Chasing the Light Magazine, Issue 46
Photography spanning the globe to inspire and inform
Welcome to November 2015’s edition of Chasing the Light Online Magazine for our f11 Members.
In this month’s Behind the Lens, David Noton takes a punt by visiting for the first time the Alto Adige region of the Dolomites, where he quickly discovers the region’s photographic, and culinary, delights; there is an accompanying Video Blog. In How It’s Done, David sheds further light on the important subject of location searching as he bags a shot of the Lago Bain de Dones on the same trip. Meanwhile, in the final instalment of his Bizz mini series, David sounds out the opinion of colleagues within the photo industry for their take on the state of stock photography. He also presents two of his popular Fundamentals of Post-Production Videos.
In Bas Meelker’s third piece for his Art of Landscapes column, he moves on to look at photographing waterscapes with particular reference to working on his home turf of the Netherlands – this 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.
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
It has happened so many times before; Mother Nature is taunting us yet again with the folly of our leaving. The dawn departure takes us through a landscape draped in wreaths of evocative mist pierced by hills, church towers and trees that stand out against the mauve sunrise sky.
This month's How It's Done has been prompted by an f11 Member who asked how much I use apps and technology like Google Earth in my location searching. The simple answer is not much. However, the challenge of deciding where to head and when is so fundamentally important to the whole process of landscape photography.
The first picture I ever sold for stock was a shot of a truck silhouetted by the rising sun crossing the M5 bridge over the Avon. It sold for £200 - I can't remember for what usage ? but the £100 I received from the sale seemed, to an impoverished unemployed graduate deep in debt back in 1985, like a fortune.
This month I take 5 exposures of a high contrast scene shot recently in the Dolomites and use Lightroom's Photo Merge to blend them into a DNG. I then process that image to make two images, one optimised for the shadows, one for the highlights.
I then combine the two images in Photoshop using layer masking and the paint brush tool to refine the merge and achieve a natural look.
As photographers, we can often be a little greedy, wanting to capture or include too many things within the camera's viewfinder. It is easy to create overly complex compositions by trying to cram too much into the frame. However, doing so will often create busy or fussy looking results - weakening the impact of the final image, rather then strengthening it.
In my opinion, there is no better place than the Netherlands for shooting waterscapes and the sea. This is because it's a land of water - it always has been, and it always will be.
In 2003 - back in the days of film and Velvia - I was commissioned to begin a new series of books for Thames and Hudson that would be entitled Island Dreams. The opening book was to cover the Mediterranean: 24 carefully selected islands shot on a budget, which really only permitted two months of shooting. This was going to take some meticulous planning.
Considering that the media portrayal of Ethiopia primarily consists of images of famine, drought and starvation, it is not surprising that most of my friends had a hard time understanding why I would want to travel halfway around to world to visit this country. But as you will discover, if you are interested in photographing unique traditional cultures and peoples, Ethiopia is well worth the trip.
Please take a look around our f-11 members gallery. Share your photographs with other members and receive David's feedback on your work.
We are thrilled to commemorate the Fourth Anniversary of our Chasing the Light Online Magazine by announcing the launch of David Noton's photographic competition for fully registered f11 Members, entitled Your Vision 2016.