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Photography Week - 25 April 2018

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THE BEST GLASS BAR NONE
OUR PICK OF THE LENSES IN THE PHOTOGRAPHY WEEK AWARDS 2018
T H E W O R L D ’ S B E S T-S E L L I N G D I G I T A L P H O T O M A G A Z I N E
19-25 A PR IL
I S S UE 291
INSPIR AT ION IDE A S IN-DEP TH RE V IEWS
37
THINGS
PHOTOGRAPHERS
DO WRONG
AND HOW TO STOP
DOING THEM
W
E
L
C
O
M
E
JOIN THE CLUB...
Welcome to the world’s
No.1 weekly digital
photography magazine.
If you’re already a
reader, thanks for your continued
support and involvement; if you’re
new to Photography Week, you’ve
come to the right place! In addition
to expert advice, brilliant tips and
step-by-step tutorials, every issue
features interactive galleries of the
best new photos, how-to videos on
essential shooting and editing
techniques, and in-depth reviews
of the latest camera kit.
But that’s not the whole story.
Photography Week is more than
a magazine – it’s a community
of like-minded people who are
passionate about photography.
To get involved, just follow any
of the links below and share your
shots and comments – your photo
might even appear on our cover!
JOIN T HE PHOTOGR APHY WEEK
COMMUNI T Y AND S TAR T SHAR ING!
FACEBOOK
http://tiny.cc/7s2zgy
TWITTER
http://tiny.cc/xt2zgy
FLICKR
http://tiny.cc/nv2zgy
We’re more than just a magazine – read on and discover the many
ways you can interact with and enjoy Photography Week
CONTENTS
FIND OUT WHAT’S INSIDE THIS ISSUE
NEWS
F E AT U R E
BLACKMAGIC IS BACK
New camera packs Cinema 4K
video into a handheld design
F E AT U R E
BANISH THOSE ERRORS!
The photography mistakes we
±ĬĬƤĵ±ĩåرĹÚĘŅƵƋŅüĜƻƋĘåĵ
PHOTOS
GALLERY
kƚųŞĜÏĩŅüƋĘåÆåŸƋųå±Úåų
Ĝĵ±čåŸüųŅĵƤ±ųŅƚĹÚƋĘåƵŅųĬÚ
I N S P I R AT I O N
I N S P I R AT I O N
STARS OVER NEW YORK
Timelapse imagines city’s
ĹĜčĘƋƤŸĩƼƵĜƋĘŅƚƋĬĜčĘƋŞŅĬĬƚƋĜŅĹ
CRASH COURSE
WOODED WONDERLAND
Learn how to capture magical
portraits among the trees
PHOTOS
PHOTOSHOP
PHOTOSHOP
METEORIC MONTAGES
ųå±Ƌå±ĹåƻŞĬŅŸĜƴåÏŅĵŞŅŸĜƋå
Ĝĵ±čåƋʱƋűŸŅƚƋŅüƋĘĜŸƵŅųĬÚ
CRASH COURSE
GEAR
THE BEST
LENSES 2018
Photography
œååĩűŸŞĜÏĩŅü
ƋĘåÆåŸƋŅŞƋĜÏŸ
we’ve seen in the
Ĭ±ŸƋŎƖƤĵŅĹƋĘŸ
N
E
W
S
W H AT ’ S H O T
THE WEEK’S TOP HEADLINES IN PHOTOGRAPHY
BL ACKMAGIC L AUNCHES THE
POCKE T CINEMA C AMER A 4K
Second-gen model packs the latest video tech into a handheld design
t may look like an oversized
dual native ISO with a sensitivity range
the body lends itself to those shooting
digital camera from the 1990s,
up to ISO25,600, while it’s also capable
independent films and documentaries,
but Blackmagic’s new Pocket
of shooting Cinema 4K (4096 x 2160) at
fashion shows, travel blogs, web videos,
Cinema Camera 4K is packed with some
up to 60fps and Full HD at up to 120fps.
weddings, corporate video and sports.
serious video tech.
Not only that, but there’s the promise of
On the rear is a 5-inch touchscreen
13 stops of dynamic range for great low-
display, enabling users to adjust settings,
light performance.
add metadata and view recording status
I
It’s the second-generation Pocket
Cinema Camera from Blackmagic – its
first, 1080p, model was launched back
Footage (including 10-bit ProRes and
via tap and swipe gestures. There are
in 2013 – and the new camera is again
12-bit raw recording) can be recorded
also on-screen overlays for recording
based around the Micro Four Thirds
to UHS-II-compatible SD card or CFast
parameters, histogram, focus and
format, which means it can be used with
cards, while a USB-C expansion port
peaking indicators and more.
a wealth of lenses from Panasonic and
means you can record directly to the
Olympus, as well as other lens makers
same external disk drives that users will
Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera
such as Leica and Voigtlander.
use for editing and colour correction.
4K yet, but it looks to be priced
The Micro Four Thirds sensor offers a
Blackmagic reckons the design of
There’s no release date for the
competitively at £1,029 / $1,295.
F
E
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T
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R
E
37
THINGS PHOTOGRAPHERS DO WRONG…
AND HOW TO STOP DOING THEM
Photos soft? Exposures off? Compositions not working? Read on to
discover how to fix the most common photography problems, fast!
F
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WHY ARE MY PHOTOS BLURRED?
Here are the top reasons your photos aren’t sharp, and what you can do about it
NOT KEEPING
AN EYE ON THE
SHUTTER SPEED
The rule of thumb for handholding your camera is to set
a shutter speed equivalent to
(or faster than) 1 divided by
the focal length you’re shooting at, so
that’s 1/50 sec when shooting at 50mm,
for example; but it can still be difficult to
keep a lens still at these shutter speeds.
Stabilised lenses make a difference at
slower shutter speeds, but they can do
nothing about subject movement. If in
doubt, use a shutter speed that’s twice as
fast – you may need to increase the ISO. If
your subject is moving, you might have to
go faster to ‘freeze’ the movement, even if
you’ve eliminated camera shake.
02
NOT TAKING
CONTROL OF
THE AF POINT
Don’t leave it up to the
camera to decide where
to focus; it won’t know
which feature you want
sharp. If there’s something in front of
the main subject, or the background
is detailed, or there isn’t a lot of
contrast between the main subject
and the rest of the picture, then your
camera may focus on something
other than the subject.
For absolute precision, choose
a single AF point. The center spot
is the most sensitive, although not
ideal for dynamic compositions. For
an off-center subject, you’ll need
to use the ‘focus and recompose’
method: point the central AF point
on the subject, half-press the shutter
release to lock the focus, and then
recompose the shot.
Alternatively, use an off-center
AF point that corresponds with
the positioning of the subject in
the frame. This is the best option
if you’re taking pictures at close
quarters; if you opt for the focusand-recompose method instead, the
shift in camera position can mean
that the point you locked focus on is
now at a different distance relative to
the position of the sensor, and may
actually be blurred.
01
NOT WORKING HANDS-FREE
A tripod is the best way to ensure sharp photos at very slow
shutter speeds, but sturdy legs aren’t always enough if the
camera isn’t perfectly stable. The action of pressing down on the
shutter release button can jog the camera, so it’s worth triggering
the shutter with a remote release, or using the self-timer or exposure-delay
function for pictures that aren’t time-sensitive. Vibrations caused by the
mirror moving (to expose the sensor to light) can also lead to soft shots.
‰ŅƤųåĵåÚƼƋĘĜŸØƚŸåƋĘåϱĵåų±űŸĵĜųųŅųĬŅÏĩěƚŞĵŅÚåŅų±ÏƋĜƴ±ƋåXĜƴåšĜåƵ
– in this mode the mirror is also moved out of the way.
03
F
NOT USING
THE OPTIMUM
APERTURE
There will be situations
where you want to use a
wide aperture to help you
separate a sharp subject
from a blurred background, but there
will be other times when you want
more of a scene to appear sharply
04
E
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E
focused. It might be tempting to use
the narrowest available aperture in
such instances, but this can actually
lead to softer pictures due to the
effects of diffraction – incoming
light rays being bent out of shape by
the aperture blades – which is more
noticeable at narrow apertures. It’s
often preferable to sacrifice depth
of field in order to deliver an image
in which details are pin-sharp, and
this is often in the middle of a the
aperture range – around f/8 to f/11,
although it varies from lens to lens.
ZOOMING THE LENS
AFTER YOU FOCUS
Most of the zoom lenses
made today aren’t in fact true
zooms, or what are known
as ‘parfocal’ lenses; rather,
they’re ‘varifocal’ lenses. One of the
drawbacks of this type of design is that
the focus shifts as the lens is zoomed.
This means that if you zoom in to lock
the focus on a detail within a scene and
then zoom back out to take the shot,
there’s a good chance that the detail
you want to appear sharp will now
be blurred. If the zoom range isn’t too
great, the change in focus may be
subtle, while using a narrow aperture to
give a large depth of field – the amount
of front-to-back sharpness in a picture
– can also mask any focus shift. But the
easiest way to prevent focusing issues
is to get into the habit of only focusing
after you’ve zoomed. Once it’s part of
your shooting regime, you won’t even
have to think about it.
06
f/22
f/5.6
An aperture of f/22 may not give bitingly sharp results thanks to the effects of diffraction,
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NOT MAKING THE
MOST OF MANUAL FOCUS
When you use autofocus, there are a number of links in
the chain that can break, leaving you with soft pictures. For
instance, a lens may suffer from a back-focus or front-focus
issue, where the sharpest focus is actually fractionally behind
or in front of the edge that your AF point has locked on to.
For this reason, for critical work where focus is everything, such as with
ĵ±ÏųŅŞĘŅƋŅčų±ŞĘƼŅųĬ±ĹڟϱŞåŸØĵ±Ĺƚ±ĬĜŸƋĘåƵ±ƼƋŅčŅţXĜƴåšĜåƵ
potentially makes this a piece of cake, enabling you to magnify details
to 100%. However, some cameras use so-called ‘interpolation’ to create
ƋĘåĵ±čĹĜüĜåÚƴĜåƵØųåŸƚĬƋĜĹčĜűXĜƴåšĜåƵĜĵ±čåƋʱƋűŸĹŅƋޱųƋĜÏƚĬ±ųĬƼ
sharp, and therefore less reliable for judging accurate focus. One option
here is not to magnify the image too far. Alternatively, shoot in raw and
then fine-tune the picture style setting to produce a sharper, highercontrast preview image that’s easier to judge focus ‘snap’ on – shooting
in raw rather than JPEG means the image will be unaffected by the
effects of the picture control setting.
05
NOT USING THE
CORRECT AF MODE
a±ĹƼ%„XŸĘ±ƴå±ƚƋŅüŅÏƚŸ
modes for stationary
subjects and moving
subjects, and even a mode
that automatically switches between
the two, depending on whether the
camera detects movement. However,
cameras don’t always get it right, so for
absolute peace of mind, always set the
correct mode manually.
07
F
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WHY ARE MY SHOTS TOO BRIGHT/DARK?
Here’s how to diagnose why your shots might be underexposed or overexposed
NOT KEEPING
AN EYE ON THE
DYNAMIC RANGE
Sometimes the dynamic
range of the scene – the
difference in brightness
between the darkest
and lightest areas – may be too
wide for the camera sensor to cope
with in a single exposure. The key
to identifying this is to check the
histogram: if it extends beyond both
the left-hand and/or right-hand
ends of the graph, then exposure
compensation won’t make any
difference. This is typically the sort
of situation you’d encounter when
shooting a backlit portrait, or a
landscape at dawn or dusk.
There are a variety of ways you
can reduce the dynamic range of
the scene so that it fits within the
dynamic range of the camera’s
sensor. These include using flash
to brighten up a backlit portrait,
or attaching a graduated neutral
density filter (ND grad) to darken a
bright sky in a landscape shot. With
stationary subjects you could also
try taking two or more pictures at
different exposures, then blending
the best bits of each in software.
09
A bright, foggy scene may appear too
dark if you don’t apply positive exposure
compensation: the camera wants to make
the fog gray rather than white
NOT USING
EXPOSURE
COMPENSATION
Matrix metering does
a fine job of producing
balanced exposures for
the majority of day-today photo opportunities. However,
faced with an overly bright or dark
subject or scene, the camera can
get things wrong. Despite matrix
metering essentially applying its
own exposure compensation to
deliver what it determines is an
optimum exposure, it may not
be accurate. Manually dialling
in exposure compensation is far
better than trying to rescue an
underexposed or overexposed
image later. Pushing the brightness
of an image that’s very dark in
Photoshop can lead to noise in
shadows, while trying to eke some
detail from burned-out highlights
can lead to ‘digital-looking’ results.
08
In this situation, you could either expose for the
buildings (top) or expose for the sky (bottom)
in a single frame. The solution is to shoot both
images, and blend the well-exposed areas of
each image in Photoshop later (centre)
IGNORING THE HISTOGRAM
It’s easy to get caught up with composition and focusing and
forget to check the histogram regularly, but getting the exposure
right in-camera is far better than trying to fix things later. Don’t
rely on the image playback to judge the exposure, as the
ÆųĜčĘƋĹ域ŅüƋĘåX%ϱĹčĜƴå±ü±ĬŸåĜĵŞų域ĜŅĹŅüƋĘåÆųĜčĘƋĹ域Ņü±
shot. If a histogram is cut off at either end, this indicates that areas are
‘clipped’ to pure black or pure white, and so contain no texture or detail (in
other words, areas that are underexposed or overexposed). If you find the
preview of the image displayed alongside the histogram is too small, then
try the highlights warning display instead if your camera has this. With this
åűÆĬåÚرų屟ƋʱƋ±ųåŞŅƋåĹƋĜ±ĬĬƼŅƴåųåƻŞŅŸåÚƵĜĬĬÆĬĜĹĩŅĹƋĘåX%ţ
10
F
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U
FORGETTING TO SHIELD THE EYEPIECE
Did you know that light can enter the camera through the
viewfinder and affect the exposure of a picture? Most of the time
this doesn’t present a problem, because your face is glued to the
back of the camera and shields the eyepiece, but if you switch to
XĜƴåšĜåƵØŅųüĜųåƋĘåŸĘƚƋƋåųƚŸĜĹč±ųåĵŅƋåųåĬ屟åØƋĘåĹƋĘåųåűŸ±ÏʱĹÏå
that light can leak in through the viewfinder. The effect is more obvious in
shots taken with a long exposure, when strange, ghostly shapes and streaks
can be burnt into the image, as can be seen in our photograph of a tree
below. Using an eyepiece cap to block the viewfinder can help in these
circumstances, but you might not have one of these to hand. It’s just as easy
to drape a black lens cloth over the top of the camera instead – and you can
use it to keep your lens clean, too.
11
eŸƋųŅĹčc%ĀĬƋåųŸƚÏĘ
±ŸƋĘåXååĜč„ƋŅŞŞåų
enables you to use a
long exposure in
bright sunlight, but this
is what can happen if
you don’t keep the
eyepiece covered…
R
E
FUMBLING FLASH
SETTINGS
If you’re using fill-flash
outdoors and find that your
pictures are coming out too
bright, it’s likely that either
you’re too close to the subject or the
shutter speed required to expose the
shot necessarily exceeds the flash
sync speed (the fastest shutter speed
that flash can be used with, typically
1/200 sec). Switching to a narrower
aperture is often the easiest way to fix
this problem: the aperture controls the
flash exposure, with narrower apertures
reducing the exposure. On bright days
this may mean that you end up using
a narrower aperture than you’d like,
bringing more of a scene into focus.
In this situation, fit a standard ND filter
to your lens; this will let you use wide
apertures without overexposing.
13
1/200 sec at f/2.2, ISO200
NOT CHECKING THE METERING MODE
If an image looks too bright or too dark, check that you
haven’t accidentally set the wrong metering mode. Spot
metering, for example, only meters a small part of the scene,
and if you’ve manually selected an autofocus point over a
very dark or bright area the spot reading will be based on that area.
12
1/200 sec at f/9, ISO200
F
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WHY DO MY PICS LOOK LIKE SNAPS?
Here’s why your framing may be letting you down, and how to fix it
NOT GETTING THE
HORIZON LEVEL
There’s really no excuse
these days! A built-in
virtual horizon option can
help you get perfectly
level seascapes and upright
architecture. If your camera lacks
this feature, activate the grid display
instead – some cameras enable you
to do this in the viewfinder as well
±ŸŅĹƋĘåXĜƴåšĜåƵŸÏųååĹţFüƼŅƚų
camera lacks both of these, use the
AF points in the viewfinder to line
up the feature you want to appear
straight. You can, of course, correct
a sloping horizon in Photoshop, but
this can lead to a significant portion
of the image being trimmed off
when the correction is made. It only
takes a few seconds to get it right
in-camera, so you may as well save
yourself some pain later.
14
It’s easy to miss distractions at the edges
of the frame when shooting in the dark. If
you’re planning a night shoot, zoom in on
a test shot to check the edges of the frame
NOT CHECKING
THE EDGES OF THE
FRAME
When you’re focused
on making sure that the
subject looks its best, it’s
easy to miss distracting
elements at the edges of the frame.
You can, of course, spend time in postproduction cropping a shot or cloning
out unwanted features that were
missed when you framed the shot in
the viewfinder, but to make the best
use of your time and the full potential
of the camera’s sensor (and to get into
the habit of taking the photograph you
15
want and not relying on editing),
it pays to get it right in-camera.
That’s easier said than done,
especially when you consider that
not all viewfinders provide 100%
coverage. This explains why you
may be surprised to see branches,
leaves or street lamps creeping
into your carefully composed shots
when you play them back on the
rear screen (above). So, before you
press the shutter release button, run
your eye quickly around the edges
of the screen to check for possible
distractions – zooming the lens out
before recomposing your picture can
help to pick out those things that may
be hidden at the time of shooting.
kųŸƵĜƋÏĘƋŅXĜƴåšĜåƵØƵĘĜÏʱĬƵ±ƼŸ
shows the complete picture.
ALWAYS SHOOTING FROM HEAD HEIGHT
16
*GZPVmOEUIFWJSUVBMIPSJ[POPSHSJEPWFSMBZ
EJGmDVMUUPTFFPOUIFSFBSTDSFFOmUB
traditional hotshoe bubble level instead
If you find that your compositions lack punch, it may be because
you’re not exploring all the angles. By making the effort to find a
shooting angle that’s lower or higher than head height you can
create a more interesting and unusual picture.
F
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WRONG
LEAVING
TOO MUCH
DEAD SPACE
Here, the strong leading lines and
symmetrical subject lend themselves
to a tighter, vertical crop
One of the
first decisions
to make when
framing up
a shot is whether the
subject or scene suits
a horizontal or a vertical
format. Generally,
taller subjects suit the
latter format, although
including some of the
environment in a wider
shot may add more
interest. You can crop
a vertical image out of
a landscape-format
shot when you edit the
original shot, but you’ll
also reduce the size of
your image. If you’ve
got the time, and space
on your memory card,
it’s worth ‘bracketing’
your composition, in the
same way that you would
bracket the exposures
in an HDR photo, to cover
all the possibilities.
17
NOT GETTING CLOSE ENOUGH
eŸŞĘŅƋŅģŅƚųűĬĜŸƋŅÆåųƋ±Ş±ü±ĵŅƚŸĬƼĹŅƋåÚ×ŮFüƼŅƚų
photographs aren’t good enough, you’re not close enough.” With
this in mind, it’s easy to feel disheartened if you find yourself in
a situation where you’re lacking in focal length. But while it’s true
ƋʱƋüų±ĵåěüĜĬĬĜĹčŸĘŅƋŸĘ±ƴåĜĵޱÏƋØƋĘåƼűųåĹŅƋ±ĬƵ±ƼŸ±ĹŅŞƋĜŅĹţųŅŞŞĜĹč
an image can get you that full-frame impact – albeit at the expense of
image size – but why not try composing shots so that your subject is
positioned within the environment, rather than isolated from it?
18
NOT FINDING A POINT OF INTEREST
If there are too many elements in a picture that aren’t working in
harmony, the viewer’s eyes will wander around the shot looking for
something to latch on to. One technique is to use the ‘rule of thirds’
to position the subject – this is particularly effective when the focal
point is small in the frame. Another trick is to frame a shot so that there’s an odd
number of elements, because this tends to result in a balanced composition.
19
RIGHT
Even ‘stationary’ shots can show a peak
moment. The second shot stands out
because of the position of the clouds – the
larger one appears to be streaming from
the cathedral’s central pinnacle
NOT CAPTURING
THE DECISIVE
MOMENT
In any set of images,
one will stand out as
the best – the one
in which everything
ÏŅĵåŸƤƋŅčåƋĘåų±ƋƋĘ埱ĵå
time. This ‘peak moment’ doesn’t
have to be something as grand
as a gymnast at the zenith of an
elaborate spin; it could be a subtle
shift in someone’s expression
when you’re shooting a portrait, for
example, or the position of clouds in
a landscape shot.
Naturally, the more frames you
fire off in succession, the greater
your chances of capturing the
peak of the action or the defining
moment you’re hoping for. That
being said, timing is everything;
if you see the moment through the
viewfinder, then the chances are
that you’ve missed the opportunity
to record it. Trying to anticipate this
moment before it happens is the
key, and starting to shoot before it
happens will increase your chances
of capturing it.
20
F
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COMMON CAMERA ERRORS
Here are eight familiar camera problems that photographers fall victim to
NOT RESETTING
THE CAMERA
It’s a good idea to develop
(and use) a default ‘grab
and go’ setup that the
camera can be reset to
once you’ve finished taking a series
of pictures. Doing this ensures that
you can change any settings from
a familiar set of parameters. For
instance, if you forget to reset any
exposure compensation you’ve
dialled in, then subsequently dial in
some additional compensation, you
may end up with badly overexposed
or underexposed results. The same
can happen if you haven’t switched
the camera to your preferred
shooting mode or metering pattern,
or if you’ve left the ISO really high.
21
WRONG COLOURS?
WRONG WHITE
BALANCE…
Most photographers leave
the white balance at its
Auto setting, and with
good reason: it generally
does a decent job of removing
colour casts and providing naturallooking results. It can remove some
of the character of the light, though,
leaching some of the warmth from
a sunset shot, for example, and it
can get things wrong under artificial
lighting. Auto white balance can also
change the colour temperature from
shot to shot even when the lighting
doesn’t change very much, which
can cause problems if you decide
to batch-convert a series of shots
from the same location. To ensure
consistency, and speed up your
workflow, it’s worth switching to one
of the manual presets, creating a
custom white balance or dialling in
the colour temperature manually.
22
NOT CHECKING CARDS AND BATTERIES
How often have you found yourself out shooting only to discover
that you only have room for a couple of pictures on the card that’s
in your camera? Having to delete dozens of images to free up
space while you’re out shooting is no fun! Try to get into the habit
of downloading the contents of your memory cards, and formatting the cards,
every time you return home from a shoot. Ensure that your battery has enough
ģƚĜÏåƋŅčåƋƼŅƚƋĘųŅƚčʱŸĘŅŅƋØƋŅŅţ)ƻÏ域ĜƴåƚŸåŅüXĜƴåšĜåƵØŞĬ±ƼƱÏĩ
mode and shooting in cold conditions can all reduce the shooting time, so bring
a backup battery in these circumstances.
23
NOT USING CONTINUOUS DRIVE MODE
While you might expect the single-shot drive mode to be a
perfectly good choice for general photography, the continuous
low or continuous high options can be more effective at giving
you sharper, more timely results. With single shot, not only can
the action of pressing down and releasing the shutter release produce soft
results, but taking your finger fully off the release can cause the camera
to refocus the lens – although you can get around this by configuring the
camera so that the AF function is removed from the shutter release.
24
NOT MAKING THE
MOST OF AUTO ISO
Some photographers
turn their noses up at the
thought of using Auto
ISO, concerned that the
camera will opt for a sensitivity that’s
unnecessarily high, but it’s actually
very useful. The Auto ISO function
25
can be tailored so that the camera is
unable to push the ISO higher than
a sensitivity you’ve dialled in, and
you can also set a minimum shutter
speed, improving your chances of
taking sharp handheld photos. It
also adds flexibility in manual mode,
enabling you to set a combination
of aperture and shutter speed to
give you the look you want, with the
camera adjusting the ISO to keep the
exposure consistent.
F
NOT MAKING
THE MOST OF
PICTURE CONTROLS
Don’t leave the picture
style or picture control
setting in its standard
position for every shot. By
shooting in raw, you can preview the
effect that a picture style has on an
Ĝĵ±čåÚƚųĜĹčXĜƴåšĜåƵŅųŞĬ±ƼƱÏĩØ
but the original image will remain
unaffected. This is particularly useful
when shooting for black and white:
using the monochrome picture
control enables you to judge how a
picture will work in greyscale, while
the raw file will be saved with all the
26
E
A
T
U
colour information intact. This allows
you to carry out the conversion later.
It’s a different matter when you
shoot JPEGs, because the picture
style is ‘baked’ into the file. If you
don’t like the look delivered by the
picture style you’ve set you can try
to fix things in Photoshop, but image
quality is likely to suffer.
It’s important to get a handle on
picture styles when you’re shooting
HD video too, because every
frame of a video is basically a JPEG
image, so the colour, contrast and
sharpness are fixed at the time you
record the footage. Filmmakers tend
to use the neutral or flat picture
styles, because these give lowcontrast results that hold up better
to enhancements in standard videoediting software.
R
E
ADAPTIVE DYNAMIC
RANGE OVERUSE
Adaptive dynamic range
(different camera makers
call it different things – Nikon
ϱĬĬŸĜƋeÏƋĜƴå%ěXĜčĘƋĜĹč
ƵĘĜĬå±ĹŅĹϱĬĬŸĜƋBĜčĘĬĜčĘƋ‰ŅĹå
Priority) is useful in situations where
you’d struggle to reveal detail in both
the highlights and the shadows of a
scene, particularly where you can’t use
an ND grad or combining exposures
isn’t practical. However, it can make
low-contrast scenes look flat, and it
can cause problems if you’re applying
exposure compensation – a shot may
still appear too bright, even though you
dialed in negative compensation. It may
be worth deactivating adaptive dynamic
range in these situations.
28
NEUTRAL
MONO
VIVID
If you shoot in raw, the image will retain all its colour information, enabling you to visualise
how an effect will work – but if you want to change it later, you can still do so
NOT MAKING THE MOST CUSTOM MODES
„Ņĵå%„XŸåűÆĬåƼŅƚƋŅÏųå±ƋåƼŅƚųŅƵĹƚŸåųěŸåƋƋĜĹčŸ
modes, which enable you to bring up a specific camera
configuration at the touch of a button (or turn of a dial).
If you’re the kind of photographer who sticks to aperturepriority mode for 99% of your photography, then you may not have
explored this option, but you’re missing out on one of the camera’s more
convenient aspects. One particularly handy way it can make a difference
is in enabling you to set up a dedicated video mode, which allows you
to optimise the autofocus and other key settings without having to delve
into the menu and make adjustments each time.
27
NOT USING
THE ‘CORRECT’
FOCAL LENGTH
Wide-angle lenses need to
be used with care because
they can deliver peculiar
results – when used close up
to shoot a portrait, for example, they can
end up distorting a person’s features.
They can also make backgrounds seem
small and insignificant in landscapes.
Switching to a lens with a slightly longer
focal length and shooting from further
away may be more desirable.
29
F
E
A
T
U
R
E
LIGHTING, PROCESSING AND MORE…
How you light your images and edit them is key to professional-looking shots
NOT WAITING
FOR THE RIGHT
LIGHT
Waiting for the
best light is one
thing we all know
we should be
doing, but when we have to
squeeze in some quality time
with our cameras where we
can, well, sometimes we have
to make the best of it.
Even then, subtle changes
in lighting can make a big
difference to a photo, so it’s
worth spending a few extra
minutes at a location to make
sure you’re not likely to miss
out. Failing that, try to improve
the lighting by, say, using
a diffuser to produce soft
illumination for close-ups, or
using a reflector or a snap
of fill-flash to create more
balanced lighting in a portrait.
32
GETTING SLOPPY
WITH FILTERS
We all know how
important it is to keep
filters spotless, but even
the highest-quality, highly
buffed filters will give duff results
if they’re not used properly. If you’re
using a screw-on filter then it’s
important to fit a lens hood when
you’re shooting in bright conditions,
otherwise there’s a risk of internal
reflections degrading the image.
It’s tougher to do this with a square
üĜĬƋåųŸƼŸƋåĵŸƚÏʱŸƋĘŅŸåüųŅĵXåå
±ĹÚŅĩĜĹØÆåϱƚŸåƼŅƚűĬĬĹååÚ±
specialist lens hood. Using your hand
or your body to cast a shadow over
the front of the lens is a good idea,
but even then you can end up with
ghosting – light reflecting from the
surfaces of the filters and lenses – if
the filter isn’t properly fitted. Always
start with the slot nearest the lens;
it’s easy to miss this if you’re shooting
in low light or bad weather.
30
USING FLASH
TOO FAR AWAY
Using a wide aperture
and increasing the ISO
can make the light from
a flash reach further, but
the light is unlikely to be flattering.
At the limits of its working distance,
a flash essentially becomes a
pinpoint light source, resulting in
harsh shadows and red-eye. Either
get closer, or switch it off.
31
Sometimes all it takes is for a cloud to move, and
suddenly you’re presented with a more appealing scene
INCORRECTLY
POSITIONING
ND GRADS
ND grads
are useful
for scenes in
which
there’s a clear boundary
between the sky and the
foreground, but they’re
less useful when a feature
in the landscape protrudes into the sky – when the filter is positioned
ƋŅƤÚ±ųĩåĹƋĘåŸĩƼØƋĘåųåűŸ±ųĜŸĩƋʱƋƋĘåüå±ƋƚųåƵĜĬĬÆåÏŅĵåÚ±ųĩåųƋŅŅţ
Using your camera’s depth-of-field preview can help you position the
filter accurately, because the aperture will be ‘stopped down’, making the
transition between the dark and clear parts of the filter obvious. However,
when you’re photographing buildings, lighthouses and cliffs, use an ND grad
with a soft transition, or do without the filter and bracket your exposures.
33
F
NOT
PROCESSING
AN IMAGE
It’s rare that a
JPEG image
straight out of the
camera requires
no subsequent work. To get
an image looking its best,
you may need to tweak the
levels, fix a colour cast, add
some additional sharpening
or crop it. If you shoot raw
files you have to process the
images yourself, which adds
time to your workflow, but at
least you’ll be starting with
the highest-quality file that
your camera can produce,
and changes that you make
aren’t permanently applied
to the original image.
E
A
T
U
R
E
*NBHFTDBOBQQFBSnBUTUSBJHIUPVUPGUIFDBNFSB
even when you’re shooting in JPEG format. Most
images require some processing, even if it’s just to
sharpen them and add contrast
WRONG
34
RIGHT
BEFORE
AFTER
NOT LOOKING AT
IMAGES AT 100%
Zoom in and check the
image at 100% when carrying
out edits that require a
certain level of precision,
such as sharpening, noise reduction
and cloning out sensor spots. In some
cases the changes will only be visible
at this level of magnification. It’s also
worth doing this after you’ve carried out
changes to colour saturation or contrast,
to check that details are still visible and
that colour gradation is still smooth.
36
FORGETTING TO FIX LENS PROBLEMS
XåĹŸÚĜŸƋŅųƋĜŅĹϱĹÏųå±ƋåĵƼųĜ±ÚŞųŅÆĬåĵŸØŸŅĵ±ĩåƋĘĜŸ
the first adjustment you apply when you process an image.
If you don’t fix distortions, then images may not appear as
sharp, lines that should appear straight, such as the horizon,
will appear to bow, and the corners of an image may be darker than
its center. You can apply some lens corrections in-camera, such as using
vignetting control to reduce the amount of corner-darkening a lens
introduces, but carrying out the adjustments post-shoot gives you finer
control. If you do plan to apply lens corrections, then compose wider
than normal, particularly when using a wide-angle lens, because the
stretching and cropping that occurs when you correct a distortion can
crop a surprising amount from the edges of a picture.
35
GETTING
HEAVY-HANDED
WITH IMAGE
MANIPULATION
Subtlety is often the key to
good post-production work.
Trying to fix overexposed or
underexposed images can
look obvious, while boosting saturation
and sharpness too much can give shots
a ‘digital look’. The best photography is
about capturing the world as you see it,
not as you imagine it to be.
37
S
U
B
S
C
R
I
B
E
SUBSCR IBE TODAY AND ENJOY
PHOTOGR APHY WEEK FOR
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G
A
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Y
XPOSURE
THE WEEK’S MOST INSPIRING READER PHOTOS
1950S PINUP
NICK TURLEY
“I just loved creating this 1950s pinup-style look with the very talented
model Cherish Dawson. It took quite a few different editing techniques
before I settled on this result.”
http://tiny.cc/rd3cpy
G
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THE WEEK’S MOST INSPIRING READER PHOTOS
THE SPRING IS HERE
ENRIQUE EKOGA
“Cherry trees in blossom in
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JOçOPSUIFSO'SBODFw
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TEDDY ALFREY
“This photo was taken
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Campus in Bloomington.
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Speedlight coming in from
the left and a little in front
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JTçGSPNUIFTVOw
http://tiny.cc/lyrgsy
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THE WEEK’S MOST INSPIRING READER PHOTOS
$"-.
DON WHITE
i5IJTTIPUPGUXPFHSFUTXBTUBLFOBU8JMEXPPE-BLFJO)BSSJTCVSH
Pennsylvania. I especially like the post-processing result.”
http://tiny.cc/h7rgsy
G
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THE WEEK’S MOST INSPIRING READER PHOTOS
CORN DU
RICH WALKER
i"UN$PSO%VJTUIFTFDPOEIJHIFTUQFBLJOUIF#SFDPO#FBDPOTJO4PVUI8BMFTw
http://tiny.cc/bvrgsy
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FACEBOOK
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FLICKR
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5BLFOBQPSUSBJUZPVSFQBSUJDVMBSMZQSPVEPG 4IPUBTFOTBUJPOBMTVOTFUZPVEMJLFUP
TIPXPGG 5IFOKPJOUIFPhotography Week'BDFCPPLDPNNVOJUZBOETIBSFZPVSCFTU
QIPUPTUPEBZæ:PVMMHFUGFFECBDLGSPNGFMMPXSFBEFSTBOEUIFPhotography Week
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F ‰ ű „ k k X Ø ‰ B e‰
Images © Skyglowproject.com
THE BEST THING WE’ VE SEEN THIS WEEK
HERE’S HOW NYC MIGHT LOOK
WITHOUT LIGHT POLLUTION
Filmmakers replace featureless skies above the Big Apple with stunning starscapes
ew York may be one of the most
photographed cities on Earth, but
you won’t find too many night shots
of the Big Apple featuring starry skies due
ƋŅƤƋĘåŸåƴåųåĬĜčĘƋŞŅĬĬƚƋĜŅĹƋʱƋĵ±ĩåŸ
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ÆƚƋƤĜĵŞŅŸŸĜÆĬåØåƴåĹĜĹÏĬå±ųƵå±ƋĘåųţ
Well now we can at least imagine what
New York City starscapes might look like,
ƋʱĹĩŸƋŅŞĘŅƋŅčų±ŞĘåųŸ:±ƴĜĹBåüüåųűĹ
±ĹÚB±ųƚĹaåĘĵåÚĜĹŅƴĜÏØƵĘŅűƴåƚŸåÚ
compositing techniques to create a
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timelapse film showing brilliant, star-packed
ĹĜčĘƋŸĩĜ埱ÆŅƴåü±ĵŅƚŸc¥Ĭ±ĹÚĵ±ųĩŸ
including Times Square, the Empire State
ƚĜĬÚĜĹč±ĹÚƋĘåĘųƼŸĬåųƚĜĬÚĜĹčţ‰ĘåÚƚŅ
are members of Skyglow, a project that
raises awareness of light pollution and seeks
ƋŅŞųŅƋåÏƋůåĹÚ±ĹčåųåÚűĹĜčĘƋŸĩĜåŸţ
ĬĜÏĩƋĘåĬĜĹĩƋŅƵ±ƋÏĘƋĘåƴĜÚåŅţ¥ŅƚϱĹ
learn more about Skyglow, and purchase
books and other merchandise featuring
stunning astrophotography, at the project’s
ƵåÆŸĜƋåØƵƵƵţŸĩƼčĬŅƵŞųŅģåÏƋţÏŅĵţ
W AT CH T HE MOV IE
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S
K
I
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L
S
CRASH COURSE
ESSENTIAL PHOTO SKILLS MADE EASY
TAKE A WOODL AND PORTR A I T
James Paterson demonstrates how to use a variety of compositional tricks
and techniques to capture natural-looking candids among the trees
Walks in the woods offer
plenty of opportunities for
great portraits, of both kids
HOUR
or adults. The landscape of
ƋĘåüŅųåŸƋƋĘųŅƵŸƚŞƤ±ŞĬ屟ĜĹč±ųų±Ƽ
of colours, organic shapes and varying
light that can be used to the portrait
photographer’s advantage.
We went to Wistman’s Wood on
Dartmoor in Devon, UK for our shoot.
This remote and atmospheric forest
of stunted oak trees is a great place
to shoot your portraits, but no matter
1
what type of forest you choose for your
shoot, they all share certain features
that can make for a variety of interesting
compositions in portraits.
With shots of people in woods, there’s
a danger the frame will get too busy. A
wide expanse of trees may be pleasing to
the eye, but when it comes to portraits an
overload of detail can be to the detriment
of the subject. The key here is to find
ways to simplify the scene and draw the
eye to your subject, and we’ll explain a
few ways in which you can do this. You
ÏŅƚĬÚØüŅųåƻ±ĵŞĬåØƚŸå±ƤƵĜÚå±ŞåųƋƚųå
for a shallow depth of field so the
foreground and background branches
are blurred. Or you could compose the
frame so that the surroundings work in
harmony with the subject.
Useful compositional tricks, such
as the rule of thirds and frames within
frames, are a big help, because they can
help you to visualise a tangled mess of
branches into an arrangement that works
for your portraits. With a little practice,
these skills soon become second nature…
S
K
I
L
L
S
STEP BY STEP WOODED WONDERLAND
1
USE NATURAL FRAMES
One great compositional trick is to find a natural
frame that you can incorporate within your
frame. Look for branches and boughs that
curve around, or gaps in tree trunks and bushes.
Shoot through them, or ask your subject to pose
by them so that they appear framed.
2
CREATE SOME DEPTH
Creating depth in your portraits is a great way
ƋŅ±ÚÚƋŅƤƋĘåĵ±čĜϱĬ±ƋĵŅŸŞĘåųåرĹÚĘåĬŞŸ
to lead the eye towards your subject. Find an
angle to shoot from that enables you to include
some out-of-focus details in the foreground as
well as in the background.
3
USE THE LIGHT
Under a canopy of branches there’s a lot of
variation in the light, even on a flat, cloudy
day. If your subject’s face is in shadow look for
another angle, or ask them to turn towards the
light for better illumination. Portraits are, after
all, about the person, so we need to see them.
AUTO ISO
For a simple exposure set-up,
select manual mode and auto
ISO. You can now choose
±ƤŸĘƚƋƋåųŸŞååÚ±ĹÚ±ŞåųƋƚųåØ
while the camera works out
an ISO to suit. We need fast
shutter speeds for handheld
portraits, and light levels can
be low under tree cover, so a
wide aperture such as f/4 or
f/2.8 will help here, as well as
čĜƴĜĹč±ŸĘ±ĬĬŅƵÚåŞƋĘŅüĀåĬÚţ
S
K
I
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L
S
STEP BY STEP WOODED WONDERLAND
4
ADD CONTRASTING COLOUR
Choose outfits with blocks of strong colour
that contrast with the surroundings – stay
away from greens, browns and other
camouflage colours. Warm colours, such
asƤorange and red, are ‘opposite’ to the cool
huesƤof green and blue, so will help your
subject to stand out.
5
LOOK FOR PATTERNS
Trees and branches form wonderful web-like
patterns in old woodlands or forests, so look
for parts of the scene where you can show
this off. There’s a danger of the frame looking
too busy with these interesting backdrops,
however, ŸŅƤƋųƼŸĜĵŞĬĜüƼĜĹčƋĘĜĹčŸƵĜƋĘ
±ƤŞƚĹÏĘƼĵŅĹŅÏŅĹƴåųŸĜŅĹţ
6
FIND AN ANGLE
Get down low with a wide-angle lens and find
a vantage point that enables you to include
the tree canopy in the frame, then position
your subject so they’re framed neatly within
the scene. Watch out for how branches are
angled, too – you don’t want one appearing to
sprout from their head!
QUICK TIP
Portraiture is all about creating a
connection with your subject, and camera
height plays a part – try getting down lower
to see the world from a child’s viewpoint.
E
D
I
T
I
N
G
PH OTOS H O P
LEARN ESSENTIAL EDITING SKILLS FAST!
HOW TO...
MAKE A METEORIC MONTAGE
D O W NL O A D T HE
P R O J EC T F I L E S
h t t p : // t i n y. c c / y o r g s y
ON A PC OR MAC
Discover how to blend images and effects together for stunning
results, and learn some key compositing skills in the process
n this video tutorial we’ll
show you how to create
a fantastical composite
by blending textures, photos and
brush effects. The basis for the
effect is a texture of cracked
I
mud, which we’ll blend with a
face before pulling apart the
cracks to create flying debris.
We’ll also employ ready-made
brushes from the Adobe
Creative Cloud App, which is a
great resource. As for the
beautiful backdrop, this is
courtesy of Nasa – search
online for ‘Nasa images’
±ĹÚƤƼŅƚűĬĬüĜĹÚƋĘŅƚŸ±ĹÚŸŅü
amazing photos, free to use.
W AT CH T HE V IDEO
h t t p : // t i n y. c c /a 1v d o y
WANT MORE PHOTOSHOP TUTORIALS? CHECK OUT PRACTICAL PHOTOSHOP
For more Photoshop tutorials, tips and advice subscribe to Practical Photoshop, the world’s premier Photoshop
magazine. Each month you’ll find an array of inspirational tutorials and accompanying video lessons that will
help you master Adobe’s industry-leading photo-editing software, plus amazing images from the world’s best
Photoshop creatives, free downloadable content, and a beginner’s guide to the basics.
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AWA R D S
The past 12 months have seen some fantastic lenses launched,
and here we present Photography Week’s pick of the very best
AWARDS
S : THE BEST LENSES OF THE YEAR 2018
BEST MANUAL-FOCUS LENS
Irix 11mm f/4
£569/$525 (FFireffly)
A fine lens from an exciting new name
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ĬåĹŸåŸ±ųåĹåƵÏŅĵåųŸƋŅƋĘå%„XŸÏåĹåţ‰ĘåŎŎĵĵüxĉ
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üŅųÆåƋƋåųƴĜŸĜÆĜĬĜƋƼţ‰ĘåŸåŸŅŞĘĜŸƋĜϱƋåÚĵ±Ĺƚ±ĬěüŅÏƚŸĬåĹŸåŸ±ųå
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D
WINNING FEATURES
1 Super-wide angle of view 2%FQUIPGmFMENBSLJOHT
BEST PORTRAIT LENS
Canon EF 85mm
f/1.4L IS USM
£1,569/$1,5999
A superb fast, stabilised portrait lens
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