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Your FREE newspaper packed with the latest news, views and stories from the world of photography Pentaxdebuts 50 megapixel DSLR Medium-format model delivers 51.4-megapixel resolution Photography news NEWS PREVIEWS TESTS CAMERACLUBS INTERVIEWS ADVICE COMPETITIONS
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20May – 16 June 2014
Details of our epic midsummer photo shoot, plus all the latest gear news
Keeping you up to date with the top photo stories
Super-high resolution images are what you get with the new Pentax 645 Z medium-format DSLR. It features a brand new 43.8x32.8mm medium-format CMOS sensor with 51.4 megapixels, no anti-aliasing filter and PRIME III imaging engine for advanced image processing and noise reduction. The Real-Time Scene Analysis not only uses the 86,000-pixel RGB sensor to improve exposure control accuracy, but also uses the information to enhance autofocusing and white-balance. A newly designed SAFOX XI phase-matching AF module has 27 AF points, 25 of which are cross-type sensors, and it has a working range of -3EV to +18EV. The CMOS image sensor also provides a live view function, which can help with minute focus adjustments. The housing is made of lightweight magnesium alloy, while the chassis is die-cast aluminium. It’s weather-resistant, dust proof and will keep working in temperatures as low as -10˚C, plus its shutter has been tested to over 100,000 releases. The 645 Z will be available at the end of May, for a price of £6800 for the body only, or £7700 with a standard 55mm lens. • Turn over to read Ricoh’s take on the new camera.
Go behind the scenes at Edinburgh International Howaninternational salonselectsyour images fordisplay SixAPS-CDSLRs on test: which should be in your kitbag?
π To find out more, go to www.ricoh-imaging.co.uk.
Canon, Nikon & Sony models rated, page 24
Issue 8 | Photography News
Photography News | Issue 8
Latest photography news
Themedium-format effect Wondering where the Pentax 645 Z fits into the camera landscape, PN asks Ricoh’s Mark Cheetham to fill us in
NEWS INBRIEF GETYOUR COLOURSRIGHT If you are struggling to get colour management right perhaps you should consider the Datacolor SpyderHD kit, which costs £290 and contains all you need to get perfect colours. www.datacolor.com/uk/ spyder-hd-pr WATERWORKSHOP The Make and Create Water Workshop is being held by Welshot Photographic Academy at the Chester Crowne Plaza Hotel on 28 June, hosted by expert photographer Gavin Hoey. It costs £150 for the day for non-Welshot members. welshotimaging.co.uk Flash modifier expert LumiQuest has a starter kit available, the LQ-140. Selling for £78, it includes a Pocket Bouncer, an Fxtra, a compact gel filter holder and an UltraStrap securing strap. www.snapperstuff.com SOFTENTHE LIGHT
Words by Megan Croft
The launch of the medium-format Pentax 645 Z comes four years after its predecessor, the 645D, which remains on sale at £4250. In that time, the camera landscape has changed significantly, so is there still a place for medium-format? Mark Cheetham, national account manager at Ricoh Imaging UK, certainly thinks so: “The sensor technology used in medium- format cameras is in a different league. The advantages are a higher resolution due to the difference in the number of pixels, more realistic description of depth due to the difference in sensor size, and less noise due to larger pixels. “Important changes in the Pentax 645 Z from the 645D are higher image quality, thanks to a new image sensor, and the addition of more functional features in live view shooting, higher maximum ISO and movie recording. The 645 Z has been improved in every way possible, utilising our portfolio of technologies and feedback from 645D users.” Nevertheless, at £7700 with a 55mm lens, the 645 Z doesn’t come cheap, so who is it aimed at? “A wide spectrum of users,” says Mark. “It is designed for both studio and location use – fully dust and moisture sealed, it can be used in all conditions. The super high resolution makes the Z an excellent camera for landscape and product photography, as well as high-end studio capture. As a package, the Z is the most advanced medium-format product available.”
INSET Ricoh’s Mark Cheetham describes the 645 Z as “the most advanced medium- format product available”.
Sony focuses with A77 II NewAPS-C flagship makes the most of translucent mirror technology
Sony has announced its latest DSLT, the A77 II, coming almost three years after the launch of its predecessor and over a year after the last new Alpha model. Sitting at the top of Sony’s APS-C DSLT line-up, it has the same pixel count as the original A77 at 24.3 million, but the new sensor incorporates a gapless on-chip lens structure to maximise light collection. This, along with the new BIONZ X processor, increases the top ISO sensitivity to 25,600, and maintains the top shooting speed at an impressive 12 frames-per-second. But according to Norihiko Sakura, product manager for Sony Alpha Europe, the most important feature of the A77 II is its improved AF system: “The AF unit is much bigger than the one found on the A77, and it features 79 auto-detection points, including 15 cross points within the most frequently used central area of the sensor,” he said. Speaking to Photography News at the launch of the A77 II, US-based commercial photographer Eric Levin endorsed the autofocus for real-world use. “The speed and accuracy of the AF, even when I was shooting with my 70-200mm wide open at f/2.8 with a narrow depth-of-field, was impressive,” he said. “Another feature I liked was the in-camera image stabilisation, which I think is much better than the in-lens
versions that other manufacturers offer.” Other standout features of the A77 II include a tough magnesium body sealed against dust and moisture, and XGA OLED Tru-Finder and three-way tiltable LCD, and Wi-Fi with Near Field Communication for one-touch sharing and remote control. . π To find out more about the A77 II, go to www.sony.co.uk.
Issue 8 | Photography News
Latest photography news
Manfrotto takes a stand Manfrotto has launched two innovative lighting accessories, providing an ideal solution for strobist photographers. The first is the Nanopole Stand, a two-in-one lightweight stand that can support up to 1.5kg, and can be converted to a handheld boom by removing the central column. The 100cm footprint of the Nanopole stand gives it maximum stability, but it also has an extendable levelling leg and hook for a sandbag.
NEWS INBRIEF PERFECTUPDATE OnOne has updated its latest Perfect Photo Suite to version 8.5. The update makes photo browsing faster and provides more file-management options, among other improvements. The update is available free to all owners of Perfect Photo Suite 8 for Adobe Lightroom, Photoshop, Apple Aperture or stand- alone use. ononesoftware.com Portrait Professional 12 is now out, with a host of new features including an innovative ‘relighting’ mode. The face and feature finder is said to be the world’s best. www.portrait professional.com PROFOTOB1 The Profoto B1 is now available in a kit. The B1 Location Kit costs £3060, which represents a saving of £280 over buying the included items separately. For the money you get two B1 heads, two batteries and a Fast Charger all packed into a comfortable rucksack. www.profoto.com CHEAPERNIKONS Buy a Nikon D3200, D3300 or D5200 DSLR between now and 30 July and you will get £30, £40 or £50 cashback respectively. Cashback offers are also available on a selection of Nikon lenses and the PROFESSIONAL RETOUCHING The latest version of retouching software
Second up is the Snap Tilthead, designed to make using off-camera flashguns quick and simple. The hotshoe attachment is compatible with all branded flashguns, and it has a smart counterbalance mechanism to prevent the flashgun from dropping, plus an innovative locking system for fast set-up. The two accessories are available individually, or as a kit with a carry bag. Prices are to be confirmed.
π To find out more, go to www.manfrotto.co.uk.
Samsung’s next NX Smart technology takes centre stage at entry-level Samsung has unveiled the NX3000, its latest CSC with a 20.3-megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor, a minimum shutter speed of 1/4000sec and five frames-per-second shooting. As you’d expect, it also features all Samsung’s Smart connectivity, with Wi-Fi and Near Field Communication allowing image sharing and control of the camera with a smartphone. The three-inch flip-up display features Wink Shot so you can capture self-portraits just by winking. The NX3000 will be available in white, black or brown, bundled with the new compact 16- 50mm f/3.5-5.6 Power Zoom ED OIS lens. Price is yet to be confirmed, but availability is expected frommid-June.
The winner of the 2014 L’Iris d’Or, Sony World Photographer of the Year is Sara Naomi Lewkowicz with her hard-hitting series Shane andMaggie , whichexamines domestic violence as a process. The other winners have also been announced, with Open Photographer of the Year awarded to Chen Li from China, Student Focus Photographer of theYear going to Scarlet Evans from the UK and Youth Photographer of the Year to Paulian Metzscher from Germany. Winners of professional categories included three UK photographers, Spencer Murphy, Guy Martin and Amanda Harman. Iconic American photographer Mary Ellen Mark was also awarded the Outstanding Contribution to Photography Award. WORLD PHOTOGRAPHY WINNERS
SB-300 flashgun. www.nikon.co.uk/ cashback
π To find out more, go to www.samsung.com/uk.
π To find out more, go to www.worldphoto.org.
Photography News | Issue 8
Latest photography news LENSES AND CASH FROMCANON
NEWS INBRIEF GREATVALUE The Flash Centre is offering great value Quadra Hybrid RX kits starting from £900, offering savings up to £200 and free accessories up to £236 depending on what you buy. theflashcentre.com PRINTACADEMY Courses run by inkjet media experts PermaJet include fine art black & white printing and colour management. They cost £60 per delegate and each delegate receives a complimentary 25-sheet A3 pack of paper. www.permajet.com or email Louise Hill on email@example.com X100S owners might like to know that the TCL-X100 gives a 1.4x magnification so the fixed 23mm lens gives a rough 50mm focal length in the 35mm format. Select Tele- Conversion Lens in the camera’s menu and it’ll automatically process the shots to optimise image quality. No price was available as PN went to print. www.fujifilm.eu/uk CHARGE&SYNC Having the right cable is so important now, but you could just use the Magic Cable Duo with Lightning from Innergie, devices. This £30 USB cable has micro USB for tablets and phones and Lightning for iPad, iPhone and iPod. www.myinnergie.com which can connect to over 10,000 USB FUJIFILM CONVERTER Fujifilm X100 and
The Technical Image Press Association (TIPA) awards for the best photo and imaging products launched in the last 12 months have been announced. Here’s a round-up of the biggest awards: • Best CSC Professional – Sony Alpha 7R • Best CSC Expert – Fujifilm X-T1 • Best CSC Advanced – Samsung NX30 • Best CSC Entry Level – Olympus OM-D E-M10 • Best CSC Expert Lens – Fujinon XF10-24mm f/4 R OIS • Best CSC Prime Lens – Zeiss Touit series • Best CSC Entry Level Lens – Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 EZ • Best Digital SLR Professional – Nikon D4 s • Best Digital SLR Expert – Pentax K-3 • Best Digital SLR Advanced – Canon EOS 70D • Best Digital SLR Entry Level – Nikon D3300 • Best Professional DSLR Lens – Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Extender 1.4x • Best Expert DSLR Lens – Tamron SP 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USD • Best Entry Level DSLR Lens – Sigma 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 DC Macro OS HSM • Best Premium Camera – Nikon Df • Best Expert Compact Camera – Canon PowerShot G1 X Mark II • Best Photo Printer – Epson Expression Photo XP-950 • Best Tripod – Manfrotto New 190 collection • Best Professional Lighting System – Profoto B1 Off-Camera Flash • Best Portable Lighting System – Nissin i40 • Best Storage Media – SanDisk Extreme Pro SDHC/SDXC UHS-II Memory Card
Two new lenses give Canon users more wide-angle options, and there’s a chance to save money as the company reveals its summer cashback offers. The EF 16-35mm f/4 lens is the first ultra-wide lens in the professional quality L-series to feature Image Stabilizer technology. The lens construction includes two Ultra-low Dispersion (UD) elements and fluorine coatings on the front
and rear to prevent dust andwater sticking. The EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 is for APS-C format sensors, and includes Canon’s STM technology for high-performance, near-silent AF. This lens also includes one UD element and optimised coatings. Canon’s summer cashback offers mean you can get up to £150 off a range of kit. Included DSLRs are the EOS 6D and EOS 70D, and a number of EF and EF-S lenses, Speedlites, printers and more also have money off.
π To find out more about the new lenses and cashback offers, go to www. canon.co.uk.
Summer in the Lakes
stunning scenery. Prices are £525 per person for four nights or £750 per person for six nights, includes accommodation, tuition, food, soft drinks and excursions.
Enjoy a summer break in the Lakes with Lakeland Photographic Holidays this August. With workshops led by expert landscaper John Gravett, you can make the most of the area’s
π To find out more and see a full list of winners, go to www.tipa.com.
π To find out more, go to www.lakelandphotohols.com.
Tiffen has introduced two Davis & Sandford camera supports, with innovative designs for versatility and ease of use. The Steady Stick 3QR is designed for when a tripod or monopod can’t be used, and offers a belt- mounted support that shifts the camera weight from the shoulder to the torso. It features a quick release system, and multi-position handle. The Monoped is a monopod with a folding aluminium leg base that provides extra support and has an in-built pivoting ball to make positioning the monopod easy.
π To find out more, go to www.tiffen.com.
Issue 8 | Photography News
Latest photography news
Joinus for Photo 24 Fancy spending 24 hours indulging your passion for photography with a bunch of like-minded souls? That’s what Photo 24 in London, in association with Advanced Photographer, Nikon and the Nikon School, offers and it all kicks off 6pm on Friday 20 June
are some personal safety issues that have to be considered so ‘buddying up’ is advised, or come along with a few friends. If you are wondering how to occupy your time on Photo 24, the capital has massive potential whether you prefer shooting scenic images, graffiti, historic buildings, modern architecture or people. You may try to stick to a theme or two, or just go for blanket coverage and shoot everything that appeals. There is validity in both approaches, but gear up accordingly and remember that whatever kit you bring you’re going to have to carry around for a while, and getting on and off busy public transport is wearing in itself. When you are packing your kitbag for the day, only bring along stuff you need and will actually use. Spare cards and batteries are a must, though, so don’t skimp in these departments, and of course, if you want to do night photography or extreme long exposures a tripod is a must – just not a model that’s too heavy. In terms of lens choice, you could just go for one lens. Something like a 24-120mm is perfect and it
Our sister magazine, Advanced Photographer , is holding its second Photo 24 event in London on 20 and 21 June, and you are very welcome to join in. That said, numbers are limited for health and safety reasons so you fancy coming along, please register. It’s free and the details are in the To register panel right. Once you are registered we will contact you with more details nearer the time about meeting places and we may have the odd photo challenge for you too. It’s also worth saying that while you are welcome to shoot for the whole 24 hours – and as the night is short, there is no reason not to – you can come along for just the Friday evening, or perhaps Saturday afternoon. If you’re canny, you could book a hotel and do both with a few hours’ kip in between. The choice is yours so don’t feel pressurised into thinking you have to be behind the camera for 24 hours solid. After all, the shoot is meant to be fun, not torture by way of sleep depravation. To make the shoot sociable we’ll be organising regular meeting points during the 24 hours and using social media to stay in touch. Clearly, there
ABOVE Photo 24 is the perfect chance to build on your photography skills and enjoyment, with fellow enthusiasts in our bustling capital.
Leading camera manufacturer Nikon offers a range of great products for photographers of all levels. In its DSLR range, there are entry-level models, such as the D3300 and D5300, as well as products like the D800, the highest resolution 35mm format camera around, and the flagship D4 s with its top ISO of 409,600 and 11fps shooting with continuous AF. Put simply, there is a Nikon camera for photographers of all levels and budgets.
π To find out more, go to nikon.co.uk.
Now that you’re burstingwith ideas check your calendar and register now. We’d love to see you
Photography News | Issue 8
Latest photography news
Based at the Nikon Centre of Excellence in central London, the Nikon School offers training to photographers of all levels looking to develop or refine their skills. Courses combine theory and hands-on practical assignments allowing you to put what you’ve learned into practice and range from understanding your digital SLR and lenses to more specific technique-based courses. Whilst the majority of courses run at the School, a selection of skills-based courses that focus on areas such as sports and landscape photography take place on location.
π To find out more, go to www.nikon.co.uk/training/, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or phone 0330 123 0934.
not only saves weight and bulk but also saves lens changing. Or you may prefer several fast aperture, fixed focal length lenses – a combination of a 28mm f/1.8, 50mm f/1.8 and a 85mm f/1.8 sounds perfect for this sort of about town shoot. For maximum flexibility you may opt for two zooms, a standard or wide-angle zoom and a telezoom should do the trick. Lens choice is obviously dictated not only by what you own but also by what you want to shoot on the day. Speaking of which it’s not a bad idea to have a few projects that you want to pursue in mind. You could just shoot iconic landmarks, or buy a Travelcard and spend hours on the Tube touring photogenic stations, or follow the Monopoly board and shoot a picture of every featured property or street. Speaking of streets, consider too the RPS London region’s ambitious Bleeding London photo project. Based on the novel of the same name the idea is to photograph every street in the London A-Z. Pictures must be taken between 7 March and October this year and the aim is to produce an exhibition and book next year. This could be an interesting way to
use your time on Photo 24. See http://bit.ly/1oiuBqb for more details. Or if you want to try something different with your building pictures pick a building or landmark – the BT Tower, St Paul’s Cathedral, 30 St Mary Axe (known as the Gherkin), Big Ben and the Shard are excellent ones – and wander around the locality and take pictures with your chosen structure in the frame somewhere. It will get you walking around, looking for angles and will certainly get you thinking. Now that you’re bursting with ideas check your calendar and register now. We’d love to see you – for just a few hours or the full 24! Toregister Everyone is welcome on Photo 24, so come along with members of your club or on your own and buddy up on the day, but numbers are limited so if you want to join the shoot on 20 and 21 June, please register by going to www.photo24london.eventzilla.net
IMAGES THIS PAGE Set yourself a project, architecture perhaps or even black &white street photography, or maybe take a photo every 15 minutes, regardless of what’s in front of your lens – just a handful of the ways to entertain yourself at Photo 24.
π Register at www.photo24london.eventzilla.net
Issue 8 | Photography News
Tell us your club’s latest news, email: email@example.com
L&LPSannual exhibition Taking place Friday 30 and Saturday 31 May is Leicester & Leicestershire Photographic Society’s Annual Exhibition. The exhibition is at Christchurch, Clarendon Park in Leicester and includes work from members, other clubs and individuals. “All visitors will be made very welcome,” promises publicity secretary, Jean Burbridge. “‘We’re a very friendly club.’ That was my greeting from the most venerable, 97-year-old member of the Leicester & Leicestershire Photographic Society on my first visit,” Jean continues. “The club is now in its 129th year, and the society continues to flourish: not too big to be impersonal; large enough for good competitions. And the youngest member is just 15.”
π To find out more, go to www.landlps.org.uk.
Among Leeds Photographic Society’s various projects is a presentation of 12 images to the city’s Wheatfields Hospice to decorate a new ward in the Sue Ryder hospice. The project has support from Neil Hudgell Solicitors, a Yorkshire law firm looking to support projects financially through its community trust. This month, from 24 to 26 May, the PS will be holding its Annual Exhibition at Salts Mill, Saltaire, Bradford. Entry is free to the display of over 70 prints and members will be on hand to chat. Leeds PS certainly don’t stand still. This season members have several projects afoot BusyLeeds PS Welwyn Garden City Photographic Club is, I feel, a progressive club with our own groups such as Experimental Photography, Local Photography, Nikon Users, Canon Users and Landscape Photography. Last season we moved premises – not always easy and inevitably means losing members – but it has allowed these groups to meet, on a rota, before the evening’s main event. Naturally, we have the traditionalists, but with ages ranging up to the 80s, we are thriving with over 100 members. Last season, after eight years as secretary, I thought it time to step down and encourage younger members With several break-out groups and a new venue, Welwyn Garden City PC is thriving, explains Eileen Pegrum
NEWS INBRIEF CALL FOR ENTRIES Entries open on 29 May for the Beyond Group’s 7th National Exhibition for prints and projected images; the closing date is 20 July. Categories include Best Live Performance, Best Landscape and Best Creative in colour print. Entries can be made online (preferred
And until the end of July, the society is exhibiting 16 prints at the Atrium Gallery in the Bexley Wing of Saint James’s Hospital. Beauty In The Natural World is in memory of Leeds resident Norah Jackson who was treated at the hospital last year, but sadly lost her fight with cancer. The images are available to purchase with proceeds going to the Yorkshire Cancer Centre.
method) or by post. www.beyondgroup. org.uk
Landscaper to be star of this year’s Beacon Lectures CHARLIEWAITE TALKATBEACON
π To find out more about both of these events, go to www.lps1852.co.uk.
CLUB SPOTLIGHT Each month we focus on a camera club. If you want your club featured, write 200 words about your club and why it’s going places, then send the Word document and up to five JPEG images frommembers to firstname.lastname@example.org.
spiritual quality of serenity and calm. Instantly recognisable, his landscapes are rare perfections of light, colour and composition and offer the viewer a luxuriant portrait of a planet at peace and one where mankind and his activities are in harmony with his surroundings.” The talk is on 20 June at the Swan Theatre in Worcester. Tickets are £15 and can be reserved by calling the theatre’s box office on 01905 611427.
Beacon Camera Club of Malvern is hosting its annual Beacon Lectures and this year’s star speaker is landscaper Charlie Waite. As Beacon’s publicity officer Trevor Bells says: “I am sure that you are aware that Charlie is widely considered to be one of the world’s leading landscape photographers. His photographic style is often considered to be unique, in that his photographs convey an almost
EXHIBITION Hailsham Photographic Society’s annual photographic exhibition takes place next month. admire the members’ efforts at the Charles Hunt Centre (the Age Concern building) in Hailsham. The 2014 Photographic Exhibition includes around 140 images, both in black & white and colour. The exhibition is open 10am-4pm each day, and there’s parking nearby. Admission is free, but take your pennies along to indulge in refreshments and the raffle, and maybe buy a print or greetings card. There will also be the chance to vote for your favourite photo. (Image above by Liz Scott ARPS AFIAP). www.hailshamphoto graphicsociety.co.uk From 16 to 21 June, you can enjoy and
π To find out more about Beacon CC, go to www.beaconcameraclub.co.uk.
onto the committee. Life is changing with younger members having the opportunity to study photography and graphics at school and so in this digital era, they can take the club forward. I personally feel the photography now is ‘artistic’, but this is the way of the world, and remember, even in the darkroom manipulation was involved.
We welcome any aspect of club news. It could be a member’s individual success or it might be a recent club shoot, maybe the club won a regional contest, has a special anniversary or exhibition coming up, or a big speaker due and you simply want to sell more tickets.
Whatever it is, if you want any items considered for Club News email them to email@example.com before the deadline, 2 June.
Deadline for the next issue is 2 June, out Monday 16 June.
If your club or society publishes a newsletter, please add us to the mailing list using this email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
π To find out more about Welwyn Garden City Photographic Club, go to www.welwynphotoclub.org.uk.
Photography News | Issue 8
Issue 8 | Photography News
BEFORE THE JUDGE Angy Ellis Each issue, a respected judge or exhibition selector shares their thoughts and experiences with us. This month, we put Angy Ellis, a relative newbie, through her paces
MEET THE JUDGE Angy Ellis: Angy lives in Sunderland. She stumbled on photography six years ago; before then she’d never even owned a camera. which is close to my home town of Spennymoor where my family still live. Years in photography? 6 Favourite camera: The one I am currently using, my Nikon D600. Favourite lens: I like having fun with my 16mm fisheye. Favourite photo accessory: My brand new camera bag Favourite subject or technique: Creative portraits Favourite photographers: Yousuf Karsh for beautifully captured portraits. Plus I’m inspired by the wonderfully talented, creative photographers at local clubs and at international salons. Awardswon: At this early stage I’m not interested in obtaining distinctions but know I will be, eventually. I enjoy the club and international competitions and am proud to have been awarded two gold medals; one achieved in my first year entering internationals. I have also been awarded ribbons and many acceptances as well as club successes and trophies. Home club: Durham Photographic Society,
Words by Angy Ellis
So what gave me the urge to enter the world of judging club photography? Simply, it’s part of my personality to get involved in everything I do as much as possible; and no other hobby, so far, has taken over my life as much as photography. To be totally honest with you all, I had paid £475 for a 30x20in family portrait that I never wanted to pay again. I bought my very first camera, an Olympus E-410, and walked into Durham Photographic Society six years ago expecting someone to help me understand all the dials and letters around it. It was a competition results night and when I saw the quality of images projected, and overheard the technical discussions, I realised I had an extremely steep learning curve ahead of me. That is where the excitement and my love of photography started. I entered the competitions immediately and what became clear to me early on was that I was winning club competitions and doing very well in internationals, without really knowing the ‘rules’; rules that I heard many judges use. Such as the rule of thirds, lead-in lines, the centre of interest needing to be bright, red is a good colour to highlight, use threes and fives, etc… I could go on and on and on. Now in my sixth year I am fully aware that these rules will hopefully stop the author from making a bad picture, but I do feel that if you live by them, they could restrict the creative side of your photography. Back then I had no constraints. This is why now, when I look at an image it is my initial reaction I’m after rather than the implementation of the rules. So, how did I get here? I started by expressing my interest in becoming a judge to our president. My club informed me of a judging workshop early last year so I jumped at the chance. It was very well organised, the room was full of new faces, all passionate about photography and all with different photographic styles. It was great fun meeting them all. We all participated in group activities as well as standing up in front of everyone to put into practice what we had been taught that day on assessing images and, of course, to be assessed ourselves. I had been a successful sales coach for a large high-street bank for many years so standing in front of an audience giving constructive feedback was my normal stage. I’m fully aware that I don’t have the extensive photographers’ vocabulary, printing knowledge or past darkroom experiences, but I don’t think that hinders me at all when deciding what I enjoy about an image and why. The great thing is, photography is subjective, but it can be judged. If I prefer one particular image or style to another, that does not make me wrong. I’ll
be honest. I do prefer an image that is creative, that is outside the box, that offers something extra from the norm. I get bored with the norm unless it’s done really well. I do need more to impress me. During the past few years I have seen similar but at the same time different in other judges. It may not be a style that a judge focuses on but a technical issue. I’ve heard judges concentrating totally on sharpness. They judge the work unworthy of being placed if it’s not pin-sharp. I personally don’t believe an image should be hit over the head with the Unsharp Mask tool. If I can see the detail in a competition entry that’s fine by me and this is why competition nights are so exciting, because we are all different and you can’t predict the judges’ likes, dislikes and decisions. Decision time So here I am at home with my images to judge, and after my initial viewing, where I’m hoping for a reaction, I then look closer and the skills and experience of the author will sometimes become evident, but not always. I feel that my gut instinct works best to be able to place the images. I am comfortable and confident with my decisions as well as the way I make them. Personally, at club level, I would never consider looking at metadata or changing PDIs to try different things, as I’ve heard other judges say they have done. Let me be clear, I’m not at all saying that this is wrong. I simply prefer my emotional reaction first and then I’ll look at the basic expectations of a competition entry and that’s where I stop. If an image has impact and my initial response is ‘wow!’ or ‘ahh!’, then it’s off to a good start. How can you top, or deny, that gut reaction? Add to that the technical merit and I have my winner. So we come to the results night where I visit the club for the first time. The images are without author’s names so I have no idea if it’s a newmember or a long-serving, experienced photographer and
why should I? It wouldn’t make any difference to how I feel about the image; everyone likes to hear some encouragement no matter how experienced they are. On the night I try not to describe what’s in the image: ‘here we have a bird sitting on a branch of a large tree’. I describe how it makes me feel, why or why not the image has impact and the reaction I got from seeing it the first time. When feedback is needed I will gently point out any technical faults as well as the strengths. I try to find three positives about each image that I can say on the night. Everyone should feel appreciated for their efforts. I do feel it’s not necessary or obligatory on every image to search for a negative or an area for improvement. I strongly believe you can have a box of images and like them all. I don’t see the need to look for something negative to justify why it’s not placed when it’s simply that others made more of an impact: perhaps due to the subject matter or an element that’s triggered something emotional in my own genetic make-up to make it special to me. My style is fast paced, I’m quick; I’m quick in most things that I do. If anyone has heard me speak or worked with me, it’s go, go, go. I’m not one to talk at length about an image, I get straight to the point and this makes for a fast-moving, energy-filled experience. After all it means that we will have more time for tea and chat this way. I do try to add my own personality and humour into the night. I’m fully aware that people may be sitting and listening for up to two hours on not the most comfortable of seating so let’s have fun where we can as the pins and needles set in in places best not mentioned. So after a night of judging if I get a letter of thanks or am asked back (which I have been), I know I’m on the right track. It’s only been eight months! I’ll get better in time as we all do. As long as I’m having fun I’ll keep doing it. As of now I’m thoroughly enjoying all that judging has to offer.
Ifmy initial response is ‘wow’ or ‘ahh’, an image is off to a good start. Howcanyou top that gut reaction?
Photography News | Issue 8
Issue 8 | Photography News
A festival of photography As the 152nd Edinburgh International Exhibition of Photography approaches, chairman Richard Bingham gives us a whistle-stop tour through the exhibition then and now
in the magnificent Georgian premises of the EPS in Edinburgh’s New Town. Because of the relatively small number of prints accepted, the percentage acceptance rate is comparatively low, soanEdinburghacceptancesticker (we still give gold labels) is highly prized. It is often said that getting an Edinburgh sticker is like getting an award at other salons! When we celebrated our 150th exhibition two years ago, we changed to producing a larger catalogue depicting every acceptance. This proved very popular and gained us a FIAP 4* rating, which we have maintained to date. Howlonghaveyoubeeninvolvedintheexhibition? I took over the running of the exhibition in November, but prior to that I was one of the many involved every year assisting with the unpacking of packages of prints, preparing material for the catalogue and all manner of tasks required to run an exhibition. What have been the big changes since the first event youwere involved in? I’ve only been in the hot seat for about six months, so some changes were already in the pipeline, such as going over entirely to online entry. We have also implemented a new website with a new domain name at www.edinburghphotosalon.org. How many entries do you get typically and have numbers variedmuch in recent years? In a typical year we receive over 2000 prints from
over 400 photographers in about 40 countries. In our 150th anniversary year, we received over 2500 prints. In 2010 there were slightly less than 1800 entries from 286 photographers, yet the year before that 429 photographers entered 2470 prints; it’s a bit of a yo-yo. Howdo you choose your judges? The appointment of the judges is very important as it is their choice of prints that determines the whole nature of the exhibition. It is likely that with the same pool of prints to choose from different judges could well pick a different result as the entry standards are generally high and an acceptance rate usually below ten per cent means that many worthy images don’t make it through. Our organising committee chooses the judges based on personal knowledge of the people concerned and FIAP mandates that at least one of the judges must be fromanother country, which in the UK is easy as FIAP defines Scotland, Wales and England as three different countries. This year we have Chris Palmer FRPS AFIAP DPAGB APAGB (England); Ross McKelvey ARPS AFIAP MPAGB BPE4* (Northern Ireland); and Kevin Adlard FRPS EFIAP (England) with a reserve nominated as Neil Scott FRPS EFIAP/b DPAGB (Scotland). Why has it remained a print exhibitionwhenmany other exhibitions have moved entirely or partially to digital? The clue is in the word exhibition! Our mission isto
ABOVE LEFT Bill Badger, Adrian Lines, EFIAP MPAGB ABPE (England) TOP RIGHT The Sofa, Tim Pile, ARPS EFIAP/b MPAGB (England) ABOVE RIGHT Pondering, Peter Smith, ARPS EFIAP DPAGB (England)
Interview by Megan Croft
Tell us a bit about your own photographic background. I was given my first camera, a second-hand Box Brownie, when I was seven years old. I became an enthusiastic but indiscriminate snapper and along the way I learned how to develop and print. A new job brought me to Edinburgh and in August 1976 I visited the Edinburgh International Exhibition. This was an eye-opener for me – photography as an art form! I had not even been aware of camera clubs before this. At the exhibition the Edinburgh Photographic Society had posters inviting anyone interested to come along to their annual open night, so I went and joined up. As well as the monthly competitions to hone one’s skills, a programme of inspiring weekly talks from visiting lecturers turned a casual pastime into a major passion. Little did I realise when I saw that exhibition for the first time that nearly 40 years later I would find myself in charge of it. What’s special about the exhibition? The Edinburgh Photographic Society (EPS) was founded in 1861 andhasheldan international exhibition almost every year since then. The Exhibition is print only and this makes it a very rare event indeed, as entrants have to supply their own prints from which just 202 are accepted each year. This exact number arises from the number of prints that can be displayed
Photography News | Issue 8
mount an exhibition of the best of international photography open to the public for the whole month of August when Edinburgh is at its busiest with the various overlapping festivals. The several thousand visitors range from experienced photographers who know our exhibition is there, to the more casual tourists who find us in the Fringe programme. Once they have found us, many return year after year. A digital salon could not adequately be displayed in the same way and there are extra skills involved inmaking prints, which we wish to encourage. Howdoes the selection process work? We have a two-stage process now known widely as the ‘Edinburgh System’, which has also been adopted elsewhere. On the first day we divide all the prints between four rooms, each with a mix of colour and mono. The three judges take a room each and scrutinise the prints at close range, sorting them into ‘yes’ or ‘no’ piles. Any ‘yeses’ are set aside for the second round and the ‘noes’ stay in that room. The judge then moves onto the next vacant room, and repeats the process, so by the end of that round every ‘no’ in all four rooms has been closely examined and rejected by all three judges. This step tends to halve the total number of prints which get through to the second round. The next day, the judges are shown each of the ‘yeses’ individually on an easel in natural daylight. The judges allocate a mark of between two and five and the total score is noted down. Once every print has been scored, we then look at the totals of the different marks to see where we stand in relation to the desired 202. Sometimes if the judges have been kind with their marking, the sum of 12s to 15s exceeds 202 and we then ask the judges to revisit all the 12s to eliminate the number required. More often it is necessary to revisit all the 11s to promote some to the acceptance level. Eventually we reach the magic 202. Then the judges view the 13s to 15s to select the award winners. By the end of the second day we have an exhibition. Which are the most successful countries and which are the up-and-coming countries? England has tended to be the most dominant, usually with between one quarter and one third of the entrants and half or more of the total acceptances, with Scotland in a strong second place. China seems to be steadily increasing in numbers, for example in 2010 there were just nine entrants with 64 prints, but by 2012 we had 26 entrants from China with 223 prints. What current imaging trends have you noticed? We get a lot of composite images, some of which can be very plausible, others more surreal. Some make use of a lot of drawn components, rather than purely photographic, creating what is undoubtedly art, but arguably no longer photography. Our visitors each year have the opportunity to comment in a visitors’ book and often there are comments like ‘too much Photoshop’. From your personal standpoint, what sort of imagery excites youmost? Pure imaginative photography without fancy additions or contrivances. Simple images tend to have the biggest impact. What are the biggest weaknesses that you see in entries? Poor print quality. I often see prints that I recognise as having been accepted into digital salons but the image
ABOVE Strangers in the Night, Max van Son, AFIAP (The Netherlands) RIGHT Kindergarten Kids, Sue Moore FRPS MPAGB FIPF (England) FAR RIGHT Shadowlands, Steve Smith, FRPS MPAGB (England) BELOW RIGHT Viewpoint, Neil Scott, FRPS EFIAP/b DPAGB (Scotland)
has not translated well to paper. It takes more effort to produce an exhibition quality print, particularly when the standard of competition is high. Do you have any advice for photographers wanting to enter and be successful? First step is to read the rules! For example, we occasionally receive images, which don’t meet the size guidelines or aren’t fully monochrome and have to be set aside as un-judged. Second, submit images that are attention grabbing – imagination and simplicity go a long way. Remember, if your print gets as far as the second round, the three judges only spend a few seconds deciding what score to give it, so the more the picture is likely to grab them, the better the chance of a good score. Lastly, make sure that your print quality is exemplary and that generally tends to mean detail in both the highlights and the shadows. Other common defects are oversharpening with a computer, poor colour balance and unsuitable choice of paper surface. Remember the judges examine them very thoroughly in the first round and have time to spot any technical shortcomings. It would be great to have more exhibition space, which would enable us to put on a bigger exhibition. As affordable exhibition space in Edinburgh during August is rarer than unicorn droppings, any solution to increase hanging capacity has to happen within our own premises. We do have ideas for this, but don’t hold your breath! What are your future ambitions for the International Exhibition?
The exhibition welcomes entries from amateurs and professionals alike from around the world. Entrants are permitted to submit up to four prints in each of the two categories: Open Colour and Open Monochrome. The fee for entering is per section and is charged at £8 for one section or £11 for both. All entries must be submitted in print format and the last date for entry is 18 June 2014. All 202 accepted images will be exhibited at the Photographic Exhibition Centre in Edinburgh, 3-31 August (10am-5pm) during the Edinburgh International Festival.
It takesmore effort to produce an exhibition quality print, particularly when the standard of competition is high
π To find out more about the exhibition, go to www.edinburghphotosalon.org.
Issue 8 | Photography News
AGE: 50 YEARS IN THE INDUSTRY: 25 CURRENT LOCATION: I live near Bristol but work out of Hemel Hempstead. LAST PICTURE TAKEN: An F-Type Jag to showmy son HOBBIES? Swimming and reading (not at the same time) WHEN YOUWERE YOUNGER, WHAT DID YOUWANT TO DOWHEN YOU GREWUP? Coffee farmer DOGS OR CATS? Neither, I have two rugby playing sons
so don’t need any more animals. TOAST OR CEREAL? Porridge EMAIL OR PHONE CALL? Call me (maybe?).
PN picks the brain of Epson UK sales manager Phil McMullin, who, with 25 years’ industry experience, is well placed to answer our incisive questions
Can you tell us about your role at Epson? I’m sales manager for Epson’s UK ProGraphics large- format printer division. I joined the company just under a year ago following lengthy stints at Xerox, Kodak and more recently running the UK media business for sign specialist Spandex. Please give our readers an introduction to Epson. Epson began life in 1942 as a watch components manufacturer, Daiwa Kogyo in the Japanese city of Suwa, Nagano Prefecture. Since then, Epson has grown to become a globally recognised brand and leader in imaging and innovation. Epson started with nine employees, operating in a modified storehouse used for miso, a traditional Japanese seasoning used in some soup and noodle dishes. The Epson brand was created in June 1975 and the foundation of Seiko Epson took place in November 1985. We haven’t looked back and along the way we’ve created many milestone products and industry firsts, including most recently the BT-100 Moverio in 2012, the first consumer see- through mobile viewer making big-screen multimedia entertainment accessible on the go. The second generation BT-200 is due out later this year. We are bucking the trend, compared with how some other Japanese technology companies are performing and our latest financial results reflect this. Our revised company strategy focusing on core technology areas is payingdividends andwe’ve seennet sales increasing by 17.9%, passing the¥1,000billionmark for the first time since 2008. We’ve strategically aligned our product mix and adopted new business models in existing business segments. The continued success of our high-end printing business for photographers and fine artists and the launch of commercial printers in areas such as signage and textile printing is really helping to drive this. It’s proof that our focused corporate strategy is now paying off, that our technology is robust and our product line-up is strong. You must be thrilled that the Epson EH-TW7200 won best photo projector at the TIPA awards recently. Why do you think this projector has been so well received by such a large and varied range of consumers? The Epson EH-TW7200 projector is a fantastic product that is performing really well in the home cinema market. It’s won a number of awards this year and we’re naturally delighted with its success. It offers the features usually found in high-end models, such as a wide lens shift and very high contrast ratio, but with a much lower price tag. It’s a great product, packed full of features but with a price tag that’s right for the market. With theprinting industryexperiencingaslumpon thewhole, how is Epson faring?
Within the camera club circuit, and indeed in the market as a whole, projectors are on the rise. Is there still the market demand for professional home printers? Absolutely, we know there is the demand more so than ever as photographers realise that making their photographs look good on display also depends on the quality of the printer and the lifelike colours it is capable of reproducing. Epson plans to release ten new inkjet printers over the next 18 months. Is there a product in that line- up that would excite the exhibiting photographer? We have plenty of newproducts to be launched across all markets and sectors, but we can’t share any details yet – but watch this space! Epson’snext-generationPrecisionCoretechnology facilitates ultra-precise printing and is already available for commercial and business printers. Do you foresee this technology tricklingdown into home printers? PrecisionCore was announced in September last year and has so far been seen in some of our industrial and office products. Over time we will increase the range and at some point we could see this technology used in home printers. Research and development is hugely important to us and demonstrates our commitment to key technology platforms. We invest $1.75 million each day into R&D and have around 5000 patents registered each year. We currently have 50,000 live patents making us one of the world leaders in terms of patents registered. Reuters listed us as one of the top 100 Global Innovators alongside the likes of Google, Microsoft and Boeing. Some people turn to third-party inks because of the cost saving. How does Epson justify the price of its inks? The printing system is a complex combination of printer, ink and driver technology; they work together to produce the results that our customers tell us they expect from our printers. We can only guarantee this printer performance (output quality, trouble-free use, printer life etc…) when used together with Epson ink. There are many so-called compatible ink cartridges available on the market at varying prices and of very varying quality. Ultimately, the choice about which products to buy is up to the consumer. Sadly, the low prices of some non-original cartridges lead consumers to believe that they’re getting a good deal, however this is not always the case as it can lead to What kind of money and resources does Epson invest in research and development?
printer quality and reliability problems and ultimately require the printer to be replaced before the end of its normal life. Fortunately, most customers recognise and appreciate the quality of Epson products and we will continue to produce products that meet these standards and deliver the performance and reliability that our customers say they expect from us. There is an increasing trend for Wi-Fi enabled cameras at the moment. Do Epson printers incorporate similar technology that would enable photographers to print wirelessly from their devices? A number of our photo printers already offer remote printing with Epson Connect. This allows you to print wirelessly from smartphones and tablet PCs, using Epson iPrint, and from anywhere in the world, by emailing directly to the printer’s unique email address. Many of our printers are also Google Cloud Print and Apple AirPrint ready. Many of our printers have automatic Wi-Fi set up so you don’t need to know your network settings or connect with a USB cable during initial set-up as the printer automatically finds the relevant connection settings to configure itself. In our printer business I would say this is our PrecisionCore printhead technology. It represents one ofthelargestinvestmentsinresearchanddevelopment in Epson’s history and is our most advanced printhead technology to date. It has the flexibility to deliver high-speed solutions for commercial, industrial and office printing and extends our tradition of providing renowned colour quality and output durability across the widest range of applications. For our projection business, it’s definitely 3LCD, Epson’s core technology found within all our projectors. Projectors that use 3LCD technology create images using three LCDs and include a sophisticated combination of Epson’s original micro device and optical component technologies. It creates colour visuals that are made up of every possible colour and expressing every type of movement, resulting in the reproduction of truly natural, bright and beautiful colours. What are your future ambitions for Epson? Our ultimate goal is tobe number one in all themarkets that we operate in. This is a really ambitious statement but I think we’re in pretty good shape to move forward and achieve this. Since joining Epson, what are the most pivotal technological advances you’vewitnessed?
We invest $1.75million eachday intoR&Dand have around 5000patents registered eachyear. We currentlyhave 50,000 live patents
π To find out more about Epson, go to www.epson.co.uk.
Photography News | Issue 8
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