Chasing the Light Magazine, Issue 30
Photography spanning the globe to inspire and inform
Welcome to July 2014’s edition of Chasing the Light Online Magazine for our f11 Members.
Fresh from a trip to the lush countryside of the Dordogne, David Noton has a bit of a French theme going in his articles this month. His Video Blog takes us to Paris, where he and Wendy shared a memorable anniversary trip; and in Stepping Back he explores the considerable influence of this country on his professional and personal life. In this month’s How It’s Done, David explores the artistic merit of his ‘Balmoral Blur’, and for the Low Down he presents Part One of an article trio on the important topic of Do-It-Yourself Printing, ruminating on the pros and cons of ‘doing it yourself’ as opposed to sending the job out, your choice of printer, and how to get the best from it. He has also included his usual two Post Production Video Tutorials, for your continued viewing pleasure.
From other contributors, we’re delighted to welcome onboard world-class wildlife photographer Chris Weston for the first in his brand new regular column: The Storyteller. In this month’s piece, Chris explains how he works with a 50mm ‘standard’ lens to ensure he is able to make a connection with his wildlife subjects, importantly allowing them to come to him, rather than the other way around. And in Taylor Made, David lays out his seven commandments of photography, the fixed and immutable laws that must be obeyed to the letter! For our Guest Feature, born-and-bred New Yorker James Maher reveals how he goes about capturing the vibrant, diverse street life of this great metropolis, how it’s changing right now, and how this significant transformation is affecting his work – a fascinating read.
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 an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with three low-res jpegs and the story from behind the lens. We’ll look forward to hearing from you.
Chasing the Light, Editor
Behind the scenes on location in Paris, France.
I'm writing this on 18 June 2014, the 199th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo. As I sit tapping away under a tree on the campsite, the towers of Beaumont du Périgord are just visible a couple of kilometres away to the east.
Who says anything in a picture actually needs to be sharp? Well I do, most of the time. Much as I love using streaky motion blur to convey dynamic activity in an image, whether with clouds scudding, water lapping, people hurrying, grass swaying or leaves rustling, I do think something recognisably sharp somewhere in the frame usually acts as a useful counterpoint to emphasise the movement.
Making your very first photographic print is one of those seminal moments in life that you never forget; a bit like asking for your first date, although not quite as terrifying. I clearly remember my first - print that is, not date - although I remember her well, too. It ended in tears, so probably the less said about all that the better.
This month I edit and process a woodland scene from Scotland, with particular attention on how to introduce a touch of diffusion to a background whilst retaining crisp, sharp detail in the foreground using the clarity slider in Lightroom and layer masking in Photoshop.
In Part 2 I process the Balmoral Forest motion blur image from this month?s How It's Done feature, using the tone curve in Lightroom to reduce contrast and the content aware healing brush in Photoshop to remove dust spots, while reflecting on the minimal yet subtle adjustments necessary to produce the desired image.
Following sensible guidelines is a useful way to get to the end of a day successfully. Personally I've always found that looking before you decide to cross a road prevents at best social embarrassment, or at worst a situation involving ambulances and worried expressions on the faces of loved ones.
It may surprise you to know that my favourite lens for wildlife photography is a 50 mm 'standard' lens, and there are two main reasons for this. Firstly, super-telephoto lenses are difficult to handle. Their size and weight make them cumbersome and unwieldy, especially when you're hacking your way through a jungle or clambering over a mountain.
This was one of my first photographs. In this city you are constantly surrounded by people, yet for some reason this makes you feel lonely. It's a strange feeling that I wanted to try and capture, so I waited for someone to stop and not move for the duration of a 6 second exposure.
Please take a look around our f-11 members gallery. Share your photographs with other members and receive David's feedback on your work.