Chasing the Light Online Photography Magazine, Issue 55
Photography spanning the globe to inspire and inform
Welcome to August 2016’s edition of Chasing the Light Online Magazine for our f11 Members.
During the early summer months, David visited Italy and France: in a Behind the Lens mini series, we join him for the first leg of this trip as he and Wendy take in Brescia, Mantova and the Val d’Orcia – this article is accompanied by a Video Blog. Then in this month’s How It’s Done, David visits the banks of the River Dart in Devon to shoot the estuary at Kingswear, refreshing himself on a few home truths about location searching along the way. And in a separate Video Tutorial on the same subject, he walks us through the fundamentals of the location searching process. Finally, David presents two of his popular Fundamentals of Post-Production Videos.
Having previously explored the Canon, Sony and Fuji systems in our Field Trials, this month Ross Hoddinott closes off our loop with an examination of the Nikon system. Meanwhile in this edition of Hoddinott’s Hangout, he puts Manfrotto’s LUMIMUSE LED range to the test. In the Art of Landscapes, Bas Meelker walks us through the image-editing techniques he uses in Lightroom and Photoshop; and in the Pipeline, Ben Pipe takes us along with him as he visits the incredible Omo Valley in Ethiopia. Finally, for our Guest Feature we’re delighted to welcome on board wildlife photographer Richard Peters, as he recalls his creative journey that has seen him shooting wildlife in locations that range from his back garden, to the Maasai Mara.
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
This can't be right. We're driving down a long avenue of cyprus trees on the outskirts of Brescia towards our hotel, which, as it turns out, is a palace - literally: the Villa Fenaroli Palace to be precise. Now then, don't go getting the idea that palaces are our usual standard of accommodation; the Premier Inn at Solihull, or the tent that we'll be staying in a few days from now is more our usual style.
Why Nikon? If only I had been given a pound every time I have been asked that question over the past 20 years! Actually, I started with an old Zenith 11, before quickly moving on to a Minolta Dynax 7000i. However the switch to Minolta wasn't by choice, as I'd won the SLR in a photo competition. Even back then, aged just 12 or 13, I remember hankering after a different camera?
It was an abject lesson in how not to do things; a right cock up in other words, embarrassing really. And yet with fine weather a virtual certainty, and an evocative location on hand, it all looked so promising. Despite having worked closely together for nigh on ten years now, Chasing the Light Editor Freya d'Angerville (sorry, Dangerfield) had never been on a location shoot with me, or any photographer for that matter.
This month I process an image of a classic Tuscan scene using firstly Lightroom, with particular attention to lens corrections, contrast and the reduction of haze. I then continue making selective adjustments in Photoshop using a layer mask.
In Part Two I process the image from the barley field shoot featured in the location searching Video Tutorial, using Lightroom's grad, dehaze and adjustment brush tools to optimise the image, paying particular attention to refining the mask overlay to ensure only the areas of the image I want are affected by adjustments of brightness and contrast.
If you read my column regularly, you might just remember that I wrote a feature a while ago titled Lighting for Close-ups. I finished the piece by briefly mentioning LED lights, saying that I suspected their popularity would grow over the coming years. Then earlier this year, Manfrotto kindly sent me their LUMIMUSE 3, 6 and 8 devices to try, part of Manfrotto's (relatively) new LED line-up for photographers and videographers.
In the first part of this mini series on image editing, we talked about my belief in the importance of gaining a deep understanding of image-editing techniques to remain a successful landscape photographer. As I said in Part 1, we all know that great images made in the field with passion and persistence will always be the foundation stone of what we do, but we also need to understand that these are just the raw beginnings of the end product.
I'd recently completed the biggest assignment of my career: shooting an advertising campaign for the US oil company Chevron in Kazakhstan. The job had entailed creating a series of studio portraits with a location feel (I'd been hired on the back of travel portraits I'd shot on location, but for a job like this the client would always want the stability of a studio venue). Now I wanted to keep the ball rolling and produce more travel portraiture to build up this side of my portfolio, as I felt encouraged by the Chevron job that this might be rewarded with more work down the line.
Blown highlights, soft and badly composed: I still remember what I then considered to be my first decent wildlife photo - at the time, I thought it was one of the best photos I-d ever taken! The image showed a heron alongside the River Thames at Richmond - and I loved it. In fact, I printed it! The truth be told, it WAS one of the best photos I-d ever taken; but as I described above, it wasn't actually a GOOD photo. The reason for liking something that really should have been binned rather than printed was that until that point I had spent most of my time shooting at zoos - this was my first 'wild' photo.
Please take a look around our f-11 members gallery. Share your photographs with other members and receive David's feedback on your work.