Photography News 02

Photography news News PReviews Tests CAMERA CLUBS interviews advice competitions FREE Issue 2 19 November – 9 December 2013

Your FREE newspaper packed with the latest news, views and stories from the world of photography

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Nikon has added to its full-frame line-up with the Df. Dedicated to ‘pure photography’, it draws on the looks of classic Nikon F 35mm DSLRs and incorporates mechanical dials for control of ISO sensitivity, exposure compensation, exposure mode and release mode. The design also makes it Nikon’s lightest FX format DSLR, but it features magnesium alloy top, bottom and rear covers and is weather- sealed to the same degree as the D800. Inside, professional grade technology includes the same 16.2-megapixel FX format sensor and EXPEED 3 processor as the flagship D4 to offer the same image quality, a maximum extended ISO sensitivity of 204,800 and continuous shooting rate of 5.5 frames-per-second. The 39-point autofocus system is sensitive down to -1EV and includes four AF area modes, including 3D tracking. The optical viewfinder provides 100% Nikon goes retro Yesteryear styling meets top-end technology in Nikon’s latest full-frame DSLR

Launches from Olympus, Pentax, Sigma, Profoto, Spider andBenro

Read all about the newest gear inside

Insider tips on getting into the UK’s biggest salon

Southampton International’s chairman reveals all

frame coverage with amagnification of 0.7x, and you can use the Df in DX Crop Mode, which is activated as soon as you mount a DX lens. As well as retro looks, you can also go old-school with your lenses on the Df, since it’s compatible with vintage Nikkor lenses as well as all modern ones – a collapsible metering coupling lever lets you attach non-AI Nikkor lenses without an adaptor. Nevertheless, in aperture-priority or manual mode, you can still benefit from full aperture metering

• NikonD610 tested • 4 lightweight DSLR alternatives rated

Turn the page to read what Nikon’s Hiro Sebata thinks the future holds for the company’s styling and its legions of DX format users. INTERVIEW

See pages 19 and 28 for details

Article continues on page 3

Issue 2 | Photography News

Photography News | Issue 2

Latest photography news


Product manager Hiro Sebata speaks to Photography News about the future of retro for Nikon and its loyal DX format users Retro DX format Nikon DSLR to follow?

Nikon goes retro continued from front cover by defining lens characteristics so the camera can recognise the aperture setting and calculate the exposure. Other highlights include a shutter unit tested to 150,000 cycles, an energy-saving design for 1400 shots on a full charge, Spot White Balance metering, a large 3.2-inch LCD monitor and a quiet release mode. The Nikon Df is available from 28 November in classic black or silver with black highlights and with a 50mm lens, at a price of £2,750.

Words by Roger Payne

Do you like the looks of the Df? What about the price? Are Nikon on to a winner or do you think it’s way off the mark? Let us know on opinion@photography- WHATDO YOUTHINK?

While the pricing for the Nikon Df puts it firmly into the realms of the serious enthusiast or professional photographer, it begs the question of whether the retro-styled DSLR is a one-off or a new departure for the company. After all, a number of manufacturers – most notably Fujifilm and Olympus – have enjoyed great success in designing models that hark back to the age of film. “We have no plans at the moment for further retro-styled digital SLRs, but I certainly hope this isn’t going to be one of a kind,” says Hiro Sebata, Nikon UK’s product manager for professional products speaking exclusively to Photography News . “It’s a camera that will attract a lot of attention, so it would be great to see a retro-styled model like this featuring a DX format sensor to broaden the appeal to an even wider audience.” Hiro also feels the Df could well persuade the company’s loyal film SLR users to finally make the switch to digital. “We still have a number of film SLR users for whom the looks and styling of this camera will be both familiar and appealing. This could be the camera that sees them making the switch over to digital.”

π To find out more, go to

The next issue of Photography News is out 9 December

New ultra-telephoto zoom keeps 600mm compact Four tripod kits for the festive season only Tamron launchesmonster lens Giotto’s gifts for Christmas

NEWS INBRIEF Free Adobe softwarewith Epson Buy an award-winning Epson R2000 A3+ printer between now and 14 January 2014, and you can get a copy of Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5 for free. The A3+ format allows you to print at 13x19 inches, and the R2000 is Epson’s most affordable A3+ printer,

and Angular Dependency Coating to reduce reflections, flare and ghosting. The lens is a nine- blade design, with an almost circular diaphragm. Finishing touches include a new external finish for a higher-end look and a tripod mount. Canon, NikonandSonymounts are in thepipeline, but availability and pricing is to be confirmed.

Tamron has announced the development of a 150- 600mm f/5-6.3 lens for full-frame and APS-C DSLRs. It replaces the existing 200-500mmmodel, and has been designed to minimise the movement of the elements when zooming – this keeps it as compact as possible despite the increase in zoom range. It also includes Vibration Compensation (Tamron’s own image stabilisation technology), an Ultrasonic Silent Drive AF motor and Extended Bandwidth

Especially for Christmas, Giotto’s is offering four special edition kits. Two of these include YTL Silk Road tripods, which have Y-shaped centre columns for a 30% space saving when folded. Aluminium or carbon fibre models are available with three-way heads, priced at £129 and £199 respectively. Two cheaper special edition kits are also available, with GT tripods and three-way heads – priced at £89 and £119. All kits are available now.

π To find out more, go to

available for £448.

π To find out more, go to www.giottos-

Issue 2 | Photography News


Latest photography news

Profoto launches off-camera flash withTTL Revolutionary flash is cross between a speedlight and studio head Profoto has unveiled a new concept in off-camera flash with its B1, a portable, battery-powered flash head that features TTL exposure control – Canon’s E-TTL system is supported now, and support for Nikon’s i-TTL will be added in 2014. It also offers full manual control if you prefer, and it’s compatible with all Profoto’s Light Shaping Tools – over 120 are available. Using Profoto’s Air Remote System, you can control B1 lights in up to three groups at a range of up to 300m in either manual or TTL mode. Each head has a maximum output of 500Ws, ten times more powerful than an average speedlight, and output can be controlled in 1/10EV steps across a range of 9EV. Recycle times are as low as 1.9 seconds, and each battery provides up to 220 full-power flashes. In Quick Burst mode, it’s also capable of up to 20 flashes per second. A range of accessories is also available for the B1. Besides the standard charger, there’s a quick charger that halves the charging time to one hour and a car charger for when you’re on the move. A choice of two backpacks – M or XS – offers space for either two B1 heads with stands or one B1 head alone, and there’s an accessory pouch for the Air Remote and chargers. The B1 will be available in December, priced at £1295 for one head, battery, Air System and bag.

NEWS INBRIEF Sigma 24-105mm price confirmed The recommended retail price of the new Sigma 24-105mm f/4 lens reported in PN last month has been confirmed as £849.99. Canon users can get their hands on one before November’s out, but availability of Nikon and Sony mounts is still to be announced. www.

Profoto’s B1 system offers TTL control.

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Twelve high-quality models include deeper versions NewProfoto umbrellas Alongside the B1, Profoto has introduced 12 umbrellas, including two new ranges: the Umbrella Deep and Umbrella Shallow. All are designed to be as sturdy as possible, with fabrics to withstand heavy-duty use and coated metal elements to prevent rusting. The Umbrella Deep is available in 130cm and 165cm sizes, and the Umbrella Shallow is available in 85cm and 105cm sizes. Both are available in three fabrics: white, silver and translucent. Each can also be paired with a diffuser that can be pulled over the front to create a large softbox with a softer and more even spread of light.

π To find out more, go to

Photography News | Issue 2

Latest photography news


The Stylus 1 takes its looks and technology fromOlympus’s flagship CSCs Olympus compact withOM-D style

Olympus has a new premium compact that combines a larger sensor with a wide zoom range in a pocketable body. Modelled on the flagship OM-D line of CSCs, the Stylus 1 also incorporates the same TruePic VI image processor as in the OM-D E-M5, and combines this with a larger 1/1.7-inch back illuminated CMOS sensor with 12 megapixels. It also has a 1.44 million-dot electronic viewfinder like the E-M5, and the speedy Fast AF system from Olympus’s CSC range. The lens is an ultra slim zoom that provides an equivalent focal length of 28-300mm and a constant maximum aperture of f/2.8. You can even add an accessory 1.7x teleconverter for focal lengths up to an equivalent of 510mm, and it includes built-in VCM image stabilisation to reduce camera shake when using the teleconverter. Despite this, it retracts when not in use so the camera fits in your pocket. The body has been designed to provide comprehensive manual control, including an analogue/digital Hybrid Control Ring on the lens – in analogue mode, it works as a zoom or focus ring, while in digital mode it can be assigned custom functions. Built-in Wi-Fi also provides full control of the camera in any mode from a smartphone or tablet using the Olympus Image Share app. The Stylus 1 will be available in late November for £550. We’ll be testing it very soon.

The Stylus 1 is a compact with attitude.

Free Olympus

viewfinder Olympus is offering a free VF-4 electronic viewfinder with every PEN E-P5 body or E-P5 14-42mm kit purchased between now and 5 January 2014. You can claim your free viewfinder through redemption, and the offer is available through high street stores, online and via Olympus’s social media channels. You’ll have until 2 February 2014 to claim your free VF-4.

π To find out more, go to

Spider security NEWS INBRIEF

Carry your camera securely on your hip for fast access The Spider Camera Holster is a neat belt system that lets you carry your camera securely on your hips, but it’s ready for immediate use with a quick flick of a locking mechanism. It could be perfect for wedding, sports and press photographers. The Spider Pro Belt kit, which includes the belt, special camera plate and pin, sells for £110 and suits any tripod plate including Arca Swiss. The Monkey Spider at £20 can be added to hold a flashgun or battery pack.

Canon cashback

Canon is offering up to £50 cashback on camera bodies and lenses. EOS cameras with cashback offers include the 600D, 700D, 100D and M, and you can also save on a handful of EF-S and EF lenses, Speedlites and compacts. There’s also up to £100 off Legria video products, and £20 off the Pixma

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MG7150 printer. Claim before 26 January 2014.


shopping Order fromManfrotto’s online Christmas shop before 31 December

2013 and you get free postage and

packaging. There is a range of kit on offer including LED lights, mini tripods and full- blown tripods. www.manfrotto

Issue 2 | Photography News


Latest photography news Newbags fromBenro

IMAGES Take your club to the Lake District next year.

Three new ranges have features to suit different photographers’ kit needs

Benro has announced three newcamera bag ranges, including backpacks, messenger and shoulder bags in a variety of sizes. The Ranger Pro Backpack range is designed for nature and sports photographers. An upper compartment that’s larger than the lower compartment distributes weight evenly for reduced pressure and better ventilation, while there’s easy access with front, upper, lower and side openings. Three sizes are available: the 400N, 500N and 600N, and the biggest can hold up to two DSLRs, six to eight lenses, two flashes and a 17-inch laptop. Also providing quick access are the Cool Walker Messenger Bags, designed specifically to open speedily for rapid access, with plenty of pockets and an ergonomic shoulder strap for comfort. The bottom of the bag is also reinforced with durable shockproof and abrasion resistant material. The third of Benro’s new series is the Smart Series Shoulder Bags, which allow you to carry small amounts of equipment – up to one DSLR with three lenses, a flash and a 12-inch laptop. All the bags are available now, with prices ranging from £130 to £150 for the Ranger Pro Backpacks, £82-89 for the Cool Walker Messenger Bags, and £35-£48 for the Smart Series Shoulder Bags.

Exclusive camera club holidays Unique opportunity for a photographic holiday in the Lakes

Lakeland Photographic Holidays is offering the opportunity for a camera club to take over its entire property in the Lakeland village of Braithwaite on specific dates in February, May, June and September 2014. With spectacular Lake District landscapes and walks on the doorstep, the property can sleep up to 10 people, and offers a lounge with an extensive photographic and general library, a digital darkroom and a lecture room with PC and 52-inch HD screen. Camera clubs will be free to arrange their own itineraries, while guidance on good photographic locations according to the season, weather and the group can be provided. The property is on offer for a minimum of six people for three nights or more. Get in touch with Lakeland Photographic Holidays for prices and available dates.

ABOVE Inside and out, the Benro Ranger Pro Backpack.

π To find out more, go to

π To find out more,

NewPentax lenses zoom in First zoom in Limited Lens series lands, along with world’s smallest wide-angle Pentax has launched the first zoom in its Limited Lens series, a 20-40mm f/2.8-4 for use with the Pentax K-mount cameras. It’s been treated with the Pentax HD coating to reduce reflections by more than half compared to conventional coatings, and its optical construction is designed to minimise aberrations throughout the zoom range. It’s also weather resistant, another first in the Limited Lens series. It’s priced at £850, but availability is to be confirmed. Also new is the world’s smallest and lightest wide-angle zoom, exclusively for use with Pentax Q-mount cameras. The Pentax-08 Wide Zoom provides an equivalent zoom range of 17.5-27mm. Its price will be £430, and availability is yet to be announced.

NEWS INBRIEF Buy a Tokina, get a Lowepro If you buy any Tokina lens, you’ll now get a free 11x14cm Lowepro lens case with it to keep it safe. This offer is available in store and online at participating retailers, and will continue while stocks last. EOS-1DXupdate Canon has announced a firmware update for the EOS-1D X, which will be available in January 2014. It makes a number of improvements, the most significant being in AF tracking capabilities for better performance

π To find out more, go to

IMAGES Duo of new lenses from Pentax.

in low light, as well as more flexibility in

settings when using ISO Auto, and changes to AF point selection settings.

Photography News | Issue 2

Latest photography news


Issue 1 of PN received great feedback – thank you! Here is a small selection of your kind comments Your thoughts on PhotographyNews

“I took a few copies of PN to camera club on Thursday evening and they disappeared faster than the chocolate biscuits at tea break. It was apparent as the evening wore on that they were very well received. I overheard comments such as ‘this is good’, ‘this is interesting’, ‘seen this?’ and ‘any left?’ When it was time to introduce our speaker for the evening, instead of getting the members to stop chatting, we had to get their noses out of the papers.” Barbara Jones, Stourport Camera Club “Just a quickmessage to say what a pleasant surprise last week at camera club when we received the new publication. It was a good read and I liked the fact it was in a newspaper format, which makes it different from the run-of-the-mill magazines. Well done and here’s looking forward to the next issue.” Robin Harmsworth, Tonbridge Camera Club “Our members feel that this is a great initiative for the club photographer and will eagerly await future issues. We hope to contribute items of news, exhibitions and outings in the future.” Paul Bowker, Spalding Photography Society Ed: Paul, you and everyone else is welcome to contribute to PN . Please see Club news on page 8 for the contact details.

“We had ours a couple of weeks ago. If it wasn’t for the fact I opened the delivery I wouldn’t have got a copy. They disappeared quicker than the biscuits during the tea break!” Mark Stone “Please convey to Will Cheung and all the production team our congratulations on what is an excellent news sheet, and which most certainly has gone downwell with our discerningmembership – and not just because it is free and we are Scottish! We look forward with enthusiasm to subsequent issues.” Dr Robert Brown, Paisley Photographic Society Ed: Thanks, Robert – and are you implying that Scottish folk are tight! “I was recently sent 20 copies of your new newspaper Photography News which I passed on to our members. The reception was fantastic. Needless to say there were numerous unhappy members who were unable to get a copy.” Colin Churcher, Cheam Camera Club Ed: Requests for more copies will be considered. If you do want more, please email admin@ However, please bear in mind we have limited copies and it’d be great if copies of Photography News were shared around. “I hope things go well for the publication as a lot of work has obviously gone into its production.” Judy Knights, North Norfolk Photographic Society “Tis an excellent read. We’ve got themon the counter at Wilkinson Cameras in Southport.” Melvin Nicholson Ed: Wilkinsons is among several photo retailers – Calumet, Cameraworld, Jessops, London Camera Exchange and Park Cameras – getting Photography News and the list will grow soon. You can also email to get your camera club on the mailing list.

We had some of these the otherweek, I didn’tmanage to get hold of one theywent like hot cakes!

Congratulations regarding the newpublication, with the present financial climate and squeeze on luxury type items I think your paperwill go down verywell


π To tell us what you think of Photography News or photography in general, drop us a line at And to get copies of PN for your club, email admin@

AlanTaylor, TTLCameraClub

Issue 2 | Photography News


Camera clubs Smethwick PSwins by a point Smethwick Photographic Society (SPS) emerged triumphant in a very close contest at the recent Inter-Club Print Championship 2013 at Connah’s Quay, the 14th and last one at this venue. “I really thought we had come second and we were over the moon when we realised we’d won,” says SPS’s president Roger Parry. Joint second, and just one point behind the winners, were Dumfries CC, Inn Focus Group and Wigan 10 FC.

π To find out more, or to sign up for the free PAGB e-newsletter, go to

To mark its 50 years celebration the Southern Counties Photographic Federation (SCPF) has produced a photographic commemorative book. Chichestermember Peter Rocchiccioli came up with the idea and brought the book to fruition. The SCPF’s 62 member clubs were invited to submit photographs that depict their area/club over the 50 years. The resulting book contains many pictures of the southern region including the Isle of Wight, Guernsey and Jersey. There’s even one of the then Princess Elizabeth who was the patron of Windlesham & Camberley Camera Club. There will be an official book launch on 15 December (10.30am-3.30pm) at Jubilee Hall, Timsbury SO51 0NH. Southern Counties Photographic Federation celebrates 50 years with new publication SCPF’s book

Enternow! Entry to the PAGB 2014 GB Cup is open now and closes 18 January 2014. It’s one of the world’s biggest inter-club competitions and every club will have their submission scored by a judging panel and will later receive a DVD of the best work submitted. Awards are on offer for individuals as well as clubs. There are three Cup competitions: GB Cup (Open), GB Cup (Small clubs) and GB Cup (Nature). It costs £6 per club per competition. NEWS INBRIEF π To find out more and to print out an entry form, go to uk.

Angela and Roger Ford have been making images since the mid 1970s. This exhibitionrevealstheirphotographicjourneytothepresentdayandencompasses a selection of monochrome, colour and infrared prints. Angela’s work illustrates her sensitivitywith people and places, whilst Roger’s demonstrates his fascination with movement and moment. Entry is free and the location is the RPS London, in Peyton Place, Greenwich SE10 8RS. Open Mondays to Fridays 9am-5pm, Saturdays 12-4pm. An exhibition by Roger Ford FRPS and Angela Ford ARPS at RPS London Onshowuntil 20November

π To find out more and to purchase the book, go to

π To find out more, go to

PN really does need your help to fill its pages, so if your club has a big speaker appearing soon and you want every seat occupied, or if your club (or an individual member) has just scooped a big award or gained a distinction, or you have an exhibition on, we’d love to hear from you so please ask your secretary or publicity officer to get in touch. Stories should be 250 words maximum and accompanied by a high resolution JPEG (at least 2400 pixels on the longest dimension) and emailed to If we need anything else we will contact you. Thank you in advance for your help.

Photography News | Issue 2

Competitions Vineyard challenge The largest vineyard in the UK was an appropriate location for an Advanced Photographer challenge, kindly sponsored by Samsung and Denbies Wine Estate FINAL shoot-out


Words by Will Cheung

Advanced Photographer magazine regularly runs contests, and on this occasion five readers claimed places on a special challenge, as well as winning a Samsung 64GB SD card, after submitting their best landscape photo. This shoot-out challenge was the competition final, with the winning photographer netting a brilliant prize bundle comprising a Samsung 256GB SSD, a Samsung 64GB SD card and a Denbies Experience (a wine tour, dinner and an overnight stay at Denbies). The challenge on the day was to capture the best possible landscape image in the allotted time. This landscape challenge was due to end at 10am, but heavy mist curtailed the session, so plan B swung into operation: the intrepid five had to take pictures using the Samsung Galaxy, with the best shot winning a Samsung EX2F compact worth £399. So by 11am, the judges had a bunch of pictures to assess. Stuart Michaels was pronounced the winner of the Samsung EX2F and David Morton the winner of the landscape challenge, and he received the superb prize bundle. Well done to all the photographers for getting stuck in.

ABOVE “I found it personally very challenging.” David Morton – prize bundle winner left “The location is certainly an Samsung EX2F winner BOTTOM LEFT “ It’s a beautiful location and you could easily return at different seasons for a variety of shots.” Cheryl Meek top right The shoot-out finalists on location with Samsung’s Stefanie Sears-Black and PN ’s Will Cheung. MIDDLE right “Seeing the sun come up through the mist was a great experience, but then the mist rolled in.” David Candlish BOTTOM right “I enjoyed the day and the format of the shoot.” Neil Malton interesting one.” Stuart Michaels –


Samsung Memory

This reader shoot-out took place at Denbies Wine Estate, Dorking, Surrey. The estate is 627 acres of which 265 are planted with vines, making it three times the size of any UK vineyard. The winner of the shoot-out scooped a full tour, three-course dinner with wine and overnight B&B accommodation at Denbies Farmhouse. To find out more about Denbies Wine Estate, go to .

Samsung is making an enviable reputation for its memory products

with performance leading solid state

drives (SSDs), SD and microSD cards. Its SSD 840 Pro SATA III is the fastest, most reliable solid state drive on the market and a 250GB version was part of the winner’s package here. All five readers who qualified for this shoot-out also won a Samsung 64GB SDXC UHS-1 card. Samsung’s SDHC and SDXC cards provide ultimate levels of durability and are waterproof, shock proof, resistant to magnetic fields, X-rays and extreme temperatures. All Samsung Plus and Pro range SD and microSD cards come complete with a ten- year warranty. To find out more, go to

π The full version of this feature is in issue 38 of Advanced Photographer ; on sale from 21 November, it costs £4.95. Issue 38 is packed with great pictures from Photoshop artist Brian Beaney and serial salon

winner Brian Hopper, technique ideas and reviews, including the Olympus OM-D E-M1.

Issue 2 | Photography News

Photography News | Issue 2



Each issue, a respected judge or exhibition selector shares their thoughts and experiences with us. This month, we put exhibition selector and RPS distinction panellist Ann Miles FRPS in the hot seat

Selecting and judging is very subjective, which is why selection panels comprise three people – you sometimes get disagreements among the panel, with one selector giving a 2 and another awarding the top score of 5. RPS distinctions are normally judged by a panel of five assessors and a chairman. Sadly there are some poor club judges around. Generally the poor ones describe the content of the picture rather than constructively commenting on the image. Or they have a pet like or hate and they tell you that, then mark up or down accordingly. Judges need to give a rounded feel for what does and doesn’t work and whether they are getting a feel of what the photographer intended and then point out that it’s personal opinion. I know from experience that some of my images won’t do very well with certain judges and do better with others. It’s always going to be like that. When I enter a competition I never look at who the judges are. It can go either way. If they do a subject themselves they may mark you down because they think yours aren’t as good or they might mark you up because they know how difficult the subject is. I think the most common mistake judges make is not giving enough positive criticism. And they don’t give the person the help that they need to improve their work. In terms of trends, the Europeans, particularly the Germans and Eastern Europeans, are producing artistic, beautiful and creative work which we are generally not seeing over here. In this country the trend in the national and international exhibitions where I select is towards images featuring a lady or figure, often a Goth, in some sort of attractive gear, superimposed onto a scene, like a landscape, a dark sea or coming down stairs. The people producing this type of work are very, very skilled workers and their work stands out because of that. It would be good to have a wider variety in the winning images, but this seems to be a trend. In around 1997 when I was getting fed up that my pictures weren’t being accepted, I manufactured one with a lady in a lavender field – it got accepted wherever I sent it. Non-manipulated images do have a problem competing against this type of highly manipulated work. When you enter a club or other competition, you are playing a game and there are ‘rules’, not written down but there nevertheless. You might have a photograph that breaks the ‘rules’, for example by having a very bland, light, distracting sky. When criticised, you might say ‘well, I like it like that’. You might like it, but you have chosen to play the game with its ‘rules’. I think the best advice to improve your success rate is to take lots of pictures. I have a daily blog and that forces me to take pictures. My husband and I compete to see who gets their blog entry up first when we have been out photographing. It gets me thinking about pictures and getting images off the computer – so take lots of pictures!

Words by Ann Miles

MEETTHE JUDGE AnnMiles FRPS : Selector and judge, Ann photographs people, architecture, nature and landscape, often combining her images with watercolour painting. She also lectures and offers one-to-one courses.

Sadly there are some poor club judges around. Theydescribe the content of the picture rather than constructively commenting

Strictly speaking, I am an exhibition selector rather than a judge. I do the occasional judging, but I don’t stand up week after week and judge live. I am a PAGB judge but that again is selecting pictures rather than judging them. Selecting means I pick work but it’s rarely in front of an audience of the photographers. Of course where I do comment on people’s work is at the RPS – I am on the Associate and Fellowship distinctions visual arts panel. There, you are expected to say what you think about the panels in front of you whether they pass or fail. I have been selecting for at least 15 years. Selecting for exhibitions is very satisfying. It’s hard work too. Sometimes you can have 3000 pictures to look through and a lot of them can be very poor and then you get a run of better ones. When you have finished and decided the pass rate, seeing the final selection is satisfying and, actually, the standard is very high. I do a number of RPS distinction advisory days and I do enjoy helping people with their panels before they submit – I give advice via email too. Often the panels can be quite poor and you know you’re going to disappoint the authors, but they have to know there is room for improvement. The standard of ‘everyday’ photography has improved enormously, especially with software like Adobe Photoshop Elements, which is priced to be within range of most people. The latest version has everything most people need or they just use Lightroom. The latest Raw converters let you get the most tones out of an image without blown highlights, and no blocked shadows. The quality of printing has improved enormously too. Certainly the overall technical standard of pictures has gone up, but I think the mood of pictures has gone down. Now that you can fill the shadows and pull back the highlights it means you don’t get that lovely contrast you used to get with darkroom prints.

Home club Cambridge Camera Club,

What is your favourite camera? I’ve had the Canon EOS 5D Mark III for just over a year. I also have a Canon EOS-1D Mark IV for sport. What is your favourite lens? I have two, the Canon 300mm f/2.8 for birds and the Canon 24-70mm f/2.8 standard zoom. I got the latter when my 24-105mm was off being mended and I had a wedding coming up. What is your favourite photo accessory? I have a fairly lightweight Manfrotto tripod that’s just about good enough for wildlife work. Who is your favourite photographer? Josef Hoflehner – his work is a bit like Michael Kenna’s, but I think he is even better. I went to St Petersburg because of him. He works in film and digital and he did some fine pictures at Maho Beach on the island of St Martin in the Caribbean Sea. This is the beach where jet airliners roar over as low as four metres above the sunbathers’ heads and Hoflehner’s images are simply amazing. A book, Jet Airliner , is available for €59 from his website, What are your favourite subjects? Buildings, snow, trees, people, nature – anything. Creative work using multiple layers in different blending modes to combine photographs and watercolours. What awards have youwon? I am an FRPS, MPAGB, EFIAP. I got my fellowship with a visual arts panel.

BELOWOne of Ann’s own prize-winning

images, taken on a rainy day at the Louvre, Paris.

above Winslow Edge.

Issue 2 | Photography News


Competitions INTERVIEW

Interview by Will Cheung

Southampton International Exhibition Last year, the Southampton International Exhibition (SIE) attracted over 10,000 entries from 61 countries so it’s one of the UK’s biggest photographic salons. For the last decade its chairman has been Glyn Edmunds ARPS EFIAP/s APSA, and 2014 is his last one, so it seemed appropriate that Photography News had a chat with him

Photography News (PN): Tell us a bit about your own photographic background – what is your earliest memory of photography, when did you start and how did you get to be inspired by photography? Glyn Edmunds (GE): I recall the ubiquitous Kodak box camera with its 120 roll film being produced by my late father for family occasions, but it was not until I met my partner, now wife, Jean Brooks in the mid 1980s that I moved from a ‘happy snapper’ to a keen amateur. PN: Who are your favourite photographers? GE: In alphabetical order: Vic and the late Mary Attfield, Jean Brooks, Dave Mason, Leigh Preston, Willy Ronis, Tim Rudman and Chrissie Westgate. PN: Give us a potted history and highlights of the SIE’s 101 years. GE: The Southampton Camera Club was formed in 1896 so it’s over 117 years old and held its first exhibition in 1901 and its first international was in 1902. A few years were lost during the wars, which meant that we did not reach our centenary exhibition until 2013.

Daybreak, Skippool Creek by Norrie Phillips DPAGB

Photography News | Issue 2



PN: Howmany entries do you get – typically? GE: 10,000 plus

PN: How long have you been involved in the SIE? GE: I joined the committee in 1998 and have put together all the catalogues since 1999 and then became chairman in 2003. PN: What have been the big changes since the first event you organised? GE: In a word, digital. PN: What do you feel have been your greatest achievements during your tenure as organiser? GE: Overseeing the transition from slides (including 6x6cm) to digital. We are justly proud of our A4 colour catalogues which have up to 84 pages. So many exhibitions just send out a CD and most exhibitors, myself included, never even put them in their computers. Apart from the coffee-table books few catalogues are as good as the Southampton ones. The reputation of the exhibition has been enhanced over the years and we are now one of the premier UK salons along with Bristol, Edinburgh and Smethwick.

PN: Have entry numbers varied much in recent years? Or is it pretty constant? GE: Entries shot up with the introduction of digital and grew year on year until big rises in postage costs and the proliferation of exhibitions took place. In the last few years the number of salons approved by FIAP (one of the major supporters of exhibition photography) has risen by 50%. There are simply too many exhibitions for the number of exhibitors. Many clubs seem to see a digital exhibition as a cash cow and have little understanding of the amount of work it involves. PN: Has digital impacted on the way people enter, ie. is projected digital image much bigger than prints (in percentage terms) or are prints still very popular? GE: This year 77% of our entries were digital, but we were pleased that prints have held up at nearly a quarter of the entry. The majority of entries come in online with payment via Paypal. In 2013 I only mailed out four hard copy entry forms. PN: How do you choose your selectors/judges? GE: I use the PAGB Judges’ List (well under 100 in the UK) and the London Salon. Bill Wisden kindly nominated me to go on the PAGB list, so I’ve been active at that level since 2000. I only invite people I know or have been recommended to me by someone whose opinion I value. My team help me with natural history judges, as I’m not a specialist.

TOP Depths of winter by Hunter Kennedy ARPS EFIAP MPAGB ABOVE Ribbon sweetlips and fan coral by Spike Piddock AFIAP DPAGB RIGHT Girl by the window by Leigh Preston FRPS EFIAP MPAGB

Issue 2 | Photography News



PN: Howbig is the teaminvolved inadministering the SIE? GE: We have a wonderful committee of 12. PN: Which are the most successful countries, generally? GE: 47% of our entries come from the UK – most internationals get a disproportionate entry from their own country. PN: Who are the up-and-coming countries? GE: Only 16 of the 61 countries who entered this year exceeded 100 entries. China and Turkey are on the rise. PN: What are the current imaging trends – in terms of image style and content? GE: Heavily manipulated images – more graphic art than photography – and natural history are both very strong. PN: What, in your opinion, will be the next big trend in imaging style? GE: If I knew this and my crystal ball was a bit less cloudy I’d be a rich man. There is evidence of a backlash against the heavily manipulated images and some exhibitions now offer a ’traditional’ section for images straight out of the camera with minimal processing. It’s an interesting idea but a nightmare to police. PN: From your personal standpoint, what sort of imagery excites you most? GE: Black & white in general but street and figure are two of my favourite areas. My website is There is evidence of a backlash against the heavilymanipulated images and some exhibitions nowoffer a ‘traditional’ section

PN: What are the biggest weaknesses you see in entries? GE: Quality. Sadly as the numbers go up the quality seems to come down. I suspect many entrants do little or nothing by way of post-processing and never project their entries before submitting them. In print sections we still receive lots of enprints. The entry fees are welcome but it is sad that some entrants literally have no idea of the high standard required of 21st century photographic exhibitions. PN: Do you have any advice for photographers wanting to enter and be successful? GE: Take a good look at the Southampton website – where all our award-winning images are shown – and other high end salons. Only send in the best images you can possibly produce and preferably show them to a fellow club member or someone who enters international exhibitions on a regular basis before hitting send. PN: What are your future ambitions for the SIE? GE: To retire! I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my 16 years on the Southampton International Exhibition team and we have come a long way, but the balance between producing my own images and running an exhibition and doing lots of photographic admin has swung too far towards the latter. I have a very able successor so I will enjoy taking a back seat from next year.

ABOVE Waiting by Ann McDonald ARPS DPAGB won the PSA Silver Medal for Best Seascape. Ann is one of the judges for SIE 2014. BELOWDreaming of trees by Bryan Waddington LRPS won the FIAP Gold Medal.

PN: Is there anything else you want to add that hasn’t been mentioned? GE: It has been wonderful to be in charge of such a committed team and to see a venerable exhibition go from strength to strength. It is inevitable that the bouquets and brickbats are mostly aimed at the chairman, but last year I was nominated for and presented with an Associateship of the Photographic Society of America (APSA) for services to photography. I see this as a reward for the whole team. Still, I was really chuffed as I was only the 11th UK photographer to be so honoured since these awards were first presented back in 1940.

PN: Thank you for your time.

The SIE is run under the patronage of FIAP, the PSA and the RPS and offers over 25 awards in each class. The entrant with the highest overall acceptance total wins the FIAP Blue Badge for Best Author. Six entry classes are available: mono print, colour print, open digital, nature digital, photo travel digital and nature print. Entryfor the2014SouthamptonInternationalExhibition (SIE) isnowopenandtheclosingdate is2February2014

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Photography News | Issue 2

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Get the quality to bag first place Always the runner-up in your camera club competitions? If an extra dollop of image quality could help you nab that elusive first place, the FujifilmX-E2 could supply it

Camera club photo competitions are loads of fun, but it can be frustrating if you try your best only to be told that your shots are lacking on the image quality front. While it’s always the photographer, not the camera, that makes an interesting image, you can improve the quality of your creations by investing in a camera with cutting-edge sensor technology, such as the Fujifilm X-E2. Superior image quality The 16-megapixel X-E2 is the replacement for the massively successful X-E1, a camera that switched DSLR users everywhere on to compact system cameras. Sporting over 60 improvements from the original, the X-E2 boasts the X-Trans II sensor – a magnificent piece of technology that’s behind the camera’s amazing image quality. If you’re not familiar with the how the X-Trans II sensor works and how it delivers jaw-dropping quality, here’s a little bit of science… Ontypicalsensors,thepixelsarearrangedinsmall groupings. However, with the X-Trans II sensor, the groups are larger (often described as more random) and it’s this unique arrangement that is responsible for the higher image quality and fewer examples of moiré (a pattern caused by interference). Finally, if there’s one thing that shows up a shoddy sensor, it’s images taken in low light. Thankfully, the X-E2 controls digital noise remarkably well throughout its vast ISO range (100-25,600). There’s more to the X-E2 than just its fantastic image quality though. This lightweight CSC also packs a number of extra features that will come in handy in a photographer’s quest to bag a camera club photo contest gong. The EXR II processor is the engine of the camera and allows for lightning

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Photography News | Issue 2



speakers’ corner

Please yourself This is your chance to climb up on your soapbox and have a rant. Get in touch if you have something you want to get off your chest. This issue, John Gravett urges you to photograph what you want – not what the judge wants!

gate open to take his shot. This was because judges had told him that the open gate helps lead the viewer into the picture. On the same workshop a Scandinavian photographer said of the open gate ‘but that looks stupid, it looks like someone has gone through the gate and left it open!’ I must admit, I did find that a refreshing view. The country code says you always shut a gate behind you. Isn’t it about time we applied the same logic to our photography, and our judging? Thesedays, Iworka lotwithyoungphotographers, and they have a refreshing, different view to photography and composition. It’s so wonderful to see their work; sometimes far from perfect, but with a fresh approach to seeing – creating different yet exciting pictures I’d want to look at again and again. I learn as much from them about seeing in different ways as they do from me. I suppose club competition photographers can tend towards the ‘safe’ image, the one that won’t be controversial. How many times have I heard judges say ‘The photographer’s used the wrong shutter speed on this waterfall’? The simple fact is – no, they haven’t! They’ve used the shutter speed they wanted to portray the water in the way they chose, which may be different from the way a critic might; it’s personal preference, not right or wrong. I sometimes wish camera clubs could do away with annual trophies and simply look and find the positives in people’s pictures – only that way will many photographers be encouraged to experiment with new and different techniques as well as lens choice and perspective and truly push their photography forward and to new levels. I was looking at some Ernst Haas photos on the web the other day, in particular his beach runners – a totally abstract blurred image dating from 1958. Even today, some judges might say ‘it’s a pity there isn’t something sharp in the picture’. How brave was that image when taken 55 years ago! How refreshing and innovative club photography would be if people experimented and innovated. A suggestion to camera clubs: on every competition, count only the highest scoring picture from each photographer towards the trophies – that way members might be encouraged to try that new, different, exciting technique that might only get a 4/10, but equally might get a 10! Finally, a suggestion to judges: I know it’s not easy going out x-nights a week, and finding new things to say about photographs, but try to welcome the innovative, even if it’s not your style, providing it has balance, style and quality. meet johngravett John Gravett ARPS is an experienced photographer and tutor, and together with his wife Gail Gravett LRPS, runs Lakeland Photographic Holidays based in Cumbria. They offer workshops and photo holidays, home and abroad.

Words by John Gravett AFIAP ARPS DPAGB

I have been running photographic workshops in the Lake District for 15 years now, and I’ve been a member of camera clubs since the 1970s. I also judge at camera club level, and have judged national and international exhibitions. I still often hear: ‘I can’t do that – the judge won’t like it.’ Let’s get something clear – the majority of people reading this will be pursuing photography as a hobby rather than a career, therefore the only person they have to satisfy photographically is themselves. It’s equally important for me – at this time – to allay any fears that this is just a ‘have a pop at judges’ piece – I love camera clubs and I have huge admiration for judges, most of whom give up much time and share their experience with other photographers for little more than petrol money. Sadly, though, there are a hard core of photographers (however small), who take everything a judge says as gospel, and this simply is not the case. One thing I usually say on the first day of my workshops is “If a judge/critic says something about your photograph that you agree with – take it on board and file that in part of your brain for the next time you’re out shooting – if they say something you don’t agree with, forget it” (and that includes everything I say too). I even know a hard core of ‘pot hunters’ – those who habitually win all their club’s trophies – who keep detailed notes on certain judges’ favourite subjects and styles, and take and enter suitable pictures in their camera club competitions. To me, photography is – as with all forms of art – about choice; what you choose to include in a picture, how you choose to compose it, your choice of focal length – they all affect the look and feel of your photograph. Just because I arrive at a location with a group of guests and reach for a telephoto lens because I’ve seen a distant detail or the opportunity to shoot something simple using telephoto compression, doesn’t mean that the guest standing next to me fitting their wide-angle on the camera has got it wrong – we’re both simply choosing to take different pictures. I hear (and read) all too often about the rule of thirds, keeping the subject out of the centre of the picture, reading pictures from left to right and so on. Rules of thirds and off-centre compositions are great backbones for composition, but what isn’t

stressed enough is that they aren’t cast in stone; they are basic principles, not rules. I always try to teach about balance in photographs, rather than thirds, about elements and lines in and across pictures leaving an overall harmony to an image. I read an article in the RPS Journal by a much respected photographer a few years ago about reading pictures from left to right. If all pictures are composed this way, when putting a panel of images together you’ll still need pictures that read right to left to led the eye back into the panel. I think lead-in lines can come in from anywhere in an image. I personally ‘read’ landscapes from near to far – whichever side the lead line comes in from – and I’ve had many judges in the past suggest that images should be printed the other way round so the lead line comes in from the left. A few years ago, I had an (elderly) camera club member on one of my workshops, who, after some of the group had been photographing a drystone wall with a small gate in it, went and propped the

If you have an opinion or something you want to get off your chest, drop us a line at opinion@photography- WHATDO YOUTHINK?

Tome, photography is about choice: what you choose to include, howyou compose, your choice of focal length

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