Chasing the Light Online Magazine, Issue 54
Photography spanning the globe to inspire and inform
Welcome to July 2016’s edition of Chasing the Light Online Magazine for our f11 Members.
In previous editions of our Field Trial series we’ve explored the Sony and Fuji systems – but this month Canon takes centre state, as David Noton explains why he chose the system, and why he sticks by his decision. Then in the Low Down, he turns his attention to the photographic inspiration to be found in photographing faces around the world, as he reminisces on the memorable portraits he has shot over the years. In an edition of Stepping Back, David takes us to the Dalmatian coast of Croatia, revisiting the trip he made in 2008 and the location’s possibilities. And in this month’s How It’s Done, he shows us what’s in his photo backpack, a piece accompanied by a video link. Finally, David presents two of his popular Fundamentals of Post-Production Videos.
Meanwhile in this month’s Hoddinott’s Hangout, Ross Hoddinott revisits the wonderful island of Skomer, photographing this wildlife location’s main attraction: the colourful, comical-looking puffins. Then in the Art of Landscapes, Bas Meelker explains why he believes that in the future image editing will become the decisive factor for landscape photographers wishing to create unique images. And for a timely edition of the Pipeline, Ben Pipe takes us on a fascinating tour of the 2015 French Open at the Roland Garros stadia. Finally, for our Guest Feature we’re delighted to welcome on board professional photographer Timo Lieber, as he introduces us to his thought-provoking portfolio of aerial photography shot around the world – a magical experience.
To all our f11 Members, we hope you’re continuing to enjoy our magazine. If you’d like any of your images to be featured in our Member’s Gallery column please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your low-res jpegs and the story from behind the lens for each.
Chasing the Light Magazine Editor
I'm waiting for the light by the tripod. The twilight that spread almost imperceptibly through the sky from the northeast has now faded; the 'antipasto' is over. Next on the menu, hopefully, is the 'primo piatto': the first light on the rolling Tuscan landscape. It's 0515, my PhotoPills app tells me that the sun rose a few minutes ago, but the heavy cloud lingering after yesterday evening's thunderstorms is still masking it. I could have a long wait, but I'm not complaining; this changeable weather sure beats the clear blue skies and heat haze I normally associate with Italy in the summer.
Heading out on a shoot, it's difficult to know what to take. It can be tempting to try and pack it all, taking everything but the kitchen sink, but I've learnt from hard backbreaking experience that this is a mistake - the resultant loss of manoeuvrability is counterproductive. A bag too big and too heavy becomes a liability, not to mention the fact that it robs the experience of all enjoyment.
The population of the world has almost tripled since the year I was born. It's a sobering fact with all sorts of ramifications for the future of our planet. But as saving the world is not on the agenda for this issue (maybe next month, Freya?), for now I'd like to kick off this Low Down with a question. With over 7 billion people currently crowding the world, what is the possible relevance of one picture of one face of one complete stranger in China, whose name I'll never know and who I shall never meet again?
The thing I love most about Europe is its diversity. Travel just 50 miles, and the landscape, architecture, language, cuisine and culture can change radically, whether or not we've crossed a national border. And that diversity is truly staggering, especially since I now know that both Azerbaijan (according to Bernie Ecclestone) and Australia (according to Eurovision) are actually in Europe. Mind you, Britain is not now, but Scotland may still be? These are confusing times, but let's not get into all that.
This month I process an image of a Brecon Beacons waterfall, converting it into Black and White using first a Lightroom preset and then subsequent selective tweaks of contrast, brightness and clarity to enhance the image.
In Part Two I process several images from an evening shoot in Brescia, Italy, paying particular attention to correcting converging verticals using the options in Lightroom's Transform panel, as well as maximising highlight and shadow detail.
Quite simply, Skomer is a unique place for wildlife. When I visited for the first time, I was in the excellent company of wildlife photographer Jason Venus - who later that year would win the prestigious Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition. He had kindly taken me under his wing after we had both won categories in Countryfile's photo competition a few years before, and invited me to visit the island with him - an amazing opportunity for me to learn from a top pro.
Now here is a controversial message for you: 'Image editing will be the decisive factor for us landscape photographers in the future.' A bold statement, I know. When I first started out on my photographic career, I was already immersed in the digital age. Working with graphics, web design and Photoshop, the creation of digital 'things' was almost a daily job for me.
The top players in world tennis were gathering for the second week of the French Open 2015. Novak Djokovic was aiming for his first French Open title; meanwhile Rafael Nadal was seeking a record-breaking tenth. On the female side of the draw, the World Number 1 Serena Williams was the overwhelming favourite for a third title, after winning in 2002 and 2013.
What springs to mind when I'm asked to think of a landscape photographer's paradise- Easy! With its rugged coastline, blue icebergs, frozen waterfalls and 130 active volcanoes, Iceland is the definition of raw, natural beauty. The country's weather is perfect for those moody shots I relish, and its people are generous with their time when it comes to digging promising photographers out of the pre-historic mud.
Please take a look around our f-11 members gallery. Share your photographs with other members and receive David's feedback on your work.