Photography News issue 20

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Issue 20 | Photography News

Photography News | Issue 20

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Son of X-T1 Hot off the press is news of the latest FujifilmX-series camera, the X-T10 Fujifilm has enjoyed huge success with its X-series system and the X-T10 looks set to build the brand’s reputation further. Essentially it’s a smaller versionof the popular X-T1 and packed with great features including the renowned X-Trans CMOS II 16.3-megapixel sensor. The X-T10’s AF system uses a 49-point system and in the new Zone and Wide/Tracking modes, 77 AF points are used for rapid AF of moving subjects whether they are moving up, down or sideways. The X-T10’s EVF gives an excellent, very bright view with a claimed lag time of 0.005sec so there’s minimal image smear. An articulating monitor is also provided. Other notable features include the option of a silent electronic shutter with a 1/32,000sec top speed, continuous shooting at eight frames-per-second, film simulation modes and Full HD video recording. The X-T10’s body price is £499 or £599 with the XC16-50mm and it will be in store from mid-June. A XF90mm f/2 lens has also been announced and that is due late July at a price of £699.

INDETAIL Turn to page 7 for a hands-on preview

Kit launches galore fromLeica, Pentax, Olympus, Canon, Fujifilm&Zeiss

All the latest releases you want to know about

Plus how to present your work to best effect Test verdict on attractively priced SamsungNX500 Our first Camera Club of the Year winner revealed Which club nets the Canon & David Noton prize?

π To find out more, go to fujifilm.eu/uk.

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Issue 20 | Photography News

Photography News | Issue 20

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Latest photography news

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Leica’s latest monodelight Leica announced its secondmonochrome- only camera recently, and editorWill Cheung got hands-onwith it at the launch

SPECS

PRICE £5750 body only

so it can’t produce colour images, and it means each pixel site can do a great job of recording levels of grey. The result is better

RESOLUTION 24 megapixels SENSOR 35.8x23.9mm CMOS with no AA filter IMAGE SIZE 5952x3968 pixels LENSMOUNT Leica M ISO Auto 320-25,000 SHUTTER RANGE 60secs to 1/4000sec MONITOR 3in, 921k dots STORAGE CARD

Words by Will Cheung

One of the many joys of shooting digital is that you can decide whether you want colour or black & white pictures when you’re in front of the computer. What then is the appeal of a camera that shoots monochrome only and costs £5750 for the body only so £7000 by the time you get a lens on it? Well, that’s exactly what Leica’s latest M rangefinder offers and despite its hefty price tag, I can see why it will appeal to dedicated monochrome workers. The M Monochrom (Typ 246) is the second monochrome-only Leica and offers the latest significant performance benefits – 24 instead of 18 megapixels, a top ISO of 25,000 instead of 10,000 and improved handling. The Monchrom’s Belgian-made 14-bit sensor has no RGB colour filter array like other digital cameras

It’s aperture-priority or manual for exposure but focusing is manual only using Leica’s famed optical rangefinder system. There is live view with focus peaking. Manual focusing seems a throwback but there is something special in using Leica’s system and the depth-of-field scales on Leica lenses means you can focus hyperfocally. That process is helped by the camera’s ISO performance. The minimum ISO 320 is on the high side given the camera’s top shutter speed of 1/4000sec so small apertures and ND filters might be needed on bright days. The M Monochrom is clearly not for everyone and even monochrome only shooters will need deep pockets, but it’s undeniably fine and capable.

dynamic range and excellent noise performance in DNG Raw or JPEG files. Detail rendition is helped further by not having a low-pass filter. The files I shot in my brief foray with the Monochrom looked excellent, even those at ISO 12,500 and 25,000. My test shots were processed through Lightroom 5.7 with no noise reduction. Handling-wise the Monochrom is excellent if a little quirky, although if you have had the good fortune to use the Leica M9, you will be perfectly comfortable picking up and getting on with the Monochrom immediately. After one press of the shutter release one thing is instantly apparent – this camera is much quieter than the M9.

SD/SDHC/SDXC DIMENSIONS 139x42x80mm BODYWEIGHT 680g

π To find out more about the MMonochrom (Typ 246), go to www.leica-camera.com.

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Issue 20 | Photography News

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Latest photography news

Scanner redesignand relaunch

NEWS INBRIEF PRINT AND GO Canon’s Selphy CP1000 is a compact printer that promises to deliver high-quality images anywhere. It can print straight from your camera, USB or memory card in less than one minute and there’s a tilting screen so you can get see SONY BACKS PAGB COMPETITION The PAGB’s exhibition is one of the most coveted of its kind, but now it has the benefit of receiving sponsorship from imaging giants Sony. A series of seminars will be hosted by Sony as part of the sponsorship and will give punters a chance to find out X-RITE ON TOUR Learn more about colour management in one of X-Rite’s events as they tour the country until the end of June. The tour takes in major UK cities including Norwich, Bristol and London. There’ll be exclusive discounts available for purchases made on the day. www.xrite.com LATEST BOOKS FROMHARMAN Photographer Sheila Rock has released a new monochrome book about England’s relationship with the sea. P hotographer Dave Butcher also released Land Light and Snow Light which showcase his black & white landscape work. All books are available from Amazon UK. www.sheilarock.com & www.davebutcher.co.uk what’s going on. www.canon.co.uk more about Sony’s range of cameras. www.sony.co.uk

Another really useful feature that the firm has incorporated into the model is the ability to monitor the progress of a scan or batch scan via your iPhone, which means no more hanging around. If you already own an OpticFilm 120 scanner, visit www.silverfast.com/plustek-archive-suite to download a free SilverFast Ai Studio 8.5 upgrade.

If you’re a film or slide user, you’ll no doubt own or at least have heard of the OpticFilm 120 scanner. Well, that classic model is now being relaunched after manufacturer Plustek partnered with LaserSoft Imaging to improve and enhance its original features to make scanning a more streamlined and efficient experience. Scanning can be a laborious process, but the improvements made to the OpticFilm’s workflow make batch scanning much easier.

π To find out more, go to www.plustek.com.

Stick it to the selfie

Not just for the likes of the Kardashians, selfie sticks can come in handy for the more earnest photographer too. Rollei has unleashed four new selfie sticks from the entry-level 4 Fun (£14.99) which extends up to 90cm to the 4 Life (£29.99) which extends to 90cm (but closes to a small 22cm) and has a Bluetooth shutter built into the handle. In the middle of the range are the 4 Style stick and 4 Smile stick, both of which retail at £24.99 and offer Bluetooth control, with the latter extending to 104cm compared to the 4 Style’s 50cm.

π To find out more, go to www.rollei.com.

On your hike

Comfort is key with the backpacks too, each featuring padded straps and lumbar support. Each has a strap and foot that will keep your tripod or monopod securely attached and the bags themselves also come with a waterproof cover. The larger version, the 200, costs from £119.99 and has extra space for a 15.6in laptop, whilst the smaller 100 will set you back £99.99. For photographers who need to carry large amounts of kit there are two Falconer backpacks on offer, the EB600 and EB800 costing £129.99 and £149.99 respectively. Made from tough 750D waterproof twill and with plenty of padding, your gear will be well protected for the great outdoors. In addition Nest has also released new Vantage Pro Video Tripods: the M10 (£149.99) and M20 (£199.99), both of which come with a pan and tilt head.

Nest has launched two bag ranges. The Hiker range has plenty of choice in there for the adventure-seeking photographer, including three sizes of shoulder bags and two backpacks. The shoulder bags range from £49.99 for the smallest up to £74.99 for the largest, with standard black versions being the cheaper option compared with the camouflage equivalents. Padded interiors, pouches and pockets keep everything from your iPad to your camera, lenses and accessories safe. Having your gear stowed away safely is one thing, but being able to access your kit quickly whenever you need to is a must too. With the zipped top and side openings it’s easy. Nest hasn’t forgotten about comfort either, with all its shoulder bags coming with a padded shoulder strap – and if it rains there’s also a waterproof cover.

Twice as Zeiss π To find out more, go to www.nest-style.com.

quantifiable at around 4x the subject tracking speed of the lenses’ predecessors. The pair are designed for use with cameras from the Sony A-mount family, but owners of an E-mount camera can get an adapter. Both models are now dust and moisture resistant and both are available for pre-order now.

Sony’s standard zoom and wide-angle full-frame Zeiss lenses have undergone enhancements and are to be released as new lenses. The Vario-Sonnar T* 24-70mm f/2.8 ZA SSM II standard zoom and the 16-35mm f/2.8 wide-angle zoom equivalent have been tinkered with to reduce ghosting and improve AF functions as well as to deliver overall better imaging quality. With the AF upgrades you get faster, more powerful processing, an improvement that’s

π To find out more, go to www.sony.co.uk.

Photography News | Issue 20

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Latest photography news FujifilmX-T10 Following in the X-T1’s popular footsteps is the X-T10.Will Cheung gets his hands on it

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Pentax flagship

We got our hands on a pre-production K-3 II. The camera feels solid and navigating around is easy with the bright, fixed monitor and plenty of controls to minimise diving into the clear menu. Once camera set-up is complete you don’t have to go into it often either. Push the INFO button and at a glance 18 common features appear; these can be set with the four-way button cluster. There are physical buttons for Raw or JPEG shooting, metering pattern and ISO changing. Pentax kept with the option of its own Raw format (PEF) and the open standard Adobe DNG. The K-3 II has two SD slots with options of how images are stored. AF speed is swift and responsive, and the AF button means changing mode or sensor can be done with the camera up to the eye. We’ll test the K-3 II when the sample arrives, but it’s promising. The K-3 II is available from the end of May at £770 body only and £850 with the 18-55mm WR zoom.

Pentax announced the K-3 II as its flagship APS-C format DSLR. With the acclaim being enjoyed by the medium-format 645Z and a full-frame DSLR due later in the year, the brand is certainly on an upward curve. The K-3 II has a 24.3-megapixel CMOS sensor with no low-pass filter to maximise the camera’s ability to capture detail. There’s an anti-alias filter simulator in the menu in case. The camera uses the PRIME III imaging engine, as does the 645Z, and is known for giving low noise at high ISO settings – the K-3 II tops out at ISO 51,200. With 92 seals around the camera’s magnesium body and stainless steel chassis, the K-3 II is weather resistant. It has exciting practical features like an improved shake reduction system and a Pixel Shift Resolution Shift System, which captures four images with the sensor moved one pixel between each shot before combining the files to produce a higher quality file.

The smaller body could have resulted in some design compromises but the X-T10’s control layout is sensible and all key controls are there. The only thing missing is a dedicated ISO dial but that aspect can be dedicated to one of the seven function controls. The choice of features that can be assigned to these buttons is excellent. Having spent a short while with the X-T10, I’ve no fully formed views yet, especially as we couldn’t check image quality, but the X-Trans sensor is a proven performer so there should be no issues there. The Fujifilm X-T10’s price has been confirmed at £499 body only. It’s £599 with the XC16-50mm and £799 with the XF18- 55mm zoom. The new £699 XF90mm f/2 R LM WR telephoto claims to have fast AF, give beautiful bokeh and focuses to 60cm.

Words by Will Cheung

The X-T10 is significantly smaller than the X-T1 but it’s still not that compact. Fitted with a standard zoom, it’d squeeze into a large jacket pocket. The good news is that the smaller body doesn’t compromise features and the X-T10 is bristling with great stuff. The AF system was responsive and swift even in low light. Our X-T10 sample was tried alongside an X-T1 with v3 firmware and the X-T10 snapped into focus in a way the older camera didn’t. X-T1 owners can enjoy the same AF systemwhen firmware v4 is released later in June (see page 8). Viewing options are provided by the articulating monitor and an EVF with claimed minimal lag so no smearing during panning. The EVF image is smaller but noticeably brighter than the X-T1’s.

π To find out more about the K-3 II, go to www.ricoh-imaging.co.uk.

π To find out more about the X-T10, go to www.fujifilm.eu/uk/.

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Issue 20 | Photography News

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Latest photography news

The Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II was a damn decent lens, but camp Canon has only gone and outdone itself by releasing a successor in the form of the EF 50mm f/1.8 STM. The main improvement is a fast, near-silent and super-smooth focusing system, which can get you as close as 0.35m to your subject whilst still delivering clear results. You’ll see a difference in imaging quality too compared with its predecessor as its seven-blade aperture delivers really beautiful blur and out-of- focus highlights whilst spectra coating minimises ghosting and flare as well as reflections. Smaller changes have been made too, such as the mount being redesigned for a more robust fit with your camera. Weighing in at 160g, it’ll keep your kitbag light but your wallet will still feel full as it’s retailing at a reasonable £129.99. Canon’s prime time π To find out more, go to www.canon.co.uk.

Keeping abreast with innovations in imaging technology, which is now making cameras quicker and images richer in detail, Samsung has released two new line-ups of SD and microSD memory cards. The Pro Plus and EVO Plus can handle more data faster, as well as support 4K and UHD video recording. Coming in 64GB and 34GB storage capacities, the Pro Plus range has read speeds of up to 95MB/s and write speeds of an equally impressive 90MB/s. The larger of the two can store almost 110 minutes of 4K footage or 490 minutes of Full HD video. The EVO Plus cards come in 32GB, 64GB and 128GB capacities, with the largest of the lot being able to store a maximum of nearly 11,000 photos or 980 minutes of Full HD video. The EVO Plus range has read speeds of up to 80MB/s and write speeds of up to 20MB/s, a vastly improved performance compared to the original EVO line-up. The Plus line-up also has the added bonus of being able to withstand up to 72 hours submerged in seawater (that’s 48 hours more than existing Samsung cards). The microSD cards are available this month with SD versions following later. Memorymagic

Another Fujifilm firmwareupdate

across a broader area to improve the X-T1’s AF skills. AF accuracy has been improved too with smaller zones in single-point AF and greatly enhanced sensitivity in low light, low contrast situations. The update also brings in Eye detection AF, which automatically focuses on the human eye even in complex scenes, and there is an Auto Macro setting too, which frees up the macro function button for another use. Go online in late June for the v4 update.

Many owners of the Fujifilm X-T1 rejoiced when firmware update v3 with 26 handling improvements was announced a few months back. And surely the bell-ringing, beacon-burning and merriment will be even greater when v4 comes out in late June. V4 brings a new AF system as well as other handling benefits to X-T1 and X-T1 Graphite cameras. The existing 49-point system has been embellished with new Zone and Wide/ Tracking modes, which use 77 AF points

π To find out more about the new cards, go to www.samsung.co.uk.

π To find out more about the update, go to www.fujifilm.com/x-t1/ver4/.

Olympus launches lenses Two optics join the PRO line-up, plus a limited edition E-M5MkII

A limited edition OM-D E-M5 Mark II will be available from June, body only at £999.99 or with the 14-150mm f/4-5.6 at £1349.99 (from Jessops). This titanium-coloured camera is in homage to an Olympus classic, the OM-3Ti that came out more than 20 years ago. Only 7000 of these special edition bodies will be made and the cameras will be numbered one to 7000. Also for OM-D E-M10 and E-M1 potential buyers and existing owners, Olympus is offering cashback and trade-in bonuses on these two bodies and selected lenses. See the summer special website below for more details.

Olympus’s range of Micro Four Thirds lenses has grown by two, with the ED 8mm fisheye f/1.8 PRO and the ED 7-14mm f/2.8 PRO, selling for £799.99 and £999.99 respectively. Both lenses will be in the shops from June. The 8mm at f/1.8 is claimed to be the world’s fastest fisheye lens and with the x2 crop factor of Micro Four Thirds, it’s equal to a 16mm in 35mm format terms. Like the rest of the PRO range the 7-14mm is weather-proofed with 11 separate seals and with a minimum focus of 7.5cm from the lens front, you can really get in close for dramatic wide effects.

π To find out more about the new kit or offers, go to www.olympus.co.uk/cameras or www.olympus.eu/summerspecial.

Photography News | Issue 20

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Latest photography news

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World Photographywinners revealed

NEWS INBRIEF FLASHES ARE GO Finally on sale, Nissin’s Di700 Air and Commander Air 1 are available in Canon, Nikon and Sony fits. www.nissindigital.com NOMORE NOISE Macphun’s new app Noiseless as good as eliminates noise from a photo in just one click, but you can also take more control. It’s available in standard and pro versions. www.macphun.com READ PN? Register on the website for your digital copy of PN and each month you’ll get a link to view the paper as soon as it’s CAN’TWAIT TO

The world’s largest photography competition, the Sony World Photography Awards recently announced the winners, including the recipient of the Photographer of the Year/L’Iris d’Or award. American photographer John Moore, of Getty Images, was named as the Photographer of the Year and as well as the title, he received $25,000 and Sony kit for his hard-hitting series of images, Ebola Crisis Overwhelms Liberian Capital. German photographer Armin Appel was named as the Open Photographer of the Year and received $5000 for his image, Schoolyard. His image was chosen from the almost 80,000 that were entered into the competition by a panel of experts from the World Photography Organisation. Four British names were among the award winners: Simon Norfolk, Professional Landscape; Antony Crossfield, Open Enhanced; Norman Quinn, Open Panoramic; and 14-year-old Stephanie Anjo, Youth Portraiture. All the winning and shortlisted images feature in this year’s Sony World Photography Awards book, available from the website.

published. Simple! absolutephoto.com

π To find out more about theWorld Photography Organisation, go to www.worldphoto.org.

IGPOTY’s shades of grey

Canon has published guides offering a ‘unique perspective’ to six cities across Europe. The six guides – to London, Paris, Madrid, Berlin, Milan and Amsterdam – are available to download from Canon’s Come and See website and feature in the Companion app to the EOS 760D, 750D and M3. Rather like Rough Guides or Lonely Planet books, each guide is curated by a local personality, offering an everyday look at the cities and encouraging photographers to look at familiar sights and to discover hidden gems. Canon goes to town Learnwith theRPS&OU Combining the Royal Photographic Society’s 160 years of photography experience and the Open University’s expertise in delivering education online, a new course, Digital Photography: Creating and Sharing Better Images, is now available worldwide and is suitable for complete beginners as well as those looking to improve their skills. The ten-week course develops skills through weekly practical assignments and participants will benefit from a vibrant online community and receive feedback from expert photographers on their final assignment. It costs £200 and students who successfully complete the course will receive an RPS Certificate in Photography, and be fully prepared to tackle their LRPS. π To find out more about the course, go to www.rps.org/ online-courses. π To find out more about the guides, go to www.canon.co.uk.

The International Garden Photographer of the Year (IGPOTY) has announced the winner of one of its two Photo Project competitions. The Monochrome Photo Project first place went to Matthew Woodhouse, who wins £500 for his image, Three, above. The other Photo Project is Macro Art, which closes on 30 June – so you’ve still time to enter.

π To find out more, go to www.igpoty.com.

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Issue 20 | Photography News

Photography News | Issue 20

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Camera clubs 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

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HOWTO SUBMIT

Make sure you allow plenty of time. For the next issue of Photography News , which will be available from 11 June, we need words and pictures by 4 June. Write your story in a Word document (400 words maximum) and attach it to an email to clubnews@photography-news.co.uk. In the story please include contact details of the club, exhibition or event – website, meeting times, opening times, whatever is relevant to the story. Images: yes please, and attach these to the email too. 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), the winning image or one of the event. If the picture includes people please identify them in the Word document. Deadline for the next issue: 4 June 2015

Annual Exhibition inHailsham

Long service recognised by Photographic Alliance of Great Britain Clubmembers honoured by PAGB

him for everything he’s done for us and we can think of no better way than the award of APAGB.” Former Potters Bar member and chairman of the PAGB Awards Committee, Christine Langford presented the award to a surprised Graham, who said he’ll “treasure the moment”. Farnborough member and ex- secretary, Clifford Derricutt received his award from PAGB president, Leo Rich, who praised Clifford’s dedicated service to the club as well as the SCPF and PAGB. As well as his dedicated service, the award acknowledges his support of the club since joining in 1985 and the encouragement he’s given other photographers.

The Photographic Alliance of Great Britain has awarded two club members Associateships for their photographic services: Potters Bar & District Photographic Society’s Graham Caldrick and Farnborough Camera Club’s Clifford Derricutt. Potters Bar member and ex- president, Graham Caldrick was awarded his Associateship in recognition of sustained support of the society and wider photographic organisations for over 40 years. Announcing the award, the society’s president, Helen Frost said: “Potters Bar andDistrict Photographic Society would not be the club it is today without Graham. We’d like to thank

Yellow House, Iceland by Pat Broad ARPS AFIAP.

From Monday 15 to Saturday 20 June, Hailsham Photographic Society’s annual exhibition is on show at Hailsham’s Charles Hunt Centre. The exhibition will comprise 140 prints in both colour and black & white. It’s open 10am to 4pm and entry is free. Refreshments will be available and car parking nearby is free. Visitors can vote for their favourite photograph and enter a picture raffle with the opportunity to win their favourite print. A selection of prints and cards will also be on sale.

π To find out more about Potters Bar & District Photographic Society, go to www.pottersbarphotosoc.org.uk. π To find out more about Farnborough Camera Club, go to farnboroughcameraclub.org.

π To find out more about the exhibition, go to www.hailshamphotographicsociety.co.uk.

Worcester’s Swan Theatre is the venue for landscape photographer David Ward’s presentation Colour, hosted by Beacon Camera Club. Acutely aware of the importance of colour, David Ward will examine the wonders of colour, uncovering many of its secrets and discussing how our perception of colour is influenced by biology. He will also look at many aspects of colour within photography, such balancing hues and working with contrasts, and show many of his images, including several not seen in public before. The talk starts at 7.30pm on Friday 19 June, and tickets cost £15; available from the theatre box office. DavidWard Landscape photographer discusses colour and our perception of it Beacon welcomes

NEWS INBRIEF

INTERNATIONAL

SALONOPEN The fourth South Devon Salon of International Photography is now open for entry. The three categories are Open, Creative and Nature, with 11 gold medals available across the categories, as well as silvers and ribbons. Full details for submission, which is online only, can be found on Newton Abbot Photographic Club’s website. Entry closes on 19 July 2015. www.newtonabbot- photoclub.org.uk.

Free judging software Most camera clubs run competitions and many use software to help with the judging. For clubs who don’t yet have a software or would like to try a new one, here’s a free one to consider. Written by PN reader Mark Kemp, Pictures is Windows only. It’s essentially a slide-show software with features dedicated to competitions. It can keep scores, retain a shortlist, randomise playback to ensure fairness, work on two screens and run inter- club battles. It’s free to download the software and the instruction manual from the website.

Bergs by David Ward.

π To find out more about Beacon Camera Club, go to www.beaconcameraclub.co.uk.

π To find out more about Pictures, go to www.cameraclubsoftware.net.

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Issue 20 | Photography News

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Profile

INTERVIEW

There’s a revolution happening in the world of stock photography, which claims to offer a much fairer deal to photographers. We spoke to Picfair founder, Benji Lanyado, to find out what’s behind this brave new landscape Benji Lanyado

content space with editorial buyers. If the price is competitive, there will always be buyers.

BIOGRAPHY

Many photographers won’t know the value of their images – can you give pricing assistance? We’re going to do a lot more on guiding first-time sellers. We don’t want them to undersell images, but we don’t want them to price themselves out of the market. A good guide is to upload the first batch at £10 each (for a single-use licence), then see how it goes. Eventually we want to offer a way to let the market control the price. How many images do you need to contribute to stand a good chance of making money? As long as you upload more than ten, the number doesn’t matter – it’s image quality that matters. Our search algorithm prefers photographers who have a lot of stars (our in-house editorial pick), social media links and a lot of page views. It’s also important to tag images as diligently as possible. As the value of stock has dropped, how would you encourage photographers that stock is a worthwhile investment of their time? While the earnings of early adopters to stock and average image prices have dropped, money being spent on images has massively increased. It’s just being distributed to a much larger pool of photographers as there are more fit-for-market images out there. It might be more difficult to become a full-time stock photographer, but it’s easy for a semi-pro or freelance photographer to make a great side income from stock photography. What sells best? While traditional images of objects on white backgrounds always have a market, we see more and more sales of ‘alternative stock’ – images shot with the necessary crispness and focus, but telling alternative stories: a model who isn’t thin, shiny and traditionally beautiful; vistas with grungy filters rather than Disney colours. Overall though, if it’s a well-defined shot, there’s a market for it. Are there any images/photographers you’re looking to attract? We’re increasing our library – so photographers with big collections! But in terms of scope, we want everyone from incredibly niche medical stock photographers to zeitgeisty Instagrammers! How do you encourage people to submit work to you and not the Big Boys of stock? For the photographer, the major agencies have morphed into margin-hungry monsters, who’ve forgotten about the people who are providing their goods. The image industry has gotten progressively worse for photographers, but Picfair puts them back in control.

Years in the photo industry: Four Current location: East London Last picture taken: Picfair’s new office Hobbies: I’m a football addict with a serious West Ham problem When youwere younger, what did you want to bewhen you grewup? An air hostess, a pilot, a footballer then a writer Dogs or cats? Dogs. They understand me Toast or cereal? Toast Email or phone call? Neither. Slack or WhatsApp How did Picfair come about? I worked as a travel writer and editor and was amazed how difficult it was to find and license non-professional images. I looked into how the industry worked and couldn’t believe how old- school agencies were: excluding amateurs, fixing prices and taking a vast majority of royalties – an average of 74%! This outdated business model serves neither buyers or photographers. Airbnb is an inspiration – before them, thousands of holiday rental agencies constricted supply and took the majority of the money. The image industry is the same. It seemed an amazing opportunity to apply a new business model to image licensing. So I quit my job, learned how to code and then released a prototype of Picfair in late 2013. In a few months there were over 10,000 images by amateur and pro photographers in 20 countries. We had our first front-page image during the storms of January 2014. It very quickly became clear that this wasn’t a bad idea and there was an appetite from both sides of the market. What’s so different about Picfair compared with the more established stock agencies? We’re alternative – Shutterstock we ain’t! By opening our platform to anyone, we attracted a new wave of pro-amateur photographers who’ve been excluded from image licensing for years. We’re better value as our prices are dictated by the market, not a stock agency executive. The photographer is at the heart of what we do – we let them set their own prices, change them whenever they want and get 100% of the fee when an image sells (we add a 20% commission on top). It’s also simple to use – within three clicks of opening Picfair, you could have images for sale! How do you compete with free imagery? We don’t. People who want free images find free images – they don’t make this a $6bn industry. We’re interested in the growing commercial

Can you compete with the likes of Getty/Alamy as far as image buyers are concerned? Our proposition to photographers is dramatically different from Getty or Shutterstock and we’re gradually offering similar propositions to buyers. With no agency overheads or executives fixing prices, we can offer buyers game-changing value. We also offer access to a new generation of image makers that agencies have excluded for years. We’re going to dramatically simplify the way images are licensed. The current royalty free and rights managed status quo is an outdated quagmire – Getty has 320,000 ways to license a single image. This is mad, and nobody wants it. We want to get rid of royalty free altogether and offer buyers what they want – simplicity. We’re only just getting started on this, stay tuned! It’s a combination of human and algorithmic filtering; every image is viewed and sorted by a picture editor. We monitor view counts, sales, social referral and page dwell, all of which is fed to our search algorithm. Every photographer and image has an algorithmic score that changes daily. Ultimately, our aim is to algorithmically differentiate the wheat from the chaff. How do you compete with Flickr and 500pix, or editors contacting photographers directly? We can’t stop direct contact, but mostly we actually experience this in reverse – buyers contact a photographer and are referred to their Picfair profile. Negotiating rates/payment is a hassle – we handle payment and licensing so they can concentrate on photography. We don’t see Flickr and 500px as direct competitors. Where do you see Picfair in five years’ time? I want us to have dramatically changed online image licensing and have made millions of pounds for our photographers in the process! How do you maintain the quality of images – is there a vetting process?

The image industry has gotten progressively worse for photographers, but Picfair puts themback in control

π To find out more, go to www.picfair.com.

Photography News | Issue 20

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Opinion

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BEFORE THE JUDGE Micki AstonCPAGB Each issue, a respected judge or exhibition selector shares their thoughts and experiences. This month, we hear from esteemed photographer, judge and lecturer Micki Aston CPAGB

MEET THE JUDGE

Words by Micki Aston

Micki Aston CPAGB: Widely

published and exhibited as a photographer herself, Micki has caught the travel bug and lectures extensively on her travel photography as well as judging throughout the country. Home club: Windsor Photographic Society Favourite camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II Favourite lens: Canon 28-135mm Favourite photographers: Frank Hurley, Elliott Erwitt and Don McCullin Favourite subjects: Character portraiture, derelict buildings, beaches and movement combined with stillness

I became a camera club member in the mid- nineties, having been recruited into my local club when they’d seen an exhibition of mine. I had many reservations about joining a photographic club and what it would entail. How wrong I was! Through the camera club, a master printer took me under his wing and taught me everything he knew about darkroom skills. That knowledge gave me endless hours of blissful creativity. At the start of the digital revolution another club member taught me all I needed to know about Adobe Lightroom, so my digital darkroom seamlessly replaced the real one. I’ll be forever grateful to these members and to many others who’ve helped me over the years. In 1997, I attended a seminar about training potential judges within the Chiltern Association of Camera Clubs (CACC). I discovered that my knack for public speaking (I’m a lady toastmaster) held me in good stead and I recognised that my natural inclination to teach was very useful. Probably most importantly, I realised that judging was a way to give something back to the camera club community. I judge at and give talks tomany clubs throughout the southern area of the UK. Judging by feedback, club members feel my enthusiasm and passion for photography. I don’t enter into discussion with individuals once I’ve scored an image. At the outset of a competition I explain that, as an outsider, I can better assess work than the authors themselves whose subjectivity will bias their opinion. Of course, it’s human nature that judges have likes and dislikes, so judges need to work hard to be objective, analysing and judging with a clear, unbiased eye. There are several aspects of judging about which I feel very strongly:

n Judges should judge for the right reasons, namely to encourage club members by building their knowledge and confidence. Judges should generate enthusiasm to motivate entrants to improve and try again. Negative comments can put them off photography for life, something that happened to someone I know personally. n Judges should not be on a personal ego trip, a common occurrence. They should give clear, concise and relevant critique to help the author improve their photography and be helpful to all. n Judges should assess and comment on the ‘feel’ of an image, its atmosphere and emotion. Judges shouldn’t rigidly dismiss images if they don’t meet the rule of thirds, have no lead-in lines etc.

n Judges do not need to bang authors on the head with very low marks, the verbal critique should suffice. I never award a mark below 13 out of 20. n As well as informing, teaching and guiding, judges should be entertaining. There’s nothing worse than members snoring during a competition! Judges are responsible for ensuring members enjoy themselves and, whilst taking the judging of images very seriously, try to include anecdotes and teaching points to enhance the evening. I feel so strongly about recruiting the right people to be judges that I’m an assessor at CACC’s annual selection of new candidates. I have no compunction about rejecting unsuitable candidates and am very protective of camera club members who work so hard at their photography. I consider it a mark of respect that the right people should be selected for the job of judging members’ beloved images. In judging a wide range of competitions I see many superb images that inspire me. Analysing why an image ‘works’ is very satisfying, while images that don’t ‘work’ give me the challenge of assessing why not, how the image could be improved and telling the audience. It’s this process I find totally absorbing.

Judges should judge for the right reasons, namely to encourage club members by building their knowledge and confidence

π To find out more, go to www.astonimages.com.

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. What do you think?

ABOVE Taken early in the morning in Montana’s Glacier National Park. LEFT Cheetahs in the Masai Mara, Kenya.

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Issue 20 | Photography News

14

Competitions City slicking INTERVIEW

Working for CBRE, a leading global real estate advisory firm, Paul Suchman, global chief marketing officer, found himself involved in one of the most successful competitions of its kind, the Urban Photographer of the Year competition. Here he explains more about the roots and aims of the distinguished awards

Interview by Megan Croft

Can you tell us about your role within the competition and how you came to be involved? As the global chief marketing officer, all CBRE’s brandbuilding and campaign-focusedprogrammes roll up to me. When I joined the firm the Urban Photographer of the Year (UPOTY) competition was well established and very healthy. I inherited a powerful and wonderfully creative gem. My role in UPOTY is threefold: to extend the competition’s reach to global markets; to elevate the creativity and investment into promotional work supporting the competition; and to give our regional marketing teams the space to drive awareness and participation. We’ve got an incredibly talented and passionate team driving this. CBRE is a global real estate services and investment firm. Where did the idea for a photography competition come from? The competition started in Portugal in 2006, to engage the local community by celebrating the beauty and technical sophistication of the built environment. It was so well received that we extended it across Europe, then Asia and eventually globally. The theme of UPOTY is ‘cities at work’, a

investment firm, we are aware of this responsibility. Our collection of Urban Photographer books is rapidly becoming an archive of changing fashions, landscapes and cultures. Why do you think this competition in particular has been so successful and grown so quickly? Two reasons: firstly, the world of photography has opened up to a wider audience with the rise of mobile technology and the accessibility to less expensive and higher quality equipment. Taking photos is now as pervasive as texting and people use them to document every aspect of their daily life. Secondly, the competition and all supporting communications have an aspirational nature, appealing to both amateur and professional photographers. We’ve built an outlet for creativity that allows people to share their perspectives on the urban environment with people across the globe. Simplicity and creativity… a powerful recipe. Where do you receive the most entries from and where would you like to get more from? The competition began in Europe and the momentum remains strong across the continent.

simple yet pervasive idea that has relevance in all markets. The clarity and possibility of this brief has helped it catch fire in every market. Why the theme ‘cities at work’ specifically? At CBRE, the built environment is the canvas we paint upon. We play a pivotal role in the development of urban environments and remain committed to positively shaping the future of our cities. The competition enables an inspiring glimpse into urban environments around the globe, views we might not otherwise see. The photos submitted constantly influence our perceptions and thinking about cities. It’s fascinating, highly educational and often humbling. The competition set out to enhance the profile of the built environment. Has that happened? Absolutely. Our cities are in a constant state of reinvention as populations grow, economies flex and consumption trends evolve. Documenting and honouring the built environment is a very powerful way to understand its impact on the wider environment and communities. As the world’s largest commercial real estate services and

Simplicity and creativity... a powerful recipe

ABOVE LEFT 2014 Youth Category 13-15 Winner Sarah Scarborough’s A Distant Silhouette. ABOVE RIGHT 2014 Americas Winner Johanna Siegmann’s Buffer Zone.

Photography News | Issue 20

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Competitions

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Today, the highest numbers of entries come from that region, Eastern Europe in particular. As we expanded globally, entries from India and China have been growing. We want that to continue and to gain momentum across more Asian markets. The power of the images from this region is simply stunning. The Americas too is growing and we’re pleased with the raw creativity from that region. Our penetration in tier-one markets is very strong as would be expected given the built environment brief, but as new economies emerge, we expect growth from new markets. Have any entries stood out to you in particular over the years? We’ve received almost 50,000 photographs since the competition started, so it’s quite a challenge to highlight just a few. That said, those entries that challenge our perceptions or shed a new light on an existing topic tend to stand out the most. Has the competition changed or influenced your perception of how people interact with their cities? Yes, it has. Regardless of cultural and economic differences, the human race has more in common than we might think. At a basic level, we’re all rising, commuting, working, striving, eating and socialising every day. It’s amazing to get glimpses into how these activities are impacted by urban environments across the globe. Participants can enter up to 24 photos to represent the hours of the day. Have many taken up the full challenge? The average number of photos per participant has risen year-on-year, but we don’t see many people submitting 24 images. Unique to UPOTY is the sheer volume of winners. We award an overall winner, one per region and 24-hourly winners. We also have a student category, and this year have introduced a mobile category. These new additions are dramatically increasing entries as the mobile device affords such immediacy. The majority of entries are taken between 8am and 10pm, so it’s a challenge to stand out during those hours. While we receive less volume of photos midnight to 8am, these are often the most provocative and interesting. The use of light, activities captured and general tone of the photos during these hours are fantastic. Is there a particular hour that generally throws up the most interesting kinds of shots?

Take your camera with you on your commute, get snapping on a day trip to the city but whatever you do make sure you enter your best shots in this year’s Urban Photographer of the Year competition. You can submit an image to represent any hour of the day, but be sure to get it in before the closing date of 31 July 2015. All entries must be submitted via the website. Callingallurbanites Do different countries have micro trends in terms of what city life typically looks like? Inevitably, yes. Trends unique to European, Asian and American cities are captured. Some expected, others not. It’s remarkable how many similarities can be drawn, even among the most diverse cities. Is there any city scene you’d like to see represented more within UPOTY? And why? As the competition evolves and photos taken on mobile devices increase, we hope to see more amazing, split second moments. We want people to extend their creative potential finding new ways to celebrate the built environment. Are the winning images exhibited anywhere? Weexhibit them inour officesworldwideandpublish them in the highly coveted Urban Photographer of the Year book. It’s exclusive though we often get requests to purchase the book. We’re exploring formal exhibition opportunities, so we can share the creativity and diversity of the images with broader communities. What are your ambitions for UPOTY’s future? Next year we celebrate the competition’s tenth year and we’ll plan for something special to commemorate the milestone. UPOTY enables our brand to flex its creative muscle and makes us more relevant to general consumers. We’ll look to build on this creativity and brand elasticity. π To find out more, go to www.cbreupoty.com.

How did you go about selecting the judging panel? What kind of mix did you want? We have a great group of judges, a number of whom have been on the panel for years. We are delighted to have Caroline Metcalfe with her deep knowledge of photo editing and publication, and Riccardo Busi who brings us closer to FIAP. Going forward, we’ll continue to diversify the panel geographically and from an industry perspective. What was the motivation behind appointing Martin Grahame-Dunn as chairman of judges? While the competition started in Europe, Asia and the Middle East (EMEA), the long-term objective is to become truly global. Martin reflects this ambition and is a respected teacher and judge with a long list of fellowships. He has established assessment criteria and judging panels for many national photographic associations and chaired international competition judging panels in EMEA. He’s an international member of and trains extensively with the board of the Professional Photographers Association. What are the judges looking for? Is it technique or subject? Neither; those are table stakes we expect from all entries. Rather, we ask our judges to look for people who capture something special and tell a story through their image. That’s what unifies the photographers who make it into our book, an ability to capture an acute and unique observation. What are your top tips for success in UPOTY? We receive a lot of common perspectives, familiar subjects and angles. We long for unusual views, different approaches to capturing emotion and innovative use of light and environments. We want people to capture truth, energy and passion. What makes a winning image? If you look through the book, you’ll notice a theme. Each image captures a story and brings a city to life. It’s not enough to take a photo of a stunning skyscraper; we are looking for images that tell stories and provide a view into the urban environment that others might not see.

We have received almost 50,000 photographs since the competition started

ABOVE 2014 Asia Pacific Winner Ly Haong Long’s Net Mending. BELOW 2014 Overall Winner Marius Vieth’s Mask of Society.

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Issue 20 | Photography News

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Latest photography news Adayof opportunities It’s the final countdown to a full 24 hours of photo fun. Still need convincing to join us? Read on

In association with

The best overall Photo 24 2015 image wins a Nikon D750 full-frame DSLR with 24-85mm lens, and you can also win a Nikon 1 J5 plus 10-30mm lens for the best image taken at each meet-up location. There’s a Nikon Coolpix AW130 on offer for the best shot added to the Photo 24 Photo Wall and a Nikon Coolpix P900 for the winner of the Treasure Hunt competition. WIN BIGAT PHOTO24

LAST FEW PHOTO 24 SPACES!

Secured your spot for Photo 24 yet? Brilliant – see you there! Keep up with the latest news and details on Twitter @Photo24London.

Okay, now it’s getting exciting. There’s just over a month to go until the shutters snap open on this year’s Photo 24 event in London, sponsored by Nikon and Nikon School, and if you’ve not yet reserved your place, then what are you waiting for? The free event kicks off at noon on Saturday 20 June and brings together hundreds of like-minded enthusiast and amateur photographers for a full 24 hours of shooting in one of the world’s greatest cities. We have literally only a few tickets left (due to cancellations) so if you want to join us please check for availability by emailing Rebecca Kalama on rebeccakalama@ bright-publishing.com. To whet the appetites of confirmed participants, and to convince anyone who’s still undecided, on this page you’ll find a few of the many brilliant images shot by readers on last year’s Photo 24. It is also worth saying that everyone is welcome to enjoy Photo 24, regardless of experience level and which camera brand you own. And to make it even more exciting, Nikon is giving away some amazing prizes to reward great shots taken on the day. For the best image taken at each of the itinerary’s meet-up locations, there’s a Nikon 1 J5 and 10-30mm lens on offer, and for the best overall image taken on the day, a Nikon D750 plus 24-85mm lens awaits. So, if you fancy indulging your passion for photography in one of the world’s leading and most photogenic cities with a whole bunch of like-minded folk, please email Rebecca now. Remember, the event is free although there is the option of paid-for events, such a sunset shoot from the London Eye.

This year’s Photo 24 sponsors are Nikon and Nikon School, and that means there’s not only a host of great prizes (see panel above), you’ll also have the opportunity for some expert advice and tuition throughout the day. There will also be Nikon Taster Sessions, which are special paid-for events (Photo 24 itself is free), taking in specialist subjects including urban portraiture, film noir and macro photography for a small fee. Each will be led by one of the expert tutors at the Nikon School at 63-64 Margaret Street, London W1W 8SW, and that’s where the sessions will start. Sessions can be booked when applying for Photo 24 tickets. All people booking on a Nikon Taster Session will be eligible for a £25 discount when booking on a full training course at the Nikon School. Nikon taster sessions

Photography News | Issue 20

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