Legless in Paris

Category: Newsletters 21 April 2016

Joggers running under the Pont de la Tournelle on the left bank of the River Seine, Paris, France. Canon EOS 1Dx Mk II, 85mm f1.2 L II lens, 1/3200 sec at f1.2.

It felt distinctly odd to be boarding the train to Paris without a tripod. We all know that a good tripod is one of the most fundamentally important items in a photographer’s arsenal, don’t we? But this time, for maybe my twentieth shoot, or more, in the City of Light, I was travelling light, indecently light. I felt vaguely guilty at St Pancras, shouldering just a small bag for my less-than-extensive wardrobe and a tiny photo rucksack that contained a few lenses and one camera. Call myself a proper photographer? Sweating on and off crowded trains with big, heavy bags and a cumbersome tripod is a photographers’ destiny, after all – it’s what we do. But the camera in question is designed for fast action and low light – hence no legs.

So, just how fast was the action in Paris? Fast enough to warrant the use of the 14 frames-per-second high-speed drive, much to the bemusement of the passing joggers trotting along the banks of the Seine on a beautiful spring morning. The combination of a super sensitive sensor and my lightweight legless approach engendered a whole new photographic approach to a well known destination – it was, quite frankly, just fun. You will of course, if you’re an f11 Member, be able to read all about it in the Chasing the Light Online Magazine, starting with a full Field Trial of the Canon EOS1Dx MkII in the next (May) issue.

The Four Seasons of Milborne Wick, a set of images from this month’s Chasing the Light Online Magazine. Canon 5D Mk III, 24mm TS-E lens.

This month’s edition has the usual mix of world travel, photographic tutelage and inspiration for you in the form of a Behind the Lens and accompanying How It’s Done feature on a commission to photograph the Four Seasons of Milborne Wick. Where? Surely you’ve heard of Milborne Wick? No? It’s a hamlet nearby, and the scene of a captivating project that’s engrossed me for a year.

Elsewhere in Issue 51, The Low Down looks at the inspiration of architecture, while a new Editor’s Choice column kicks off with Chasing the Light Editor Freya Dangerfield choosing an image from Cambodia for appraisal. Ross Hoddinott expounds on the importance of tripod heads, Ben Pipe is in Istanbul, and Bas Meelker continues his off-and-on love affair with Black and White. Our Guest Feature by Richard Fox explores the attractions of his chosen patch in this world, east Dartmoor, and there’s my usual two Fundamentals of Post-Production Video Tutorials that take you step by step through the processing of an image.

This month’s Fundamentals of Post-Production Video Tutorial investigates the functionality and usefulness of both Adobe Lightroom’s Graduated Filter and Adjustment Brush tools.

This is all there for you, along with every one of the 50 back issues, plus the Composition and Light ebooks – if you’re an f11 Member. If you’re not, well here’s the link to the video explaining that explains what it’s all about.

My ebook on Light, available to download and free for f11 Members.

We’re in the middle of a bout of events right now – we’ll be on our way to The Hague (insert link) to present the Chasing the Light Road Show to PhotographySchoolNL by the time you read this. This month we’ll have been on the road to Droitwich, Runnymede and Holland, while next month will see us heading to Colwyn Bay for the Cambrian Photo Show on 28 May. It’s not quite the rock’n’roll life on tour – Wendy’s only thrown a few TVs into swimming pools – but we do love doing the shows, and meeting you face to face. If you belong to a club or society and would like us to present the Chasing the Light Road Show on your patch, you know where we are.

A new image for the Road Show? A winter storm on the coast near Arnastapi, Snaefellsness Peninsula, Iceland. Canon 5DS R, 24-70mm f2.8 L II lens at 55mm, 1.3 sec at f11.

Many of you have asked about plans for future Workshops. We are currently working on new ideas for some exciting destinations for 2017, so watch this space. In the meantime, however, if you would like to improve your photographic skills and hone your approach there’s always the option of teaming up with me for a dedicated and personalised one-to-one or small group tuition session at a location of your choice. We’ll be doing exactly that over the next few months: meeting up with f11 Members in Oxford and Tuscany to work with them on their photography in some choice locations. Ultimately we’re flexible to your needs.

Veulent acheter un bâton de selfie? Ou peut être un Tour Eiffel illuminé? A hawker selling souvenirs at the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel and Palais du Louvre at dusk, Paris, France. Canon 1Dx Mk II, 85mm f1.2 L II lens, 1/200 sec at f1.2, ISO 3200.

Lastly, if you’ve been having difficulty accessing our website over the last couple of weeks, our apologies. Our website has now been moved to a different and dedicated server that should solve this problem. It’s all caused us a fair few headaches. We're continuing to deal with a few glitches on the home and shop pages, but the Chasing the Light Online Magazine is all there for your perusal. These kinds of issues seem to be a constant companion in this era; I swear we’re all slaves to technology now. This is all the more reason to shoulder the bag and head for the hills when we can – preferably with a tripod next time. Paris sans jambes was fun; I’d do it again, but I’ll not be making a habit of it.

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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