Chasing the Light Magazine - Issue 28
Photography spanning the globe to inspire and inform
Welcome to May 2014’s edition of Chasing the Light Online Magazine for our f11 Members.
In March David spent a few great weeks in Iceland, and in this month’s installment of Behind the Lens and the accompanying Video Blog he shares with us goings-on of the first part of that trip, as the last few weeks of winter gripped this unique landscape. From wintery climes to warm ones: in Stepping Back, David recalls his foray into wildlife photography as he and Wendy worked their way across Kruger National Park, South Africa in 2008 in a Land Rover, a trip that bagged this incredibly effective shot of an elephant’s face and eye.
‘Being there, at the right place at the right time, is a fairly obvious fundamental requirement for photographic success. But where?’ In this month’s Low Down David analyses the key elements needed to plan a successful photo mission. And as well as his usual two Post-Production Video Tutorials, David also presents a Video Tutorial on working with a tilt-and-shift lens.
From other contributors, David Taylor continues his Taylor Made series with an article examining the arguments for and against HDR – accompanied by opinions from some rather opinionated photo pros! For this month’s How It’s Done feature, renowned street photographer Ronya Galka returns to pen an intriguing piece on her recent commissioned shoot that took place the City of London. And for this month’s Guest Feature we are delighted to welcome on board David Mayhew, as he introduces us to the adrenalin charged world of storm chasing in the USA, with some spectacular photo results.
To all our f11 Members, we hope you’re enjoying our magazine but we need your pictures. If you fancy being featured in the Member’s Gallery, please send us an email with three low-res jpegs and the story from behind the lens; we’ll look forward to hearing from you.
Chasing the Light, Editor
I've already learnt that smjor is Icelandic for butter; this could be useful. We've also discerned that although the spring equinox is nigh, winter is still very much in control here. We drive out of Reykjavik and straight into a snowstorm, and I'm now wondering if I brought enough layers for the biting winds and sub-zero temperatures
Behind the scenes on location in Iceland.
With street and urban photography being at the heart of 95% all of my image making in one way or another, I am used to watching life unfold organically in front of me.
From my vantage point on the hillside above I could see the long line of llamas snaking out towards the white saltpan. Way off to the south, probably some 100km away, the volcanic forms of barren peaks lining the border with Chile dominated the horizon, as they always seem to in the High Andes.
This month we make a black and white image of an Icelandic coastal scene. In Part One I use Lightroom to level the horizon and crop the image before introducing contrast by adjusting black and white points then using a tone curve preset in tandem with the clarity slider. I make 4 different TIFF conversions from the original RAW for shadows, mid tones, bright areas and highlights
In Part 2 I use Photoshop to merge the 4 conversions using layers and masks to fine tune and optimise the tonal range of selective areas of the image using both the lasso and paint brush tools. Please be aware the contrast capability of the video format is insufficient to record all the tonal information I refer to in the tutorial.
Each and every day you'll make hundreds of decisions. Some of these decisions can be happily taken on the spur of the moment. If you make the wrong decision, it doesn't really matter. Decisions like 'should I have another cup of tea' don't have consequences (other than that you may get thirsty later in the day).
It's not taken us long to settle into a daily routine. The alarm goes off at 4am but I'm awake, listening to the sounds of Africa awaking. We crawl out of our scratchers, gulp down a coffee in the half-light and saddle up; Wendy in the driver's seat, me behind with the camera and long tom on a monopod.
A tornado tightens up and kicks up a lot of dust as it approaches, yet less than a minute later it had dissipated. This was a rare cold core tornado that had papers written up about it a few days later referencing my images. It was one of seven tornadoes I saw that day.
Please take a look around our f-11 members gallery. Share your photographs with other members and receive David's feedback on your work.