Chasing the Light Magazine, Issue 39
Photography spanning the globe to inspire and inform
Welcome to April 2015’s edition of Chasing the Light Online Magazine for our f11 Members, published just in time for you to enjoy over the Easter break!
February saw the launch of Canon’s new, highly anticipated, high-resolution camera, the EOS 5DS, and in this month’s Behind the Lens David Noton recounts the second part of the story behind his involvement its launch, as he continues to put it through its paces on South Africa’s Western Cape, experiencing the highs and lows that inevitably accompany an important assignment with brand new equipment – this is partnered by his Video Blog. In Part Five of our Low Down series on Exposure, David explores the history and technique behind exposure latitude, offering his solution to making the most of the camera in our hands. And with Poldark currently airing on Sunday evening here in the UK, in Stepping Back he takes us on a timely return to Wheal Coates mine, reminiscing on his love affair with shooting the Cornish coast. He also presents two of his ever-popular Fundamentals of Post-Production Videos.
Elsewhere, we’re delighted to welcome back experienced travel photographer Jeremy Horner, as he pens this month’s How It’s Done to reveal how he shot his stunning image of a lightning bolt above Potala Palace in Tibet. In Hoddinott’s Hangout, Ross Hoddinott poses the question ‘Do we still need filters’ – and for the landscape photographer at least, he concludes the answer is a resounding ‘Yes!’ This month Chris Weston reveals the anatomy of a wildlife photograph in The Storyteller, as he analyses exactly how he went about capturing his challenging shot of lions hunting under star trails. And as spring arrives, we celebrate with a Guest Feature by multi-award winning garden photographer Clive Nichols, as he talks about his career to date, his inspirations and his technique – all accompanied by his beautiful images.
To all our f11 Members, we hope you’re continuing to enjoy our magazine but we need your pictures. If you fancy being featured in the Member’s Gallery and entered into our annual photo competition, 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 Magazine Editor
It's becoming clear to me: the shot may be graphic and colourful, but I need a solitary figure just in the right place on the beach to give it all a human dimension. In the absence of Wendy, who is inexcusably back in Dorchester keeping the NHS functioning, I enlist Evan, my guide and fixer here in South Africa, who is simply stoked to stand in. He's a natural; it works.
It is a thing of simple beauty: all wood, brass and glass, just a box really with a lens in one end. No dials, no buttons, no controls at all, in fact. The box has a drawer at one end to load the plate coated with noxious, gooey, light sensitive chemicals into, and at the other end is a single element meniscus lens with a fixed aperture - that's it.
Last night I lost my wife to Captain Poldark, again. I've been aware that something has been going on for the last four weeks. He's always riding along the cliff tops or cutting grass with his shirt off, and Wendy is clearly smitten. But I'm not jealous; she is not alone methinks, and besides, Demelza's attractions are growing on me.
This month in tandem with the Low Down on Exposure series I take our f11 Members to Preci in Umbria to process a low contrast landscape, paying particular attention to exposure latitude, dynamic range and exposing to the right. In Part One I us the adjustment brush, gradient filter and spot removal tool to in Lightroom to optimise the image.
In Part Two I then use the Content Aware Healing Brush and Fill tools to remove unsightly telegraph poles, before selectively tweaking the contrast of selective areas of the image.
Ever since my travel companion and I were slung out of Tibet on New Year's Eve in 1987, after trying to sneak in over the mountains, Lhasa held the fascination of forbidden fruit for me. Our escapade in 1987 took place right after the uprising in Lhasa, so visas were not available; we were young and naive, but adventurous.
Do we still need filters? In this digital age, when you can seemingly achieve anything in post-processing with the right Photoshop skills, attaching a physical filter to a lens seems a little antiquated, doesn't it? On the face of it, the argument against using filters appears quite convincing. Why spend a small fortune on a top quality lens with superb optics if you are then going to attach a piece of relatively cheap resin or glass to the front of it?
A little while ago, I was commissioned to write a book about lions for ITV. Among around 200 images, I needed a photograph to illustrate a section on lions hunting. The problem I faced was that lions typically hunt at night, which made photographing them a challenge.
I've been photographing gardens for 25 years and I'm known for being passionate about horticultural subjects of all kinds. However, when I first started out on this career path, I didn't have a strong interest in gardening or very much knowledge on the subject. In fact, I probably didn't know the difference between a tulip and a daffodil. Having said that, I've always had a love of the natural world.
Please take a look around our f-11 members gallery. Share your photographs with other members and receive David's feedback on your work.