ISSUE 87 13 Apr-10 May 2021 photographynews.co.uk
Big test: Fujifilm GFX100S / 102 megapixels, a compact body and yours for £5499
Close up and personal / Discovering
Prize word search / Win a Samsung 256GB microSDmemory card
hidden worlds in minute detail Sigma’s 60 sensation
Small is beautiful. If your heart yearns for full-frame image quality, but you’re concerned with size, check out Sigma’s fp L, a 61-megapixel pocket-sized digital camera
THE fp L is the latest arrival in the Sigma fp Series, comprising the world’s smallest full-frame digital cameras. A 61-megapixel body with a guide price of £2000, the L joins the 24-megapixel fp model, currently selling for £1799. As a renowned camera and lens manufacturer, Sigma
Part of the pod Join the Photography News team for its exclusive podcast. With technique advice, photographic inspiration, special guests and plenty of answers to listeners’ questions, it’s an unmissable treat for imaging enthusiasts. A new episode of The Photography News Podcast appears every fortnight. The whole archive is available to browse on the website, Apple Podcasts, Spotify and YouTube. photographynews.co.uk
introduced the fp range to offer content creators outstanding resolving power and image quality, while keeping kit compact. The fp L boasts a full-frame, back-side illuminated Bayer sensor that produces DNG Raw files as well as JPEGs. For movies, it delivers 4K 3840x2160 footage at 23.98p, 24p, 25p and 29.97p. With such a high resolution available, Sigma has been able to include a digital crop feature that works for stills and videos. Users can
make more of their lenses, experiencing minimal quality loss. A hybrid phase/contrast detection system is responsible for autofocus. It employs an electronic shutter only, plus the body uses the L-Mount.
The fp L is a monitor camera, but an optional EVF-11 can be added if you want an external viewfinder. The body and EVF-11 together cost £2449.99. Both products are available from 16 April. sigma-imaging-uk.com
2 Photography News | Issue 87
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Fujifilm aims for timeless Instax success
APOTY, CUPOTY, EPOTY, IGPOTY, LPOTY, TPOTY, UPOTY, WPOTY… that’s a feast of acronyms for POTY (photographer of the year) contests – astronomy, close-ups, the environment, garden, landscape, travel, underwater andwildlife. And that’s off the top of my headwithout Google! There’s probably a contest for every photographic subject going. It’s not just competitions for photographers where prizes and recognition are seriously tempting. There are exhibitions and salons, where financial rewards are usually much lower, but it’s competitive – and there’s a great sense of gratification if your images are accepted. Competitions, exhibitions and salons have been part of photography since very early doors – the RPS International Print Exhibition is 163 years old and the world’s longest running. This year’s IPE closes 27 April and has a prize fund of £4000. Just in the past fewdays, three contest press releases have popped intomy inbox – the details are in this issue. I was interested in one enough to contact the founders, Dan and Tracy Calder, to find out what drove them to launch Close-up POTY three years ago. I also did a double take at the Canon Redline, because the overall winner gets a staggering prize package worth £14,000, including an EOS R5 and three RF lenses. I used to love entering contests and salons – and didOK. The lure of cash and gear prizes was too tempting to resist, and I would buy all the photomagazines and enter everything I could. It cost time andmoney, but it got my imaginationworking and the partial
reinforcement of the odd success motivatedme. Though I haven’t entered a contest for an eternity. While there are contests that involve physically sending in prints for judging, most (youwon’t be surprised to learn) accept entries online, so getting involved is easy. But that doesn’t mean there’s no cost. While there are free-to-enter contests, many charge a fee to pay for admin, judges, events, prizes, etc. Organisers want tomake a fewquid, which is fair enough. If you’ve never thought of entering a photo contest, now is a good time for a rethink. If you’re a contest regular, now is the time tomake evenmore of an effort. Someone has to win, so why can’t it be you? The rewards and recognition are worth it. With lockdown easing, we’re planning reader shoot events for the summer, working within the latest government guidelines andwith health as the key priority. Details will be in themagazine, so keep your eyes open if you’re keen to get involved. Until wemeet again next month.
Fujifilm has added a classic design camera and new film to its popular line-up of instant photography products
THE INSTAX MINI 40 instant camera boasts a sophisticated body design, plus it’s really easy to use. That makes it perfect for image creators of all levels, as well as returning Instax fans. “With its classic, chic styling, the new Instax Mini 40 is for anyone who loves to take and share photos,” says Fujifilm Europe president, Toshi Iida.
Peak deal this spring Buy a Peak Design Travel Tripod from a participating dealer before 31 May 2021, and you can claim a free Leash camera strap or Capture Clip camera holder, depending on which tripod is bought. Purchasing the aluminium model gets you the Leash (worth £34.95), while the carbon-fibre model entitles you to a free Capture Clip (worth £64.95). For more information on participating Peak
An advanced system handles exposures, sensing the level of existing light, as well as adjusting shutter speed and flash output to correct exposures, whether shooting indoors or out. Plus, the camera’s intuitive Selfie mode is sure to please fans of that photographic style. The Instax Mini 40 hits the shops on 21 April, costing £89.99. Accompanying the launch is the new Contact Sheet instant mini film. Available in ten exposures per cartridge, Contact Sheet simulates the look of a photographer’s film contact sheet. A pack costs £8.99, and is also available from 21 April. instax.com/mini40
Design dealers, visit the website.
What’s inside 03 News Fujifilmmakes a splash with the Instax Mini 40, and there’s new kit from Leica, Lowepro and Sony. Plus, the chance to win a Vanguard VEO 265HBC carbon-fibre travel tripod, complete with ball head, in this easy-to-enter contest! 08 Word search A Samsung 256GB microSD card is up for grabs in our free-to-enter puzzle competition 11 Club news Normality is slowly returning to our lives, but for most camera clubs and societies, meetings remain virtual until next season
13 Up close and very personal Photography News meets Tracy Calder, co-founder of the Close-up Photographer of the Year competition. Enjoy a gallery of winning images from last year 16 Make the Switch: Bob King In 2019, Bob King took up a free loan of a Fujifilm outfit, but his heavy commitment to another systemmeant a permanent swap wasn’t an option. Then, one day, that all changed… 18 Buyers’ guide to the best hire dealers Whether you need an exotic lens for that once-in-a-lifetime photo trip, extra lighting for a special shoot, or you’re just keen to try a new camera before making a commitment, hiring is the way to go. This guide to the country’s leading hiring services is sure to help
24 Buyers’ guide to pre-loved kit dealers Buy used, sell or upgrade – make the most of your cash and move out surplus kit with help from our guide to the UK’s best used retailers 26 Big test: Fujifilm GFX100S With 102 megapixels under its bonnet, Fujifilm’s latest entry in the medium format race sets a very hot pace – and it’s in-store for £5499, body only 33 First tests Our monthly look at some of the latest kit to reach the shelves: l Hähnel Module Creative Lantern Kit l Vanguard 46BR & 48BF photo backpacks l Nikon Z 85mm f/1.8 S lens l Rode Wireless Go II microphone outfit
Issue 87 | Photography News 3
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Our podcast is essential listening for photographers at all levels, with exclusive interviews, surprise guests, in-depth equipment analysis and so much more
The sky’s no limit Luminar AI’s powerful editing capabilities produce intuitive, eye-catching images, including realistic sky replacement
PORTRAITS FORMTHE FOCUS of episode 22, with the team exploring various creative options. Do you shoot posed or candid? Indoors or out? Is the image spontaneous or part of a project? There’s no right or wrong answer, but our consensus opts for a structured approach, collating a cohesive set of images. If you have a question for the team, need advice on your photography or just want to sound off, please email us using email@example.com photographynews.co.uk
Another new tool is Relight Human. This enhances environmental portraits, matching human subjects to the sky. Plus, there are faster and more intuitive sky selection and orientation controls. The new update also includes improved camera support. A Luminar AI licence for two computers costs £79. For those who already own the software, the update
Released in late 2020, the Luminar software employs AI to innovatively automate creative processes. One of Luminar AI’s headline features is Sky AI, aimed at scenic workers for simple, realistic sky replacement. A selection of skies are supplied, plus you can purchase more and add your own. The update also enables the user to add colour to reflections, as well as adjust the angle and depth of a scene containing foreground water.
Kingsley Singleton, Contributing Editor
Will Cheung, Editor
Roger Payne, Editorial Director
IN CASE YOU MISSED THEM... All episodes of The Photography News Podcast are available online on our website photographynews.co.uk and on YouTube, Spotify and Apple Podcasts. Here are some highlights from previous episodes to check out:
is available free of charge. skylum.com/luminar-ai
EPISODE 18 Creative indoor techniques to try, such as blood painting – is it that gory?
EPISODE 6 Landscape maestro Charlie Waite chats with editor Will Cheung
EPISODE 19 The pros and cons of the two big launches in 2021: Fujifilm GFX100S and Sony A1
Lowepro gets rugged
Reimagined Flipside backpacks are even more suitable for outdoor image-creating enthusiasts
Putting your own clamp on it Buy a Hähnel Creative Lantern Kit from a selected dealer and get a Module 360 or 600 Clamp worth £9.99 for free
If you prefer a deeper body bag, the BP 400 AW III is the backpack for you. It takes a DSLR or mirrorless body with a vertical grip attached, plus up to five extra lenses. You can also pack a 15-inch laptop and 10-inch tablet. Available now, the Flipside BP 300 AW III costs £134.95, while the 400 AW III is £169.95. lowepro.com/uk-en
Overhauling its popular series, Lowepro’s new Flipside BP 300 AW III and BP 400 AW III backpacks offer even greater durability, without compromising usability. Plus, there’s a choice of two colours: black or grey. The BP 300 AW III happily fits a DSLR or full-frame mirrorless camera, as well as a 70-200mm lens. There’s even space for
Among this month’s First Tests (on page 33), we review the Hähnel Creative Lantern Kit, a speedlight modifier outfit worth £59.99. The kit includes a filter holder, six gel filters and a concertina diffuser called the Creative Lantern. To use these magnetically attachable accessories, a clamp is required. Two are available: the Module 360 or 600, each costing £9.99. Fortunately, if you buy a Creative Lantern Kit from one of the participating dealers listed here, you get the necessary clamp absolutely free (while stocks last).
y y Bristol Cameras,
bristolcameras.co.uk y y Clifton Cameras, cliftoncameras.co.uk y y Castle Cameras, castlecameras.co.uk y y Carmarthen Cameras, carmarthencameras.com y y Wex Photo Video, wexphotovideo.com y y London Camera Exchange, lcegroup.co.uk
up to four extra lenses, with dedicated pockets for a 13-inch laptop and 10-inch tablet.
y y UK Optics, ukoptics.co.uk y y Cambrian Photography, cambrianphoto.co.uk hahnel.ie
Editorial team Editorial director Roger Payne Editor Will Cheung FRPS 01223 499469 firstname.lastname@example.org Features writer Lee Renwick email@example.com
Advertising team Group admanager Sam Scott-Smith 01223 499457 firstname.lastname@example.org Senior sales executive Jemma Farrell-Shaw email@example.com Key accounts Mike Elliott firstname.lastname@example.org
Design team Design director Andy Jennings Senior designer Laura Bryant Design & ad production Man-Wai Wong and Emma Di’luorio Distribution Distribution and subscriptionmanager Phil Gray email@example.com Publishing team Managing directors Andy Brogden & Matt Pluck As well as your local camera club, you can pick up Photography News in-store from: Cameraworld, Castle Cameras, Jessops, London Camera Exchange, Park Cameras, Wex Photo Video, Wilkinson Cameras
Photography News is published 11 times a year by Bright Publishing Ltd, Bright House, 82 High Street, Sawston, Cambridge CB22 3HJ. No part of this magazine can be used without prior written permission of Bright Publishing Ltd. Photography News is a registered trademark of Bright Publishing Ltd. The advertisements published in Photography News that have been written, designed or produced by employees of Bright Publishing Ltd remain the copyright of Bright Publishing Ltd and may not be reproduced without the written consent of the publisher. The content of this publication does not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher. While Bright Publishing makes every effort to ensure accuracy, it can’t be guaranteed. Street pricing at the time of writing is quoted for products.
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Vanguard gears up for travel Launching its most versatile tripod to date, the VEO 3T+ travel tripod is perfect for photographers on the move Guard your pennies Buy any Vanguard product from selected UK dealers in April to save 15%
The exquisite APO-Summicron-M 35mm f/2 ASPH lens is coming to town Leica’s most compact lens to date delivers strong performance at a classic focal length. The APO-Summicron-M 35mm f/2 ASPH can be used on any current or future M Series body, as well as Leica SL2 and SL2-S models. Its key features include a fast aperture, minimum focus of 30cm and good flare resistance. There’s also high edge-to-edge contrast rendition and light sensitivity, plus impressive bokeh. The lens is available for £6700. store.leica-camera.com/uk/en/ Sony has added four primes to its FE range: the FE 24mm f/2.8 G, FE 40mm f/2.5 G and FE 50mm f/2.5 G cost £650 each. It’s also released the FE 50mm f/1.2 G Master, costing £2100. sony.co.uk Primed and ready Leica’s little gem
The VEO 3T+ travel tripod is the latest addition to Vanguard’s support range, featuring the Multi-Angle Central Column (MACC). It moves almost 360° multi-directionally in seconds, and the intuitive leg locks provide for three leg angles (20°, 50° and 80°) at the push of a button. This ensures easy transitioning between macro settings down low and normal shooting up to a height of 156cm. For added versatility, the MACC accepts the supplied MA-1 mount for extra kit attachments. One leg unscrews, becoming a monopod that extends up to 1.6m. Finally, the whole tripod folds down to just 46cm. There’s also a pair of innovative dual-axis ball heads, compatible with Arca plates. The VEO BH-110S and VEO BH-160S boast an extra pan function on the quick-release plate mount and maximum load capacities of up to 15kg. The Vanguard VEO 3T+ travel tripod and dual-axis ball heads go on sale 17 May, starting from £219.99. Purchasing from an authorised UK dealer inMay or June makes you eligible for 10% cashback. vanguardworld.co.uk
Get a 15% discount off Vanguard bags, tripods and binoculars at selected UK dealers. Use the discount code, V-EASTER, when you check out – the code remains valid until 3 May 2021. For the full list of retailers, as well as the terms and conditions, visit the website. vanguardworld.co.uk/blogs/co- uk/easter-savings
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S T A B L E S X S R A M P O A M Z L E P U T K Z R L R U O T S W S N N C L H D Z N U I U O M R H I D Y S P I J B M O E M O N O P O D U P C A S M X L O P A Q D K D R K I I R T S M R A T I U G D T T Z E O S P I R G B T M M M O K L C S P T X A D X J L N E T H G I T E E R T N E C U V N Y K W I B G G A C M D G I O V Q N N L U A A M P Z O Y G E L E M N J S A Y L A O T W I S T T O E N C S C X R S O E Capture life’s magical moments across all devices with the Samsung Evo Plus 256GB microSDXC memory card with SD adapter, offering read speeds of up to 100MB/s and write speeds of up to 90MB/s. Samsung’s latest cards are also ultra-reliable and water, temperature, X-ray and magnet proof, so shooting in the most challenging conditions isn’t an issue. We have one 256GB Samsung Evo Plus microSDXC card with SD adapter worth £51.99 for the eagle-eyed winner. Complete the word search below, and you’ll find one word in the list that’s not in the grid. Email us on firstname.lastname@example.org with that word in the subject box by 9 May 2021. The correct answer to PN 85’s word search was ‘tones’, and the Samsung 256GB Evo Plus card was won by R Mitchell from Aberdeenshire. • samsung.com/uk/memory-cards A Samsung memory card! WIN!
Win a Vanguard carbon travel tripod
Vanguard’s VEO 3GO 265HCB is a remarkable tripod. It folds down to just 41cm and weighs 1400g, but extends to a remarkable 166.5cm. Other attributes include carbon-fibre legs, reversible centre column and the supplied BH-102 ball head, which takes Arca plates. The 265HCB is an impressive piece of kit, and you could be the proud owner of one if you enter our free contest!
To be in with a winning chance, just answer the following question: How many leg angles does the VEO 3GO 265HCB have: A) 3, B) 5 or C) 7? To enter, go to photographynews.co.uk and follow the link. The closing date for entries is 10 May 2021 and the first correct answer drawn at random after that date will win the Vanguard tripod. vanguardworld.co.uk
Get in close and win Entry for the Close-up Photographer of the Year 03, in association with Affinity Photo, is now open
Now in its third year, CUPOTY showcases the best close-up, macro and micro photography from around the world. The competition is open to everyone, using any type of camera, phone or light microscope. There are nine categories, supported by brands such as Affinity Photo, Olympus, Sigma and Zerene Stacker, and you have until 23 May to get your entries in. The overall winner receives a cash prize of £2500, while each category winner takes home £300. See page 13 of this issue for a gallery of last year’s winning images and an interview with the contest’s co-founder, Tracy Calder. • cupoty.com
ABOVE Elizabeth Kazda won the Plants & Fungi category in last year’s CUPOTY with this image
The Documentary Photographer of the Year (DPOTY) competition, organised by the Royal Photographic Society, opens for entry on 6 May and closes on 5 August 2021. Entry is open worldwide to everyone (students, enthusiasts and professionals) of any age. There’s no limit on when the pictures were taken and there’s no set theme or subject. All winners will be part of a touring exhibition, and there will be an awards event at the Fujifilm House of Photography in London this November. bit.ly/3vSmXcx Documentary POTY comp
Aimed at amateur photographers, Canon’s Redline Challenge is designed to assess creativity, test technical know-how and encourage photographers to push themselves. The competition features an inspiring line-up of Canon Ambassadors, who will share their insights, plus pro tips and tricks, for mastering each Redline Challenge brief. The first of these – Light in the Dark – calls for photographers to explore the possibilities of shooting in low light, as well as the relationship between light and shadow, contrast and colour. The competition’s grand prize is a whopping £14,000 worth of Canon kit, including an EOS R5 and three RF lenses. The winner also gets an exclusive mentoring session with Canon Ambassador Lorenz Holder, a multiple Red Bull Illume winner. Entrants have until 23:59 on 31 May to submit their images, which can be taken on any device, and the competition is free to enter. There are three rounds, with the judges’ shortlist of ten finalists revealed on the Canon website in June. The overall winner will be announced by 27 June. canon.co.uk/redline-challenge Canon into the red
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Issue 87 | Photography News 9
ADVERTISEMENT FEATURE Teamof excellence Introducing the newest fivemembers of WhiteWall’s Ambassador Program.These photography perfectionists expand the growing community to nine imaging luminaries
1. Mary Ruffinoni A French fashion photographer, Mary Ruffinoni is considered an up-and-coming newcomer in the industry. Nonetheless, she’s starting to make a real name for herself, in particular for her work with well-known magazines. Mary captures powerfully expressive protagonists, bringing fashion to the fore through elegant minimalism. 2. Andreas P. Verrios/ Mr. NYC Subway The American photographer Andreas P. Verrios – better known as Mr. NYC Subway – also thrives
FOLLOWING A SUCCESSFUL launch, the WhiteWall Ambassador Program is getting even bigger. With five new ambassadors, the group now contains nine fascinating international photographers, eager to provide great insights into their work and the world of WhiteWall products. For more information, or to apply yourself, check out whitewall.com/ambassadors “We’re very pleased that our new Ambassador Program has been so well received,” beams WhiteWall founder and CEO, Alexander Nieswandt. “We never expected so many exciting applications.
A huge thank you goes out to our customers, as well as all the interested parties that want to become part of this new community of ambassadors. We really appreciate your trust!” continues Alexander. “Storytelling is an extremely important aspect of our brand, and nobody can better illustrate the benefits of our products than our professionals – our brand ambassadors – who work with them every day,” explains WhiteWall CEO, Thomas Alscheid. WhiteWall’s Ambassador Program is scheduled to expand further in the second half of 2021.
on getting people in front of the camera. No one captures the New York subway and all its exciting facets like Andreas. For him, people play such a special role in this colourful underground world. He is especially fascinated by dancers. With images that fuse the extraordinary and the mundane, Mr. NYC Subway has grown a large community on social media.
only natural due to her Austrian and Norwegian roots. Her photos display stunning aesthetics from every corner of the region. Through this work, she showcases the amazing and powerful forces emerging from the Arctic environment. Light forms a crucial aspect of her approach. 4. Daniel Zielske German photographer Daniel Zielske is also interested in remarkable shapes. Previously, he’s focused on travel and urban photography alongside his father. However, it’s art photography that’s become a vital part of his work, producing various photo essays and photography books. 5. Karsten Staiger Living in New York, German-born photographer Karsten Staiger has had plenty of interesting characters from a variety of fields in his camera sight. Whether capturing actor Robert Redford gracing New York’s rooftops, or framing dazzling arrangements with prima ballerina Misty Copeland, Karsten’s work never fails to reveal his love and passion for the Big Apple.
3. Isabelle Bacher Isabelle Bacher deals with a
completely different subject. She is fascinated by the landscapes north of the Arctic Circle – that’s perhaps
10 Photography News | Issue 87
SUCCESS + EXHIBITIONS + PERSONAL ACHIEVEMENTS + OUTINGS News Camera club
Contemplation wins it for Ludshott PC Photographers across South East England flocked online to view images taken by talented representatives from 17 clubs, with Ludshott PC emerging triumphant
IN MID-MARCH, members from 17 of the Surrey Photographic Association’s clubs competed for the Surrey Advertiser Rosebowl. Each submitted five images that combined to represent a theme. Forming a complete panel, the images were assessed and appraised for balance, as well as style. Contemplation, Street Life, Surrey Woodland, Black & White, Wildlife in Lockdown and The Sky at Night were some of the themes presented by club members. “I really enjoyed the fact that some clubs chose a difficult subject,” says experienced photographer Leo Rich ARPS, presiding over the event. “They created entries with great skill, making my task more challenging.” The winner was Ludshott PC, triumphing with its impressive panel, entitled Contemplation. “I chose this panel as my winner because a great deal of thought had gone into the selection of the images,”
explains judge Rich. “There was a lovely cohesion between them.” The best individual image, Mummy’s Angel (pictured top right), was also submitted by Ludshott. “This image bends, if not breaks, some of the ‘rules’ of club photography. The bond and love of the mother is plain to see. Her look leads you to the child, and the photographer has been clever to make sure the child is the focus of attention through careful lighting. This gives the feeling of a Dutch master’s painting from years past,” says Rich. Woking PS hosted the popular competition, celebrating its 61st year. “This was by far our biggest night of the year,” says club president, Rob Bonfield. “At its peak, 170 people joined us online to view the 102 images. Many thanks to our team for organising an extremely well run competition, and my congratulations to Ludshott.” wokingps.uk
ABOVE Three of five images that formed Ludshott PC’s panel, proving victorious in the Surrey Advertiser Rosebowl
Thanet’s mad month
Isle of Thanet PS had a very busy month, with 261 entries submitted to its March competitions. Themes included Yellow and Transport, plus the club held its fourth-quarter PDI. Harbour Mandala (right) by Andrew Kettle was one of the entries for the latter competition. Judges were challenged to critique interesting and creative images, from animals to landscapes, trains and waterfalls. As well as competitions, the club organised an audio-visual evening, enabling members to showcase creative skills and enjoy a variety of presentations.
“We started this season not knowing what to expect,” comments club chairman Laura Drury, reviewing the past six months. “Like everyone else, we entered uncharted waters, but remarkably, the club has gone from strength to strength in numbers and quality of work. Members have been inspired to experiment by nationwide speakers, resulting in fabulous images. Our special interest in nature and analogue groups also helped members try new techniques. A potentially disastrous year has turned out to be very creative and productive.”
Despite the success, the club looks forward to in-person meetings on Mondays from September – and hosting its annual exhibition at the York Street Gallery in Ramsgate in June. isleofthanetphotographicsociety. co.uk
Yorkshire,s pursuit of perfection The National Science andMedia Museum is set to host a ‘hybrid’ photographic exhibition
In Pursuit of Perfection is the title of the Yorkshire Photographic Union’s annual competition exhibition. This year, more than 3000 entries were received, with 373 due to be displayed. These consist of 201 prints and 172 digital images, judged virtually for the first time. The exhibition opens on the National Science and Media Museum’s website from 16 April, with the physical exhibition displayed at the temporarily closed museum, when it reopens, until 27 June 2021. Please check the museum website for reopening and booking details. scienceandmediamuseum.org.uk
Cambridge CC is hosting a free online event at 7pm on 26 April, previewing its selected annual exhibition. Displaying stunning images across all photographic genres and highlighting those gaining sponsors’ awards and the mayor’s choice, attendees shall receive free access to the online exhibition to revisit at their leisure. bit.ly/3wzGjng Cambridge CC’s online show
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Q A and
BELOW A professor of marine molecular ecology, Galice Hoarau won the Overall and Animals categories at CUPOTY 02. His image of an eel larva from a blackwater dive in Indonesia is spectacular
Up close and very personal With the third Close-up Photographer of the Year contest open for entries, it’s time to get excited about macro. We recall the winning images from last year’s event and chat with co-founder, Tracy Calder
Photography News: Can you give readers a little background on your photography and how close-up became your specialism? Tracy Calder: My passion for close-up photography began 15 years ago. Picking up a macro lens, I realised it was a portal to a whole new world of curves, shapes, colours and forms. It doesn’t matter if you’re photographing a cheese grater or tiny springtail, the level of close-up detail is spellbinding. This style of photography forces you to slow down and be more mindful of surroundings – that’s a real joy! When I began, I was working in the publishing industry full-time; this calm approach to image-making helped me relax. I was commissioned to write a macro photography book in 2010, providing a perfect excuse to explore the field in detail. I’ve been hooked ever since. Nature is inspiration – I’m often in a ditch, staring at obscure mushrooms or wind-fallen fruit! PN: What are the origins of the CUPOTY concept? Tracy: My husband, Dan, and I came up with the idea for a major competition, celebrating the art of close-up, macro and micro
photography, in 2015. However, we decided to do pretty much everything ourselves, from website design to securing sponsors and press coverage. It took us the best part of three years to actually launch it! From the outset, we wanted to encourage people to ‘see the world anew’ – to notice the gentle curve of a tulip leaf, or the way a small sand pattern can be mistaken for an aerial landscape. When we appreciate the small things, we see how everything is interconnected and clearly deserving of our respect.
ABOVE Elizabeth Kazda took out the Plants & Fungi category of CUPOTY 02, thanks to Mandala with Miniature Tulips
PN: You’ve just launched the third contest. Are you happy with how things have progressed? Last year, you received 6500 entries from 52 countries – how does that compare to year one? Tracy: The support we’ve received has been phenomenal. When you feel passionate about something,
BELOW Hungarian photographer Tamás Koncz-Bisztricz was crowned Young Close-up Photographer of the Year for his image of a yellow globular springtail
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Interview there’s always a certain level of risk. Failure can feel personal, but we hoped that people would recognise our desire to create a platform for their work. We wanted to be of real service, and the feedback seems to suggest this is the case. The competition is growing remarkably fast. Entry numbers for CUPOTY 02 more than doubled the number of first-year entrants. Honestly, the standard blows me away every time. Beginning the judging process, it’s a privilege to be shown the world in such new and exciting ways. We often have to stop while I google: ‘why do some beetles glow in the dark?’ or ‘what does slime mould grow on?’ These pictures awaken that sense of wonder and childlike curiosity. PN: Do you see more categories being added in the future? Tracy: There are nine categories this year. From last year’s competition, we’ve kept Animals, Insects, Plants & Fungi, Intimate Landscape, Manmade World, Micro and Young CUPOTY. However, there’s also two new categories: Butterflies & Dragonflies and Underwater. We’re excited to see how photographers respond to these additions. If anyone feels that an area of close-up is still absent, please let us know! We’re also running various spin-off challenges. The first was the One Colour Challenge, concluding last November. The results can be viewed on our website. BELOW Mark James Ford won the Intimate Landscape category of CUPOTY 02, with this picture of lava cooling beneath his feet of face-to-face meetings, we want to plan an exhibition for when the Covid-19 crisis has abated. The best PN: Is anything else in the pipeline – perhaps books, touring exhibitions or a big results event? Tracy: We’re really excited to be launching the CUPOTY blog soon. I’m planning to use my photography magazine experience to make it a fun, one-stop shop for lovers of close- up, macro and micro photography. But a book is our top target this year. As I’m a strong believer in the value
way to keep up to date with all of the latest CUPOTY developments is to sign up for our newsletter. PN: Where do you see CUPOTY five years from now? Tracy: Our guiding principle is to spread wonder and encourage people to see the world in a new light. This is getting stronger as the years go by. Five years from now, it would be great to have a touring exhibition and series of books. Nonetheless, like everything we’ve done so far, we intend to do things a bit differently. A personal approach is at the heart of our work, and that often leads us down unexpected paths. WC
BELOW Amazingly, Andrei Savitsky used a phone and a microscope to capture this remarkable image of a glassworm, delivering him victory in the Micro category
Entry tips fromDan andTracy Calder
BELOW This fleeting moment of a butterfly against a peeling wall won Mike Curry first place in the competition’s Insects category
› Don’t try and assume what the judges want to see. If you love something, and that sense of wonder and excitement is communicated through your work, the judges will probably love it, too. › You don’t have to travel far to find suitable subject matter. If you empty out your kitchen drawers, examining each object curiously, you can undoubtedly find enough to keep you occupied for days. › Make sure everything you intend to appear sharp is technically challenging, with depth-of-field limited to just a few millimetres. Nonetheless, the viewer’s eye needs to know where to go first, and in what order to view the elements in the frame. Make the process easy for them. absolutely pin-sharp. Close-up and macro photography can be CUPOTY 03, in association with Affinity Photo, closes on 23 May 2021. The overall winner is set to receive a cash prize of £2500, while each category winner takes home £300. The Young CUPOTY receives a Sigma 105mm f/2.8 DG DN Macro Art lens, worth £700, and a USB dock. The judging panel has been expanded this year, meaning entrants will have their images seen – and assessed – by an impressive Enternow
line-up of editors, photographers and
conservationists. View the full judging panel on the website. cupoty.com
14 Photography News | Issue 87
Issue 87 | Photography News 15
Make the Switch ADVERTISEMENT FEATURE Taking up PN’s offer of a free camera loan one year ago, Bob King loved the Fujifilm body, despite being committed to another system. Today, he’s crossed over to the FujifilmX Series and has never been happier
I WAS WEDDED to the Micro Four Thirds system – switching had never crossed my mind previously. Nonetheless, when Photography News offered the chance to loan a Fujifilm X Series camera for free, I couldn’t resist the opportunity to play with a new camera and lenses. I borrowed a Fujifilm X-T3 body, together with the XF10-24mm f/4 R OIS WR and XF16-55mm f/2.8 R LMWR. Wide-angle photography is a real passion of mine, so I couldn’t wait to see how the XF10-24mm f/4 R OIS WR performed. As soon as I put it on the X-T3, I fell in love – the look and feel immediately transporting me back to the days of film.
While I enjoyed experimenting with the loaned Fujifilm X-T3, Micro Four Thirds was all I’d ever known – plus, I had too much time and money invested in the system. Yet there was something about the X-T3 that drew me back. I realised that the hook had been well and truly set. When a popular photo retailer offered the X-T3 body at an amazing price, I took the plunge. In fact, I went overboard – I bought two! Anticipating a new model, the XF10-24mm f/4 R OIS WR was also discounted, so I bought the lens. Eventually, it was clear that running two totally different camera systems made little sense. I took the irrevocable
BOBKING Keen enthusiast photographer based in East Lothian
ABOVE Cove Harbour, Berwickshire. Fujifilm X-T3 with XF10-24mm f/4 R OIS WR at 10mm. Exposure 1/125sec at f/8, ISO 160
16 Photography News | Issue 87
THE KIT BOBOWNS
FUJIFILM X-T3 The X-T3 combines Fujifilm’s unique back-side
illuminated 26.1-megapixel X-Trans CMOS 4 sensor with the powerful X-Processor 4 image processing engine to produce richly detailed images with striking, true-to-life colour. It has an ISO range of 160-12,800, expandable to 80-51,200, lightning-fast AF and a blistering 20fps burst mode. The X-T3 also boasts dual SD card slots.
LEFT St Mary’s Church, in the background on the left, and Nungate Bridge on the River Tyne, Haddington, East Lothian. Fujifilm X-T3 with XF10-24mm f/4 R OIS WR at 10mm. Exposure 1/90sec at f/8, ISO 160 ABOVE Upturned boats in Cove Harbour, Berwickshire. Fujifilm X-T3 with XF10-24mm f/4 R OIS WR at 10mm. Exposure 1/20sec at f/8, ISO 160 BELOW LEFT Looking towards Edinburgh Castle from The Vennel. Fujifilm X-T3 with XF10-24mm f/4 R OIS WR at 10mm. Exposure 1/140sec at f/5.6, ISO 160
“As soon as I put the XF10-24mm f/4 R OIS WR on the X-T3, I fell in love”
FUJIFILM X-E3 Fujifilm’s X-E series is the brand’s most compact collection of interchangeable lens cameras, sharing many features with the top-end X-T range. It was recently enhanced further with the introduction of the X-E4, a camera with a 26.1-megapixel X-Trans CMOS 4 sensor. It’s the first member of the series to boast a tilting monitor.
step of trading in all my Micro Four Thirds gear to help fund my Fujifilm venture. It was a difficult decision, but I knew it would be worth it. Later, I acquired an XF35mm f/2 R WR for my second X-T3 body. I was largely content, but in reality, my Fujifilm journey had only just begun. The next step of my switch began with a niggle. A body and wide-angle lens combination had always been a crucial part of my kit. I loved walking around with it, casually taking shots – it was a camera combo that you could simply stick in a coat pocket and go. After getting rid of my Micro Four Thirds set-up, that was the gear I missed more than I thought I would. By pure chance, I saw a YouTube review for a Fujifilm camera I never knew existed: the exquisite Fujifilm X-E3. I was blown away by the look of it. Luckily, I was able to source a brand-new body, obtaining the camera from a retailer for just under £350. Shortly afterwards, I also bought an XF23mm f/2 R WR prime. It’s the perfect lens in almost every respect. Best of all, it meant I’d finally restored my favoured walk-around set-up. My kit was truly complete. Six months have now passed since I became a fully fledged Fujifilm convert. That’s plenty of time to get to grips with the X Series, and it’s also a great time to share my thoughts. The Fujifilm X-T3 and the X-E3 can be all things to all photographers. You can use them with the utmost simplicity, secure in the knowledge that, nine times out of ten, they deliver the desired results with minimal effort. All you have to do is learn how to make it work for you. Rest assured, it’s easy to reach that happy stage.
I mainly shoot in aperture priority AE mode, with auto ISO and a few other basic settings configured. This allows me to leave the camera to take care of everything else, and I can be confident that almost every shot is a keeper. I think the X-T3’s 26.1-megapixel X-Trans CMOS 4 sensor gives any of the current line-up of full-frame cameras a run for their money. Its build and handling are sure to satisfy even the pickiest of users. As for the X-E3, it’s a delightful camera to use – small, compact and supremely effective. It works beautifully with the XF23mm f/2 R WR, one of the sharpest lenses I’ve used in any format. I tend to only shoot in Raw, though I’m aware that Fujifilm’s JPEGs are universally adored for their image quality. Instead, I prefer to have the last word while editing. Nonetheless, Fujifilm Raw files often look as if they don’t need any processing. They’re full of colour, have good contrast and a lovely tonal range, plus they‘re noise-free, depending on the ISO you’re using. The images are also very sharp, thanks to the resolving power of the XF23mm f/2 R WR and XF35mm f/2 R WR primes, while the XF10-24mm f/4 R OIS WR also delivers the goods on all levels. For a zoom, it’s an absolutely stellar piece of glass. Moving to Fujifilm was always going to be difficult because of my affection for the Micro Four Thirds system. In terms of building the best collection of cameras and lenses I could ever have imagined owning, however, it was one of the best decisions I’ve made. Photography is an exciting and enjoyable experience once more.
XF10-24MM F/4 R OIS WR The XF10-24mm f/4 R OIS WR is a lens that has earned a sky-high reputation, and it’s recently been upgraded. The new XF10-24mm f/4 R OIS WR (shown above) has the same optical design, but has gained weather-resistance, and even better image stabilisation.
XF23MM F/2 R WR The XF23mm f/2 R WR is one of Fujifilm’s stylish compact prime lenses, with weather- and dust-resistance, a f/2 maximum aperture and premium performance, thanks to advanced optical construction, including two aspherical lens elements.
FREE 48-HOUR FUJIFILMLOANS
The Fujifilm Connect loan service means you can try specific Fujifilm cameras and lenses in your own home, free of charge for up to two days (including delivery). Loans can be extended, and if you decide to purchase, Fujifilm will refund your loan fee. For full details of this special loan scheme, go to: fujifilm-connect.hireacamera.com/en-gb
Issue 87 | Photography News 17
Hire forces Hiring is an effective way of solving your gear dilemmas without breaking the bank. Join us for a nationwide tour of leading hire services, albeit from the comfort of your home
Insurance is something you also need to think about, so check what the hirer offers (if anything) and what’s covered, too. If you’re a first-time hirer, the whole process might seem daunting, but it isn’t. The companies ( for their own interests) do their best to make the process as streamlined and painless as possible, whether you are new to the business or a regular customer. The thing is, once you have tried hiring and appreciate how straightforward and cost-effective it is, you’ll very likely be exploring the website for different bits of kit to try. And that, in turn, enhances your photographic enjoyment.
optic for that once-in-a-lifetime shoot or simply want to try out an expensive camera, lens or light before taking the plunge. The option to hire is worth serious consideration. The actual hiring process is usually straightforward. Simply decide what you need and for how long, check date availability, then create an account and pay for the loan and (usually) a refundable deposit. Supply delivery or collection details, with a contact phone number, then an email confirmation usually follows. Just check that all the details are correct and the kit will arrive the day before your loan period begins. Yes, it’s really that simple!
IT WOULD BE WONDERFUL if you could delve into your cupboard for that extra-special piece of kit to make the most of great photo opportunities. Anything from a super-long telephoto lens for a bird shoot, to an extra-light for a location portrait session. But the simple fact is, for most of us, that’s not the real world and we must make do with what we have. So, the best solution is to hire. Hiring used to be seen as the province of professional image makers based in larger cities, and the choice of brands was limited. But that’s not the case any more – hire is open to all and it’s a cost–effective solution, whether you need an exotic
action cams to high-end digital cinema cameras, not forgetting mirrorless and DSLRs. Peripherals on offer include mics, lights, monitors, headphones and more. Prices are competitive, too, and Hireacamera’s service is second to none, with kit delivered nationwide by secure courier in rugged flight cases – usually by 12pm the day before the hire period starts. This allows time to resolve any issues, but if anything drastic does happen,
Voted by PN readers as Best Specialist Service Provider in the PN 2020 Awards, Hireacamera offers a huge range of optical products for hire. Of course, you would expect cameras and lenses, but its hire options include high-end binoculars from Canon and Zeiss, as well as spotting scopes from Zeiss. For stills capture, there’s every camera type you could imagine. There are compacts, mirrorless, DSLRs and medium format, plus all the brands you would expect. The choice is huge and covers all interests. Hireacamera also offers accessories in its range, including tripods, flash, memory cards, batteries, bags, filters and even rain covers. The choice is just as wide if you want to capture movies instead, from
Enjoy the Zeiss experience Zeiss is a brand steeped in
28mm, 55mm, 85mm and 100mm and all f/1.4 lenses – or the Milvus range, where there’s a wider selection of focal lengths, from 15mm to 135mm, but even here, several lenses are f/1.4. The loan scheme is run through Hireacamera – you start the process by visiting the web page above. Pick the lens that interests you, then check live availability, with an instant fee update. For example, you might be keen on the Milvus 15mm f/2.8, which is free for two days. But if you want it an extra day, there is £49.20 to pay, or £82.80 if you want it for seven days. Pick your dates, pay the refundable deposit and a courier will deliver the item to your chosen address the day before.
imaging history and its lenses are legendary – the Otus 100mm f/1.4 won Best Telephoto Lens in the PN 2020 Awards. Whether you shoot with a mirrorless or DSLR camera, now you can try a Zeiss prime lens for yourself with a free 48-hour loan. For mirrorless, there are the Batis and Loxia families, both full- frame compatible and available in Sony E-mount. There’s a selection of focal lengths in each range, from ultra-wide to telephoto, and the key difference is that the Batis series is autofocus, while Loxia lenses are manual focus only. DSLR shooters using Canon EOS or Nikon cameras can choose from the premium Otus family –
Hireacamera will deliver your loan items by 10am the next day, area and weather permitting. Return is organised by
Hireacamera and security zip ties, label and bag are supplied, so the whole process is quick, simple and convenient.
18 Photography News | Issue 87
Lenses For Hire Lenses For Hire offers
an extensive selection of optics from marque and independent brands, for Canon (EOS RF and EF), Fujifilm (XF), Nikon (F and Z), Olympus/Panasonic (MFT) and Sony cameras. Its website has good search filters that make it easy to find kit you are interested in. The product offerings also include cameras, tripods, gimbals, panoramic heads, memory cards and speedlights. Orders are taken via the website only – get your order in by 3pm for delivery the next day. If you need
Checking hire prices is easy using the drop-down menu, which shows three to 35 days’ hire. For an idea of costs, a Canon EF 24-70mm f/4 is £72 for a seven-day hire, £50 for three days, £94 for ten days. If you are planning a safari, then the Canon EF 500mm f/4 L IS II USM is £347 for seven days and £589 for 14 days – buying a new one would set you back over £9500. Lenses For Hire prices include insurance, with an £150 excess, but not carriage. You get options for delivery and return when you check out. A next-day courier costs £9, and if you want kit to arrive before 10.30am, this goes to £20. Courier collection is £19, but you can arrange returns yourself, or drop kit off at the company’s Maidenhead office.
kit sooner, give Lenses For Hire a ring. The website has an availability feature and – if you’re one for planning ahead – you can reserve kit 999 days in advance! Deposits for loan kit are generally not taken and Lenses For Hire works on trust, but there are situations when a deposit is needed, so use the website for details.
Fujifilm offers a free 48-hour loan on its X Series and GFX system cameras and lenses. In the X Series, current models in the loan scheme are the X-Pro3, X-S10, X-T4 and X100V. Only the X-S10 is offered in partnership with a lens, but there’s choice of 17 XF lenses as well. With Fujifilm making great strides in medium format digital, perhaps a GFX camera interests you? Currently, the GFX 50R and GFX100 are on offer – at Try Fujifilm
require an extension beyond 48 hours. If you do extend the free loan and then go on to buy any kit that you’ve tried, log on to your Fujifilm Connect account (which you need to set up for this scheme), select Refunds/ Cashback, upload proof of purchase and you’ll get a refund for any loan charges. A live availability function lets you check stock, and you get a live update of any charges if you want a longer loan period.
the time of writing, the 102-megapixel GFX100S is due to be added to the list. Twelve GF lenses and one teleconverter are offered in the scheme. The Try Fujifilm scheme allows for five free 48- hour loans a year, so if you want to try a camera body and lens free for 48 hours, you can use two of your five annual loans for this. However, you still need to pay deposits for both items, plus any extra charges if you
The Flash Centre (TFC) is (as you’d expect from the name) a renowned lighting specialist. With stores in London, Birmingham and Leeds, it offers sales (new and pre-loved) and rental of a very broad range of kit, from still and video cameras and lenses, to speedlights, audio gear, rigs and memory cards. Rental is available from all three stores, with free UK delivery on hires over £150. If you open an account with TFC, you can rent without a deposit, have kit collected on your behalf and delivered wherever you like. But remember, there’s no loss or waiver charge, so insurance is your responsibility. For capture, TFC offers Canon, Fujifilm, Nikon, Sigma, Sony and Tamron kit in full-frame and APS-C formats, while in medium format there’s the choice of Fujifilm, Pentax and Phase. As a guide, the day rate for a Fujifilm GFX 50R is £90, or £339 for a week. The options are just as broad when it comes to lighting, with continuous lights from Elinchrom, Rotolight and Nanguang, as well as speedlights from Hähnel and pro flash from Broncolor and Elinchrom. A two-head Elinchrom 500 TTL kit is £159.60 for a week’s hire, or £45.60 daily. A downloadable, 11-page rental price list is available from the TFC website. The Flash Centre
Plan ahead. If organising a trip or shoot, you have plenty of advance warning. If you are thinking of a hire, make sure there’s availability, then reserve kit well ahead of time. Top-end or esoteric items might be limited in numbers, so reserving is a good idea. An obvious one: read the small print before you click ‘buy’. Some sites have Q&A sections, so check those. Cost per day comes down with a longer loan period, which is worth bearing in mind when planning your photography. A Fujifilm X-T4, for example, borrowed under the Try Fujifilm scheme for three days (with 48 hours free) is £108. That works out at £36 per day, while a seven-day loan is £130.80, or £18.68 a day. Once the kit arrives, make sure it is in full working order. Take a few test shots and check what you actually received. There is usually a delivery note (or you might get one via email), so check you actually received what’s listed. If a lens cap, battery or strap is on the delivery docket, but not in the box, report any shortfall, damage or fault immediately. Basically, flag up any concerns as soon as you can. Make sure you remember the collection day. Set an alarm in your diary, tie a knot in your hanky, ask Alexa, whatever. You’ll probably get an email reminder from the hirer, too. Just make sure the full kit is packed and ready for collection on the day. Couriers are on schedules, so they don’t take kindly to having to wait. If you are returning kit personally and happen to be running late, make sure the hirer is aware. Most hirers charge a deposit, so if you want it back, take care of the kit and treat it as if it was your own. Either take out insurance or use the damage waiver option to cover accidental damage in the hire agreement. Also, if you’re aiming to take the kit out of the country, let the hirer know this upfront. Some hirers have accidental loss or damage insurance in the hire price, so items are covered. Should you have any problems, let the hirers know as soon as possible.
Issue 87 | Photography News 19
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