The Sound of Shutters

Category: News 20 November 2015

Autumn colours with mist hanging over the Holnicote Estate, Exmoor National Park, Somerset, England. Canon 5DSr, EF 100-400mm L IS II lens @ 100mm, 1/4 sec @ f11, polarising filter.

From all around I could hear the sound of clicking shutters emanating from in amongst the tall russet golden bracken. For a group of just five there was certainly a fair few frames being exposed. Working on the basis that Photo Groups are happiest when exposing pixels that must have meant they were content; a relief for me. Mind you if they weren't happy that morning I didn't know when they would be; the combination of gorgeous early morning light, autumn colours at their best, the beguiling Exmoor scenery and a layer of low cloud hanging in the valley below rarely gets much better. Normally at that stage of a morning shoot the conversation around the tripods would turn to the Big Decision of the Day; fried, poached or scrambled? I'll admit I've taken part in many such debates, but that morning we were all engrossed as shutters clicked. My Big Decision now is whether I can squeeze the image above into the latest version of the Road Show.

The Chasing the Light Road Show comes to West Sussex 24 November. Photo: Paolo Toffoli

That's the problem; insert a recent favourite and something else has to come out, unless I'm to keep the audience next week at East Grinstead locked in until midnight. I've just spent a whole week agonising over such decisions while working on the Chasing the Light Road Show. New images, new video links, new sequences, new music, new structure, maybe even a few new jokes; in fact any who came to the very first Show in Bristol in September 2009 wouldn't recognise this incarnation. In practice the Show has been evolving ever since, but this is the biggest revamp yet.

A whole week spent incarcerated in the office hunched in front of the monitor is not to be compared with crouching behind the lens on Exmoor at dawn, but it's a hugely creative task, one that will have its rewards next week, hopefully, and in the Netherlands and Driotwich next spring. Tickets for the Show at Chequer Mead, East Grinstead, West Sussex at 7.30pm on November 24 are selling fast but still available here or on the door. But can I get a new Exmoor image in?

An image from this month’s Chasing the Light Online Magazine: Lago Bain de Dones with Tofana de Rozes reflected, Dolomite Mountains, Belluno Province, Veneto, Italy. Canon 5DSr, 24mm TS-E lens, ¼ sec @ f11.

Well, I can certainly get it in next month's Chasing the Light Online Magazine. Meanwhile the November Issue awaits your perusal, if you're an f11 Member. If not, well, Christmas is coming, and we do offer Gift Certificates, just a thought...

In this month's Behind the Lens, Video Blog, How it's Done and Fundamentals of Post-Production Video Tutorials we visit Italy's stunning Dolomite Mountains. Meanwhile, in the final instalment of The Bizz mini series, I sound out the opinion of colleagues within the photo industry for their take on the state of stock photography.

In Bas Meelker's third piece for his Art of Landscapes column, he looks at photographing waterscapes with particular reference to working on his home turf of the Netherlands - which throws up some key considerations, as well as the intriguing term 'Dutch light'. In Hoddinott's Hangout, Ross Hoddinott takes a practical look at achieving impactful shots through a simple composition, primarily by manipulating backgrounds. Then in Sense of Space, Jeremy Horner goes island hopping around the Mediterranean on a short timescale and low budget, reminding us of the value of these now sometimes overlooked photographic treasures of southern Europe. And for this edition's Guest Feature, we're delighted to welcome on board professional travel photographer Sean Caffrey, as he presents a completely mesmerizing travelogue around the religious centres of Ethiopia - its impact is truly thought provoking.

There's also the usual Member's Gallery, plus details of the f11 Member's Your Vision Photographic Competition 2016. It's all there for our f11 Members now, and if you still don't know what this f11 business is all about, here's a video explaining.

Waves breaking on the beach looking west from Dyrhólaey at dusk, Iceland. Canon 5D mkIII, EF 100-400mm L IS II lens @ 400mm, 1/200 sec @ f6.3.

Your Vision; that pretty much says it all. It's your opportunity to bowl us over with the quality and perception of your unique photographic vision.

Last year's winner Peter Geraerts won a day on Dartmoor with me, while Portfolio winner Josh Cooper had a day in North Wales. There's a range of tantalising category prizes on offer as well; you don't have to suffer my company! Entries close 1st February 2016.

Soon after the Road Show we'll be heading south. You'll hear all about it next month, but first I need to be ahead of the game and work out what to buy Wendy for Christmas. It's always a tough call; does she really need another cookery book? I guess need doesn't come into it. How about a Gift Certificate for a year's f11 Membership? It's just possible that won't earn me many brownie points. Well, I'm going to have to hope inspiration comes.

My third book, The Vision; it may stretch the Christmas stocking a bit and  f11 Member Guy Steen from Belgium, exposing above the clouds on our recent Exmoor Workshop. We’ll be doing it again next year.

Inspiration is what we have for your stocking fillers, in the form of The Vision or any of my other books, e-books, or DVDs. And, if you're like me and end up bereft of ideas with just days to go there's always the Gift Certificate as well as f11 membership a voucher can be used to purchase just about anything on offer in the online shop (cards, prints, workshops).

Maybe you'll be one of those in amongst the Exmoor bracken at dawn. We'll be doing it again next year...

Keep exposing

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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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