Chasing the Light Online Magazine, Issue 52
Photography spanning the globe to inspire and inform
Welcome to May 2016’s edition of Chasing the Light Online Magazine for our f11 Members.
This month David Noton kicks off with a Field Trial to evaluate the new Canon EOS 1Dx Mk II, enjoying some time in Paris to put this exciting addition to the Canon stable through its paces. David also starts a new series entitled Photo Essentials, which is designed to refresh our basic photo skills – the first instalment begins a detailed exploration of camera settings – see how much you learn! He then starts a new occasional series Location Report, this time giving us his thoughts on Iceland as a photo destination. Meanwhile, in this month’s Low Down David considers how to safely and effectively harness the awe-inspiring Power of Nature in our landscape and travel shots. And finally, he presents two of his popular Fundamentals of Post-Production Videos.
Elsewhere, the second instalment of the new Editor’s Choice series sees me select David Noton’s Lao Drive Time shot, which he considers a true example of what travel photography is all about. In Hoddinott’s Hangout Ross Hoddinott rediscovers polarising filters, reminding us just how useful they really are. In the Art of Landscapes we travel with Bas Meelker through Namibia on the adventure of a lifetime, photographing the country’s breath-taking wildlife along the way. And for this month’s edition of the Pipeline, we join Ben Pipe on his recent visit to Seville where he shot this beautiful city and the Semana Santa festivities.
For this edition’s Guest Feature we’re delighted to welcome on board Australian photographer Glen Cowans, as he reveals his passion for underwater photography, along with the approach and techniques he uses to capture the very best images beneath the waves. Finally, the standard of entries to our Your Vision 2016 photographic competition was so high that we have decided to dedicate this issue’s Member’s Gallery to six images that were Highly Commended by our Judges, displaying these along with comments from both the Photographers and the Judges.
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
A message from f11 Member Wendy Newing: please could David write a piece on camera settings. Well Wendy, your, and any f11 Member's, wish is my command, so here we go. It's not, to be honest, the most scintillating of topics, but yours is a timely request, because just yesterday a brand new Canon EOS 1Dx Mk II was delivered for me to evaluate - see the accompanying Field Trial.
It was an unusual combination: monster seas surging around the sea stacks then dashing themselves on the black basalt cliffs of the coast near Arnastapi, but no wind. Big waves and high winds virtually always go hand in hand, making life difficult for us photographers who are perched on the cliff tops, trying to keep our cameras steady - but not this morning.
I'm crouching underneath the arches of the Pont de la Tournelle, trying to ignore the stench of stale pee - I know my place in life. Approaching are two lady joggers, trotting along the left bank of the River Seine on a beautiful spring morning, with the backdrop of the Ile de la Cité and the Cathédrale Notre-Dame beyond illuminated by warm early morning sunlight, all framed pleasingly from where I'm kneeling by the entrance to the tunnel.
If you are a landscape shooter, you are probably already aware of the abilities of polarising filters. They are unlike any other filter: in simple terms, they block polarised light from entering the lens. So would photographers want to do this, I hear you cry? Well, polarised light causes ugly glare and reflections, and reduces the intensity of a surface's colour; this in turn can diminish the impact of a photograph.
This month edit a shoot from Paris, paying particular attention to applying Lens Corrections to straighten uprights, level the picture and correct a touch of purple fringing. I then experiment with just how much detail I can pull out of the shadows before optimising the balance of the foreground and background detail.
In Part Two I respond to an f11 Member request by editing another image from Paris using just Adobe Camera Raw and Photoshop, making two versions from the same RAW image, one optimised for the dark foreground and one for the bright sky. I then merge them in Photoshop using Layer Masking.
First impressions of Iceland are of a land apart, a bit like Australia. OK, I'll admit the similarities are not obvious; in fact it would be difficult to imagine two environments more opposite. Iceland is, well, icy, while Australia is largely hot and arid. And yet both have one overriding similarity: when you first arrive you know you are somewhere like no place else on earth.
Each month, our editor Freya selects an image from the portfolio of one of our contributors. Her pick is accompanied by an explanation of the inspirations and techniques behind the shot by the photographer.
We've just landed at Windhoek National Airport in Namibia - but it's not a good start to our trip. Our lift to our first night accommodation has not shown up, which makes it time to improvise. At least all my gear has arrived safely - and what gear it is! A Swedish nature photographer once said: 'In nature photography, travelling light is a joke. What you bring dictates what you get, so bring it all?'
Seville, 'the frying pan of Europe': so named for being the hottest city on the continent. It is the fourth largest city in Spain, and the capital of Andalucía. Founded by the Romans, the city was conquered by Muslims in 712 before being taken by Christian crusaders under the command of Ferdinand III in 1248. Two events now define life for local Sevillanos: the Feria de Sevilla (Seville Fair) in April, and the Semana Santa (Holy Week) at Easter.
My first memories of the world under the ocean were as a child watching the wonderful dives of Jacques Cousteau with his team on board the Calypso each weekend on our television. Together with my father, an ex-World War II British submariner, we would sit and watch their adventures in awe. I guess you could say that the Cousteau family (and my father) were completely responsible for my passion for the ocean.
Last month we were delighted to announce the Winners of our Your Vision 2016 Photographic Competition - you can review the Winners and their images, along with the Competition outline and Judges, here.