Photography News issue 23

News

Previews

Clubs

Tests

Exhibitions

Interviews Techniques

Competitions

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Photography News Issue 23 absolutephoto.com

News

Previews

Clubs

Tests

Exhibitions

Interviews Techniques

Competitions

Your FREE newspaper packed with the latest news, views and stories from the world of photography news Photography Produced by Issue 23 17 Aug – 16 Sept

DIGITAL EDITION every month at absolutephoto.com FREE GET YOUR

The competition pros just love to win The HasselbladMasters 2016, page 22

WIN!

Pentax’s flagship DSLR on test Turn to page 34 to see how the K-3 II fares

Bailey’s Stardust in Scotland’s capital Looking back on his 50-year career, page 28

Samsung memory duo Enter the competition on page 62

Threemore fromNikon As well as updating the popular pro 24-70mm, Nikon launches two more pro spec lenses

Full-frame and fully bright A constant fast aperture throughout the zoom is the headline feature of this Sigma wide-angle zoom Continue reading on page 5

Nikon’s most widely used pro zoom, the 24-70mm, has had a revamp. The AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8E ED VR sells for £1849.99 and is available from 27 August. Its VR systemoffers a four EV benefit and its new optical construction features an aspherical ED glass element developed specially to combat both chromatic aberrations and coma.

A long telezoom lens has joined the line-up too. The AF-S Nikkor 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR, priced at £1179.99, puts in a high spec performance thanks to its 19 elements in 12 groups, with three ED glass elements, and boasts Sport VR for perfect panning. Completing the trio is the AF-S Nikkor 24mm f/1.8G ED, offering

a super-close focus distance of just 0.23m and a travel-friendly size. Its 12 elements in nine groups design includes two extra-low dispersion elements and two aspherical elements. It’ll set you back £629.99. Release dates for the 200-500mm and 24mm are yet to be confirmed.

nikon.co.uk

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Photography News Issue 23 absolutephoto.com

News

Panasonic breaks the 20-megapixel barrier

...Continued fromcover

Undoubtedly the camera release that’s got everyone talking this month is the new Panasonic Lumix GX8 interchangeable lens, Micro Four Thirds format camera. Taking what made its predecessor, the GX7, great and running with it, the GX8 incorporates cutting-edge 4K technology, which includes a 4K Photo mode allowing in-camera extraction of eight-megapixel photos fromyour footage. It’s also the first of Panasonic’s models to feature dual image stabilisation, which combines a lens optical image stabiliser and a body image stabiliser to counteract severe camera shake. At the GX8’s heart is a 20.3-megapixel Digital Live

MOS sensor, which is the highest resolution Micro Four Thirds sensor yet seen. It has improved levels of light saturation and a wider dynamic range that’ll deliver a more authentic colour in your images whilst a Venus Engine with a quad-core CPU supports up to 8fps continuous shooting. The GX8 also has a new 2360k-dot Live View Finder that’s tiltable to 90° and both the LVF and touch-sensitive LED screen have been designed to keep up with fast-moving subjects thanks to their quick response times. There’s a review of the Lumix GX8 later in this issue.

panasonic.co.uk

Full-frame and fully bright A constant fast aperture throughout the zoom range is the headline feature of this Sigma wide-angle lens

Changing the very definition of what constitutes a zoom lens, Sigma’s latest offering, the 24- 35mm f/2 DG HSM is one of a kind. It maintains its large f/2 aperture throughout the zoom range, which incidentally covers

the range of three fixed focal length wide-angle lenses. It incorporates large-diameter aspherical glass elements including one FLD and seven SLD elements. Super Multi-Layer coating reduces flare and ghosting whilst a nine-

blade rounded diaphragm creates stunning bokeh. It’s priced at £894.99 and Canon and Sigma fittings are available now, with Nikon to be confirmed.

sigma-imaging-uk.com

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News

Xtra support Manfrotto’s 290 range offers an extra sturdy option with four leg angles

News in brief

Stare into space Find your way into astrophotography with the new Astrophotography Manual (£31.99). Aimed at beginners, the manual takes you through the entire process from choosing your kit to setting up and processing your images. bit.ly/WoodhouseAstro Bags of style Fashion and functionality combine in the new Python catch bag (£220) from Booq. It’ll carry up to two DSLRs along with four lenses and a 15in MacBook Pro Retina, and has dense padding to keep it all safe and secure as well as a rain cover for dry kit. booq.co.uk The winners will see their images appear on a limited- edition travel card wallet. timeout.com Capture the night Beck’s Vier has teamed up with light artist Michael Bosanko and Time Out to launch the #CaptureTheNight campaign to celebrate the arrival of 24‑hour tube travel in London from September.

Manfrotto has unveiled its latest range of tripods, the new 290 collection, which includes four models and accessories. The high point of the range is the 290 Xtra, which approaches the concept of a tripod from a fresh angle. The three-leg section Xtra has four leg angle positions to give an even sturdier base and it comes in either carbon fibre (£194.95 legs only) or aluminium (£99.99 legs only) with lever leg locks providing reliable support. The 290 Dual (£129.95 legs only) has aluminium legs and the 90° centre column concept found in other Manfrotto tripods. It takes just one finger to lift up the centre

column and swing it out to the side, without removing the centre column, for low-level shooting. All the 290 tripods are available as legs only or in various kits with ball or three-way heads. See the website for the latest prices, kit options and full specifications. As well as tripods, there’s an 804 three-way head which includes retractable levers and a 290 four- section monopod to add to the range too, featuring new rubber leg warmers an angled wrist strap. The 290A4 is aluminium and costs £49.95 while the 290C4 is carbon fibre and costs £69.95.

manfrotto.co.uk

All-in-one printer Canon’s newest PIXMA isn’t a jack of all trades; it’s master of them all

Scanning, printing, copying; it’s all part of the package with Canon’s latest inkjet printer, the PIXMA MG3650. It’s totally wireless and all those images that have sat on your smartphone or in your camera’s memory card (providing your camera is compatible) can be sent straight to the printer via the Canon PRINT app, which you can also use

to print images from Instagram too. If you’re a cloud user, you can print straight from there too as well as from Facebook, Flickr and sites like Dropbox and Google Drive. You can get your mitts on the MG3650 in September for the more than reasonable price of £69.99.

Lenses for video

canon.co.uk

Lowepro bag it Four new backpacks for adventurous, all-weather photographers

Samyang announced three pro-level video lenses in its XEEN range. The three new optics are all primes – 24mm, 35mm and 85mm – and all boast the same T1.5 aperture. Designed for maximum resolving power these lenses are ideal for high- definition videos and feature Multi-Nano coatings for minimal flare and ghosting. All three will be available in Canon, Nikon, Sony E, Micro Four Thirds and PL fittings – and each lens costs £1600. has

Lowepro has expanded its bag collection with the Whistler backpack range and updated its adventure backpack offering with the Photo Sport II series. The Whistler range offers the BP 350 AW at £257 and the BP 450 AW at £286. Four season technical backpacks, the Whistlers are ideal for adventure photographers needing to carry a mix of camera and outdoor kit. Access to the interior is via a hinged and zippered lid and the rigid internal support means it

can support the attachment of a tripod or an ice axe. As you’d expect, an extra-protective construction including a waterproof base keeps kit safe. The Photo Sport II series offers the BP 200 AW at £118 and the BP 300 AW at £147. For active photographers, the Photo Sport II is very portable and provides protection without compromising speedy access. Both ranges are in-store now.

xeenglobal.com

lowepro.co.uk

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News

Canon’s helping hand

News in brief

Bear joins Canon Adventurer and rugby fan Bear Grylls is collaborating with Canon and Getty Images’ leading rugby photographer Dave Rogers to give a behind-the-scenes look at the upcoming Rugby World Cup, giving tips on how to capture the greatest moments. canon.co.uk everything from weddings to fashion, has joined Ricoh as its latest ambassador using the Pentax 645Z. He’s known for his unobtrusive reportage style and will be working with Ricoh to promote its products. ricoh-imaging.co.uk NewRicoh recruit Top UK photographer Brett Harkness, who covers

Canon has partnered with the BritishRedCross for the second-ever Humanitarian Citizenship Awards photography competition. The awards celebrate young people who make extraordinary contributions to society. This year’s theme is ‘celebrating your community’, which competition organisers hope will shine a light on some of the amazing acts made by individuals and communities for the good of

others. There are two categories to enter: 17 and under, and 18 to 25. Canon has put up some enviable prizes: the winners of each category will take home a Canon EOS 760D and four runners-up will each bag a Canon compact. Entries need to be in before 20 September and winners will be announced in November.

redcross.org.uk/theaward

All kitted out Sigma’s new dp0 Quattro kit aims to make the most of its ultra-wide angle

Connect withCorning Corning’s latest range of

Sigma has packaged the ultra wide-angle dp0 Quattro with an LVF-01 LCD viewfinder. The dp0 incorporates a 14mm f/4 lens including four low-dispersion glass elements, two special low- dispersion elements and two aspheric elements which work to give less chromatic aberration and distortion so you can make

the most of this impressive wide- angle. The viewfinder included in the kit gives the dp0 the feel of a DSLR, incorporating a high- performance lens and coating. The dp0 Quattro kit is available for £999.99 and there’s a review later in this issue.

USB3 optical cables provides a robust, reliable solution to keep you connected at speeds up to 5GB/s. Thin, light and tough, these cables can be twisted, bent or knotted. corning.com

sigma-imaging-uk.com

Last year’s winner of the 18-25 category taken by Souvid Datta.

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News

Royal expo Join the RPS for a day of inspiration and advice to improve your imaging skills

On Sunday 20 September, the Digital Imaging Expo 2015 takes place at the University of Warwick. Organised by the Royal Photographic Society, it is the biggest ever event staged by the Society and aims to amaze, inform and inspire attendees with its unique blend of talks, demonstrations and workshops. The three keynote speakers are renowned landscaper Joe Cornish, Photoshop expert Steve Caplin, and Eddie Ephraums, book publisher and workshop leader. Then there’s pro photographer Wayne Johns running a Bowens live studio, Mike McNamee representing Epson and demonstrating how to get the best-quality prints, and David Mallows on maximising the power of Photoshop and Lightroom. Finally, there will be trade organisations including among others Nikon, Sigma and Panasonic running product demos and workshops on their stands. For the latest details see the website. This Epson-sponsored event is open to everyone of all abilities, with tickets priced at £35 each for

non-RPS members, £30 for RPS members and £25 for members of the RPS Digital Imaging Group. In the panel (right) is a code for non- RPS members to get 15% discount off the price of a ticket. Car parking is free. It sounds like a great event and well worth getting along to. To find out a little more about it, we caught up with the Group Chair of the RPS Digital Imaging Group, Janet Haines ARPS. Why should people go to the first RPS Digital Imaging Expo? JH: To learn more about photography, regardless of their ability, and to be shown new techniques and be stimulated by new ideas. There will be presentations and workshops from highly regarded professionals in a wide range of subject matter. The unique format of this event will enable you to choose what to listen, watch and participate in. What governed your choice of speakers and can you give us a bit

more detail on what they will be speaking about? JH: We listened to what photographers wanted to know about, then booked high-quality speakers, presenters and specialists in those areas. For example, the three keynote speakers are there to inspire and stimulate attendees. Joe Cornish, reknowned for his amazing landscapes, Steve Caplin, a highly creative worker in the manipulated imaging arena and Eddie Ephraums will look further into the art of photography to find better ways to express a personal viewpoint through the lens.

With so many events run by dealers at lower costs or even free, what do you think visitors will get from attending the day? JH: Unlike commercial events we are not aiming to promote any brand or make a profit from attendees. Our aim is to educate and provide the opportunity for learning in an easy and enjoyable way. ‘It’s all about knowledge.’ There is no extra charge beyond the event ticket; all sessions are included in the ticket price. DI Expo 2015 is good value for money and will be a great day out.

Money off tickets here Non-RPS members and readers of Photography News can get 15% off tickets. The offer runs until 19 September and cannot be used in conjunction with any other offers or discounts. Registration on the RPS website is essential prior to getting to the online booking system. To book tickets go to rps. org/DIGExpo and follow the links. The discount code is EXPOPN15.

rps.org/DIGExpo

Girls! Girls! Girls! On show, more than 50 pictures of gorgeous girls shot by some of the world’s greatest photographers

See the works of some of the portraiture greats, all under one roof at the Little Black Gallery’s Girls! Girls! Girls! Part Two exhibition. Photographers from Bob Carlos Clarke to Mike Figgis, Marco Glaviano and Roxanne Lowit toAlistair Taylor-Young andVee Speers will be showcasing their work which features some of the most-photographed women in the world, including Cindy Crawford, Kate Moss and Rachel Weisz to name a few. It’ll be running from 17 September until 31 October.

thelittleblackgallery.com

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News

Grandprize winner

News in brief

CyberLink’s newMedia Suite Media Suite 13 from CyberLink uses the latest versions of the firm’s award-winning software to provide a complete multimedia suite offering 12 software solutions in one package. Get yourself a free trial from the website if you don’t already own it. cyberlink.com External storage upgrades StarTech’s new dual-bay RAID enclosure for 2.5in SATA drives makes it easy to expand your laptop’s storage, all through a single USB 3.0 host connection. It’s small, taking up minimal desk space, and works with a broad range of operating systems, costing just £81.99. startech.com/uk My Passport My Passport for Mac and My Passport Ultra portable hard drives have been redesigned, now coming in capacities up to 3TB and in four colours: Classic Black, Brilliant White, Wild Berry and Noble Blue. They’re available now with prices ranging from £59.99 to £159 depending on capacity. wdstore.co.uk Perfect portraits Updates have been made to the award-winning portrait retouching software, PortraitPro, with version 12.5 now available to download for existing customers free of charge. portraitprofessional.com DonMcCullin awarded Internationally renowned photojournalist Don McCullin has had his work and contributions to journalism recognised with an honorary doctorate from Bath Spa University. He’s covered youth gangs in his childhood neighbourhood for the Observer and has collaborated with the Sunday Times Magazine to cover conflicts from in Northern Ireland to Cambodia and Israel. bathspa.ac.uk Kingston’s big card Kingston has added a 512GB card to its range of Class 10 UHS-1 SD cards. It has a write speed of 45MB/s and read speed of 90MB/s. Price is expected to be £163. kingston.com/us/flash/ sd_cards

Nikon’s coveted Photo Contest has another name to add to its winners list, as it unveiled the 2014-2015 Grand Prize photo winner, Japan’s Katsuhiro Noguchi. ‘Fukushima Flowers’ was the series of images that landed Katsuhiro the top spot, beating off an incredible 89,000 other submissions from 164 different countries and impressing a panel of 17 judges, which included current photographers, creative directors and imaging experts. Judge Stephen Mayes said of the winning images: “Using the descriptive detail of the

photographic process, the images describe nothing, but instead offer a meditation, first visually and then intellectually and finally emotionally as their significance emerges. And the lasting emotion is of hope plucked from the very earth that betrayed its inhabitants in 2011.” A further 107 winners will be announced on the Nikon Photo Contest website, where you’ll also be able to look through all the winning images.

nikon-photocontest.com/en

B&Wwinner announced The first winner of Tetenal’s B&W European Classics Award has been announced as Oliver Hecht. His image titled ‘Mood’ (above) was selected out of entries from 16 different countries. Managing director of Tetenal, Matthias Hübener said: “We are delighted that many photo fans are currently focusing again on black & white photography and that it is almost experiencing a renaissance. We are of course also thrilled about the submitted photos, they were all of a high quality, oftenwonderfullymagical, artistically fascinating, provocative, witty and original or of unusual aesthetics.”

tetenaluk.com

Gitzo on themove Excellent stability in a small size is the promise of the latest Traveler tripods

Gitzo has updated its popular Traveler tripod range. All feature a 180° leg-folding mechanism and carbon-fibre eXact tubes for greater stiffness. Three series are on offer – 0, 1 and 2, the 0 series being the lightest and most compact. The Series 0 GT0545T costs £559.95; the Series 1 GT1555T and GT1545T cost £639.95 and £619.95 respectively; and the Series 2 GT2545T is £699.95. To partner the Travelers, Gitzo has introduced the GH1382TQD, GH1382QD and GH3382QD ball heads. Their design enables the tripods to be folded tominimum size and they accept most Arca Swiss plates. Prices start from £264.95.

Industrial Britain Capture a photo that celebrates Britain’s manufacturing industry, whether that’s the design stage, technology in action or the finished product, and send it in to EEF/Lombard’s photo comp for a chance to win a share of £5,000 worth of Canon photo kit. It’s the sixth year the competition has been run and there are three categories to enter: professional, amateur and young photographer (14-19 years old). Get your entries in before 30 September and await the winner’s announcement in December.

eef.org.uk/photo

gitzo.co.uk

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Photography News Issue 23 absolutephoto.com

Tell us your club’s latest news, email: clubnews@photography-news.co.uk

Club news

Camera club news If your club has any news that you want to share with the rest of the world, this is the page for it. Your story might be about your club’s success in a contest, or a member’s personal achievement; it could be about a group outing you had recently or when the annual exhibition is on show. Any news is eligible for inclusion, so club publicity officers please take note of the submission guidelines and get your stories in

How to submit

Deadline for the next issue: 10September 2015

We need words and pictures by 10 September for the next issue of Photography News , which will be available from 21 September. Write your story in a Word document (400 words maximum). Please include contact details of the club, exhibition or event – website, meeting times, opening times, whatever is relevant. Images should be JPEGs, 2000 pixels on the longest dimension and any colour space. If the story is an exhibition or event, please send a picture from the exhibition (not the publicity poster) or one from the event. If it includes people please identify them. Attach the Word document and JPEGs to an email and send to clubnews@photography-news.co.uk.

On Saturday 17 October the Ross Cup takes place at The Gold Room in Eastbourne’s Winter Gardens. CameraclubsfromSouthLondon, Sussex and Kent are participating, with around 250 images entered into the Cup, sponsored by Kent County Photographic Association and hosted by Eastbourne Photographic Society. Viewing starts at 12.30pm and judging and scoring will commence at 2pm. All picture lovers are welcome, and entry costs £5, which includes the catalogue and a cup of tea or coffee. Visit the Ross Cup

Society buys new club rooms in city’s Montpellier district venue for Bristol PS State-of- the-art

Above The Shopkeeper by Roy Morris, from last year’s Ross Cup.

kcpa.co.uk

Gardener’s delight Heswall PS kicks off the new season with garden photography talk

Bristol PS’s new home.

To on Friday 11 September Heswall Photographic Society is hosting commercial and editorial photographer Joe Wainwright. Joe will talk about his garden photography, including his win in the 2014 International Garden Photographer of the Year competition, as well as showing some of his images. During the season, Heswall PS meets every Friday at 7.45pm. The full 2015/16 programme is on the website. Visitors are always welcome and they can book a seat for talks of interest on thewebsite. start the season,

After 40 years based in the heart of Bristol’s Clifton area, Bristol Photographic Society had outgrown its premises and was looking for a new venue. The search culminated with the purchase of a new property, which, after extensive building works, now offers top-end photographic and presentation facilities. Bristol PS’s new home boasts a Bowens HiGlide studio system, enough room for an exhibition of around 150 prints and full conference facilities. The societymeets there weekly throughout the year, and from September its annual photography course will be run there. Other photographic organisations can also hire the facilities. The annual photography course is open to members and non- members alike and offers guidance for those just starting out as well as those seeking to broaden their photographic horizons. Email the organiser at bps.ptc@gmail.com to find out if there are still spaces. One of the oldest photographic societies in the country, Bristol PS organises the Bristol Salon of Photography, now in its 70th year. Each year the salon receives over 12,000 images and those accepted into this internationally acclaimed exhibition go on show in Bristol and other South West venues. Check the website for details of the 2016 salon.

heswallphotosoc.co.uk

Potters Bar out & about

During the short summer break, Potters Bar & District Photographic Society members met for two outings. The first toStAlbansAbbey for an evening shoot, only to find the abbey covered in scaffolding (luckily they found a pub); the second to Lee Valley White Water Centre, where the Olympic 2012 kayaking events took place. This outing was more successful, even if it was raining; the photographers got wetter than the water sports participants.

The society’s season starts again on Monday 14 September. Possibly the highlight in the run-up to Christmas is a talk by Bill Coster on 16 November. One of the UK’s best wildlife photographers, Bill will be giving the Dennis Andrews Lecture, talking about the Pacific Northwest. Potters Bar & District PS meets weekly, Mondays 8-10pm, in the Wyllyotts Centre in Potters Bar.

Potters Bar &District PS members get a soaking at the Lee Valley White Water Centre.

bristolphoto.org.uk

pottersbarphotosoc.org.uk

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Exhibition

Interview Mistresses of Light Vanda Ralevska and Beata Moore are the driving forces behind the Mistresses of Light exhibition, which celebrates the work of women landscape photographers and is soon to be on show at the trendy OXO Tower in London. We chat to both organisers to find out more

Interview by Megan Croft

What are your backgrounds in exhibiting? Beata: I have never put on an exhibition of this scale; it was a daunting task, but sharing the responsibility with my friend and fellow photographer, Vanda, made it a bit easier. Vanda: I have been involved in other exhibitions, but similarly toBeata, I have never organised an exhibition on such a scale. It has been a very steep learning curve for me, and it certainly made it easier to share the journey and workload with my friend. Supporting each other and sharing the frustrations as well as the joys made it a life-changing experience for me. What inspired you to put on this exhibition? Vanda: Beata and I have shared the passion for landscape photography for years. We often wondered if there were other women who felt the same way. Let’s be honest, you don’t see a lot of women landscape photographers being published or talked about. We started a community called Landscapes by Women, to support and encourage other women to share their work with the rest of the world. After running the group for three years it felt natural to do more than just show our work on social media and our website. Lately, I have seen more and more work by very talented women so I asked myself, how can I bring their unique and compelling images to a wider audience? What better way than an exhibition in London? Beata: The idea behind the exhibition is to showcase and promote the work of female landscape photographers. I am convinced that an exhibition in such a prestigious location will give women photographers more exposure and a fair share of the attention they deserve. Getting to know some of the extremely talented photographers around us in person made me think about an exhibition which would bring together their beautiful work and which would show the diversity of their approaches in seeing and capturing the surrounding world. What can visitors expect from the Mistresses of Light exhibition? Vanda: In my opinion there is something for everybody. The visitors can admire stunning grand views or the intricacy of intimate landscapes, black & white images depicting quintessentially English countryside, serene long-exposure seascapes, soft tones of autumnal scenes or extraordinary light on the shifting sands and dunes. The variety of individual interpretations connected by the magic of light on the land and sea. Beata: I firmly believe that all visitors will find something interesting in the exhibition. There are classic and modern images, open vistas and details, plenty of colour but also sublime monochrome. The images flow effortlessly, taking viewers on an artistic journey through landscapes and light.

Above Pebbles and Pastels by Cheryl Hamer. Right Golden Waves by Sue Bishop.

There are many talented women who enjoy taking photographs in the great outdoors, they just don’t seem to be known to the public

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Above As Dawn Greets the Day by Vanda Ralevska. Below On Shifting Sands by Marianthi Lainas.

Above Fallen Flight by Deborah Hughes. Left Harris Blues by Beata Moore.

CharlotteGilliatt – exhibitor I have been a member of the Landscapes by Women community for over two years now. We are quite a close-knit group, always offering support and inspiration to each other. The exhibition just seemed to be the next logical step for us. For me, being part of Mistresses of Light is a huge opportunity, not only to display my work next to some of the most influential female artists in the business but also at one of London’s premier venues! The chance of an opportunity like this coming around again is pretty slim… who wouldn’t be attracted!

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Exhibition

Why have you gone for a women only exhibition? Have you noticed or experienced an absence of women in the landscape genre? Vanda: In the past I thought there was an absence of women in landscape photography. However with time I realised that it was just a perception. There are many talented women who enjoy taking photographs in the great outdoors, they just don’t seem to be known to the public. Therefore I think, and hope, that by bringing together an all-female exhibition the perception might change; and women in general will be inspired and encouraged to showmore of their work to a wide audience. Beata: I am aware that art knows no gender, so possibly the next exhibition will present work by both men and women, but at this stage, I feel strongly that women photographers could benefit frommore publicity. What was the reason for favouring landscape as the genre? Beata: I am a landscape photographer and this genre is the closest to my heart. I love taking images of everything in the natural world, fromwide vistas to the smallest details. I share the same passion with many female photographers from Landscapes by Women. Our perception of landscapes is incredibly varied but we share the passion for them, so the choice of a genre was really obvious. What kind of photographer did you want involved in the exhibition? Vanda: I suppose a photographer who has a similar approach to photography to mine: being true to themselves, having passion for the beauty that surrounds us, and finding joy in what they do. Beata: One word describes the kind I was looking for: passionate! I don’t mind classic or progressive, colour or black & white.

How did you come by and decide on the final 12 exhibitors? Beata: Although I know many more talented female photographers, it is the size of the OXO gallery that dictates how many images can be displayed there. All the approached photographers willing to take part and presenting a strong portfolio were accepted in the exhibition. Vanda: We couldn’t accommodate all the photographers we wanted to because of the size of the venue. Though we are hoping that we can find a larger space in the future. How and why did you come to host the exhibition at the OXO Tower? Vanda: I walk past the gallery every day on my way to work, and see many exhibitions there. It is an ideal place to show your work. The extraordinary light, the remarkable space, the vibrant location in the middle of one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Beata: For years I have been visiting OXO and have been enchanted with the great light and atmosphere of it. I love everything about it, the high windows allowing plenty of light from outside, the vibrant energy of the area combined with the restful influence of the River Thames. We are very proud that the selection panel of the OXO was satisfied with the quality of our images and the idea behind this exhibition and as a result, that we have secured such a prestigious gallery. Were you quite selective in who to involve and who not to? Beata: Yes, the selection process had to be established and we were very lucky to work with a great panel that was assessing submitted images. Vanda: We were selective about the images displayed, but not about the photographers

©RachaelTalibart

Top Three Trees in the Mist by Linda Wevill. Above Frosty Morning on the Wey by Rachael Talibart. Above right Frosty sunset at Monsal Head by Karen Frenkel. Right Boat Arriving in Fog by Susan Brown. Left Bow Beech Calm by Sarah Medway.

Cheryl Hamer – exhibitor I feel it’s really important to get more women involved in photography for all sorts of reasons. The Landscapes by Women community is a fantastic way to do this, and the exhibition will really help to raise the profile of women in photography – and inspire more women to express their creativity in this way. This is one of the ways that I am trying to raise my own profile within the world of photography. I love what I do – both making my own images and helping other people to develop, and this will enable me to build on both of those things. I run some workshops exclusively for women to provide a supportive environment in which women can express themselves photographically, and therefore play my part in inspiring female photographers. The exhibition dovetails with this wonderfully and I am very happy to be part of such a groundbreaking enterprise.

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Photography News Issue 23 absolutephoto.com

involved. We wanted to create a show that would portray the diversity of our work but that would also work together as a whole. What were people’s reactions when the idea was pitched to them? Beata: It was a very enthusiastic reaction. We had overwhelming support from day one and a lot of practical help from all the participating ladies. Vanda: Yes, we had a very positive reaction from the members of the group. We are very grateful for all the support and help we are getting from the participants along the way. Were the pieces curated specifically for the exhibition? Beata: Most of the pieces are new and were not exhibited anywhere else. There was no official brief, as I felt strongly that each participant should show their favourite subject and technique. After all, freedom of expression underpins art and allows artists to flourish. Vanda: The images for the exhibition were curated. We wanted the individual participants to express themselves through their art, but at the same time we wanted to make sure that the whole display has a natural flow, and creates a lasting experience for the potential viewers. We worked together with a panel of photographers who have an extensive experience in organising exhibitions to help us and hopefully succeed in our original aim. DeborahHughes – exhibitor Women bring a unique perspective to landscape and nature photography. A photograph taken embodies the photographer behind the lens as much as the subject in front of the camera or the camera itself. Showcasing women’s distinctive frame of reference is not about setting apart or lines in the sand, but a celebration and enlargement of our humanity. I am honoured and delighted to be a part of this exhibition.

You have said in the exhibition introduction that it emphasises the importance of photography in contemporary modern art, tell us more. Beata: Many people still argue that photography is not an art form. I strongly believe that as an individual expression of our vision and creativity is involved, it is art. The fact that we use technology (cameras and computers) may confuse some people, but it is not the camera but the photographer that makes the image. It is high time to focus the attention of the art world on the qualities of photography, be it literal or impressionistic. Hopefully, the exhibition on this scale, in central London, will create a lot of interest and persuade people that the place of photography is firmly established in modern art. Vanda: As Beata mentioned, quite often photography is not considered to be art. However if art is defined as a creative skill resulting in works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power, then I believe that photography has its rightful place in this category. I hope the images in this exhibition will demonstrate that camera work can be, and should be, considered an art form; that the showcased works are not just recordings of reality but express the exhibitors’ perceptions and emotions, and hopefully convey those personal impressions to the viewers. Tome photography is in part the experience of being in a particular place and trying to capture the emotions that the moment in time evokes inme. Similarly to the artists who paint their works of art based on the emotions they experienced.

What are you hoping to achieve with the exhibition? What are your ambitions for it? Beata: I just want to celebrate the fact that there are more and more talented female photographers around and to bring their unique images to a wider audience. Vanda: Forme the exhibition is a celebration of our passion for landscapes and photography. A celebration and joy of sharing that passion with so many other people. Do you have any plans to do something similar again in the future? Vanda: At the moment, I am just trying to focus on the task in hand, and hopefully, together with the rest of the participants make this exhibition a success. After that I am sure we will start thinking about the next steps and potential future exhibitions. Beata: I am sure that in a couple of months I will forget about the mammoth administrative and organisational tasks associated with such a large exhibition and the thrill of executing such a rewarding event will push me into a new artistic adventure.

See it yourself

The Mistresses of Light exhibition, consisting of the 12 photographers’ landscape images, is on at London’s OXO Tower Wharf gallery on the South Bank, fromWednesday 9 September until Sunday 13 September. It’s open daily between 11am and 6pm. Admission is free. oxotower.co.uk/events/mistresses-of-light

Photography News Issue 23 absolutephoto.com

19

Photography News Issue 23 absolutephoto.com

Profile

Before the Judge

Biography

Each issue, a respected judge or exhibition selector shares their thoughts and experiences. This month, we hear from Susan Brown, whose long list of awards includes a Gold Medal in the Edinburgh Salon Susan Brown FRPS, EFIAP (b) DPAGB

SusanBrown Susan started out in photography in 1979 as something to keep her occupied whilst pregnant with her first child. Today, she’s one of the selectors for the Devon Guild of Craftsmen to advise on photographic entries and also judges exhibition for charitable organisation, The Photographic Angle. She’s also very involved with the Royal Photographic Society, sitting on the Licentiate panel as well as Pictorial and Creative panels for the Associateship and Fellowship. Sue’s also involved in the Mistresses of Light exhibition, featured in this issue. Home club I am not a member of a local camera club at the moment but a member of the Arena Group, which is affiliated to the PAGB. Favourite camera I love my Canon EOS 5D Mark III but I try not to get too hung up on the equipment I use. Favourite lens The 24-70mm L series f/2.8, it’s a lovely lens, very clear with high performance and the zoom covers most of what I use. Favourite accessory Because I am so fussy about an image being sharp where I want it to be, I use a Zacuto Z-Finder which fits over the viewing screen and magnifies the image by 3x. Favourite photographer Bill Brandt, I love his moody tones and contrasty monochrome work. He certainly influenced my early The sea and its changing moods and tides have become a passion. I enjoy playing with varying shutter speeds from around a second and up to five minutes. work in the darkroom. Favourite subjects

Words by Susan Brown

When I lived in Buckinghamshire I did quite a lot of club judging; living in Devon it seems more remote but as a PermaJet lecturer I travel a lot anyway so now do less club judging. The first Salon I helped to select was the Midland Salon back in the 1980s and not long ago I enjoyed going back to my first club to select the Bristol Salon. Most recently, I’ve selected at the Edinburgh Salon and I look forward to joining a team at Tallaght in Ireland this October. These are most enjoyable occasions, if time consuming; the organisers are very hospitable and I have been extremely well looked after. The most rewarding part of club level judging is with beginners. I usually discuss technical aspects and then focus on how an image may be improved, either at the taking or post stage. It may be the photographer won’t agree, but hopefully they’ll try my suggestions before deciding. I try to inspire rather than impose my views. When confronted with a snapshot, I try to remember we

all started here – I am aware the picture may be from a beginner. I look for the technical aspects first which are not too challenging, then discuss the possibilities of change of viewpoint or shutter speed which may improve the image, but always finish on a positive. I hope to give them something to think about. The standards in clubs and RPS panels alike seem to be getting higher and more diverse. I find some clubs can work too much to a formula; they are wary not to express individuality in case it does not conform, which is sad. It is better to stand out as an individual and if a judge likes it, it’s a bonus. Many judges enjoy seeing something different which may sway the result. With technology improving, producing quality images with little or no knowledge of photography is getting easier, and the standards are continually rising. It is therefore now more important to take the camera setting off auto and see what it is really capable of – it’ll make a world of difference!

It is better to stand out as an individual and if a judge likes it, it’s a bonus. Many judges enjoy seeing something different

It is rare that I am at a loss for words, but on one occasion I had to speak about an image that I found quite distasteful and the execution had emphasised this. I always try to start and finish on a positive note but on this occasion I was embarrassingly stumped, I just could not think of anything positive to say. Thank goodness it doesn’t happen often. The opposite of that is when an entry is so outstanding that it is inspiring. It is lovely to see an image and feel ‘I so wish I had taken that’. When quality, execution and subject matter all come together in the right conditions: magic! These images are in a class of their own and remain inmymemory for years. If there is a failing in competition images it is being a slave to fashion. There are times when I wonder what hashappenedtoindividuality.When competing, some photographers are frightened to think outside of the box and try something different for fear of failure. Failure is part of a journey to success, we all have to progress and need to keep pushing the boundaries. To me there are no rules in photography. The rule of thirds is a reasonable guideline for a beginner doing a landscape; but the best images are often those that break the rules for a dynamic, successful shot. It was Edward Weston who said: “Consulting the rules of composition before taking a photograph is like consulting the laws of gravity before going for a walk.” We all have a pet hate and mine is HDR and the overuse of plug-ins,

when subtlety has gone out of the window. I do not like to see an image in which the software has decided on the outcome; just using a preset is so often obvious, overdone and unbelievable. However, if used with discretion so that the photographer has controlled the outcome that he or she wants to achieve, that is a different matter. There will always be trends in competitive photography, as well as HDR there is now more experimentation with surrealism. Some outstanding photographers have enormous success with their images somany try to emulate them. The other trend is the tendency to go on workshops. Workshops are fine as a learning tool if they encourage self-expression. Sadly there are some ‘spoon-fed’ workshops around and we see time and time again: similar images from the same workshops. Finally there is the trend of models. There are some models on the circuit at the moment who must now be very wealthy, I can almost guarantee seeing one of them in every competition. It’s quite refreshing to see an inexperienced model that the photographer has had to direct and has succeeded in getting a super image of. If asked to give advice to a photographer starting out I would say, be true to yourself and follow your passion. Just keep trying, you will know when an image finally feels right and what an exciting moment that is.

Right Seaweed on the beach at Bigbury Beach, South Devon.

susanbrownphotography.co.uk

What do you think?

Have you seen a photographic judge at work who you’d like to see profiled in Photography News ? If so please drop us a line to opinion@photography- news.co.uk with the judge’s name and, if possible, their contact details.

Photography News Issue 23 absolutephoto.com

Interview 21

Photography News Issue 23 absolutephoto.com

Profile Greg Schern Tamrac bags have been around for nearly 40 years and last year the brand got a new owner, GuraGear, LLC and a new boss, Greg Schern. We caught up with the new boss, who also runs Gura Gear and Ogden Made, and asked about his future plans

Biography

How did you become president of Tamrac? Tamrac filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in early 2014. My business partner and I put in a bid, and ultimately, we acquired Tamrac in June 2014. I’ve been familiar with the Tamrac brand since forever, and as I looked into things I realised it was a solid brand with a solid heritage but what it needed was a solid business plan behind it. Was there much competition to buy Tamrac? Yesandthatwasoneofthechallenges for us, trying to understand what the competition would do. We were the minnow swallowing the whale because we are a small business and many brands in the business with much deeper pockets were looking at Tamrac too. So it was competitive and exciting too. What about Tamrac appealed? Well, there is the soft, emotional side of it. It was founded in 1977 so had been around for most of my life – my first bag was a Tamrac. Having that heritage behind a brand is something you can’t build overnight, so becoming part of that heritage was really appealing. And despite the bankruptcy and financial issues, customers around the world remained loyal to the brand and that spoke volumes to us. In the year that you have owned Tamrac, what have you achieved? We had to build our new team in Utah and new facilities had to be leased and built as well as our relationships with suppliers had to be expanded quickly. We also had to put world-class systems in place to manage that growth and to take the business where we wanted to take it. Literally on day one we started in product development. At any given time we have 50-60 development projects running and the Anvil line of pro rucksacks is the first of those projects to have come to a market ready position. Tamrac bags are very well known in the UK, so what’s going to be different with the new Tamrac products you’re introducing? We own a brand called Gura Gear and this has always been a high end, niche brand. We knew we had to take that model and apply it to Tamrac. The customers are different but that model can apply. So we looked at products through a fresh lens and took the best practice from Gura Gear to build products to really fit what Tamrac customers

Years in the photo industry? I was introduced to photography at high school, so since 14 years old. Current location Ogden, Utah Last picture taken A motocross stunt rider taken at an Ogden pioneer’s day event. When youwere younger, what did youwant to bewhen you grewup? I always thought that I’d be some type of zoologist. I grew up in Arizona and had my own back garden zoo with ten to 15 animals including snakes.

Dogs or cats? Dogs, definitely. Toast or cereal? I’m a toast man. Email or phone call?

Email or face-to-face. I‘m not really a big fan of the phone and I often travel halfway around the world to have an important conversation.

Above Building on Tamrac’s heritage, president Greg Schern led his team developing the new Anvil range of backpacks (right), which reflects all that made the Expedition range so successful for many years.

When you think you have the answer and make it and use it, and you find it’s not the right answer, you have to start again from scratch. That happened several times with that part of the bag. What aspect of the Anvil line are you most proud of? It’s hard to live in theworld of ‘mosts’ but I am proud of several aspects. I am very proud of the craftsmanship. I am also incredibly proud of the final result from a functional perspective. It’s a great bag to use and it’s comfortable and, ultimately, I think it sets the new highmark for the Tamrac brand and that’s a proud moment too. What has been the reception from retailers? Phenomenal. It has already exceeded our expectations from a production standpoint. From the retail side it is nice to have something fresh and new at a quality level that isn’t seen much in the market any more. What else can our readers expect from Tamrac in the near future? They should expect a phenomenal range both at the professional and consumer levels. The Anvil is just the first of four professional lines and what we are doing at the professional level will translate to our consumer bags.

need but to a much higher standard. So the Anvil line is the best product featuring the best materials and the best workmanship, backed up by great service. Tell us more about the Anvil. How did you work on that? The Anvil line took about 12months, which is six months quicker than what it would normally take us to develop a product. The original design philosophy for Anvil was to take a product line that had been a topseller forTamrac for 20years, the Expedition series, and learn what made it so successful, and without losing that make it completely new. We literally started with fresh sketches and a new design specification list. We had a list of things that this product has to do and a list of things we wished it could do, and hoped we could make the wish list happen at the same time during the design process. The removable belt and accessories that go with it are an example of this. We took into account not only functionality but also the look and feel of the bag. From there we went into 3D sketches and then made samples out of paper like a giant origami project. That allows us to see if the size, shape and placement of things make sense before going through to the effort of patterning it. During the process, were you getting feedback? As soon as we had design iterations

we handed them off to our trusted friends and professionals to try to get some feedback to make sure we were heading in the right direction. We also took advice from our entire supply chain, from our material suppliers down to the factory sewing level to ensure we’re not only building a product that looks great and works well but one that is also efficient from a production standpoint. Are you working with suppliers you were working with already? We do have fantastic partnerships throughout our supply chain and those partnerships are partly why the products are so great. They are smarter than us. The day we are the smartest people in the room, is the day that we’ve failed. We make sure that we are surrounded by people who are experts at every little piece of the business. What was the biggest challenge with Anvil? From my perspective, the biggest challenge was adding functionality to the side attachment points for the Arc and MOLLE (Modular Lightweight Load-carrying Equipment) accessories and the belt. It’s easy to add bits and pieces to a bag, but it is really hard to add them and then keep them clean. That was the biggest challenge and quite frankly that was sampled, resampled, rethought and started over multiple times.

The original design philosophy for Anvil was to take a product line that had been a top seller for 20 years and learn what made it so successful

tamrac.com guragear.com

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