Photography News issue 28

Photography News Issue 28 absolutephoto.com

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Technique

Keep your pics safe and sound

9. Back up your stuff

10. Buy a new lens says JemmaDodd

Losing your images is one of digital photography’s true horror stories; we all know someone who’s had a hard drive fail, exterminating a trove of precious shots. It’s horrible, but if you’re smart, you’ll have a backup, and you’ll make sure it’s updated as often as possible. That probably means investing in a second hard drive to mirror what’s on the first, so why not start 2016 by doing exactly that? Can’t decide what type to get? Well, they don’t come much more fully featured than LaCie’s Rugged RAID drive. With a cavernous 4TB capacity it’s protected against dust and water, drops of up to 1.5m, pressures of 1000kg, and even light- fingered image-stealers, thanks to its password protection and encryption features. With that level of protection and a small, light build (it’s only 560g and 148mm long), you can make it your day-to- day drive and retire your chunky desktop version to the attic or, preferably, somewhere away from home to increase the safety element. The LaCie Rugged RAID comes with Thunderbolt and USB 3.0 connections allowing speeds of up to 240MB/s and because the drive is RAID format you can choose to mirror data across its two drives for further redundancy or use the whole capacity.

“If you own a DSLR or CSC, the easiest way to expand your creative horizons in 2016 is to invest in a new lens. And you certainly don’t need to spend a lot if you’re looking at third-party lenses from the likes

of Sigma and Tamron. Of course, the options are numerous, so the best way to pick what you need – and avoid buying randomly or in error – is to examine what’s lacking in your current set-up. For instance, if you’re struggling to fit expansive views into the frame, look to get something wider than the current focal lengths you have; it might not sound like a big change, but adding the stalwart Sigma 10-20mm f/3.5 EX DC HSM (at around £375) to the options provided by an 18-55mm kit lens will show an enormous difference at the wide end. What if you want more magnification to pick out distant subjects? Then try a superzoom like Tamron’s impressive 150-600mm f/5-6.3 SP Di VC, costing around £800, but easily paying that back in the added reach for wildlife and sports shooting. I’m after faster lenses for my gig photography this year, and I’m homing in on Sigma’s beautiful 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM, or Tamron’s versatile 24-70mm f/2.8 Di VC USD SP, both wonderful performers and, at £700 surprisingly affordable.”

As a photographer you’re always seeking the highest quality images, but to get them you need every link in your workflow chain to be tip-top. The thing is, while we all spend lots of time selecting the right camera body, lens, software and printer, inks and papers, one of the most important elements often gets forgotten: the monitor. Think of it this way, all the decisions you make when editing an image are based on 11. Get a newmonitor

As well as improved performance, modern monitors also offer more extensive calibration features and if you’re thinking that upgrading means that you’ll need to offload your old model, think again; you can easily chain two monitors, giving you all the desktop real estate you’ll ever need. Start your search with this month’s review of three top-class, wide-gamut 27in monitors available from colorconfidence.com.

what you see on the screen, so if it’s not up to scratch nor will your pictures be; poor monitor performance means that colours can be too warm or cool, under or oversaturated, and contrast could be way off, leading to lost detail in the highlights and shadows. So, if your prints are way off what you’re seeing on screen and you’ve had no luck calibrating your existing set-up, it could be time to upgrade.

Gowider, longer or faster!

12. Joinyour local camera club

If you’re reading this copy of Photography News having picked it up at your camera club, just tick this one off straight away. But for all our thousands of readers who get their news and technique via copies of PN in Jessops and other retailers, why not make 2016 the year that you reach out and get to know other photographers? After all, while photography is often a lonesome hobby for good reason, none of us benefit from working in a vacuum. In fact, throughout history, artistic people have always produced better work when surrounded with like-minded types, and at a camera club, that’s just what you’ll find. Most clubs feature regular contests to get the creative juices flowing and you’ll also receive constructive feedback and expertise from other members. If you want to find your local club, a good place to start is The Photographic Alliance of Great Britain (at thepagb.org.uk). In their About Us section, you’ll find a list of regional Federations which will help you find a club near you. Or you could just Google it!

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