Chasing the Light Magazine, Issue 47
Photography spanning the globe to inspire and inform
Welcome to December 2015’s edition of Chasing the Light Online Magazine for our f11 Members.
This month’s Behind the Lens article presents the second instalment of David Noton’s travelogue on his recent Dolomite trip, which this time sees him rise early to capture a stunning panorama above Cortina then explore the other wonders of this location. There is a Video Blog to accompany this feature, then in How It’s Done David remains in the Dolomites to capture a panorama of the Cristallo with his Canon G1x Mk II. In Stepping Back David time-travels back to his trip to the Great Wall of China at Simatai in 1998, a visit memorable for having at least part of the wall to himself for the day. Meanwhile, in the Low Down David examines the computing choices he has made over his career, which have recently culminated in him switching from a PC to a Mac. He also presents two of his popular Fundamentals of Post-Production Videos.
Elsewhere, in Art of Landscapes Bas Meelker encourages us all to get to grips with the weather, so we choose photos locations with the best light and creative potential. In Hoddinott’s Hangout, Ross Hoddinott presents his personal take on the impact on the photography profession of people selling their photos for free. Then in Sense of Space, Jeremy Horner revisits the magical Luang Prabang in Laos, reflecting on the wonderful photo opportunities this city on the Mekong River presents. Finally, for this edition’s Guest Feature we’re delighted to welcome on board professional photographer David Köster, as he provides us with a privileged insight into his exciting journey through the landscapes of Kazakhstan, accompanied by a breath-taking portfolio of his images.
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
Driving back from Lago Antorno as dusk settles over the Dolomites our mood is relaxed, despite having the inevitable Fiat glued to my rear bumper. Although there was a total lack of cloud, the evening shoot went well and now I'm starting to feel like we're getting the job done here in the Dolomites.
As soon as we came over the pass I knew it was a peach of a location. The views north, towards the Cristallo and beyond, were just epic and all that the Dolomites promised. However, the trouble was that we were at the highest and furthest most point of our hike. Whichever route we took another day to return would involve the best part of trudging steeply uphill for 1,000 meters, laden with a tripod and all the 'gubbins' I routinely carry.
I have to admit that I feel somewhat intimidated starting this feature because I suspect many of you know far more about this topic then I do. I remember one workshop we ran in the Yorkshire Dales a few years ago where 9 out of 10 guests at the meet and greet revealed they earned their daily bread in IT. Information Technology, a term unheard of a generation ago, yet most of us spend much of our days dealing with it and all its foibles, whatever walk of life we are in.
This month I take a shot taken on our recent Exmoor Workshop and process it to bring out all the tonal and colour information in what looks originally to be a washed out unpromising image. In particular I use Lightroom's grad tool to apply dehazer to selective areas of the image, fine tuning the effect of the mist in the distant valley.
I then take a high contrast autumnal scene and process it again using solely Lightroom to bring out all the highlight and shadow detail after selecting Camera Faithful Calibration and adjusting the colour balance to compensate for the use of a Little Stopper Filter.
I am a lucky man, I know that. I have seen many of the acknowledged wonders of the world. Granted, none of the original classic seven, but really in this day and age do any of them still qualify?
I'm sure - like me - you've been reading David's excellent series on the Rise and Fall of Stock Photography with great interest. If you have any aspirations of making money from your images, I would strongly urge you to read this three-part feature. It is a brutal but refreshingly honest read. In the final article, David referred to something I said to him while we were discussing the sorry state of the industry recently: when marketing your images, you just can't compete with free. This is a statement I would like to explore in more detail in this latest Hangout column.
I'm writing this article at the beginning of November, sitting in my office and looking through the window at a grey and rainy world where strong winds are bending the trees. This makes it a perfect time to write a column on the weather. But should I be outside exposing? I'm not sure.
If you are starting out on your journey as a travel photographer, there are few places better suited to a first assignment than the old royal capital of Laos, Luang Prabang.
Imagine that there is a country where bizarre deserts meet prehistoric canyons. Where huge sand dunes rub elbows with eternal glaciers, and snow-covered seven-thousanders are reflected in lonely salt lakes. Where endless grasslands share the horizon with surreal lunar scenes. A country where nature presents a stunning variety of primeval landscapes and a remarkable biodiversity within six climate zones. And imagine: nobody finds his or her way to that country. Welcome to Kazakhstan: not only one of the largest countries in the world, but at the same time, one of the most unknown.
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.