of black-and-white photography

Every discipline in photography comes with its own checklist of required skills, and mono is no different. If you cant visualise the vibrant, saturated world in a monochromatic manner, then you will seriously reduce your capacity to create dynamic and compelling images. So here are my Five Great Lies of Digital Black-and-White Photography! people fall into different demographics, we have early adopters and others who cling to tradition. Early digital cameras did not come with a black-and-white capture mode and yet we saw many wonderful mono images, simply because some images lend themselves to black-and-white, whether they are captured in mono or not. Shooting in colour first provides you with options, allowing for further interpretation. We need to see shooting black-and-white digitally as an issue of workflow. Producing a great image is about a set of linked processes, from visualising the image, capturing it in-camera and with our computers as darkroom. I have shot plenty of black-and-white in-camera, but I often find that shooting in colour will give me a much richer mono image. In my experience shooting in RGB gives me three channels of

I work across a range of disciplines, using different styles and techniques accordingly, which means that in many areas I am a non-specialist and would describe myself as average at best. I try everything because I just love producing images and improving skills in one area necessarily informs how I

shoot in another. I really believe that in doing so I have become a much better all-round photographer. I grew up shooting black-and-white film; I had my own darkroom and couldnt wait to switch on the red light and see what I had. In the days of film, this is how we worked; if you shot black-and-white you would chose a mono emulsion, colour for colour, but digital cameras and computers have changed all that. In life information, whereas shooting in mono appears to give me one. This is a very simplistic argument, and I cant provide you with the technical proof, but take a photo in colour and convert it to mono, or shoot in mono first, and I can assure you that the converted image will look richer. It will have greater tonality, greater contrast, richer blacks and less grain. And heres the best bit, you will have a colour version too. This is a facile argument; a landscape can look amazing in mono and a portrait can look flaccid. Black-and-white is about so many compositional, dynamic and tonal elements, and knowing these rules in advance lets us maximise our shooting. Look at the image below of three squares of data, RGB, and the mono conversion that follows. Red and blue juxtaposed looks rich, dynamic and complementary. The greyscale versions look like the flat slabs of grey they are. They are appealing neither separately nor together. Now look at the image of the woman in the feathered head dress (above left). It works because of the vibrancy of colour and how these primary colours work together, and yet as a mono image (left) it is flat, dead and works only on a compositional level. Its interesting to note that the red-and-yellow section highlighted in the image is identical in tonality to the mono conversion, and yet our brains are trained to believe that yellow is brighter than red. To be successful black-and-white photographers we simply must learn to see colour as tones of grey; without that capacity we will become unstuck time and again.

If I shoot when the brief demands a colour response, then I do so with that in mind. When I go out to shoot black-and-white, I may sometimes capture it in colour first, but I unequivocally visualise in mono at the point of capture. I cannot stress enough how important this is. Technology allows us to do anything with the flick of a switch we can cross-process an image or solarise it, but just because we can, it doesnt mean we should. These treatments pertain directly to the subject and composition in a very real way. Its not happenstance; it only works if the image allows. In the same way that we cant retrospectively change our minds, we should in the first place agree the final response. Knowing that your final image is going to be black-and-white, however it is captured, is literally everything. We might presume that a landscape looks better in colour and that a portrait in mono strips back the subject so we get to the truth more quickly.

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In taking great black-and-white shots, either in-camera or not, seeing in black-and-white is crucial. Understanding tonality and how colour converts is key. However, really great black-and-white works because of the structural dynamics that underpin composition. If we exclude portraits for a moment (because they work on a different level), great mono is effective because the frame, be it 35mm or 5 x 4, is an active, dynamic region just waiting for you to set up tension and structure, elements which bounce the eye around the scene until it arrives at a defining point. To achieve this we need contrast and delineation, so we must understand the qualities of light in a different way. Shooting in colour is more often about colour temperature, sympathetic light and specular highlights. Shooting in mono is more often about extreme light, backlit


subjects and high contrast. It is these qualities that introduce perspective into a scene that leads the eye where we want it to arrive. Shadows, so often a nuisance, become wonderful mechanisms that support our composition. The images above are a great example. The scene works beautifully in colour, but the lighting

setup means it works perfectly well in mono. Exactly the same scene, shot with the sun behind us, would still be pleasing in colour, but flat and lifeless in mono. Light and colour are two different things. In both forms of photography we use light, but in mono the qualities of light, not colour, are what really matter.
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Most modern digital cameras provide us with so many image controls that we tend to leave the camera on default settings, because its easier that way. I see it time and time again. When I made the transfer from film to digital, I was immediately disappointed that my images lacked the saturation, contrast and punch that I had become used to with Fuji Velvia 50 reversal film. As I was schooled in the old ways of doing things, I would never do any post-production on my colour images and so I was always left feeling let down. Yet I didnt really see how I could be a worse photographer just because I was now shooting digital. For a long time I steadfastly refused to change any of my images once they had been captured, but somehow sensor technology didnt catch up with film quality quickly enough, so I began to add just a little saturation and contrast in Photoshop afterwards. This simply had the effect of bringing the images back into line with the reality I was seeing before me, and the

expectations I had from using film. After all, film was hardly realistic and no one can tell you the world looks like Fuji Velvia, or that cross-processing produces natural-looking images. I was always unhappy that my images, straight out of camera, didnt quite match what I had seen, so I increasingly began to use in-camera controls to bring back this contrast and saturation. I really got into colour temperature and began to shoot at very high ISOs simply so I could mimic the grain of fast mono films. It might have been digital, but I was now getting the control in-camera that I previously had with film and I could change it for every shot. The great news was that sensor technology began to catch up and in-camera controls became more available. I work with Canon EOS 5D MkIIs now and the level of image control in-camera is exceptional, but I have used other systems and been impressed with their image control and quality. So I now change my settings depending upon the look I need, the subject matter, the end use and so on. I prefer my landscapes to be rich, so I increase my saturation and contrast to mimic film.

When I shoot black-and-white in-camera I often shoot at ISO 1600, because it introduces grain that mimics the look and feel of old emulsions. Below is a series of four shots of the same image that show what in-camera control can do. The first is the neutral setting for the 5D MkII and the next is my default setting with added saturation and contrast. The third is a mono shot of the same scene, proving again that red and blue together dont work, and the fourth is the same shot with a red filter, to darken the sky and dump the red out of the scene. Every one of these controls is available in-camera and by playing around with them we can begin to produce great shots right away. Just think many digital cameras now let you shoot in mono, change the ISO range from 50 to 6400 and more, affect contrast, sharpness and saturation, and add colour filters in-camera, as well as employing flash techniques to enhance tonality. So you begin to realise that using your cameras in-built facilities will open up a cornucopia of opportunity, allowing you to create great black-and-white shots straight out of camera.

1 2

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5 great lies of black-and-white photography Martin Middlebrook

I took this photograph of my daughter a couple of days ago. Shot at ISO 500 for a softer look and a little grain, I upped the contrast in-camera and set the filter in-camera to red. Combining these settings has produced a tonally rich image, with solid blacks due to filtration, but a soft glow from choosing a high ISO. I could equally have shot at ISO 50 and used flash carefully to provide an entirely different image quality. I implore you to open up your camera, dig inside a little and discover all the possibilities that exist within you will be amazed.

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The Royal Wedding


Celebrate the biggest event of 2011 with this special commemorative guide to Prince William and Kate Middletons wedding, taking place on 29 April at Westminster Abbey. This beautiful 100-page guide will take you on a journey back through the royal couples childhood, romance and engagement, through to their plans for the wedding and what the future holds for them as the King and Queen of the United Kingdom. Whether you plan to cheer the royal couple on along the streets of London or watch events unfold from the comfort of your own home, The Royal Wedding: Prince William & Kate Middleton is the perfect souvenir guide to this historic occasion.

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5 great lies of black-and-white photography Martin Middlebrook

I have often written that many of us take out our cameras only in perfect weather, that wonderful morning light in May, rich, ambient and warm yummy. But these are not the best occasions for shooting in black-and-white; these occur when everything is against us. The shots here are both as shot, in colour, but have a wonderfully monochromatic feel to them. I often shoot water in direct sunlight, aiming my lens directly at the point where sunlight bounces ruthlessly off the water, a blinding interpretation of a flickering, fluid surface. I underexpose by up to three stops and this is what you get. It has the feel of Japanese art, simplified form that is imbued with a pared-down rhythm that colour would destroy. Colour can be mono in a very real sense. Shooting in extreme light intrinsically creates monochromatic form and is so often the best time to achieve great black-and-white imagery. By extreme light, I dont just mean glaring light. A foggy

day will do just as well or a dull and moody sky will be suitable. Black-and-white lends itself to so many more situations and conditions than colour ever will. It is another example of

GO ONLINE For more of Martins

articles visit the website www.photography monthly.com

maximising the amount of time you can take pictures, because you simply wont have to wait for the right weather the wrong weather is the right weather! PM

In truth it is not easy to produce great black-and-white shots digitally in-camera, but remember that creating images is a matter of workflow, so the final treatment is what counts. With that in mind, it is critical to pre-visualise the final image before you create it. In doing so you will start to see the world in mono, begin to understand when and how a great black-and-white shot can be made and when it will fail. Understand structure and see in tones of grey, and you will begin to make wonderful mono images, however you might achieve it.


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With a vast array of tripods on the market, its difficult to know which is the right one for you. Here JESSICA LAMB selects six of the best lightweight tripods and, on the following page, six leading heavyweights, to suit the style of work you shoot and your budget.



90 including head Weight: 2.20kg
The four-section Sherpa 750R tripod comes complete with the PH-157Q three-way panhead with quick release platform and features a racked and removable centre column that can be split for more versatile camera control. The tripod measures 155cm when fully extended and just 55cm when folded up. It is supplied with a soft case shoulder strap. Made primarily of aluminium, the tripod has a maximum load of 4kg and weighs 2.20kg.







219 Weight: 1.28kg
Giottos VGR8255 Vitruvian is an ideal travel tripod, weighing just 1.28kg and measuring 40cm long when folded up, making it suitable for everyday use, but also light enough for the photographer on the move. Vitruvian VGR carbon fibre tripods are designed to give photographers not only a lightweight and compact piece of equipment, but also a monopod, which is created by removing a tripod leg and centre column, and joining them together. The Giottos VGR8255 tripod has a maximum load capacity of 4kg and comes with a ball head and padded carry bag.


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Lightweight and heavyweight tripods Jessica Lamb


349.99 Weight: 1.80kg
The Vanguard Alta Pro 284CT weighs 1.80kg and has a maximum load capacity of 8kg. The tripod features advanced camera vibration and shock control, legs that adjust to 25, 50 and 80 angles, quarter-twist leg locks, and premium magnesium die-cast canopy and head, as well as non-slip, spiked rubber feet to cope with a range of terrains and a removable hook for hanging accessories. The Alta Pro 284CTs carbon fibre build makes it light, so it will be perfect for anyone who needs plenty of flexibility without the added weight.


4 GITZO GT2541
559.95 Weight: 1.36kg
The Gitzo GT2541 is part of the makers Mountaineer range, so its built for strength and rigidity with its 6X carbon fibre tube, but also manages to be extremely light. It makes the perfect piece of gear for serious photographers who need a tripod that can accompany them wherever they go. Weighing just 1.36kg and having a maximum load capacity of 12kg, the GT2541 is ideal for photographers who are looking for a solid tripod without sacrificing weight.





249.99 Weight: 1.44kg
The Slik Pro 723AF tripod uses multi-layer carbon fibre material to reduce weight and improve rigidity for a more stable camera support. This model has three 25mm diameter leg sections which can be used in multiple positions and fold down to a manageable 69.6cm. Its compact size and light weight make it the perfect tripod for backpacking and hiking. This kit comes with the Slik AF-1100 head (making a total weight of 1.96kg) and has a maximum load of 5kg.



249.95 Weight: 1.32kg

For more kit and gadget news, visit the website www.photography monthly.com

The 190CX carbon fibre three-section tripod belongs to Manfrottos most popular range the 190 series. It weighs just 1.32kg, with a maximum load capacity of 5kg. The tripod features a newly-designed, ergonomic leg angle selector, which improves comfort and precision. The 190CXs 100% carbon fibre tubes and aluminium die castings provide great rigidity and make it extremely light, while the aluminium centre column includes a low-angle adaptor at the bottom which can be used as a short column.


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Lightweight and heavyweight tripods Jessica Lamb









279 Holds up to 12kg
This carbon fibre tripod from 3 Legged Things Rock Legend range is light but can carry heavy loads up to 12kg. It has a maximum height of 166cm but is just 44cm when folded and features a removable central column which can be used as a monopod to give you extra versatility when shooting. The kit includes a B3s ballhead, magnesium alloy extension tube, mounting plate, mounting spigot, spring ballast hook and carry case, and weighs a total of 1.93kg.

159.99 Holds up to 10kg
The Tracker 2 is designed to hold heavy gear with exceptional durability and stability. The tripod weighs 3.38kg and can hold up to 10kg of equipment. The tripod has reinforced leg locks for added stability and reversible rubber/metal spiked feet to cope with a range of terrains. The legs can be adjusted individually to three different angles to help when you are shooting on uneven ground or at low levels.


369.95 Holds up to 8kg
The 458B features the Neotec leverless mechanism where pulling each leg down automatically opens and locks it into position so the tripod can be set up and packed away quickly. The built-in carrying handle is perfect for any photographer on the move who still needs stability. The 458B Neotec Pro weighs 2.4kg and can hold up to 8kg of gear. It has a twosection centre column for low-angle or normal shooting and four set leg-angle positions.







349.95 Holds up to 18kg
The Gitzo GT3330LS (long version) systematic aluminium three-section tripod is made to support large and medium DSLRs with lenses up to 500mm. These Series 3 tripods have a high maximum load capacity of up to 18kg thanks to the redesigned G-lock system. The GT3330LS weighs just 2.7kg and will go as low as 10cm to the ground for those macro or low-level wildlife shots. Its three-leg section construction gives a maximum height of 150cm, providing comfortable eye-level shooting for wedding and sport photography.


120 Holds up to 11kg
The Pro 700DX has a gearless centre column and three-position adjustable angle leg locks, making it simple to set up on uneven ground or steps. The tripod can be lowered to 38cm for low-angle or macro photography in the field. It weighs 2.67kg and the legs can support up to 11kg in equipment, such as large-format (4x5) field cameras or heavy, long telephoto lenses. The AMT-titanium alloy legs make the Slik Pro 700DX strong and stable while still being light and easy to carry around.

89 Holds up to 8kg
Giottos MTL9361B features quick-action lever leg locks, variable leg-angle settings and a 3D centre column. It weighs only 2.2kg and can support up to 8kg in weight, making it suitable for larger DSLR cameras and lenses. Foam grips on each top leg section make it easy to adjust. The centre column can be removed from its vertical position, rotated through 180 and locked where required; when combined with the variable leg-angle settings, it allows users to put the camera in the right spot to capture the perfect image.



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FOR YOUR CHANCE TO WIN a copy of Natural Wonders: A Panoramic Vision, by Jaspal Jandu, worth 25, simply upload your best still-life pictures to the Photography Monthly gallery. One image will be chosen and the winner will take home this fantastic prize. The book features stunning panoramic images of more than 20 of the worlds most treasured locations. From the magnificence of Alaska to the haunting majesty of the Himalayas, these are views of the world at its most sublime. Jandu, a British-born photographer based in London, travelled thousands of miles across six continents over four years to capture the images. As he notes: The landscapes of our world are truly wondrous places, inspiring each generation by their subtle forms and infinite moods. To get you started and inspired, we have included some of your pictures and others by the PM team, but were sure you can do better than us! Good luck and get shooting.

I N! W

Trevor Wain Still life

Darren Muir Make up bag

Paul Barclay Yellow

To enter and for full terms and conditions, visit www.photographymonthly.com


GRANT SCOTT EDITOR PHOTOGRAPHY MONTHLY I always refer to intimate groupings of ephemera as eye candy and you usually find the best in the homes of creative people. I took this picture in the office of one of Italys most influential designers for me where the best still lifes are found.

SEAN SAMUELS DEPUTY EDITOR PHOTOGRAPHY MONTHLY If a beautiful still-life image is about lighting and atmosphere then I hope this image of a derelict window in Brighton fulfils the brief. I love the way the light just catches the bottom of the old bars in the frame set next to the modern graffiti.

ADRIENNE WHEELER ART EDITOR PHOTOGRAPHY MONTHLY I took this image during the summer on a trip to the Eden Project in Cornwall. There were almost too many plants to choose from, but I settled on this humble little flower for its vivid colour which the sun lit perfectly.

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Upload to our gallery to win prizes Still life

Tom Aspinall Its a monkey puzzle to me

Simon Abbott Colour pencils

Greg Armstrong Georgivs Joseph Burden The last straw hat in the world

Diane Innes A pink shoe

KELLY WEECH FEATURES ASSISTANT PHOTOGRAPHY MONTHLY This image was taken during a cocktail shoot for France magazine. I love the way the depth of field adds an interesting element to the background and helps to create the mood. It was taken with a Canon EOS 5D and 24-105mm lens.

JESSICA LAMBEDITORIAL ASSISTANT PHOTOGRAPHY MONTHLY I took this black-and-white photo with my BlackBerry mobile. I wanted to capture the delicate beauty of the rose but with a twist. I think the black-and-white gives a different take on the normal, vibrantly coloured shot of flowers.

ELEANOR OKANE DEPUTY EDITOR PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHER I collect vintage tableware and like the soft tones of the metal that you dont find with brand new cutlery. The way the knives were reflecting the other pieces caught my eye while laying the table for lunch, so I grabbed my camera. PM

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At Focus on Imaging 2011 stand F40 Image by waynelawes.co.uk

Each month we bring you the reviews you need to make sure you buy the right equipment, for the right reasons

TOP news and ! TIP For more
reviews on the latest kit and technology visit the website at


www.photography monthly.com


If you are looking for a good medium telephoto lens for wildlife and action shots, take a look at this affordable model from Sigma.



The lens covers a medium telephoto range of focal lengths from 70mm to 200mm and has a large maximum aperture of f/2.8 throughout the entire zoom range.


Two F low-dispersion glass elements match fluorite glass in performance, while three special low-dispersion glass elements enable colour aberration to be corrected.


The optical stabiliser allows shutter speeds to be used approximately four stops slower than would otherwise be possible, simplifying telephoto shooting.


The glass is covered with a multi-layer coating that helps to reduce flare and ghosting.


A hypersonic motor ensures a quiet and high-speed operation in autofocus mode.



It has a minimum focusing distance of 140cm (55.1in) throughout the entire zoom range and a maximum magnification ratio of 1:8.


For digital cameras with an APS-C size image sensor, the lens comes with a dedicated hood adaptor which expands the length of the lens hood.


The Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 EX DG OS HSM lens is available in the following mounts: Sigma AF, Nikon AF, Canon AF, Pentax AF, Sony AF. PM Price: 1,539.99 www.sigma-imaging-uk.com

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THE LUMIX DMC-GH2 IS THE LATEST GENERATION OF HYBRID CAMERAS FROM THE PANASONIC Micro Four Thirds stable, offering interchangeable lenses on a body that looks like a DSLR but feels more like a compact. Panasonics ability to pack so many features into such a neat and compact-looking camera deserves great praise. I must state here that I have never before used a camera such as the DMC-GH2. My background in photography comes from using DSLRs and film cameras. Holding this camera is a new experience for me and having never read a manual in my life, I am not going to start now. So the perspective of this review will lean rather

Panasonic is fast becoming an unexpected leader in the compact DSLR market and the release of the DMC-GH2 is a welcome addition to the companys photographic arsenal. Its packed with great image-making technology, so we armed award-winning photojournalist KIERAN DOHERTY with one and asked him to put it through its paces. This is what he thought.

more towards a hands-on feel than towards technical specifications.

With the body, I have been given a 14-140mm lens and my first impressions are that a lens any longer than this one would probably cause a weight imbalance on such a light body. The 3in 460k-dot resolution, multi-angled flip touch screen display on the back of the camera is very sharp and remarkably intuitive. It appears that firmware engineers throughout the digital camera spectrum have agreed on a template, which means if you have used a compact or DSLR from any manufacturer, you will be able to navigate easily around the menu on this camera. I put this to the test by asking my nine-year-old daughter (who uses one of those digital compacts that you can buy for under 30) to set the camera into HD cinema mode and start filming. She did so in less than a minute, by finding the Q (quick) menu button, which proves these hybrid cameras and their software are the tools with which her generation will record and view the world around them in the future. All the functions that this camera offers are easily accessible with the physical layout of the intuitive controls. Apart from the usual modes of shooting, it also has a 3D mode (with a dedicated 3D lens) for shooting stills and again these can be viewed on a Panasonic HD 3D TV, should you


5 fps in 16.05-megapixel Full Resolution and Venus Engine FHD


1,920 x 1,080 50i Full-HD Movies in AVCHD Format.


Intuitive Touch-control Shooting and Double Live View

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Camera review Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2
happen to own one. The touch screen responds and behaves as you would expect an iPhone or an iPad to do. You can swipe through images, and double or triple tap to magnify one of them when you want to check focus planes. a 37in Panasonic flat screen, so I did just that. All the functions are at your fingertips on the cameras touch screen as you scroll through your still images or video recordings on the TV. In the record mode menu on the camera it says that AVCHD (1080i) mode is the best recording mode for playing on TV in HD. Once you get over the fact that the resulting video is not going to look quite like a BBC natural history production, its an enormous achievement that a camera of this size can produce such superb quality. The recorded audio is not available through the TV, only through the camera, but it is exceptionally clear. The DMC-GH2 does, though, have a port for an external microphone. I am not convinced the DMC-GH2 would be the choice for specific areas of professional film making, but certainly serious amateur or indie film makers will be suitably impressed with its video credentials, particularly the external HDMI slot which, when attached to an external monitor, will allow artistic directors on location to see in real time what is happening during a shoot.

All the controls associated with using the HD film modes are on screen as well. As this is a mirrorless camera, Panasonic has put in an electronic viewfinder which is sharp, bright and accurate in assessing colour and contrast, although I did notice

some image tearing appearing when I panned the camera. Without wanting to state the obvious, the design ergonomics of this camera would lead me to use the viewfinder for stills work and the touch screen for video work. A neat function on the DMC-GH2 involves a small sensor under the eyepiece that detects eye proximity. Move your eye to the viewfinder and the touch screen shuts down; move your eye away from the viewfinder and the touch screen comes back to life. ISO, white balance and other factors that are constantly being used by a photographer are a one-button touch away, although Panasonic has added the Q menu button that allows all your favourite functions/controls to appear instantly. The DMC-GH2 is a 16.05 usable megapixel camera. It also features Dolby digital stereo and at its top end 1,920 x 1,080 HD resolution in cinema mode with a variable frame rate. Now HD resolution written down like this really doesnt mean a great deal to me, so I decided to see what it looked like on a much bigger screen. Panasonic has included a mini HDMI cable socket on the camera which means you can plug it straight into your TV. I have


Kierans photography has fronted and appeared in many top international magazines including Time, Newsweek and National Geographic, as well as the New York Times and the Sunday Times.

3D Shooting Compatible and VIERA Link Networking


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Camera review Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2
Another huge plus is the DMC-GH2s ability to follow focus very quickly while recording video through its AFS mode. I would have loved Panasonic to have taken a step further and offered touch screen magnification for focus checking during recording when not in AFS mode. Functionality like that would have hauled me out of a tricky situation I found myself in while making a documentary in China. But the DMC-GH2 has taken a big step in that direction and I am sure its only a matter of time before this becomes reality. taken, which was a little distracting, especially when trying to shoot a sequence. I chose to test the DMC-GH2 in programme mode, my only alteration being to set a dedicated white balance in-camera. I wanted to see how it handled extreme backlighting, shadow details and massive exposure differences all in the same frame. I then viewed the images through Panasonics supplied software SILKYPIX. The results were pretty astonishing. The cameras ability to meter a scene such as the pitch being watered at Fulham football ground was impressive, as was its ability to work at ISO 1600 for the Damien Duff yellow card incident during Fulhams 4-0 win over Tottenham in the FA Cup.





This camera has various stills shooting modes, including the ability to shoot still images while recording HD video, although I CONCLUSION am assuming this could be achieved only through the use of a remote, as pushing the This model packs a punch with its shutter button during filming would surely functionalities, three-quarters of which I cause movement and be counterproductive. havent mentioned in this review. The DMC-GH2s image sizes range from Everything I have written is based solely 4,608 x 3,456 to 1,792 x 1,792 and it has on information on the camera, and I am aspect ratios of 1:1, sure that more 4:3, 3:2 and 16:9. technically versed In my opinion it is photographers would never a true test of a glean far more from cameras capabilities the camera than I did. to walk out into a Is it my sort of perfectly-lit street camera? Initially I and start shooting at would have said no, ISO 200. Lets face it; but the more I used every digital camera it, the more I enjoyed manufacturer has got doing so and the ISO 160-800 pretty impressive results much covered. What has speak for themselves. I imagine transformed the image in the that the HD video side of this digital age compared to the film camera is its real pulling power, We have uploaded but the stills image side is age is its ability to operate in a short video low-level lighting conditions. an able wing man. I think the Kieran made with Twenty years ago we would either DMC-GH2 is more than likely the DMC-GH2 to our YouTube accept movement as part of the a stepping stone en route to channel picture or hope that people stood what will ultimately evolve into FotoNewsNow. really still. Now we can shoot in a Panasonic giant killer. PM www.youtube.com/ user/FotoNewsNow almost complete darkness and www.panasonic.co.uk freeze movement. When shooting stills I noticed the viewfinder immediately showed momentarily the image I had just

75.8mm (D)


17.3mm x 13.0mm (in4:3 aspect ratio) LENS MOUNT Compatible with Micro Four Thirds mounts, including latest lenses in 3D, 200-600mm and 14-42mm IMAGE SENSOR PIXELS 16.05MP (effective) RECORDING FILE FORMAT Still Image: Jpeg (DCF, Exif 2.3), RAW, DPOF compatible MPO (when attaching 3D lens in Micro Four Thirds standard)/ Motion Image: AVCHD/ QuickTime Motion Jpeg ASPECT RATIO 4:3, 3:2, 16:9, 1:1 SHUTTER SPEED Still images: 1/4,000sec to 60sec and bulb (up to about two minutes) BUILT-IN-FLASH TTL Built-in-Flash, GN13.9 equivalent (ISO 160 m), built-in pop-up EXPOSURE MODE Program AE, aperture priority AE, shutter priority AE, manual, auto WEIGHT About 609g COLOUR TEMPERATURE 2,500-10,000k in 100k BURST SPEED SH:40fps (4M), H: 5fps M: 3fps, L: 2fps HOT SHOE TTL Auto with FL220/ FL360/FL500 (optional) LCD MONITOR PIXELS 460k dots DIGITAL ZOOM 2x, 4x PRICE 918.99 (including 14-42mm lens)


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W W W. P H OTO G RA P H Y M O N T H LY.CO M [ 1 03 ]

Olympus XZ-1 Camera review


Olympus may have just brought out the best-looking, most stylish, coolest and best-designed compact on the market today. But can the XZ-1 deliver? PM editor GRANT SCOTT found himself in downtown Las Vegas trying to find out.
behind, with a bewildering choice of models at an incredible range of prices constantly being launched and updated. There is now a compact for every possible user and pocket, and the compacts for advanced photographers are getting better and better, thanks to recent arrivals from Canon and Nikon. Olympus has been at the forefront of CSC development with the rejuvenated PEN brand and now with the XZ-1 it has made itself a serious contender in the pro compact market just as it did nine years ago with the C-3040Z, C-4040Z and C-5050Z which featured some of the brightest zooms ever to appear on a compact. Much has BEFORE I BEGIN to speak about the Olympus XZ-1 let me be honest about how I feel about compact cameras. I like them. There, Ive said it, and not only do I like them, I use them all of the time to take pictures which then go on to be used in all sorts of commercial environments. In my mind the quality of image that compacts can now produce has made them an essential piece of kit for any advanced or serious enthusiast photographer. They are no longer just a cheap first step into the world of photography. There has been a lot of development and progress in the world of CSCs (Compact System Cameras) over the past year and the world of compacts has not been far been said about how good-looking the PEN series is and I have to say that for me the XZ-1 looks even better (not a great surprise as the team behind the PEN also developed the XZ-1). This is one seriously good-looking camera which echoes the clean lines, strong detail and pure white aesthetic (although it does also come in matte black) of pretty much everything coming out of the Apple Store at the moment. In fact so clean and simple is the design that from a distance it looks like one big black lens in your hands. As well as looking good, the XZ-1 just felt right the moment I started to work with it. The shutter release was well positioned and responded positively. The focus was

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[104] P H OTO G RA P H Y M O N T H LY M A RC H 20 1 1

both accurate and quick to respond even when I was jumping between extreme points of focus and the lens was giving me images that I couldnt believe were possible with a compact. My walk through the badlands of downtown Las Vegas was rapidly becoming one lived through a lens as I couldnt stop snapping away, creating a series of tightly cropped images of the neon signs that surrounded me. A lot of this great response has to be put down to two major innovations. The first is the large, super-sensitive high-sensitivity 1/1.63in CCD which is one of the largest sensors to appear in a compact camera with a built-in lens. The XZ-1s light-receptive area of each pixel is twice as large compared to a regular 14MP CCD sensor. The second innovation is that great-looking lens I mentioned earlier. The XZ-1 is the first compact

camera to come with a Zuiko ultra-bright lens that is normally seen only on Olympuss SLR cameras. The i.Zuiko Digital lens fitted to the XZ-1 is an f/1.8 at the 28mm equivalent end and delivers an impressive f/2.5 at the 112mm setting. The XZ-1 has two control dials, including one round the lens that can be used to click through apertures, ISO and shutter speeds; many people like this but I am not a great fan due to my clumsy fingers. It also has a bright, high-resolution OLED screen, a flash hot shoe and the ability to wirelessly control off-board flashguns. Its hard to imagine what else Olympus could have fitted into the XZ-1. But if you feel the need to add more yourself you can. The XZ-1 comes into the game with a competitive 10 megapixels but also compatibility with a large range of dedicated Olympus PEN accessories, including the external stereo microphone, electronic viewfinder and flash. Theres also an accessory port on the rear that can be used to add an optional electronic viewfinder with a fitting which is the same as that found on the PEN. To me this is a big deal as by opening up what I can add to the XZ-1 it starts to become an even
W W W. P H OTO G RA P H Y M O N T H LY.CO M [ 1 0 5 ]


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Camera review Olympus XZ-1
more exciting proposition, a stepping stone between a compact and a CSC, particularly when used for shooting film footage. Its a winning combination and the more I pushed the more it delivered. Those are the headline features and they stack up well, but it is only in use that you can get to grips with whether it delivers and here are the facts that to me make this a serious contender. Despite the fact that my walk took me from bright Although it is the now-standard 3in size its not the standard LCD make-up. Instead Olympus has created a 610K-dot OLED screen, or Organic Light Emitting Diode, technology that is both eco and photographer friendly with lower power consumption and a considerably higher contrast ratio. The results are very clean, crisp, strong and rich in colour and, although its not super-high resolution, its a great piece of kit and technology.


sunlight to total darkness the XZ-1 gave me a clean file shot at ISO 1600 file. As it got darker it was faster to focus than the Olympus PEN E-PL2. The shutter extends to 1/2,000sec. A low-light mode can shoot to ISO 6400 at full resolution and, coupled with Dual IS (image stabilisation) that both shifts the sensor and increases the ISO sensitivity, plus an AF-illuminator lamp, my low-light shooting went into a new dimension for compacts. I have fully embraced movie making with all my cameras and the XZ-1 adds a third dimension in movie mode which Olympus has titled Multi-motion function, which counters the effects of vertical movement by selectively adjusting the vertical area of the sensor from which each movie frame is selected especially useful when you are moving at some pace in a rough part of town. The rear viewing screen is a revelation and one of my favourite parts of the XZ-1. Any regular reader of my reviews will know I am not a big fan of built-in filters and gizmos, and always flip the cameras into manual where possible. However, I know that a lot of people do like them and the XZ-1 doesnt disappoint in both quality and quantity of choice. It has the same art filters and 720p HD movie modes as the PEN and the Olympus E-5 (pop art, soft focus, grainy film, pin hole, diorama and dramatic tone), in-camera ND (neutral density) filters and a variety of aspect ratio choices right through from 3:2 and 4:3 to 16:9 and even a 1:1 square option. There you have it, a great-looking camera, which has taken the best bits from the pricier options in the Olympus range to create a classic compact in the making. The XZ-1 really does have everything going for it to become an iconic compact. I loved the white but if you want to be a little more understated you can always go for the matte black. Either way, I do know that if Id been a bit luckier on the Vegas slot machines I would have bought both. Usually the saying goes, What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. But when it comes to the XZ-1, I wanted to let you know exactly what Id been up to. PM

42.3mm (D)





Get great low-light pictures and an adjustable depth of field. The ultra-bright f/1.8 i.Zuiko Digital lens, dual-image stabiliser and low light mode are ideal for night photography.

1/1.63in CCD sensor 10 megapixels 4:3 11.3 megapixels 6.0-24mm 1.8-2.5 4x 11 points/automatic and manual selection, 225 points/manual selection in magnified view mode LIGHT METERING ZONES 324 zones multi-pattern sensing system ISO SENSITIVITY Auto 100-800, Manual 100-6400 (adjustable in 1/3 EV steps) SHUTTER SPEED RANGE 1/2,000sec to 60sec SEQUENCE SHOOTING Speed 2fps, RAW mode 8 frames, sequential shooting approx 7fps/20 frames in HQ Jpeg mode MOVIE MODE HD 1,280 x 720 (16:9), SD 640 x480 (4:3) SD memory card, MEDIA SDHC, SDXC compatible (Class 6 recommended for movie shooting) WEIGHT 275g (without battery and card) PRICE 399

Set the aperture, shutter speed and sharpness the way you want it. Turn a knob to switch from auto to manual mode, and twist the lens ring to change settings.

The i.Zuiko lens is paired with a powerful TruePic V processor and large 1/1.63in CCD sensor to give high-quality pictures from a pocket-sized camera.

See clearly what youre shooting. The 3in 610K-dot display features deep blacks and great contrast, and stays brilliantly visible even when viewed from an angle.

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I am thinking about getting a MacBook Pro; it seems a 13in model is the one I can afford and its a nice size. But after reading reviews and comments on the internet it seems a 15in would be better for photo editing. What is your opinion? The 13in MacBook Pro uses a Core 2 Duo CPU while the 15in and 17in models feature Intels speedy Core i5 or Core i7 CPU which are up to 20-30% faster than the Core 2 chip from the 13in. The 13in MacBook Pro used to have the same internal specs as the 15in model, but now the two models are more differentiated, there are some notable trade-offs to consider. It really comes down to whether these are worth the cost. All MacBook Pros are equipped with4GB of RAM, so there is no difference there. The high-end 13in MacBook Pro comes with the same 320GB 5,400rpm hard drive as the low-end 15in, but the one big difference is in the graphics department. The 13in model has a custom Nvidia 320M integrated GPU which is roughly half as fast as the Nvidia GeForce GT 330M found in the 15in model. That in itself is a nice performance increase which will speed up photo editing although, of course, it does come at a higher price and the 13in is still capable of fulfilling your expectations. The most obvious difference between the 13in and the 15in models is in the displays, although either way you will get the aluminium construction which is the signature of Apples Pro laptops. The 13in version has a 1,280 x 800 resolution panel, while on the cheapest 15in model it is 1,440 x 900. A bigger screen means size and weight become a consideration. The 15in version is 500g heavier (2.54kg against 2.04kg on the 13in). Size and weight are important, especially if you are planning to travel with your laptop, and in this regard the 13in is more practical and portable. So here is what you have got to consider. If you are going to be doing a lot of photo and video editing, especially on larger files, you will notice the difference in the performance of the CPU in the 15in MacBook Pro, but will the extra cost be worth it for you? Next, think about the size and screen resolution. You get a bigger, higher-resolution screen with the 15in, but that is not necessarily a selling point. You may prefer the lighter weight and increased portability of the 13in, but in this case you will have to compromise on power. The decision should be based on your budget and how often you will be using the laptop. The 13in MacBook Pro starts at 1,020 and the 15in at 1,530. www.apple.com/uk A friend of mine took some macro shots using a reverse lens adaptor for his camera and got great results. I am wondering if its a good idea to get one for my Nikon D3000 and if it is safe for the camera. Where would I be able to buy a lens adaptor? Reverse lens adaptors attach to the filter thread on the front of a lens, enabling you to mount the lens backwards on to a camera body. One side of the adaptor offers a thread to fit the filter rim of your lens while the other side has a mount like the one on your lens. You screw the adaptor on to your lenss filter rim, so the lens can be turned around and mounted on to your camera. Although the adaptors can offer good results for a minimal investment it is important to remember that the filter threads on the front of your lens were made to support the weight of a filter, not the weight of the whole lens. So, typically, DSLR lenses which are 50mm or shorter are more compatible. Bear in mind that the inside end of your lens is not always particularly well-sealed, and using it on the outside makes it much more likely that you are going to get dust and dirt inside your lens. While these rings are inexpensive and easy to carry around, reversing the lens eliminates any connection between the body and the lenss aperture controls. Lenses that lack their own f/stop rings can be problematic and metering can be difficult or even impossible with some cameras. There is generally little or no focus control and only zooms have any control to change magnification. Normal prime lenses will usually take sharper close-up photos when they are turned around backwards. The Nikon BR-2A 52mm inversion ring would be a suitable choice for your D3000. It is available at 37.95 from www.jessops.com

This month KELLY WEECH answers your questions about kit to help you make the right choices.

I have owned my Sony A200 with the standard lens kit for a few months now and I really want to invest in a telephoto lens that is also capable of taking macro shots. My budget is around 200. Do you have any suggestions?

On your budget I would suggest the Sigma 70-300mm f/4-5.6 DG Macro lens. It has a 1:2 maximum close-up magnification at the 300mm focal length, but is also ideal for portraits, sports and nature photography, allowing the user to switch to macro photography at focal lengths between 200mm and 300mm. The improved DG lens design corrects for various aberrations and this lens is specially coated to get the best colour balance while cutting down on ghosting caused by reflections from the digital image sensor. Weighing in at 545g, the lens has a versatility and compactness that will be an asset to any photographer on a budget. RRP: 169.99 www.sigma-imaging-uk.com

I am thinking about investing in a GPS attachment for my DSLR. What is your advice? It has become increasingly popular to include location shooting information (GPS) in digital image metadata, especially among landscape photographers or those submitting images to stock libraries. Being able to insert GPS information with each digital image file ensures that the original location can be identified and shared in the future. Many major camera manufacturers are including this capability as a built-in function on their latest generation of DSLRs. However, those who bought a camera before this time have devices to help them, such as photoGPS from JOBO, which attaches to your camera hot shoe and captures the geodata of each picture through a click of your camera. You can then coordinate the geodata and your pictures on a PC or laptop, using the supplied software. In addition to the longitude and latitude, the address ie country, city, street and closest point of interest is also captured in the image file, which enables you to search for specific places or streets without having to tag each picture individually. RRP $179.99 (113). www.jobo.com

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Digital SLR kit with 18-135mm IS 18mp
10 megapixels 3 LCD screen with Live View mode 7.5fps continuous shooting EOS Integrated Cleaning System Magnesium alloy body

Digital SLR kit with 17-85mm IS USM lens

EOS 550D
Digital SLR kit with 18-55mm IS EFS

EOS 1000D
Digital SLR kit with 18-55mm lens

Campkins Package includes 4GB Xtreme 3 200x (worth 44.99)

Campkins Package includes 4GB Xtreme 3 200x (worth 44.99)

Campkins Package includes 4GB SANDISC XTREME (worth 44.99)

Campkins Package includes 2GB SANDISC ULTRA (worth 19.99)



Sigma lenses to fit Canon EOS

at least 100 allowance on your fully working Canon Digital SLR inc Standard Zoom
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Used Section
Nikon D200 body . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .549 Sigma 134-400 Ceos fit . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .425 Sigma 17-70mm NAFD . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .170 Nikon AFD 24-120 VR . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .350 Nikon AFD 70-300 ED . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .260 Nikon AFS 24-70 / 2.8 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .960 Sony fit 400 / 5.6 Sigma . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .130 Contax T2 film . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .225 Nikon PC 35 / 2-8 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .235

EP1 - EP2 - EPL1 EP1 + 14-42 . . . . . . . . . . . . .370 EP2 + 14-42 . . . . . . . . . . . . .648 EPL1 + 14-42 . . . . . . . . . . . . .488

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Use our free software to produce your own photo book, calendar or photo gift simply go to www.fast4photobooks.com to download now. As a special introductory offer we are offering all customers a 40% discount on their rst purchase, this offer is valid through to the end of May 2011, simply enter voucher code: JDNNESLDEFNM when checking out. Based in the UK we print and dispatch within 5 days. Go to www.fast4photobooks.com for further details





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Porth Nanven, Cornwall

David is a professional photographer with more than 20 years experience. He shoots large format and is drawn to the abstract image.

This month David explains why seeing is the key to successful images and why this takes practice.
ROGER, A GOOD FRIEND AND TALENTED PHOTOGRAPHER, RECENTLY TOLD ME on a rocky shore in north Cornwall that I was the master of seeing. Coming from a laconic man, not prone to grandiose statements, I felt this to be both one of the greatest compliments Id ever received and one I wasnt worthy of. Some of you may be thinking this an example of false modesty, but let me assure you this isnt the case. In truth his statement shocked me so much that I blushed, not something Im wont to do. I couldnt let his compliment go unremarked and pointed out that he was no slouch when it came to finding wonderful images. I assured him that while I could accept I was good at seeing photographic opportunities, I could not possibly claim the almost supernatural ability that his use of the definite article suggested for the simple reason that I consider seeing a matter of practice. Those of us who have unimpaired vision take the process of seeing pretty much for granted. We learn

how to make sense of the information coming from our eyes long before we have words to describe the process; the drooling baby on its back in the cot staring at the mobile is actually solving the very complicated and ill-put question of vision. Perhaps its because we learn how to see so early in life that no one understood until the 19th century such basic principles of vision as the fact that two eyes gave us depth perception. Vision seems transparent, simple and straightforward. Perhaps this is also why few people make the leap from looking to really seeing. The great British photographer Bill Brandt clearly understood the rarity of such acuity when he wrote, Most of us look at a thing and believe we have seen it, yet what we see is often only what our prejudices tell us to expect to see Noticing this fundamental difference between reality and expectation is crucial to being able to make good photographs, or any other kind of visual art. I have never believed that great artists possess mystical creative powers. In my opinion such a viewpoint, while helping the market value of some artists, has been extremely detrimental to others stifling many a novices creativity. How to truly see is a skill we can learn and one we shouldnt be afraid of practising. In his book, Outliers: The Story of Success, journalist and writer Malcolm Gladwell discusses how being truly proficient at something be it baseball or particle physics isnt mystical but depends upon three factors: Intelligence (both IQ and emotional intelligence); luck (opportunities and timing); and old-fashioned hard work. On this last point, Gladwell proposes that 10,000 hours (or approximately five years full-time work) are needed to become truly proficient at anything. One of the most common complaints I hear from fellow photographers is that they dont have enough opportunities to get out and make images, so 10,000 hours might seem a daunting target. But you dont need a camera in your hand to practise seeing; you have the equipment with you at all times. Its obviously very rewarding to have fixed an image, but practising seeing without a camera will make you a better photographer when you have one with you. Any small break in the day can be an opportunity to practise; a journey on public transport, sitting in the park eating lunch or waiting for a friend. It doesnt matter whether youre sitting, standing or walking. Empty your mind of everyday concerns and really look at the world around you. Stare at things until you see them with fresh eyes. Really seeing is more about an understanding of your subject sometimes this comes as a revelation than it is about surfaces and forms. Seeing is about being able to make connections, both literal and metaphorical, between objects in the world and then being able to arrange them in a significant way within a frame. If you practise often you will begin to see the world, as Bill Brandt put it, as the traveller who enters a strange country. To see the entire world as new and exciting is surely worth a little practice. PM www.into-the-light.com

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To read more of Davids columns and for more advice from pros visit the website www.photographymonthly.com


Dramatic Tone Mode. All Art Filters now available in still and movie modes



Looking for outstanding image quality and control but not complicated menu screens or bafing photographic jargon? The innovative and easy-to-use LIVE GUIDE makes true SLR quality as simple as point and shoot. Set everything just like the pros only without the fuss. Find out how it works at www.olympus.co.uk/pen