July 2013 - Supermoonrise

Category: Newsletters 17 July 2013


The supermoon rising over Durdle Door, Jurassic Coast, Dorset, England.
Canon 5D mkIII, 24mm TS-E lens, 30 sec @ f8, ISO 800.

We had to give it a shot, the next supermoon wouldn’t occur for another 14 months, and besides this year a perfect combination of circumstances were in place to enable an attempt at a picture the idea for which had been lurking at the back of my mind for years; moonrise over Durdle Door. A supermoon occurs when a full moon coincides with the closest approach the Moon makes to the Earth on its elliptical orbit. A supermoon appears 30% brighter and 14% larger in the sky, and on Monday 24th June it was scheduled to appear viewed from the cliffs of the Jurassic Coast on a bearing of 117 degrees at 2200 exactly; some 36 minutes after sunset; perfect. All the elements were in place, all Wendy and I had to do was take a picnic and pray for a clear sky to the south east. I knew I didn’t really need any more pictures of that world famous sea arch, but it’s a special place to us, and the prospect of shooting a supermoon rising above it at dusk just a couple of days after the summer solstice was impossible to resist. And besides, Durdle Door is such a bold, iconic shape it’s virtually impossible to not make a strong composition with it in the frame.

Talking of composition we’ve some Big News; the release of our first eBook. David Noton: The Composition Tutorials for Photographers is now available for purchase on the iTunes bookstore or as a PDF download direct from us. It’s priced on both at £9.99, but for full f11 Members it’s absolutely FREE.

The book does pretty much what it says on the tin; a series of 16 tutorials provide a thorough creative and practical grounding in achieving composition with impact, supported by my composition checklist in the form of an illuminating image gallery. We’re dead chuffed with the result; the pictures look fabulous on an iPad or similar device and it’s beautifully designed. We’re sure you’ll find it inspiring; composition is after all the bedrock on which all successful pictures are built. The fact that it is free for f11 Members is just further evidence of our commitment to keep on bringing you more and more, but just to reinforce the point we have a bumper issue of the Chasing the Light eZine this month. Here’s Editor Freya Dangerfield with a round up.

FD: In this month’s edition, we kickstart a brand new series – How It’s Done. Each article in this series will explore an image in terms of Before, During and After, to provide a rounded insight into the creative and technical process behind the shot. In the first article David expands on how the supermoonrise shoot came together, while in tandem Part One of this month’s Video Tutorials then takes us through the post production on this very image. Part Two looks at the use of Adjustment Brushes.

The story from Behind the Lens on this shoot is in this month’s eZine

Keeping on his lunar theme, we continue our exploration of light in David’s series Seeing the Light, this time pulling into focus ethereal moonlight. For Behind the Lens, David writes Part 1 of his diary recording the advertising shoot he recently completed for Canon in Patagonia, revealing the weeks of preparation needed before the shoot, and the pressure to deliver. And for Stepping Back, David reflects on the circumstances and creative process behind his seminal image of the Kootenay River and the Rockies.

The Bizz is a popular series, deployed as a vehicle to advise on the business of photography. This month David and Exhibition Curator Maggie Gowan team up to offer advice on staging your own show, reflecting as they go on the Waiting for the Light show they held to celebrate David’s work in 2008. We welcome back eZine ‘regular’ Jon Gooding for another Low Down as he introduces us to the complexities of shooting his particular photo passion, architecture. This subject always provides the photographer with new angles and directions, and Jon uses the breath-taking Museo Casa Enzo Ferrari amongst other structures to work through the key considerations.

For our Guest Feature we’re delighted to welcome on board Ulla Lohman, intrepid explorer of volcanic locations across the globe. If you hadn’t figured volcanoes as part of your creative repertoire then think again – Ulla’s truly unique portfolio of volcano images demonstrate what a wealth of creative opportunities these can offer the adventurous photographer. In addition we have the Member’s Gallery, with constructive comments from David on member’s work.

Piazza del Popolo at night, Ascoli Piceno, Marche, Italy.
Canon 5D mkIII, 17mm TS-E lens, 2.5 sec @ f9, ISO 200.

DN: Last month was spent on the road as we moved on from Umbria, firstly over the mountains, into the Marche and the charming town of Ascoli Piceno. You see that blur in the Piazza; guess who? Yes, my supermodel was the mysterious figure in the frame yet again; she’s become very good at getting the degree of motion blur just right. The next day was Republic Day in Italy, with marching, bands and soldiers with wonderful feathered hats; all good fodder for the camera. You’ve got to hand it to the Italian military credit; they do have a certain style.

Festa della Repubblica, Ascoli Piceno, Marche, Italy.
Canon 1Dx, 70-200mm lens @ 200mm, 1/400 sec @ f2.8

Leaving our lair in Umbria was difficult as always, but moving on to Provence was compensation. Setting up camp at the foot of the Gorge du Verdon meant we had a tent with a view, and not just of the inevitable surrounding Dutch campervans. I love it when we can camp near a promising location. All I had to do in the warm Provencal evening was walk up the neighbouring hill to be in position to shoot the last light on the impossibly beautiful and evocatively sited village of Moustiers Ste Marie. So now, back at base I’ve yet more pictures to be edited and processed, and quickly, as we’ll need them as work starts on building a new Road Show.


Moustiers Ste Marie at dusk, Haute-Provence, France.
Canon 5D mkIII, 70-200mm lens @ 130mm, 30 sec @ f8.

This autumn we will be relaunching our Chasing the Light Road Show with an all new presentation, kicking of in Aalborg, Denmark, at the AGM of the Dansk Fotografisk Forening (Society of Danish Photographers). We’ve had a suitable pause for thought on how we can evolve the Raod Show; now I’m looking forward to pulling together a whole new Show and getting back on the road with it. If your club has a date and venue in mind we’re all ears.

For 6 years we ran our workshops in Umbria. It’s now time for a change. Maybe we’ve shot Santino the shepherd for the last time. He was always a superstar and now he surely must be the most photographed shepherd in Italy, maybe the world. I hear he’s been on a tour of the chat show sofas and has engaged the services of a publicist. We’ll miss waiting for the sheep with workshop groups clutching long lenses, but one way or another we will be back.

Keep exposing.

Santino bringing the flock home,
Campi, Valnerina, Umbria, Italy.
Canon 1Dx, 85mm lens, 1/1000 sec @ f1.2



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Every month we publish an issue of our unique magazine Chasing the Light exclusively for f11 members. With features from behind the lens and on the road with David Noton it combines stunning photography with David's unique style of writing. Technical features, humorous anecdotes, travel notes, a member's gallery, news and the stories behind the pictures make it an entertaining, informative and inspirational monthly read and information resource for all who love photography and travel. All this for less than the price of a coffee and a biscuit a month. F11 members can also download other exclusive content such as Despatches+ and video blogs for free as they become available.

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