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15 FRee VIDEOs


The definitive guide

to SLR photography

52 ways to

up your
Inspirational ideas to make
2015 your best year ever!


giFT 3

Raw ediTing
ebook guide

8 Tips caRds
To pRinT ouT

giFT 4


Editors WElcomE
inspirational ideas!

every issue features

the worlds best pros
Martin parr

Welcome to your new issue of

Britains best-selling
photography magazine

Magnum photographer

We talk to one of Britains

most renowned photographers
about his distinguished career and
controversial (to some) work on page 92.

scott Kelby
Photo guru

The photo maestro joins the

team for the start of a new
series, in which we go behind the scenes
of some of his greatest shots. See page 62.

ven the most visionary folk can get

stuck in a rut, hit the proverbial brick
wall and struggle to get their creative
juices flowing. Thats why weve cunningly
compiled 52 inspiring ideas to kick-start your year.
We hope theyll help you make 2015 your best
photographic year ever just turn to page 38!
Were also delighted to welcome Scott Kelby to
the Digital Camera team, with the start of his new
Photo Recipes series, in which we go behind the
scenes with the maestro.
In this months interview, we catch up with a
personal favourite of mine, Martin Parr, as he
prepares for his Super Stage presentation at
the Photography Show in March, where youll also
have the opportunity to see Don McCullin. If you
havent already got your ticket, book a place today
by visiting

Ben Brain, Editor

ambroise tzenas
Documentary photographer

Find out what lured this pro

shooter to global hotspots of
death and destruction, such as Auschwitz
and Khmer Rouge prisons, on page 32.

Teach Yourself Photography

the perfect new Year treat

Dont miss the latest in
our popular Photo
Masterclass series. this
228-page guide is a
beginners course to
getting the most from
your slr, and comes
complete with a free disc
featuring 10 expert
video lessons.

issue 161 / March 2015

18 10 things to try




ideas and events, including getting

out at night to shoot ancient trees

on the cover

Spice up your ShotS

Get inspired and creative all
year with 52 brilliant ideas for
photography projects

92 martin Parr

Meet Magnums renowned

documentary photographer

62 scott Kelby

The photography guru joins

the Digital camera team

120 Image editors

Discover the best software to help

your photos look amazing

70 Photo Anatomy

ruth asher reveals the techniques

behind her cliff-edge shot

more contents

issue 161 / March 2015

ExpErt photo advicE

55 shoot!

scott Kelby, focus-stacking,

metering systems and more

72 the Photo Fixer

claire Gillo helps a reader tackle

the art of urban light trails


MAKe A diy
MAcro lenS
see page 69


32 Postcards

Meet the photographer who

became a dark tourist

36 viewFinder

The next generation of

photographers and more

camEras and GEar

102 Angle of view

104 Pentax K-s1
sLr that lights up

110 Fujifilm X100t

retro good looks and more

79 Photoshop school

52 subscriptions

share your photos through

Lightroom and raw-sharpening

choose between print and digital 114 Leica d-Lux

or get both for one great price
a premium compact

86 Photo Advisor

99 Us print subs

146 Quizzical

134 Back issues

shooting snowfall, off-camera

flash and correcting filter casts

are you tough enough to take on

the ultimate photography quiz?

Get every issue delivered to your

door, ahead of the newsstand

Just click the Buy button to

complete the gaps in your set

116 GoPro Hero 4

Video camera for action-lovers

118 Flash triggers

133 sling-style straps

GiFt 3

Use your pc
or mac

camera shopper 8
gives you 164 pages
of expert reviews and
group tests in a handy PdF

GiFt 1
yoU cAn mAster
rAw eBooK

Find out how to import and

process raw-format images,
at the end of this magazine

GiFt 2
tIPs cArds

Get instant shooting advice

with eight cards to print out,
at the end of this magazine

GiFt 4

the Portra
demo Pack
lets you try these
mastin Labs presets

Use your pc
or mac

vIdeo contents

Video Contents
issue 161 / March 2015

Watch this issues videos now

what youll learn this month
Lightroom offers loads of ways for you to
share your favourite photos with friends
and family, from posting to social media to 1 turn a collection of images
printing a high-quality book. Discover the
into a printed book
read the tutorial on page 80
tricks and techniques today!

Part 10:
share your

2 Use Lightrooms slideshow module

to create a presentation

3 Use Lightrooms Print module to

arrange three images into a banner

4 export your images to social media

sites like revel and Facebook

5 showcase your pictures in an

interactive online gallery

read the tutorial on page 81

video exclusive

read the tutorial on page 82

read the tutorial on page 83

more vIdeo contents

Video Contents
issue 161 / March 2015

You Can Master Raw

6 discover the
essential tools in
Adobe camera
raw with our tour
ebook, page 6

Learn the basics of Adobe Camera Raw

7 Use the powerful

Adjustment Brush
to give portraits
a pro makeover
ebook, page 12

8 Get to grips with

image blending
using one photo
and smart objects
ebook, page 14

9 Add a variety
of cool creative
effects using
camera raw
ebook, page 16

Creative SLR Skills Make the most of your digital camera

10 Use panning to take

impressionistic shots
video exclusive

11 Use infrared shoots to

make moody scenes
video exclusive

12 Use light painting to

control low-light scenes
video exclusive

Great additional content

13 enhance detail when

you sharpen your shots
read the tutorial on page 84

14 Hands-on with the

Fujilfilm X100t

read the review on page 110

15 Hands-on with the

Panasonic LX100
video exclusive



Get inspired by seven pages of the best
reader photography from around the world

Digital Camera March 2015


Twilight Palouse
Gabriel Tompkins
United States

the Palouse is one of the Pacific

Northwests most photogenic
locations. From steptoe Butte it looks
like a surreal wavy carpet, extending
in all directions for miles. I had to
act quickly after the sun set as the
landscape immediately sank into
a dark, hazy ocean of blue-green.
Nikon D90 with Nikkor 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6G
VR lens; 1/8 sec at f/8, ISO 200

March 2014
2015 Digital Camera

Deborah Jordan
South Africa

Masked Tree Frog

on a trip to Costa Rica, this frog

was shot in shade trying to catch
a nap. Its less popular and colourful
than the red-eyed tree frog, but has
loads of character. I exposed for the
rainforest background, then used
fill-flash to highlight the detail.
Canon EOS 6D with 100-400mm lens;
1/500 sec at f5.6, ISO 250

River Pastels

shot in the Magaliesberg

mountains, south Africa famous
for their dramatic quartzite cliffs and
abundance of valleys, ravines, cliffs
and waterfalls. one of these ravines
presented an amazing kaleidoscope of
colours beaming up from a pool in the
river, captured late afternoon with a

Canon EOS 6D with 100mm macro lens;

1/50 sec at f/8, ISO 640

Digital Camera March 2015


Sunset Bokeh

I isolated this one flower in

Johannesburg, with a macro lens
at sunset to create the colour scheme
of blue against orange and green. With
the wide-open aperture, a gentle
bokeh and an out-of-focus specular to
the right of the flower was conceived.
Canon EOS 6D with 100mm macro lens; 1/1,250
sec at f/2.8, ISO 800

March 2014
2015 Digital Camera


Digital Camera March 2015



Amlie Berton

Leaving the Nest

In this picture from my series

Japonaiserie, I used a well-known
symbol of Japanese culture, the paper
crane. the legend of the crane is
beautiful and inspired me to create
this photo.
Nikon D300 with 1224mm lens;
1/160 sec at f/5.6, ISO 200

In the Arms of
Mother Nature

Fairytales are not mere bedtime

stories: they are a window on the
culture and spiritual belief of a society.
I used this inspiration to create a
surreal and poetic series, Japonaiserie.
I met the Japanese community in
Brussels and have fallen in love with
their culture.

Nikon D300 with 1224mm lens;

1/60 sec at f/4, ISO 320

Send uS your hotShotS!

Would you like to see your own photos published in Hotshots?
Were always looking for your best new photo. Just email the best shot youve taken recently
to Please include a low-res attachment (10MB or less): if
your photo is selected for publication, well contact you to ask for a high-resolution, nonwatermarked version.

March 2015 Digital Camera


Dominic Byrne
United Kingdom

North Berwick Tidal Pool

I chose a very long exposure, and

converted to black and white to
emphasise the dynamic composition,
and keep a simple image.
Nikon Df with 2470mm lens at 44mm;
242 sec at f/22, ISO 50

Spurn Point

I loved the patterns created by

the shadows and reflections. I
shot it as a long exposure, as I wanted
the smooth water to contrast with the
textures of the groyne.
Nikon Df with 1635mm lens at 16mm;
36 sec at f/16, ISO 100

Digital Camera March 2015



Beth Moon

to try right now

Digital Camera March 2015


to try right now

NiGht photoGraphy

1 Become
Use high ISO sensitivities
for stunning night shots

his year, try to do more with your digital cameras high

ISO capabilities. Being able to change ISO (light
sensitivity, or what used to be called film speed) is one
of the biggest advantages of digital cameras, but its surprising
how many photographers dont like going beyond ISO 1,600.
While noise is more of a risk at higher ISOs, modern cameras
are much better at suppressing it, and Lightroom or
Photoshop can make short work of removing it.
Beth Moon has made some stunning nocturnal images of
ancient trees in her Diamond Nights series by really pushing
ISO, also using flash where necessary. Ive always used film
until this series, and it is only because of the digital advances
of late that shots like this are now possible, she explains.
Most photographs in Diamond Nights were created during
moonless nights, shot with a wide-angle lens and ISOs of
3,200 to 6,400. Exposures up to 30 seconds allowed enough
light to enter the lens without noticeable star movement.
Beth says each location required a lot of experimentation
and different lighting techniques Sometimes a short burst of
diffused light from a flashlight (shining through linen fabric)
was sufficient. For wider landscape shots, bounced light from
multiple flashlights was used for a softer, more natural glow.

Get started today

* Light pollution can be a problem when you are trying to

include bright constellations. Most of Beths remote locations
for Diamond Nights in the southern hemisphere of Africa,
but Wales and Scotland offer dark regions.
* A sturdy tripod and a cable release is essential for long
exposures. The BeFree carbon-fibre travel tripod range from
Manfrotto wont max out your baggage allowance.

March 2015 Digital Camera



to try right now

Creative portraits

2 Capture people at work

Take portraits that tell a story about their subject

Martin Parr
interview and
see page 92

tuck for something to photograph? Look

no further than local businesses. You
can get some great shots of people at
work, particularly in the manufacturing
sector an approach also followed by Martin
Parr in his Black Country Stories project. But
you dont need Martins status or level of
access to get memorable, and sometimes
profile-raising, shots.
Terry Livesey took some images of people
at work that got shortlisted in Make it Britain,
a major competition organised by UK
manufacturers association EEF. (Visit www. for details.) Manufacturing
offers endless opportunities for creative,
dramatic and eye-catching images, but the
tricky part is really capturing its essence,
Terry explains.
Ive never entered the EEF competition
before, but felt I should take part, as I work
quite a lot with British manufacturing
companies. They have so much history, which
is fantastic, as it gives you so much subject
matter to choose from. I would recommend
starting by looking at companies on your
doorstep and keeping it local: they will be
pleased to work with you and you will be
supporting your local heritage.

Get started today

* There are many approaches to work

portraits, but its important to capture a sense
of context and place so be sure to include
tools and machinery.
* Try using a wide aperture and single AF point
with portraits so you can keep the subject
sharp and establish the context, without
sharply focused elements in the background
becoming a distraction.
* Try capturing the concentration of
somebody working hard; full eye contact can
also be powerful and atmospheric.
* Black-and-white conversion works well, as
does subtly desaturating colours for an
industrial feel.

You can get some great

shots of people at
work, particularly in the
manufacturing sector
Digital Camera March 2015

Terry Livesey

to try right now


4 Reach for
the stars

You dont even need

a massive telescope

Learn how to
multiple shots
see page 56

Tilo Gockel


proDuCt shots

3 Shoot products
with a smartphone

Who needs an SLR and an expensive,

complex lighting system anyway?

hen you need to do some quick but

effective product photography, you
can do it with just your smartphone
and a bit of ingenuity. Tilo Gockel proves this
with his image of a knife, taken simply with an
iPhone and some creative lighting.
First, put the phone on a tripod and use a
cable release to ensure sharpness, or set the
self timer, Tilo explains. For good depth-offield, you can stack some shots with different
focus. Here, I stacked two shots one for the
blade and one for the handle and combined
the two later in Photoshop. Then I used an app
called 645 Pro Mk III ( to tweak
the white balance and ISO and shot the knife
against a slate tile.

You can do product shots

with just your smartphone
and a bit of ingenuity
Digital Camera March 2015

For the lighting, Tilo tested different angles and

also used translum foil to get a nice gradation
across the knifes surfaces. For the warm-cold
contrast, I used a halogen light from the back
and two cool white LED torchlights from the
sides. The lamps and foil were fixed using
clamps from the hardware store.

ont miss the winning images from

the 2014 Astronomy Photographer
of the Year competition, on display
at the Astronomy Centre, Royal
Observatory Greenwich, London, until 22
February. (Visit for
details.) There are lots of great images to
inspire you to enter, including James
Woodends winning shot of green aurora
dancing across the Icelandic night sky.
Other winning images on show include a
view of the Earth taken from the edge of
space with the help of a high altitude
balloon, swirls of superheated gas on the
suns surface, and a hybrid solar eclipse.
Dont assume you need expensive
astro-photography gear to do well in
the competition, however. The Northern
Lights, for example, can be widely seen
over Scandinavia.

Get started today

* Getting to Iceland, where the Northern

Lights look amazing, is not hard these
days, but signing up for a photo trip is still a
good idea. James took his winning image
during Light and Lands winter tour to
Iceland with Antony Spencer and David
Clapp (
* Although this is not a strong aurora,
they sometimes make the best reflection
shots, says James.
* James used an exposure of 10 seconds,
which gives the water a glassy look, and
a relatively high ISO of 1,000.

Get started today

* For a nicer perspective on the product, Tilo

suggests shooting from a longer distance and
cropping in. Alternatively, use an add-on
telephoto lens for your smartphone. Check out
lens options from Photojojo (www.photojojo.
com) or Olloclip (
* In Photoshop, Tilo combined his two shots
then cleaned up the background. He also
cloned out the metal support stand. Finally,
merged the layers using masks.
* Dont forget to make colour and contrast
adjustments and do some sharpening to make
the shot look its best.

James Woodend

to try right now

Jeff Friesen


5 Beautiful buildings
Use long exposure and clean lines for maximum impact
ont let the short, cold winter days get
you down as long as the light is good,
you can still get great shots of historic
buildings. This wonderful shot of the city walls
surrounding Dubrovnik, Croatia, was taken at
sunset by Jeff Friesen, and shows that
composition and exposure is much more
important than the time of year.
Walking around Dubrovnik provides
endless photo opportunities, as both the city

and the surrounding scenery are stunning,

notes Jeff. Im sure pictures similar to mine are
taken all the time, but its the dramatic lighting
that makes the difference.
I like the way the circular wall made a
curving visual path to the circular sentry tower.
It was a stormy day, but the sun came out and
provided dramatic lighting on the clouds.
I increased the sky contrast in Photoshop.

Get started today

* Jeff used a tripod-mounted Canon EOS 5D

Mark II (now claimed by the sea) with a
2470mm f/2.8 lens. Jeff shot at f/22 for lots of
depth of field, choosing a slow shutter speed
of 1/4 second, and ISO 50 to minimise noise.
* The composition is wonderfully simple;
people would only have got in the way of the
clean lines, so bear this mind when youre
shooting architecture.


6 Construction time again

Get inspiration from bridges and other projects

Jamey Stillings


ajor nearby building projects can yield

some great shots, especially at night.
A bridge being built at the Hoover Dam in
Colorado fascinated Jamey Stillings, and he visited
the site 16 times, documenting its construction.
Jamey says his goal was to acknowledge the
collective talents and labours of those who built
the bridge; to place the bridge within the historical
and aesthetic context of Hoover Dam and the
American West; and to initiate a dialogue that the
imposition of infrastructure within a natural
environment inevitably summons. The image
features in a new Thames and Hudson book,

Landmark: The Fields of Landscape Photography.

(Visit for details.)

Get started today

* Be prepared to visit the site at all hours of day

and night, to get the best shots in the best light.
* Youll usually need to contact the builders for
permission. Try offering some of your images to
them for publicity purposes in return for access.
* Use narrow apertures to get attractive
starburst effects on lights.

to try right now

Creative shots

7 Show some solar flair

52 ideas for
more creative
see page 38

The suns scarce this time of year, so make the most of it...

enelope Umbrico is fascinated by the

sun, and has come up with lots of
creative and inspirational ways of
shooting it. Its not just about pretty pictures,
though. She did a search for sunsets on Flickr
and got 541,795 results. I cropped just the
suns from these pictures and uploaded them,
making 4x6-inch machine prints from them.
she explains.
In much of my work, I address how
differently an image functions on the internet

than in physical time/space, the shifts in

meaning around the subject depicted in the
image in both contexts, and what happens to
the images perceived value when transcribed
from web-based to print-based media. Why
not have a stab at shooting familiar objects in
thought-provoking new ways, too?
Penelopes Sun/Screen exhibition is at the
Photographers Gallery until 3rd February;

Get started today

* Penelope assembled her images from

thousands of sunset photos shared on the
web. The process of capturing images directly
from the computer screen creates a moir
pattern, which she used for creative effect
* The sun is obviously very bright so avoid
looking at it directly through your camera when
youre shooting. Direct sunlight can also
damage your cameras sensor, so be
prepared to use a filter.


8 Make your own Lightroom

splash screen

Customise the popular raw image editor

sing Lightroom 5? Did you

know that its possible to
change the splash screen
that first appears when you open
the program? Thats right: you can
replace that roll call of Silicon
Valley coding champions with
something much more interesting,
like a favourite photo or company
branding. (Sorry, Emily Fu and
Brian Kruse: were sure you
actually are very interesting in
real life.)

Digital Camera March 2015

Craig McCormick (www. has
posted an excellent video at www. that shows how
to do it, but its actually quite a
simple process

Get started today

* Select a new splash screen

image (JPEG or PNG format, up

to 900 x 600 pixels in size).
* Find your splash screen folder.
Its at Users/[user name]/Library/

Application Support/Adobe/
Lightroom/Splash Screen if youre
a Mac user, or Users/[user name]/
Lightroom/Splash Screen if youre
using Windows.

* If theres no Splash Screen

folder at that location, you can
simply create one. Now just add
your chosen image to the Splash
Screen folder, and youre good
to go.

Penelope Umbrico



CharaCter portraits

9 Take cool shots of the locals

Gritty, craggy, scary: take your pick

nlike landscape photography, where you

sometimes have to travel miles to get to a
photogenic spot, interesting-looking people
can usually be found easily. They make great
subjects for portraits, with craggy, battered faces
particularly suited to a moody black-and-white
Fashion photographer Dave Kai Piper usually
shoots beautiful people, but jumped at the chance
to take some character shots of a fearsomelooking biker called Dink as part of a seminar for
Cambrian Photography and Sigma. When
photographing anyone, from model to rock star to
family to veteran biker, it is good to remember that
being photographed is a pretty intense thing for
many people, says Dave. Starting shoots in

Dave Kai Piper usually shoots

beautiful people, but jumped
at the chance to take shots of
a fearsome-looking biker

familiar surroundings is always a winner; starting

with little or no lighting and building up is good too.
If somebody in your town looks as striking as Dink,
why not offer to do some portraits with them?

Get started today

* Preparation is key. Dave had scouted the biker

club-house location the day before, as he needed
to do the shoot in 15 minutes.
* Dave used Lee Gradient ND filters to kill ambient
light where he needed to create shadows, and
a Westcott Ice Light to highlight walls and details
in the background.
* Dave tested the exposure settings for the room
the day before and simply dialled in the settings to
his Nikon D800 while the assistant held the light
directly in line with his and Dinks head. We used
a smaller Profoto strip with grid and diffusion
panels to help control the light, Dave explains.
* For the final shot, Dave shot Dink with a 50mm
prime lens, keeping the light low to give the scene
a pub look.

Dave Kai Piper took these shots of Dink

in just 15 minutes. Why not seek out
interesting characters in your area?

March 2015 Digital Camera

Dave Kai Piper

to try right now


to try right now


10 Take our latest

photo challenge
Shoot the colour red to for the chance to
win a new Lowepro rucksack worth 98

our mission this month is to take images

that capture the creative possibilities of
the colour red. The beauty of shooting
red is that it has so many connotations:
earthiness, glamour, passion and, particularly in
Asian culture and spirituality, luck. Across the
Far East, red plays a role in happy occasions.
In Vietnam, for example, wedding brides
traditionally wear red rather than white.
The Chinese have more than 30 symbols
for different kinds of red, and even more terms
to describe shades of red, so its no surprise
they consider red a revitalising colour, says
Victoria Alexander, author of Colour: A Journey.
Italians also give bright red underwear to be
worn for luck on New Years Eve.
As well as great opportunities for the travel
and documentary photographer, a dash of red

is a great way to lift a portrait, landscape or

cityscape a motion-blurred London bus for
example. Strong reds also occur naturally in
nature think of red poppies, the red breast of
a robin against the snow, or even the russet
tones of a great sunset.
Red has endless shades, tones and
associations, so how you interpret this
challenging brief is entirely up to you!

Get started today

* The positioning of your light source is key to

how red is perceived. While front lighting shows
red accurately, for example, back lighting mutes
it into pastel shades.
* There are obviously many shades and hues
of red, so dont feel you only have to use a
bright and eye-catching crimson.

Win a Lowepro Transit 350 AW


Each month were giving away this excellent Lowepro camera

backpack worth 98 to the lucky winner of our Your Mission
photo challenge. For your chance to win one, upload your best
red image to Photocrowd at
current. (See below for full details.)
For over 40 years Lowepro has been travelling the world
on the shoulders of the best photographers. Learning and
innovation are the key to its success.
The Transit Backpack 350 AW offers protection from the
elements for your gear, with a flexible layout and fast access.
Its innovative UltraFlex fit system gives you multiple
ways to organise your equipment. The Transit 350 AW
also includes the patented All-Weather Cover and
Hideaway Tripod Mount system.

how to enter Visit the Open Contests page at

current and look for the Digital Camera Red contest. (If youre not already
registered, its free to join.) Click Submit An Image to upload your entries. The
closing date is 27th February. Winners will appear in issue 163 on 27th March.
Digital Camera March 2015

Getty Images / Mark Webster

How to make it
a red-letter day

o help you with this challenge, here

are some creative ideas that reveal
how red could be used in your own
photos. To impress the judges, you will need
to think beyond the very obvious, however.
Also, refer to a colour wheel so you can see
which colours match with red and which
clash, for some interesting creative effects.
One of the best colour wheel sites is Adobe
Color at


to try right now

Who won our

last Mission?
Turn the
page to
find out

Getty images / Ralph Grunswald

Getty images / Andy Ryan

Add a bright pop of red to an

otherwise neutral composition.
Here, the models lips and scarf stand
out against her coat and the walls,
drawing the eye towards her.

Red should attract a travel

photographer like a red rag to a bull.
If you see a person wearing red, see if
you can take their picture, or look for
red in an environment.

Getty images / Thomas Schmidt

Four ways to make the most of red

In this shot, the red stairs are set

off by the cool green walls. Red and
green are opposite hues on a colour
wheel, which means they can clash in
dynamic ways.

As red is such a bold colour, its a

popular choice for selective colour
editing. Preserve a splash of red and you
can create a very striking effect, and its
a very easy technique to try.

March 2015 Digital Camera



Your Mission
Night photography


issue 159s theme
was Night photos.
Here are our
top shots

1st & Crowd Vote*

Eaton Park Tree Line
by Matthew DartforD

nikon D7000 with 16 -85 mm f/3.5-5.6 lens at 25mm;

0.8 sec at f/16, iSo 100

ben says Our atmospheric first-place

entry is a worthy night-time winner.
There are many technical aspects that
make this this shot work, including the
panoramic finish, the monochromatic cool
tones, and the thick dense fog creating the
perfect conditions. Matthew has done well
to keep the trees silhouetted while exposing
correctly for the light spilling out behind.
This image has a cinematic quality: you feel
the eerie scene could almost come to life.
* Chosen by the community at Photocrowd

2nd Lone Tree,

Milky Way and
Shooting Stars

3rd Light Waltz

Canon eoS 5D Mk ii; 30 sec at iSo 3,2000

Shona says Kevins night light trail

image deserves a slot on our podium.
The harshness and crisp streaks of
the man-made light works well against the
natural beauty of the outdoor setting. Theres
lots of movement in this image. Not only do
you have the sideways movement of the light
dancing across the scene, you also have the
forward and upward movement in the clouds
and stars, which Kevin has left plenty of
space to show. Hes also made excellent use
of the reflection in the water to add another
layer to the final result.

by Kevin Lajoie

nikon D5200 with 1024mm f/3.5-4.5 lens at 14mm;

265 sec at f/5.6, iSo 100

by PauL aPPLeby

Claire says Paul has captured this

magical night scene beautifully, and
the calm and stillness of the setting
is apparent in the final result. The portrait
orientation of the composition works well
and leads the eye in. The connection
between the elements is aided by the lone
tree leading your eye to the blanket of stars
above. The final finish has also been carefully
considered. A great image that has been
conceived to work on many levels.

See all the entries at

Digital Camera March 2015


FroM the edge

The amusement park

in the ghost town of
Pripyat, Chernobyl.

All images: Ambroise tzenas

Digital Camera March 2015


FroM the edge

Who: Ambroise Tzenas,
a landscape and documentary
photographer based in Paris.
What: Ambroise mainly does
editorial photography, primarily
for New York-based magazines,
and commercial assignments
with his agent Talent&Partner.
For his dark tourism project,
I Was Here, Ambroise visited
global hotspots of death and
destruction, including
Auschwitz, the Kennedy

assassination trail in Dallas,

and Khmer Rouge prisons.
Kit list: For I Was Here,
Ambroise used a large-format
Sinar and a Toyo 45, both of
which he says are very easy
to travel with. He just used a
single lens, a 120mm. Ambroise
uses a PhaseOne P45+ back for
commercial assignments.
More info:

from hell

Looking for a totally different take on travel

photography? Ambroise Tzenas visited a dozen
major sites of dark tourism across the world

Why did you decide to do a book about

dark tourism?
I decided a few years ago to explore dark
tourism [without worrying about whether
it would become a book]. With a long-term
project, its important to know where you
need to start, not where you want to go.
I got interested in the topic because
I wondered why people liked to visit dark
places. This is linked to an experience
I had a few years back while witnessing the
2004 tsunami in Sri Lanka. I saw the drama
unfolding, and read a few years later that
visitors were coming to this same place to
have their pictures taken. The motivations
of these visitors puzzled me, and I started
to read about it.
How did you plan which places to visit?
I always carefully research subjects because
its really important to have the background
knowledge. Its OK not to have been to the
actual places, but you do need to know
their history. I discovered the work of
Professor J John Lennon, who co-wrote
a book called Dark Tourism, and got in
touch with him, then started to visit some
dark places myself.

Were the trips entirely self-funded, or did

you get sponsorship or commissions?
All self-funded. My life as a photographer
is all about this balance between making
a living with commissions and reinvesting
in my own projects.
Many of the images have people in.
Did anybody ask you why you were
photographing them, when it was
presumably the buildings or other remains
that everyone was interested in?
With a large-format camera and a tripod,
you dont actually point at anyone. You
are just part of the landscape, so people
dont really know when you shoot. It was
important to me to include people in the
landscape, standing beside what is left of
the concentration camps, prisons and so on.
You dont include many details of whats left
of the horrors piles of skulls or remaining
execution equipment, for example. Is this
because you wanted to focus more on the
actual places, rather than the grisly details?
I consider myself a landscape photographer,
so the distance between me and the subject
is very important to me particularly as
March 2015 Digital Camera



FroM the edge

2 Remains of Xuankou middle school,

Sichuan earthquake tour, China.
3 The remains of Xiaoyudong bridge, part
of the Sichuan earthquake tour in China.

I didnt want to take

pictures of places the
typical visitor couldnt
see, and didnt request
special access
Digital Camera March 2015

I chose to photograph places where terrible

things happened. The question of where
you stand is a big one. Making pictures of
horrible details would have made no sense
in this work.

Why didnt you shoot these images in more

dramatic black and white, or avoid bright
sunshine? that is the aesthetic choice a lot
of photographers would have made
My aim was to document, so my approach
needed to be very accurate. I had a strict
protocol. For example, I visited places
through a tour operator and paid the entry
fees along with all the other tourists.
I didnt want to take pictures of places
the typical visitor couldnt see, and didnt
request special access. [The exception was]
the site in South Lebanon. It took me two
years to get approval.
Furthermore, I spent no longer on site
than the typical visitor, and even kept my
captions simple and real, with no rewriting.
So this confrontation with reality had
to be in colour, even if it was impossible to
be totally objective. Making this work more
dramatic than it actually was, by converting
to black and white or darkening the sky,
would have been dishonest and clumsy.

If the sun was shining when I visited

a torture centre, then so be it.

Which place did you find the most

disturbing, and why?
Genocide sites are terribly disturbing. The
Birkenau concentration camp has been
left as it was so it wont happen again
but it does happen again, and thats very
disturbing. I was struck by this hopeless
history of humanity just repeating itself,
without learning lessons from the past.
What was it like to work at Chernobyl were
you worried about radiation?
No, because I had read about the radiation
beforehand, and I knew it was OK to take
photographs there during a short stay.
What are the biggest lessons you learned
from doing I Was Here?
Humanity is depressing, and history repeats
itself. This is no great discovery on my
part, but the project did confirm it. When
some of those places lose the memory of
survivors to validate them, visitors will lose
interest in going, but new sites will appear.
Paradoxically, while people today
deny the reality of their own death, they


FroM the edge

enjoy a virtual confrontation with death

generally. Working on this project raised
a lot of questions for me about our own
responsibility. On a photographic level, it
made me think more closely about the
question of representation. In the process
of creation, it is essential that the substance
and the form come together.

4 Gear left behind by

the Israeli army, on
display in the Tourist
Landmark of the
Resistance museum,
Mleeta, Lebanon.

Which images are you most proud of in

I Was Here?
I am proud to have done the project. If
photography is a solitary path, getting to
the end of a project with a book published
is a relief. To me thats the definitive way of
showing your work.

6 Rows of skulls at the

Bisesero Genocide
Memorial, Rwanda.

5 Clothes of the dead at

the Ntarama Genocide
Memorial, Rwanda.

I Was Here must be a hard act to follow...

everything else must seem like bathos.
I am not sure what my next project is yet.
I am a slow photographer, and accept the
slow process of things, the need for time,
the need for maturity. Photography is a way
for me to keep asking myself questions.
To see more of Ambroises work, visit www. I Was Here is published
by Dewi Lewis Publishing

March 2015 Digital Camera




The place to air your views on the magazine

and share your photographic experiences
Get your views heard Wed love to hear your thoughts on the magazine and all things photographic!
So email us at or visit us at
norman, youre absolutely right. It is the
photographer who makes the image,
and you can still produce awardwinning images with old kit.

Star letter
From a younger reader

a tIp tHat SHould StIck

My name is Saffron, and photography is

my whole life! I recently purchased Digital
Camera, and I am proud to say that I was
pleased with the content. I was also pleased
with the photography dictionary: it would
be very helpful for now, and later on in life
when I am doing my photography A-level.
Are you a photographer? Do you know
other famous photographers? It would
make my day if you could take a look at
some of my photography and maybe give
some feedback.
Saffron, 13, photographer
We think you have excellent potential and would
advise you to keep up the hard work. Being a
photographer isnt a straightforward career, but
is well worth the journey. Hopefully well be able
to keep giving you a few pointers!

This may be a useful tip for a

photographer on a budget: Plasticine
applied in the right places can really
help to stabilise any unwanted
movement in a budget tripod.
Its so useful it should be in every
photographers kitbag. It even turned
my shaky old Hama into a rock!
Brendan Doherty
great tip, Brendan, and thanks for
sharing it. It just goes to show you
dont need to pay a fortune to get
professional results!

dIFFerence oF opInIon
Above 13-year-old Saffron sent us a variety of her
images to review from her portfolio .

Win an aspire photo training voucher

our star letter wins a 50 voucher off training courses at aspire
photography training (

StIck WItH It

I read David Browns comments

about you pushing the latest
equipment [ViewFinder, Digital
Camera 159]. David, I am a pensioner
like you. I am very fortunate to be
able to afford this modern gear but
I would rather use the older gear like
your D200 and even older cameras,
with great results in competitions.
So stick with your D200 and buy
older lenses. Its the person behind
the camera who counts, not the
jewellery he wears around his neck.
Norman Lemon
Digital Camera March 2015

Join us on twitter

Left norman
lemon advises you
to stick with your
older gear rather
than upgrading. or Facebook

A couple more comments in response

to our publication of behind-thescenes photos of a Playboy shoot in
Digital Camera 156

I find it amusing that some of

your readers are so offended at the
presence of tasteful nude or seminude photographs in your magazine.
Go to any art club in Britain
and you will almost certainly find
opportunities for life painting. It
is rare to find an amateur art show
without some paintings of nude
men or women. I am sure that most
artists feel that the ability to capture
the human form and its varied skin
tones with complex areas of light
and shade is an essential skill. There
is a huge difference between the
artistic nude and pornography.
The human body is one of the
most significant forms for artwork,
whether painted or photographic. If
your magazine were to self-censor

What Worked for you...?
Fresh from our

eading Digital Camera 159, I was

interested to see the Flowers in Ice
project [part of our 10 creative Home
projects feature]. With my first Slr purchased
in 2013 (a nikon d7000), I have been on a
massive learning curve. I try to have a project
on the go to give me skills to practise.
last year my wife gave me a nikkor 50mm
1.8d lens, and I thought I would try to freeze
some sea shells in ice to get reflections in the
sunshine. I had a few attempts experimenting

with lighting and reflective surfaces. I never

quite managed to get the image I had in my
mind, but no doubt I will have another go in the
next few months.
every time I take the camera out, I learn
something new.
Ben Rutlidge
Persistence is key to becoming a great
photographer, and its great to see youre
trying new things out. Keep it up.

ended up sticking pages together so

the content was not visible.
May I ask in future that if you run
this type of feature, you make it a
separate pullout with a warning on
the front, so anyone who has young
photographers or may be offended
can remove it, and put it in the bin.
Simon Hepworth
thank you for all your feedback on this
topic. It seems many of you are split
with your opinions, but we have taken
all of your points on board.
all work of this nature, you would be
missing out on helping your readers
with a vital set of skills, which
many of us would like to acquire
or improve on.
Tom Cunliffe
May I offer a solution to this
type of article. I have daughters,
and I receive a magazine from a
photography society as well as
buying your excellent magazine.
I always go through the magazines
before my daughters look through
them. Some of the articles in the
societys magazine are too racy, so
its usually out of bounds to them.
I looked through your magazine and

Above the debate

continues as we
have more divided
opinion about how
we should display
this type of content.

no more reSolutIon

I enjoy taking various types of

photographs. I have a Fuji F600EXR
and an X100. What I find frustrating
is the occasional wrong colour
reproduction. When paying 26,000
or more on medium-format cameras
[Group Test, Digital Camera 159],
the colours vary so much? I can
understand it from a compact
camera, but would expect perfection
when paying so much. I usually print
A4 photos, so the extra resolution
would be wasted on me!
Gordon Degg
thank you for your letter, gordon. We
do these group tests to make sure
youre getting the best of the best!

Want to keep up with the latest

Digital Camera news, views and
gossip? Visit our Facebook page
and tell us what you think about the
magazine or anything photographyrelated. See

Digital Camera asked:

What are your
resolutions for 2015?
What new techniques
are you hoping to try?
Have you got any
projects lined up?
Im doing a print publication
this year. My first. Already three
days into it.
Davey D
To paraphrase The Fast Show,
this year I will mostly be using the
letter P I will be using other
modes rather than playing safe
using Auto.
Andy Hackett
Im going to try to be braver at
heading out on my own! Im
always so anxious in remote
locations before sunrise! I need
to man up.
Sarah Brooks
I want to shoot some sports
photography for the first time.
I already have two outings lined
up for this week.
Bob Dunn
To get out there more and
stop holding myself back. I want
to try my hand at portrait
photography, so thats what
I aim to do this year. No more
hiding time to get out there!
Gemma Ironside

Get involved: www.facebook


March 2015 Digital Camera



52 ways to

up your

Inspirational ideas to make

2015 your best year ever!

Digital Camera November 2014

hether youre just

starting out in
or youre an
shooter whos hit a creative brick
wall, you can take inspiration
from this bumper collection of
photography ideas. Youll find some

classic projects mixed with fresh

challenges that will help you take
your photography to the next level,
from fun photo assignments you can
polish off in a weekend to longerterm projects that could feed your
photography for years to come. Try
something new today and dont
forget to share your results with us
March 2015 Digital Camera

Main image: Sepehr Ghassemi ( )



Self-portrait project
Never again will you be able to say that theres nothing to shoot

tarting a self-portrait project

one that shows more artistry and
originality than a set of social media
selfies can be richly rewarding. It
also has no limitations: the subject is
always available to have their picture
taken, even if they might not always
be up for it
Creating a consistent theme for
your self-portraits, whether its
through a concept or a visual style,

Digital Camera March 2015

Above Turning the

camera around on
yourself can appear
a little daunting
but you dont even
need to show your
face to capture a

will help to give the project focus,

and there are plenty of approaches
you can take.
For instance, if you have to fit the
photography around your day job,
how about shooting the pictures
at night? You could assume an
alter-ego and make that your theme,
as illustrated by Dominick Reeds
popular Mr Flibble series (www. Alternatively,

how about integrating yourself into

a wider scene? This is an approach at
which street photographer Vivian
Maier ( was
adept. On some occasions she even
only included her shadow.
You really dont need much in the
way of camera kit for this project
you can even do it on a smartphone.
Coming up with a compelling theme
is far more important.

Getty / Julia Davila-Lampe




The 90-degree

Every time you stop to take

a picture, you must then point
the camera by 90 degrees
to the left, right, up or down
and create a picture from
what you see there.

Use a roll
of film for a day

Umbreen Hafeez

To force yourself to consider

every photo, slip a 1MB
memory card into your camera.
Only around 34 Canon 5D
Mk III raw files fit onto
a card of this size.

Go on a scavenger hunt

Take your photography in an unexpected direction

Above This shot by

Umbreem Hafeez
shows how you can
combine elements
in the scene to get a
noteworthy result.

sk someone to write a list of 20

things on a set of cards. It could
be random, everyday stuff like
hands, trees, food, but ideally itll
be subjects you wouldnt normally
photograph. Meanwhile, write down
a series of 20 photographic treatments
on another set for example, 50mm,
black and white, long exposure

Turn your digital

into a film camera

Again, ideally it should be styles you

wouldnt typically use.
Now all you have to do is randomly
pick a card from each deck and then
fulfil the brief in a day. Its a great way
to take yourself out of your comfort
zone and to add some focus to your
photography if youve found yourself
in a bit of a creative rut.

Simply tape up the screen

Obviously were not really
recommending that you gum
up your camera with gaffer
tape, but avoid reviewing
shots for a day.

Lose yourself
in a new location

Choose a new
aspect ratio

If you usually shoot photos

in a 3:2 format, try shooting
in 1:1 or 16:9 or 4:3. Live View
mode makes this easier, as
you can activate an aspect
ratio grid overlay.

Shoot your own

photo alphabet

Rather than just head

out and photograph actual
letters, find objects and shapes
that resemble letters (the frame
of a set of swings forming the
letter A, the curve of a river
representing S). Some
photographers make a living
out of doing this.

Make words
your focus

The challenge here is

not to fill the frame, but to
cleverly incorporate words
into your compositions. Look
for juxtaposition such as
an advertising hoarding
describing the rich taste of
a drink set in an area thats
clearly run down.

Ben Brain

Ben Brain

Roddy Llewellyn

Go for a walk with one lens,

exploring a location on foot
that you normally drive past.
Set a timer to 15 minutes
every time it goes
off, take a photo.

Paint with

10 your camera

You may be used to

doing everything in your
power to take a sharp photo,
but it can be liberating to do
the opposite and move the
camera during a long exposure.
Try working in Shutter
Priority, dialling in a shutter
speed of 1/15 sec or slower.
March 2015 Digital Camera




Go dark

Make shadows the focus of your photos

ead out with the intention of

making shadows and silhouettes
the key compositional device in your
pictures. As photographers, were
often conditioned to use every trick
in the book to open up the shadows,
such as shooting when the light is
softer at the start and end of the day,
or using flash or a reflector to reveal
details previously lost in the dark.
But this project encourages you to
use shadows to hide details.
Shooting in the middle of the day
becomes a pleasure rather than a
chore, although you can get great
results with the low, raking light
of a clear morning or evening, too.
Finding a raised point of view can
help you to extend the reach of these
shadows through the frame, although
if the sun is behind you, be conscious
of whether or not you include your
own shadow in the picture.
For further inspiration, check out
Magnum photographer Trent Parkes
portfolio of dense, shadowy images
taken in the harsh glare of
the Australian sun (www.

Above Break all the rules when it comes to

exposure and emphasise those dark
shadows in the image. Magnum
photographer Trent Parke finishes his
images with a high-contrast look.
Right Its not just what you can see thats
important. What you dont see also says
something, so play around with this idea.




Getty / Gregor Schuster

Capture how a subject

makes you feel rather
than just how it looks
Roddy Llewellyn


Master the art

12 of abstract

This challenge has

one simple rule: every time
you use your camera, you
have to shoot an additional
abstract image before you
put the camera away. Avoid
cheating by cropping an
image in Photoshop create
it entirely in-camera.
Digital Camera March 2015

Use a photo

13 within a photo

Create a series of
pictures where an additional
picture, held in the frame,
adds context to the original
image. Instead of using a
physical print, how about
using an image displayed on
a tablet or smartphone
screen instead?

Defocus the

14 camera lens

Sharpness is
overrated: embrace excessive
blur instead. See the different
effects you can get from
focusing the lens both in
front of and behind the
subject. Notice how
highlights and shadows
interact within the frame.

n a notebook, write a list of

descriptive words about a subject,
then photograph the subject with
these words in mind. For instance,
can you photograph snow in a way
that makes the end result feel cold?
How could you convey the scale of
sound produced by an orchestra?
The use of colour, tonality
composition, focus, movement and
more can all be used to evoke mood
in images. In the picture on the right,
the combination of blue hues, dark
tones and camera movement help
create emotion. How could you add
a evocative twist to photographs of
subjects that you like to shoot?



Take a creative
cue from music

Pick a favourite piece of

music. Listen to it while you
capture an image that conveys
how it makes you feel, or
illustrates the lyrics that
resonate with you.


Right time,
wrong lens

Choose the opposite lens to

the one youd normally use to
photograph a subject. Take a
wide-angle lens to the zoo or
only use a telephoto for


Magnum / Trent Parke

Create a
photographic lie

Make an image that contrasts

with the underlying emotion
of the scene or subject. For
instance, can you make
a happy event seem sad
or vice versa?


Get an abstract and

emotional result in the
natural environment.


Ask someone to sit for a

portrait, but let them dictate
how they want to appear in
the photo. See how close you
come to making their
vision a reality.



Ben Brain

How do you avoid taking the

same photos as everyone else?
Try picking three words that
describe your photographic
style. Shoot images that
illustrate each one.

March 2015 Digital Camera



Focus on the
small stuff

Attend an organised event

and shoot candids, abstracts
and small details that others
miss anything but the
main event that everyone
else is there to see.


Naked night

Shoot outdoors at
night without using
flash, a long exposure or
a tripod. You can only use
available light, so
increase the ISO.

iStockPhoto / PatSee


Shoot a piece of paper 10 ways

Discover the photo opportunities in an ordinary subject

oull have to dig deep for this

project. The premise seems
simple: take a sheet of paper and
photograph it in 10 different ways.
You cant cut it, but every other
creative avenue is open to you.
Each picture needs to have a fresh
identity, whether thats down to the

Above Turn the

banal into the
beautiful with some
creative thinking
and a bit of origami.

choice of lighting, the composition or

the situation you come up with. Take
inspiration from Brendan Austin
(, who
created mini mountainscapes from
crumpled sheets, or the beautiful
paper abstracts of Sherif Mokbel


Picture a

Write down a list of

metaphors that have some
meaning for you, then produce
a series of photographs that
illustrate them in literal
and non-literal ways.


Take a single
image every day


one location

Choose one spot thats close

to home and photograph it at
different times of the day,
month and year. Capture the
seasonal variation and the
changing light.

Digital Camera March 2015

Commit to a

27 month of mono

Stop shooting in
colour for a month. If you
shoot in raw rather than
JPEG, youll still record the
colour data for the image, but
change the cameras Picture
Style to Monochrome to get
a black-and-white preview
on the cameras rear screen.

Roddy Llewellyn

Roddy Llewellyn

The 365 photo project is a

classic. But if you dont want
the pressure of having to find
a meaningful photo every
day, make it a weekly
endeavour instead.
Ben Brain


Pick a colour,

28 any colour

Your chosen colour

neednt fill the frame, but
you need to compose shots
to make it clear to viewers
that this specific colour is
what the picture is really
about. One rule: you cant
selectively colour a blackand-white photo.

Shoot the

29 uninspiring

Write down a list

of locations and items that
you find intensely dull,
depressing, ugly, boring or
annoying. Now push yourself
to make beautiful photos of
these unphotogenic subjects.
You may be suprised how
much you like the pictures

Ben Brain



Photograph strangers

Are you up for a real challenge? Take 50 portraits of people youve never met before

his is a classic project with

a concept that usually fills
everyone with dread. It can be hard
enough to approach a stranger in the
street and ask directions, let alone
ask them if theyd be willing to let
you take their picture. Having to do it
enough times so that you have 50
portraits to show at the end of the

project? The chances are youre going

to have to develop a thick skin.
Many photographers whove done
it will tell you that the hardest part of
this project is starting it. But once
you do, the pictures can flow pretty
easily, and it becomes an addictive
process. In fact, some photographes
increase the pressure on themselves,

making it a three-fold 50 challenge:

50 strangers photographed with a
50mm lens in 50 days!
This project doesnt just have to
be a race to collect strangers, though.
Its more important to pick the right
subjects and spend time finding out
a little about each person, so that
your image captures their essence.

Above Digital
Camera editor Ben
took these candid
close-ups on the
streets of Miami.

March 2015 Digital Camera




Load a geocaching app onto

your smartphone, then
head out with a view to taking
an artistic picture at
every geocache location
you end up in.


Faces in
unusual places

Train your eye to spot faces

unintentionally formed by
everyday objects. Warning:
this can be addictive! See
facesinplaces for ideas.


Creative size
and scale

For this project, you simply

need to make big things look
small and small things look
big but the challenge is
doing both within the
same frame.


Satoki Nagata



Far-out flash

f/16 and
be there

Using Aperure Priority, set

the aperture to f/16 for a day.
Youll become more mindful
of the relationship between
details in the background
and the foreground.

Use an off-camera flashgun in creative new ways

any of us have been brought up

on the idea of using fill-flash
for outdoor portraits on sunny days,
to reduce contrast and produce more
flattering results. But why not try
applying it where you typically
wouldnt, such when youre shooting
a landscape or while youre indulging
in a spot of street photography a
situation where youd normally be
trying to blend in, rather than draw
attention to yourself?

Digital Camera March 2015

Satoki Nagata ( did

just that for his Streets project,
setting a slow shutter speed and
using an off-camera flash to backlight
passers-by. The resulting images
have a dramatic and abstract quality.
To tackle a similar idea, youll
need a way to get the flash
off-camera. A remote flash trigger is
essential for working in busy streets,
although a remote cable will be fine
for close-ups.

Above Using a
flashgun to
backlight his
subjects, Satoki
Nagata managed
to capture these
beautiful fleeting
moments in time.


Become a

Find a local news story and

illustrate it with five pictures
that will make others care
about it. Approach a local
newspaper to see if theyll
print the results.


Take a step

Set the focus on your

lens to four feet and dont
move it tape it down you
have to. This will force you
to move in closer in order
to get your shots.



Now take a
step back

Compose shots where the

subject is very small in the
frame. How can you direct
a viewers attention to it?
How can you use negative
space in a positive way?


Shoot without

In Shutter Priority, set a fast

shutter speed to minimise
camera shake, then shoot
without using the viewfinder
or Live View. Think of it as
camera sketching.


Make intentional

Severely overexpose or
underexpose pictures. Crop a
subject awkwardly. Focus on
the backdrop instead of the
subject. Use these errors
to fuel new ideas.

Faceless portraits

Can you reveal someones personality without revealing their face?

ake a portrait of someone, but

do so without including the
persons face. How can you reveal
aspects of their personality
without the aid of eye contact
and expression?
For a start, youll need to
consider the environment that the
portrait is going to be shot in, as

well as how youll crop the shot,

whether you do the latter in-camera
or later in software. The quality of
the lighting and the choice of
colours (or whether theres any
colour at all) become crucial for
conveying a sense of mood, and
youll have to rely on the other
features of the portrait-sitters body

to tell a story. Here we took the

concept one stage further and
combined three shots together in
Photoshop to create a surreal
faceless portrait. With a nod to the
great surrealist painter Magritte,
this image is loaded with mood
and meaning that can say a lot
about the subject.

Hiding your
subjects facial
features enables
you to focus on
other aspects of
the image, like the
background detail.

Ben Brain


Digital Camera March 2015




Splice two frames together

to create a unique view

ompose two (or more) pictures

in order to create a multiple
exposure. Most SLRs have a multiple
exposure function thatll allow you
to layer several exposures together.
However, while its admirable and
utterly satisfying to capture a winner
in-camera, replicating the effect in
the digital darkroom is quick, easy
and non-destructive and just as
valid. Combine your images into one
document and experiment with
layers and blending modes.

Above Blend two subjects together in

camera for an arty finish. Think about how
the colours and textures work together.
Right Go one step further and use
post-production techniques on your
double exposure to create an abstract.


Build a multipanel panorama

Rather than taking one

sweeping view of a place, try
building a story through a
series of shots that can be
presented together in a
larger format.

Digital Camera March 2015

Ben Brain


Self-publish a
photo book

Link your pictures through a

narrative, colour, juxtaposition
or in more unexpected ways.


Record an image
without a camera

Use an all-in-one home

printer to make a scanogram.
Place objects on the scanner
and use the limited available
depth of field for
surreal results.


Make moving

Bring your stills to life by

learning how to make a
cinemagraph in Photoshop,
or try shooting a time-lapse
that doesnt feature a city
or landscape at night


A tourist
with a twist



Take a photo
prop on tour

Choose a prop and create

pictures of it in multiple
locations. Make sure the item
is pocket-friendly enough to
take on your commute
or on holiday.

Capture a real sense of

place, warts and all

isit a location or tourist

attraction thats reached
postcard-perfect photo saturation
point somewhere like Bamburgh
castle and beach, Buttermere or
Baths Royal Crescent and
photograph the reality of what you
find there. You could focus on traffic
jams or lines of tourists snapping the
view with iPads at arms length. How
about capturing the view as seen
through the window of a caf or car?
In the example here (see left), we
focused on the small plastic statues
of Michelangelos David that adorn
the tourist shops of Florence, Italy.
It was an unusual and original way to
explore the popular photo destination
with a camera.


Find a frame
within a frame

In this exercise, you have to

compose a shot using a found
frame, such as Big Ben seen
through a steamy tour bus
window, or a portrait shot
in a doorway.


Rent an extreme
lens for the day

Ben Brain

Left Dont shoot the same tourist snaps

as everyone else. Instead, look around for
quirky and original ways to record the
details of your surroundings.


A new lens can give

your photos a new lease
of life, particularly if it
offers a more extreme
focal length or aperture
than youre used to.


Spend a day training your

lens on intriguing shapes
and patterns


Create a still-life
with character

Bring inanimate objects to life

through construced still-life
situations. For inspiration, see
the work of Victoria Ivanova

ook for ways in which you can

construct your photos from lines
and shapes, whether theyre explicit
or implied. Dont simply zoom in and
pick out an abstract set of shapes,
but try to find these elements within
wider views and frame your photos
accordingly. Explore a town or city, as
the urban environment is packed
with potential and including human
figures as a counterpoint can be an
effective technique. In this example
from the streets of London the
photographer has been playful with
the use of negative space to create an
unusal street scene.

Roddy Llewellyn

Right Often the most interesting view is the

one you have to look up at! In an urban
setting, keep your eyes open for shapes.

Above SNet
GETdi dolum
ipisci nitatem solor
ad modis
Laccabo restorem
rerum et ium hiliqui
Turn consequam
to page 52 con
for more
sed ut es

March 2015 Digital Camera




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March 2015 Digital Camera




Photo Anatomy

Pro photographer Ruth

Asher talks us through
her cliff-edge shot

s hooT !
Your complete camera skills improvement plan
This monThs highlighTs


Core Skills

Create a super-sharp
macro shot from multiple
images when you get to
grips with focus-stacking


Creative Zone

Using a tub of paint, a

flashgun and a ceramic
cooking dish, create an
abstract work of art


Photo Recipes

Scott Kelby reveals his top

wedding shooting tips
and tricks in his Digital
Camera debut feature


Back to Basics

Learn to expose shots

more accurately as we tell
you all you need to know
about metering


Gear Hacks

Make your own low-cost

macro lens from a lens
you already own and a
DIY extension tube
March 2015 Digital Camera


slr camera skills


sTack FOr

Claire Gillo reveals how you can extend

the depth of field on your favourite lens
by shooting and blending multiple images
Focus-stacking is a crafty
photographic method that
will help you extend depth of
field in your close-ups. With macro
photography, its difficult to create a
deep depth of field. Even with small
apertures such as f/16, you simply
wont be able to get an image fully
sharp from front to back.
The idea behind focus-stacking is to
shoot a set of images (nine in this case)
from exactly the same position, but
with a different point of focus between
each shot. Youll end up with lots of
shots but these can be combined in
image-editing software to create one
super-sharp macro shot.
Theres a bunch of programs you
can use to edit the final result, but for
this project, we used Photoshop CC
if you want to go one step further, its

worth downloading a free 30-day trial

of the specialist tool Zerene Stacker
To try out focus-stacking for
yourself, youll need to get hold of a
macro lens, a tripod and a subject to
shoot. A tripod is vital, as youll need
to align the final images at the image
editing stage, so its crucial the
composition doesnt change between
shots. If youre serious about focusstacking, you could use a focus rack
to precisely alter the focus between
shots, but if youre just experimenting
with the technique, gently turning the
focus ring between shots will get
perfectly good results.
We shot a small toy car in natural
light using a small reflector to bounce
some light back into the shadows. Read
on to find out how its done...

Why this shot works

Digital Camera march 2015

claire Gillo

1 The car has been shot at a slight angle

and is pinpoint-sharp from front to
back, revealing all the detail.
2 The dark slate base creates a pleasing
platform for the car to sit on. Teamed
with the blurred background, it helps
isolate the car within the space.
3 The shot was taken using natural light
and a reflector to bounce light back into
the shadows.


slr camera skills

march 2015 Digital Camera


slr camera skills


Getting a series of rock-solid shots is vital for focus-stacking

Camera support

Start by mounting your camera on a tripod.

Its important you keep the camera in the same
position throughout the sequence of shots,
so you can easily edit them together. A tripod
also enables you to shoot using a slow
shutter speed, so you can keep your ISO
setting low to eliminate noise.
At this stage, you also need to be thinking
about light and check for any distracting
shadows. We popped in a reflector and
wedged it in place to eliminate distractions.

Manual control

Its best to shoot in Manual mode, so youre in

complete control. When it comes to the editing
stage later, youll want your images to match up
exactly, so its best to keep the exposure settings
the same throughout the shoot. Start by setting
your aperture to f/8. At this setting, you shouldnt
encounter any diffraction issues. Next, set the ISO
low we had ours set to ISO 100 then balance the
shutter speed to the other two exposure settings.

Digital Camera march 2015


slr camera skills


combine your images using

Photoshop and camera raw

Frame the shot

Next switch on Live

view and frame up your
shot. You want to make
sure the background has
no distracting elements,
and is far enough away to
blur out and isolate your
subject. It helps to use the
rule of thirds to aid the
composition and leave
some foreground space.

Prepare the files

Open the raw files into Camera Raw and batchprocess your adjustments. Next, open all the files
in Photoshop. Navigate to the first image and
import the rest into this document. To do this, go
to File > Script > Load Files Into Stack, then click
Add Open Files in the resulting dialog box. The
software might take some time doing this.

Align the layers

Once all the files are successfully imported,
we need to align the layers together. To do this,
highlight all the layers in the stack and go to Edit
> Auto-Align Layers. Like the earlier stacking
procedure, it will take a few moments to complete
this job, so be patient.


nudge and shoot

When your SLRs shutter fires, it flips up the

mirror to redirect the light entering the lens onto
the sensor instead of the viewfinder (which is
why the viewfinder goes dark during a long
exposure). The movement of the mirror during
this manoeuvre can cause vibrations that move
the camera during the exposure, creating blur. To
prevent this, set your camera to mirror lock-up
mode. Pressing the shutter release can also
cause minute camera movements, so attach a
remote shutter release if you have one. If you
dont, use your cameras self-timer.

Blend the images

To blend the layers and make your subject sharp
from front to back, go to Edit > Auto-Blend Layers
and select the Stack Images option. Photoshop
will do all the hard work for you. Its best to flatten
the image afterwards. We added a retro look using
Curves and Gradient Map adjustment layers.

march 2015 Digital Camera

Focus on the dish, then

keep shooting as you swirl
paint and water around.


SLR cameRa SkiLLS

Creative Zone

Paint it black
Claire Gillo shows how to use
a tub of black paint to create
an arty abstract masterpiece
Abstract art and photography
have a close relationship. Since
cameras were invented, painters
and photographers have combined both
media to create stunning results.
If you're not much of a painter, dont
worry: you dont need any painting skills
to try out this simple project, only a little
creativity and imagination to get the ball
rolling. You'll also need to get hold of a tub
of black paint (we found ours in our local

and a white dish.
Other essential items are a tripod,
flashgun and a jug of water.
If you fancy a more colourful result,
dont feel restricted to just black. Think of
colours that mix well: for example, yellow
and blue to make green, or yellow and red
to make orange.
For our final image, we assembled 16
shots in Photoshop to show the sequence

of the changing of paint from start to

finish. It helps to shoot a few extra shots
so you have more to work with at the
editing stage. Its also worth shooting in
raw so you can batch-convert your images
to black and white in Camera Raw, and
also make any final tweaks to exposure
and contrast.

How to Create a work of art at home

Shoot a sequence and assemble it in Photoshop

Camera and flash set-up

Combine the images

Mount your camera onto a tripod and frame the dish from
a birds-eye view. Place a flashgun next to the dish and angle the
head up to bounce the light for an even distribution. Put your
camera into its Manual shooting mode. Set the shutter to 1/250
sec and the ISO to 100, then balance the aperture setting with
the flash intensity.
Create a new document and use the
Rectangle tool to create a 4x4 grid. One at a
time, import each image then position its icon
in the Layers panel so its above a rectangle.
Right-click the image icon in the Layers panel
and select Create Clipping Mask from the
menu that appears. Press Ctrl/Cmd+T to
make the image fit the space.

Digital Camera March 2015

Mix paint and water

Take an image of the dish empty. Keep shooting as you add

some drops of paint, and then a little water. Pour the water away
and place the dish back, then use a pen to disturb the paint blobs,
shooting all the while. When youre done, open the shots in Camera
Raw. Click Select All and then Convert to Grayscale. Open all your
files in the main editor.


SLR cameRa SkiLLS

march 2015 Digital Camera



Here comes
the bride

Photo guru Scott Kelby starts a new series

in which he reveals the behind-the-scenes
secrets of some his greatest shots
Digital Camera March 2015

Im so excited to launch this new

column in Digital Camera a
magazine Ive been a fan of for
years. Photo Recipes is inspired by the
most popular chapter in my series The
Digital Photography Book, where I show a
photo, then discuss how to take a similar
shot. Here, though, I can share behind-thescenes photos, even post-processing.
To kick off, were going to do a simple
one-light bridal portrait. Keeping it simple is
ideal because it lowers your stress level
and the brides. By just using one light, you
can focus on emotion and expression.
This beautiful small church had a
short hallway. The doors were a vivid red
I thought would contrast beautifully with


SLR cameRa SkiLLS

STEP BY STEP Shooting with a single light

How Scott set up two distinctive shots with just one strobe

1 The hallway

Heres a view of the hallway with

red doors I was talking about. Its
actually much darker in the church
than Brads shots show especially
in the hallway, which was just lit
with a few harsh overhead floods.
I would vary my camera height,
either sitting or standing between
the pews, depending if I was
zooming in tight, or going for a more
full-length shot (where I would sit to
get a lower perspective). I used a
70200mm f/2.8 lens. I prefer to
shoot at the long end of the lens (all
the way to 200mm if I can) to get
more pleasing lens compression.

2 Hiding the light

Finding a place to hide the

softbox was a challenge in this tight
hallway. Billy tucked himself inside a
closet doorway to keep the softbox
from extending into the frame. If
you look at this behind-the-scenes
image, you can see me sitting in the
pews, quite a-ways back from our
bride that way I could capture a
full-length shot.
For shoots like this, we normally
use a monopod rather than a
lightstand with legs its easier to
run and gun. Since we started our
shoot with a lightstand, we just kind
of picked it up and kept shooting.

our brides white dress and pinkish bouquet.

Our lighting set-up is just one flash head
running off a portable battery pack, but you
could just as easily use a hotshoe flash.
We used an Elinchrom Ranger Quadra kit,
which consists of a light battery pack and a
small flash head. This is one of my go-to rigs
for location lighting: you get much brighter
light than you would with a hotshoe flash, and
its built-in wireless trigger lets me control the
power of the strobe from my camera.
Brad Moore assisted me on the shoot (and
took all the behind-the-scenes shots), but we
also hired a second assistant, Billy, who slung
the battery pack over his shoulder and carry
it for hours without it getting too heavy. Its
perfect for shoots like this.

3 Shot #1

The position of the light was

pretty standard: we set it at around
a 45 angle from the bride, took it up
higher than her and aimed it down
at her. What we spent most of our
time doing was trying to keep the
light from bouncing everywhere
inside the small hallway. Depending
on how we aimed the light, you
would see a bright spot on the red
door shes leaning against, so we
kept trying to rotate the softbox just
an inch or so in either direction until
we could minimise it. Yes, I probably
could have easily done it in
Photoshop, but I hate having to fix
something in Photoshop I should
have gotten right in-camera.

December 2014 Digital Camera


SLR cameRa SkiLLS

4 Backlighting the bride

Once I had the full-length shot, I wanted a backlit look. I left the
bride in the same spot while Billy took the strobe and softbox to the
other end of the hallway. Otherwise it was pretty much the same
set-up 45-ish angle, up high aiming down. I cranked up the light
power. I wanted not just to put a rim of light around her shoulders,
but also to spill over. I asked the bride to turn her head and body
toward the light. Had she been looking the other way, we wouldnt
have had enough light spilling onto her face.

5 Shot #2

The only thing I had to really do with settings was to try different
shutter speeds until I found one that let some of the existing light in the
hallway blend with the light from my flash. In this case, after trying
everything from 1/200 sec to 1/30 sec, 1/80 sec seemed to do the trick.
My ISO was set at 100 (the cleanest choice on my camera), and my
aperture was f/5 so that I could have the background a little bit out of
focus. Using such a wide-open aperture meant keeping the light at less
than a quarter of its power most of the time.


Light picks up the colour of whatever it hits, so when white light hits a red door, it reflects red light. Once I saw the colour image of the
bride backlit, it looked very red from the reflected light, so I knew right away that it was a candidate for being converted into a black-andwhite image. This is a trick I learned from Brad Moore, who shoots a lot of concerts. When the lighting is bad, or the singer or guitar player
is lit with an awful green light, he knows to make it a black-and-white shot, and then the colour problem goes away.

Converting to black and white

I used Nik Softwares Silver Efex Pro 2 plug-in for Photoshop to

convert the image to black and white. My three favourite presets of
theirs are Full Spectrum, Fine Art Process and High Structure
Smooth, so I usually wind up choosing one of these three.

Digital Camera March 2015

Adding the duotone look

Once I converted the image to mono, I added a Duotone look in

Lightroom using the Split Toning panel. I only moved the Shadow
controls, putting Hue at 25 and Saturation at 21. Dont touch
Highlights or Balance. It works wonders (and prints beautifully).


SLR cameRa SkiLLS

This is a 15-minute
exposure taken in
the light of a full
moon note the
discrete star trails.


a light bulb

Mark Hamblin shows you how Bulb

helps you take control of exposures
When you take a shot
using one of your
cameras automatic
metering modes such as
Aperture Priority, the longest
shutter speed setting available
is 30 seconds. For most lighting
situations, this is more than
enough to record an image but
there are times youll need to
make much longer exposures.
This is where the the Bulb
exposure mode comes in. This
setting allows you to manually
hold the shutter open for as long
as required, enabling exposures
of several minutes or even hours
to be made.
Typical subjects that would
require using Bulb mode include
star trails, night scenes, vehicle

light trails, firework displays and

lightning. You may also want to
use Bulb when using a strong
neutral-density filter, to extend
the exposure time in order to
blur clouds or water.
Bulb mode is accessed
on most cameras either by a
designated exposure mode
setting, often displayed as B
on the shooting dial, or via
the Manual exposure mode by
scrolling one click below 30
seconds to display BULB.
In Bulb mode, the shutter
remains open for as long as
the shutter release button is
depressed. You can do this using
your finger, but it may cause
camera shake. Use a remote
shutter release instead.

Bulb allows you to manually hold the

shutter open for as long as required,
enabling exposures of several minutes

mark Hamblin

How to USe BUlB MOde TO MAke lOng expOSUreS

Set up your camera so that its protected from vibration, then expose

Avoid camera shake

You must use a tripod or other solid

support to ensure there is no camera
movement during the exposure. Make sure
the tripod wont be subject to any vibrations
from the wind. Turn off any anti-shake
features on the lens and camera.

Use a remote release

A remote shutter release with a lock

facility is the best way of keeping the
shutter open. The exposure is ended by
releasing the lock. Some remotes have an
integrated timer that allows you to set the
exposure duration, but you can use a watch.

Expose manually

Bulb is a fully manual mode, so you need

to determine the correct exposure. You can
do this by trial and error and checking the
histogram; alternatively, take a meter
reading at maximum aperture and a high
ISO, then work out the exposure time.

march 2015 Digital Camera


slr camera skills


marcus Hawkins



What the camera
meter does
When its likely to
get things wrong
How you can
correct the

by sTep

What the hell is...


The first step to getting better exposures

is to understand how your cameras
metering system interprets a scene.
Marcus Hawkins explains
What does a camera meter
actually do?
The meter measures a
subjects brightness so that the
camera can determine how long the
sensor needs to be exposed to record
a picture. The problem is that the
metering system doesnt always work
flawlessly, and you may end up with
pictures that are either too dark or
too bright. For more refined results,
you can correct these errors using
exposure compensation, or dial in the
exposure settings aperture, shutter
speed and ISO manually.
Why does the meter get things wrong?
Camera meters are calibrated to
whats called 18% grey. The theory
is that a mid-tone grey, halfway
between black and white, reflects
18% of the light falling on it. Point
your camera at a grey card or a rough
mid-tone equivalent, such as a field
of grass or a pavement, and the
camera will produce a well-exposed
result. Obviously, not everything
you photograph falls neatly into this

Digital Camera march 2015

mid-tone range. For instance, a swan

in a snowy field will reflect much
more light, while a black cat in a coal
cellar reflects much less.
This is why photos of these
subjects can look too dark or too
bright: the metering system is trying
to bring the overall exposure closer to
mid-tone grey. The exposure for the
swan will be decreased, so it comes
out looking dull and grey, while the
exposure for the black cat will be
increased, so it comes out looking
washed out and grey. There are a range
of variables that have an effect on
the exposure, including the metering
mode being used.
My camera has a number of metering
modes how do they differ?
Digital cameras typically have
three metering modes. The default

pattern metering mode takes a range

of readings across the entire picture,
then calculates the optimum exposure
according to the brightness of the
scene or subject.
Each camera manufacturer has its
own take on this pattern metering
mode Canon calls it Evaluative,
while Nikon plumps for Matrix
but they effectively do the same thing.
The idea is that you shouldnt have to
tweak the exposure, as the camera has
effectively applied its own exposure
compensation. That white swan? It
should come out closer to white when
you use pattern metering.
In reality, though, this metering
mode isnt a magic bullet: low light,
excessively bright or dark subjects or
ones that are very small in the frame
can still throw the metering out, and
you may need to apply some exposure
correction to get the right result.
Your camera also comes with a
centre-weighted metering mode. As
the name suggests, this meters the
whole scene but gives priority to the
centre of the frame. Its a throwback
to the days of film photography and
doesnt make any adjustment to the
exposure itself.
Finally, theres spot-metering. This
measures the brightness in a very
small part of the frame. This is a great
option when you want to lock the
exposure on a small subject, or to take
a number of readings from across a
scene and then calculate the optimum
exposure yourself.

The metering system doesnt always work

flawlessly, and you may end up with pictures
that are either too dark or too bright


slr camera skills


1 Light source

Lightly tap the shutter

release to take a reading

For the meter to work,

there needs to be at least
some incidental light.

illustrations byandy mclaughlin

The tonality of
the subject being
metered makes a
big difference to the
exposure reading.
The camera meter is
calibrated to target
18% reflectance
roughly the amount
of light reflected by a
mid-tone subject so
anything that reflects
significantly less or
more light than this
can cause problems.


Dark or light
subjects can easily
fox the system




The meter in your camera is

whats known as a reflective
light meter. Rather than
measuring the lighting
directly, it measures the light
reflected by an area covered
by the metering pattern. To
activate the meter, tap the
shutter release: when the
cameras set to one of its
scene or semi-automatic
shooting modes, the
suggested exposure will
appear at the bottom of
the viewfinder. In Manual
mode, you have to enter the
exposure values yourself,
but the exposure scale in
the viewfinder indicates
how much the subject being
metered is being over- or

3 Reflected light reading

The camera suggests an
exposure based on the light
reading and the Iso setting.

2 Reflected light
The camera measures
how much light is being
reflected into the lens.

a dark subject in a dark scene

reflects relatively little light.

The camera sees a mid-tone

subject receiving too little light.

The camera incorrectly

increases the exposure.

a light subject in a bright scene

reflects much more light.

The camera sees as a mid-tone

subject receiving too much light.

The camera incorrectly

reduces the exposure.

a neutral grey subject reflects

about 18% of the light.

This matches what the camera

meter is calibrated for.

as a result, the camera makes

no adjustment to the exposure.

march 2015 Digital Camera


slr camera skills

ExplaInEd METERIng paTTERns

How metering modes measure light in different ways
The exposure reading you get depends on the metering mode
you select. some modes take the entire scene into account,
while others only measure a tiny part of the bigger picture.

pattern metering

marcus Hawkins

Each manufacturer has their own branded pattern metering

system, but they work in broadly the same way.
The scene is divided into a range of smaller zones, with the
camera comparing the readings taken from each area.
The camera knows where the lens is being focused and
therefore where the main subject is likely to be and adjusts
the exposure accordingly.

Centre-weighted metering


Alternative metering

This mode meters the whole picture, but with

a bias towards the centre of the image.
about 80% of the exposure is based on the
middle of the frame.
The camera doesnt take distance and
focusing into account, so a greater degree of
exposure compensation may be required.

spot-metering enables precise readings,

but needs to be correctly targeted.
some cameras have the spot-meter linked
to the active aF point, while others have it
fixed permanently to the centre aF point.
Be careful where you point: if its not
mid-tone, you may need tcompensation.

In addition to these universal metering

modes, some cameras offer alternatives.
canon slRs include a partial metering
mode, which acts like a larger spot-meter.
some nikons offer an average metering
mode. This takes the entire frame into
account without any bias towards the centre.

What does taking a reading mean?

This simply means pointing the
lens at a scene or a detail within it,
then lightly pressing the shutter
release button to activate the cameras
metering system.
The aperture and shutter speed
will appear in the viewfinder to
indicate the exposure, and you can
either lock this in by pressing the
exposure lock button on the back of
the camera, or switch to Manual mode
and dial in those settings. This leaves
you free to change the composition of
a scene after metering, while keeping
the exposure consistent.
Usually, taking a reading is done
with the spot-meter, as this offers
more precision, although you will
need a good eye for judging tonal
values to get the best results. If you
take a reading from an area thats
brighter or darker than a mid-tone,
you may need to apply exposure
Digital Camera march 2015

compensation to avoid underexposing

or overexposing the picture.

HoW To cHEck

Where do I find the exposure

compensation control?
Youll find this in the cameras
shooting menu or on its control
screen. The majority of models have
an exposure compensation button,
too: press the button marked +/- and
turn the cameras control dial left or
right to make adjustments.
Some cameras let you do this
without having to press the button
first. Look through the viewfinder
or check the rear display as you
make adjustments, and youll see an
indicator move along the exposure
scale. When it moves towards the +
end, the area youre metering will be
made brighter; move it in the opposite
direction to make the area darker.
When its centred, the metered area
will rendered as a mid-tone value.

To see if the camera meter has interpreted the scene

correctly, you need to check the histogram. You can do
this when you review an image or if youre shooting in live
View. The horizontal axis of the display indicates shadows
on the left, bright areas on the right and mid-tones in the
middle, while the shape and size of the histogram shows
how the cameras metering system has interpreted the
scene. If youre shooting a bright scene and the histogram
isnt towards the right (bright) side of the graph, dial in
some positive
and re-take
the shot. The
reverse is
true for dark
subjects. avoid
pushing the
histogram off
the edges.


SLR cameRa SkiLLS

Gear hacks

Lets get closer

Alastair Jennings helps you bring out detail

with an easy-to-make DIY macro lens
really close to your subject without the
expense, perhaps just to try macro out?
Its surprisingly easy to convert a
standard lens into a macro, using nothing
more than a cardboard tube, an old
camera body cap and some tape

If macro photography is your

passion, spending a few hundred
pounds on a decent macro lens is a
must. Altertnatively, you could get an
extension tube or a close-up filter to enlarge
your subject. But what if you want to get

Make a camera fitting

Prepare the tube

Set the aperture

Start with a way to attach the lens to the

camera. Find an old body cap. Drill a few
holes on the inside, then use a small saw or
a file to create an aperture in the middle.

Cut the tube to about 15cm: this will vary

depending on your lens you use, but its a
good starting length. To stop light from
bouncing around, stick black paper inside.

On the back of the lens is a lever that

camera uses to set the aperture. Position it
so that the aperture is fully open and fix it
with tape.

Find a tube

Fit the lens

Start shooting!

We need distance between the sensor

and lens to extend the focal length. Find a
cardboard tube with roughly the same
diameter as the body cap.

Use insulation tape to stick the body cap

inside the tube. With the front of the lens
facing the tube, tape it in place so the end
that usually fits onto the camera is exposed.

toP tIP

When you shoot, you'll

need to adjust the shutter
speed to get the correct
exposure. To focus,
change the camera's
distance from the

In your cameras menu, activate the

setting that enables the camera to shoot
without a lens. Fix the camera on a tripod,
set to Manual and take a few test shots.
march 2015 Digital Camera


SLR cameRa SkiLLS


a LiFe aT Sea

Wildlife photographer Ruth Asher reveals the

story behind her spectacular cliff-edge shot

Ruth took this shot of nesting gannets
at Hermaness National Nature Reserve
on Unst in Shetland, Scotland. The most
northerly point of Britain offers one of
the countrys best seabird spectacles,
with 60% of the worlds gannet
population (around 16,000 pairs)
reportedly breeding here.

E x P E r T Ti P
When recording long
exposures like this, its
always best to block the
viewfinder to prevent
stray light from spoiling
the image. Try to do this
even if youre using Live
View to frame and focus
your images.

The colour cast is partly due to the fact

that this rock was in the shadow of
surrounding rocks, and it was towards the
end of the day. The sky was cloudy and
there was no golden light, says Ruth. But
the main contributor to the colour was the
Lee Big Stopper. This filter tends to cool
down the image. I recorded the image in raw
using a Daylight white balance. I was happy
with the results, so I didnt alter the colour
temperature when I processed the shot.

Ruth asher

Ben Brain, editor

Cool blue

Digital Camera march 2015


SLR cameRa SkiLLS

Shutter speed
To exaggerate the motion of the crashing
Atlantic waves below, Ruth used an
exposure of 266.3 seconds at f/16, ISO
100. The slow shutter speed, achieved
with the use of a Lee Big Stopper ND
filter, provides a ice-smooth backdrop
to the craggy cliffs and stacks.

Wildlife photography doesnt always require
expensive long lenses and the latest camera
bodies. Here, Ruth used her Nikon D90 with a
Nikkor 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6 lens at a focal length of
42mm. A Manfrotto 055CXPRO3 tripod fitted with
a Manfrotto 410 Junior Geared Head and a Nikon
MC-DC2 remote cord kept the camera steady.

Ruth says the biggest challenge in making the

picture was the use of an exceedingly long shutter
speed while perched on top of a blustery cliff edge.
I had the tripod set very low and attached my
camera bag to it to minimise camera shake, she
says. My other concern was whether there would
be too much movement with the birds, but this was
taken at the end of the day when the gannets were
roosting with their chicks, so it didnt turn out to be
much of an issue in the end.

march 2015 Digital Camera


Claire Gillo helps reader Richard Norman capture
brilliant light trails in the heart of the city

Location shots: James Paterson

Help me to
capture better
ligHt trails
Ive owned a Canon
600D for two years,
along with 1870mm
zoom and 50mm
prime lenses.
I would welcome the
opportunity to get
some tips from a pro
to help me progress.
I love to shoot a
variety of subject
matter, from macro
images to lowlight city
scenes. Please can
you help me out and
give me some tips?
Richard Norman, Bristol

Digital Camera March 2015


We aNsWeR a ReaDeR sOs

slow down time


fter the sun has set, cities take on

a different character, and are full of
opportunities to capture creative photographs.
Ordinary scenes of dull grey buildings and roads
are transformed into magical spaces where
lights whizz by. By simply slowing the shutter
speed setting on your camera, you can capture
traffic trails from cars and other vehicles.

Richard was keen to perfect his light trail

photography and also get some general tips to
help him advance. Richards photographic
knowledge has been self-taught over the past
four years, so he was happy to break out of his
comfort zone and get some hands-on advice.
Richard came prepared for the shoot with his
tripod and a remote shutter release

THE DiaGNosis

Let there be light!

Claire explains to Richard how to set up his camera

and covers the basics of exposure settings.

Richard has experimented with his photography, but

needs to spend more time refining his skills and
working up his compositions.

I met Richard after he finished work, on a

chilly winters night in the centre of Bristol.
Finding the right location for a shoot like this
is key but luckily, Richard and I are both
local to the area, so we know where the photo
hotspots are dotted around!
I suggested that we start by photographing
St Augustines parade in the heart of the city.
This popular location, next to Bristols
Hippodrome theatre, has endless cars, bikes,
people and buses passing by in the rush hour.
The trick for shooting light trails is to have a
steady flow of traffic and people passing by
can also add to the final result.
You would usually aim to be on location for
twilight when shooting light trails. This is the
time after the sun has set but before the night
sets in. You get a lovely blue tint to the sky
that works well. Unfortunately, due to
Richards work schedule, we arrived on
location a little later than I would have
hoped but nevertheless we set off with
plenty of enthusiasm.
March 2015 Digital Camera




We aNsWeR a ReaDeR sOs



Keep it steady
a tripod is a must to keep your
camera steady but pressing the
shutter button may well cause
camera movement, so a remote
shutter release is also a must. Finally,
lock your cameras mirror in the up
position to avoid unwanted vibration.
If youre using a CsC, or Live View on
your sLR, this won't be an issue.

slow shutter speed

To control the final outcome, put
your camera into its Manual mode.
shooting moving lights can be tricky,
so take a couple of test shots to get
an idea of your exposure settings.
Make sure the shutter speed is slow
enough to capture the passing lights.
eight seconds is a good point to
start from, then adjust it from there.

Manual focusing and Live View

To ensure youre getting a sharp
shot, engage Live View and use
manual focus. (autofocus would
shift due to the moving traffic.)
Zoom in on the back LCD screen to
the 10x setting and navigate the
screen over to the main focal point.
Twist the focusing ring until the
screen becomes sharp.

Digital Camera March 2015

Claire shows
Richard how to set
his camera up and
expose the scene.

pHoTo Fix #1

Get the timing right

t our first location, we

mounted our cameras to our
tripods and got ready to shoot.
Although Richard already has a solid
grasp of the basics of photography, we
covered them again briefly, and also
discussed the all-important shutter
speed setting that was going to
capture the moving lights. We started
with an eight-second setting, then
adjusted it accordingly depending on
the result.

When cars are still, the light trails effect wont work. It can be
effective to work up a composition from a central reservation.

When youre shooting moving traffic,

its difficult to be able to calculate the
correct exposure, so its important
to review the histogram on your
cameras rear display after each shot.
Richard wasnt used to this feature on
his camera but, as I explained to him,
the problem with simply checking
your shot on the LCD screen is that
the image will look different when
viewed under different light sources.
Once we were happy that we had
our exposure setting correct, we
waited for some buses to pass by.
Buses are particularly good for
shooting light trails, as their high
sides fill the frame. We had to time
our shots and to make sure the traffic
was continually flowing in each
direction. After getting some decent
results here, we decided to move on


We aNsWeR a ReaDeR sOs

pHoTo Fix #2

Round the corner

The straight road on Park
Street wasnt giving us much
to play with, so we opted to
move to another location
with corners.

ur second location was park

Street, which has a long
straight hill. Richard has tried
to capture light trails here, but has
struggled. Its a difficult location
because there are no corners!
Bends in the road move the light
trails through the frame, so you can
get a more pleasing composition.
Richard tends to come in too tight
with his framing, but I explained

that its important to leave negative

space for the vehicles to drive into.
After trying a few compositions,
we werent happy with the results,
so I suggested we try some zoom
burst effects. Richards 1870mm
lens is perfect for this type of effect.
To shoot a zoom burst, you need to
use a much faster shutter speed, say
1/4 sec, and simply twist the lens as
you take the shot.

Did we fix
Richards pics?
Turn over to
see the

pHoTo Fix #3

a different angle
For our final location, we headed down to the busy
roads surrounding Cabot Circus. There were plenty
of traffic lights, junctions and pedestrian crossings
that could be used to our advantage.
The traffic was starting to die down, so we needed
to make the most of the end of rush hour to get a
cracking shot. We managed to work up a couple of
compositions from ground level and at one point
a police car drove past with its flashing lights that
definitely added an extra cool touch.
as wed been working at ground level all evening,
we thought it might be fun to finish with an aerial
shot. We managed to find a location on top of a car
park to get a birds-eye view of the scene below. We
were limited in where we could compose the shot
from, however, as the barriers surrounding the car
park were high. We also had to wait a few moments
to make sure the cars were moving in both directions
to capture the red and white light trails. But the new Scenes from above offer great opportunity when it comes to shooting light trails. Make sure there
perspective really helped the shots.
is moving traffic in all directions to get the shot to work.

March 2015 Digital Camera




We aNsWeR a ReaDeR sOs

This image shows how waiting for a bus
makes all the difference! Richard has really
nailed the timing of this shot and the colour
streaks from the high bus fill the frame.



as time goes by...

The Photo Fixer
Claire Gillo says

Richard clearly
has a passion for
photography, and
he isnt afraid to
try out new ideas. When
it comes to composing
his night shots, he should
spend time experimenting
with different angles and
approaches, remembering to
leave negative space in the
frame for the cars and buses
to drive into.
Richard should have more
confidence in his technical
ability, as he has a good
understanding of the basics
and just needs to put into
practice what he knows. To

Digital Camera March 2015

make progress, he needs

to keep his camera in the
Manual shooting mode so
hes always in complete
control and he needs to
remember to keep checking
his main focal point is sharp
when using the manual
focus setting.
As we discussed on the
night of the shoot, Richard
would greatly benefit from
joining a camera club or
hanging out with likeminded photographers so
he can develop his work.
Richard should be start to
contextualise his images and
may find it useful to work on
a personal project to give his
photography some direction.

Reader Richard
Norman says

previously I have
always thought of
ISO, shutter speed
and aperture as
individual settings. Claire
really helped me bring
the three together and
understand how they all
work in conjunction with
each other. I never really
paid too much attention to
my histogram either, but
by looking at it as we were
shooting, Ive managed to
improve my shots in-camera
rather than relying on fixing
them in photoshop.
I tend to go out and shoot
on my own, but had so much
fun being on location with
like-minded people. I will
definitely look into joining
a camera club.

Do you
need help?

How you can contact The

photo Fixer for assistance
Could your photography get
better with the help of an
experienced expert? Is there
an area of photography youd
like to know more about? If
you think you could benefit
from a day out with the Digital
Camera experts, send us
an email at digitalcamera@ Please put
Photo Fixer in the subject
line, and tell us about your
favourite subjects, which area
of your photography youd like
to improve and what camera
kit you own. Please include
your address and a daytime
phone number.


Learn PhotoshoP cc & Lightroom the easy way!

Issue 46 January 2015



Learn PhotoshoP cc & Lightroom the easy way!

Issue 46 January 2015




7 things you didnt know about

7 things you didnt know about

Get a wider colour space, rich tones and

instant effects with ACRs hidden features

Get a wider colour space, rich tones and

instant effects with ACRs hidden features

Learn Photoshop now with our expert tutorials,

free video lessons and inspirational galleries





80 Teach Yourself Lightroom:
Share your photos
80 Create a photo book
81 Create a slide show
82 Make a triptych
83 Make an online portfolio

84 Photoshop Basics:
Sharpen a raw file

Using Photoshop Elements,

learn how to sharpen a raw
file to enhance detail and
boost impact

The Adobe Photoshop guide for photographers




March 2015 Digital Camera


Teach yourself lighTroom


WAtCh vidEo

create a
photo book
Treasure your favourite images or make a fantastic
gift when you turn a collection of images into a
printed book with bespoke design

WhaT Youll nEED

Lightroom 5
WhaT Youll lEarn
Make and design a book of your
own photos, which you can then
get printed using Blurb
IT onlY TakES
10 minutes

Create a Collection

Populate the Collection

Add the images to a book

Customise your book

Before adding photos to a book it helps to gather

them into a collection. go to the collections panel
in the library module and press the + icon. choose
create collection. give the collection a label (such as
landscape Book collection). Tick the set as Target
collection box. click create.

click any thumbnails you want to add to the

collection and press B to add them to the Target
collection. choose eight of your landscape-themed
photos (or any theme of your choice) for your
collection. click the label for the collection you
made earlier to see your collected images.

E x P Er t ti P

you have a choice

of ways to make your
book once its finished.
By default it will export
to Blurb, a third-party
company that will print
the book for a fee and
post it to you. you
can change the Book
drop-down menu
to produce a PDf or
JPeg of your layout if
you want to print the
book elsewhere.
George Cairns, technique writer

Digital Camera march 2015

click the Book module icon. lightroom will work

out which images you want to add to the book
and prepare a layout. here, its used a standard
landscape layout with each image resized to 10x8
inches. go to View and click show info overlay to
hide the distracting label (or press i).

you can change the default image size and other

attributes by going to the Book settings panel.
you can also change the size drop-down menu to
large landscape to create a book with 13x11-inch
images. Watch our accompanying video for more tips
on customising your photo book.


share your PhoTos


a slide show

WAtCh vidEo

Use the Slideshow module to present a series

of your stills you can watch whenever you like,
or share with friends and family as a video
WhaT Youll nEED
Lightroom 5
WhaT Youll lEarn
how to create and customise a
slideshow of your favourite photos
IT onlY TakES
Five minutes

Create a Collection

start by going to the library modules collections

panel and clicking the + icon. create a collection
with a name of your choice. Tick the set as Target
collection box and click oK. click some of your own
in the grid view and press B to add each one to your
new collection.

re-order the photos

click the slideshow label in the module picker.

The collections thumbnails will be taken into the
slideshow module. open the filmstrip at the bottom
to see contents. set the use drop-down menu to all
filmstrip Photos. Drag the thumbnails in the filmstrip
to re-order their sequence in the slide show.

Adobe revel in
bonus video

Customise the layout

each image appears on its own page. if you tick

Zoom to fill frame in the options bar, each photo
is enlarged to fill the page. if that spoils your images,
leave it unticked. in the layout panel, tick show
guides. you can drag a white margin to enlarge or
shrink all of the photos at once.

Play it back

use the Playback panel to change the duration

of each photo and their transitions. for sharp
cuts, drop fade to 0. click Preview to test it. click
create saved slideshow to store it in the library
modules collections panel. you can edit it later. you
can also export the slide show as a PDf or a video.

ur bonus video this

issue (watch via www. shows
how you can share your
photos on social media
platforms such as facebook
and flickr. it also shows how
to upload photos to adobe
revel using a plug-in not
provided with lightroom.
Please note that adobe no
longer offers this plug-in for
download, so this technique
will not work unless you had
previously downloaded the

march 2015 Digital Camera



Teach yourself lighTroom


WAtCh vidEo

make a
Discover an easy way to present your photos in an
artistic way as you use the Print module to place
three images on a single page

WhaT Youll nEED

Lightroom 5
WhaT Youll lEarn
Align three images in the Print
module and make a triptych
IT onlY TakES
10 minutes
STarT ImagE ProvIDED
three triptych_start images

Get even more

Lightroom advice!

hese tutorials are from

our 50-part course,
Teach yourself lightroom.
Were running the full series
in Digital Camera, but you
can get the full course now.
you can buy the digital book
edition for 6.99 via apple
Newsstand; or buy the
50-part video edition as a
DVD or an iPad app. if you
want to buy the DVD, get it
for just 11.99 (rrP 19.99),
with the code mFmDvD* via The
iPad edition is 11.99 /
$16.99 via the specials tab
of the Digital camera app.

Create square cells

Populate the cells

Add a border

turn it into a banner

in the Print module, choose a landscape page from

the Page setup option. in the layout style panel,
tick custom Package. in the cells panel, click a
buttons triangular icon. choose edit. To create a
square cell, type 3.00 x 3.00 inches. click add. click
the new 3x3 button to add two more cells.

* Voucher code offer does not apply
to the book or book+DVD bundle.

Digital Camera march 2015

go to the image settings panel. click the inner

stroke box. click its colour swatch and choose
white. set the strokes Width slider to 2.0 to separate
the three photos from the black background. in
the Print Job panel, set the Print To dropdown
menu to JPeg.

in the rulers, grid & guides panel, set grid snap

to grid. Drag the cells into equally spaced
positions in the middle of the page. from the
filmstrip view, drag a square image into each cell.
Turn off show guides for a cleaner workspace. add
a black background from the Page panel.

click Print to file to save the triptych. in the

library module, click import and browse to the
saved image. click import. Take the photo into the
Develop module. grab the crop frame tool. click
the padlock icon. crop the photo to remove the
large canvas and create a banner-shaped file.


share your PhoTos


create an online
photo portfolio
Showcase your pictures in an interactive
gallery using the tools and templates in
Lightrooms Web module

WAtCh vidEo

WhaT Youll nEED

Lightroom 5
WhaT Youll lEarn
how to design and upload a gallery
to a website. Youll need to be
using a web hosting service
IT onlY TakES
10 minutes

Create a Collection

Add to the Collection

as with creating books or slide shows, it helps

to gather the contents of your web gallery in a
collection. This time well use the Painter tool to do
this. in the library module, go to the collections panel
and click the + icon. choose create collection. label
it, tick set as Target collection box, and click create.

click the Painter tool icon. set its drop-down

menu to Target collection. click the photos you
want in the grid view to add it to your new collection.
youll see the number by the collections label
increase as you click. The Painter can be set to adjust
a variety of attributes, such as adding a star rating.

Save the gallery

Upload the gallery

When you click a thumbnail, it will fill the screen

and display the camera settings as a caption. if
youre happy with your gallerys layout and captions,
click the create saved Web gallery button. label your
gallery. click create. you can access your saved
gallery in collections if you want to edit it.

To upload your gallery to a hosting sites fTP

server, go to the upload settings panel and set
the fTP server drop-down menu to edit. Type your
hosting sites fTP details and enter your user name
and password. click oK. you can then use the Web
modules upload button to get your gallery online.

ExPErt tiP

once youve saved

your gallery in the
collections panel,
experiment with other
template layouts.
you can access
your original gallery
at any time. go to
Web > create New
Web gallery. label it.
open the Template
browser to the left of
the Web module. as
you move over the
templates, youll see a
preview of the layouts.
click a layout (such
as clean) to see how
your photos look.
George Cairns, technique writer

march 2015 Digital Camera



Teach yourself phoToshop

sharpen a raw file

to boost detail

WatcH vidEo

Enhance texture and detail by sharpening your raw files

while keeping unwanted artefacts to a minimum


Photoshop Elements 12
How to make a photo look
sharper, and how to assess the
changes you make
10 minutes

Zoom in

ou can improve the look of a photo by

correcting its colours and contrast, but
sharpening it can also help a lot. But
while colour and contrast are quite easy
to address, it can be a challenge to get
your raw shots looking sharp.
Many digital cameras have a built-in filter that
gently blurs the image to avoid producing moir
patterns in busy textures. This low-pass filter
can also soften important
details such as facial features
and create a photo that lacks
impact. If you shoot with a
wide aperture such as f/2.8,
key details may blur due to
the resulting shallow depth of
field, especially if your subject
is close-up. What looks nice
and sharp on the cameras
small LCD screen may turn
out to look disappointingly
soft when looked at on your
PCs big screen, or in print.
Fortunately, Photoshop
Elements has a range of
sharpening tools that are
designed to tease out delicate

open our tutorial image sharpen_start.dng

in photoshop elements. Grab the Zoom tool
and right-click to open a pop-up menu, then
select the100% option to see the image at its
actual size. hold down the space bar and drag
the image to close in on the eyes.
Digital Camera March 2015

Zero the sliders

details in a soft-looking shot. These sharpening

techniques work by increasing the contrast around
the edges of details in the image, which gives them
more impact.
However, when you sharpen an image
using Photoshop Elements, you run the risk of
introducing unwanted artefacts. Here, well show
how to sharpen a raw file while keeping all
these flaws at bay

Viewing one of your photos at 100% lets

you properly assess the changes youll be
making. click the Detail tab and drag the four
sharpening sliders over to the left so you can
see how soft the photo really is. Now lets see
how these sliders work

Recognise artefacts

set amount to 150. This increases the

contrast around edges and makes them
stand out more. set radius to 3. This increases
the spread of the contrast change around the
edges. These extreme settings make her skin
pores stand out.


sharpeN a raw file


Reveal key details

reduce amount to 41 and radius to

1.8. Tick preview to toggle between a
sharpened and unsharpened version of the
image. hold down alt as you drag the Detail
slider. The greyscale preview shows you whats
being sharpened. a value of 17 works well here.

Mask out smooth areas

The Masking slider helps you protect clear

areas such as the skin from sharpening.
hold down alt and drag the Masking slider to
the right to see a monochrome preview. The
white areas show you which details are being
sharpened. set the Masking slider to 75.

Finish editing

click Done and the changes that youve

made will be automatically stored with the
file. you can still open it later and fine-tune the
settings. sharpening can create noise, which is
why theres also a Noise reduction section in
the Detail tab.
March 2015 Digital Camera




your questions answered

Photo Advisor
Got a question or conundrum? Our expert
Andrew James will have an answer

Got a photographic problem? Send the details to and let us provide you with a solution

Two ways to capture snow. Here, a relatively slow shutter

speed blurs the snow to emphasise the conditions in which
the shot was taken but mind the subject doesnt blur.



Ive seen wildlife photographs that

show falling snow for extra atmosphere
and want to try something similar this winter.
How can I make the snowfall more obvious?

David Wright
Andrew says Its not long
since I was ankle-deep in
snow, photographing the
wildlife in the South Atlantic
so Im quite up to speed on
this topic!
Shutter speed is your primary
consideration when it comes to
how the snow is rendered. If you
want typical speckled falling
Digital Camera March 2015

snow, then you can use a faster

shutter speed such as 1/250
sec; but if you want the snow
to show as streaks, you need to
drop the shutter speed down to
1/200 sec and slower.
Either option is perfectly
valid, as you can see from my
two example images of elephant
seals; but to my eye, the slanting

This shot was taken with a much faster shutter speed, which
has the effect of freezing the motion of the snow. The trick
here is to make sure the large flakes dont obscure the eyes.

snow created by the slower

shutter speed (in this case 1/125
sec) in the left-hand shot is
more evocative of the conditions
in which the photo was taken,
so thats the one I prefer.
There are a couple of other
things you should note when
photographing in the snow,
David. For starters, you need to
make sure that the falling snow
isnt settling on your lens: use
a lens hood and try to position
yourself so you are not directly
in the line of fire. If possible,
you should look for a darker
background behind your subject,
so the falling snow stands out
against it.
In heavily falling snow, you
will also find that your cameras
autofocus system struggles to
cope while you are using a long
lens. In extreme conditions, you
may have to opt for focusing

manually. Thats exactly what

I had to do for my slower shutter
speed shot and it wasnt easy
in the cold weather!
Its also important to note
that with a slow shutter speed
and a long lens, you risk camera
movement or subject movement
spoiling your shot. I rested my
camera and lens on my camera
bag for my shot and gently
squeezed the trigger. Fortunately
elephant seals are fairly static,
so I got away with it.
Finally, youll find that the
falling snow has a tendency to
obscure the subjects eyes, which
are crucial in creating a shot that
the viewer connects with. So
either shoot a lot, as I did, in the
hope that some frames arent
too badly affected, or prepare to
get busy with the Clone tool in
Photoshop, to remove the specks
over the eyes by hand!


your questions answered


A l Ay m A nS Gu I DE TO

off-caMera flaSH
What is off-camera flash?
Off-camera flash also referred to as
strobism is simply the ability to remove
a flashgun from a fixed attachment on the
camera body, and fire it from a position
away from the camera.
Why bother with it?
By freeing the flashgun from the camera,
you open up a lot of creative possibilities.
To explain all of them would require a lot of
pages in this issue but in a nutshell, offcamera flash allows you to modify, through
direction and distance, the way the light
affects your subject.
Using flash light to supplement or boost
ambient light when youre out on location
can help you take more effective photos.
It is particularly popular for portraiture,
allowing you to direct light more effectively
and creatively over the face, as well as
capturing more detail within a scene.
What do I need to be able to do it?
To start in off-camera flash, you need a
camera, a separate flashgun, and a way
of triggering the flashgun remotely. Some
cameras have built-in wireless capabilities
but in most cases, either a cable or, even

See page 118

better, a separate flash trigger and

receiver are used to communicate with
and fire your flash light.
There are many different types of
flash triggers available from cheap and
cheerful ones to more expensive and
complex versions, which also offer greater
control over one flashgun or a whole group
of separate flashguns.
What are the settings I need?
The precise camera settings vary from
situation to situation. The only real way
to start to understand how it works is to
experiment, and look at the difference as
you adjust power settings, angle of flash
and distance from your subject. You can
start with simple still-life set-ups, before
moving onto portraits and other more
challenging subjects later.

How do your two shots differ?

Ive just taken the two shots as a very basic
example of what off-camera flash can do.
The left-hand shot is a perfectly exposed
image of the subject, but with the flash
attached to the cameras hotshoe. This
means that the angle of light is head-on to
the fossil. While the flash has illuminated

Andrews shot using a flash attached to the camera hotshoe exposes the
fossil well, but the object looks flat and dull, with few interesting features.

wireless flash
triggers tried
and tested

Whether its wired or wireless, an off-camera flash

unit is far more useful for achieving optimum
lighting than a flash on your cameras hotshoe.

the subject sufficiently, the result is a flat

and boring photo.
Simply by removing the flashgun from
the camera, positioning it at an acute angle
to the subject and firing it via a wireless
trigger, the result is a much more pleasing
shot. It emphasises the textures of the
fossil and makes the form appear much
more three-dimensional.

Simply by moving the flash off to the side of the camera, the shot becomes
much more interesting, with a well-defined form and enticing details.

March 2015 Digital Camera




your questions answered


O U R n eW
e xPeRT
Andrew James has
combined photography
with writing for over 25
years. Hes been editorin-chief of the magazines
Practical Photography
and Digital Photo, but now
runs a business providing
writing, photography and
consulting to clients. He is
a partner in the FotoBuzz
online community, and
regularly teaches wildlife
photography courses
alongside Andy Rouse.

are tHey loSt


My portable hard drive was

damaged after a power
surge. now my computer wont
even recognise it when I plug it
in. How can I retrieve the
images from it? Toni Ball

Andrew says This is one of those horrible

events that make your heart sink. Ive been
in exactly the same situation as you, so
I know how gutted you feel especially if those
images arent backed up! The good news is that in
a lot of situations, even if the hard drive seems to
have failed, your files may well be safely stored
inside and just need to be rescued.
If your computer recognises the hard drive
when you plug it in, but the hard drive appears
empty, recovery software could help you out; but
because your incident sounds like a hardware
failure, that option isnt open to you. The most
common hardware issue is a failed printed circuit
board (PCB; also called a control board), so I am

Above If your hard disk seems to have failed, ask a technical

expert if replacing the printed circuit board might help.

guessing this is what is wrong with your hard

drive. This means the only hope you have is
replacing the PCB.
It is possible to do this yourself but you need to
replace the damaged board with an identical one.
Being a technophobe, Ive never done this myself!
Id opt for getting an expert in to lessen the risk.
This is a more expensive option, obviously, but it
depends on how much you value the images.
When I had my laCie portable hard drive totally
fail after it was accidentally submerged in water,
I used a company called Data Clinic (www. to take the unit apart and assess
the situation. They were able to get my rescued
images back to me within two working days, so
I could breathe a huge sigh of relief.


need for Speed

I recently tried photographing at an indoor

market. none of my images really worked,
as I couldnt get a fast enough shutter speed.
what was I doing wrong? Sonya Redding

Andrew says As soon as you

shoot in a low-light situation,
you are giving yourself some
extra details to deal with. Indoor
markets in particular can be tough:
not only are you dealing with the lack
of light but you often have mixed
artificial lighting and cramped
conditions too.
Im a bit of a veteran of snapping
indoor markets. My approach is always
consistent. I never take the option of
introducing flash: its quite intrusive,
and not really suitable when youre
taking candid images. It would be
different if you were doing a set-up
shot: youd be able to use off-camera
flash to creatively light your subject.

Digital Camera March 2015

Instead of taking a flash, I use one

of my fastest lenses usually a
70200mm f/2.8 lens and work with
the camera in Aperture Priority. I set
my aperture to f/2.8 or f/4, then look
at the shutter speed the camera gives
me. If I need a faster shutter speed, I
push ISO up until I get an acceptable
shutter speed. Simple!
Shooting like this provides the
flexibility to deal with low light. There
are downsides, of course. Depth of
field is limited at wide apertures and
image noise can be a problem if you
have to push beyond the acceptable
capabilities of your camera. But this is
better than blurred images caused by
a shutter speed thats too slow.

200MM, ISO1600, 1/250 SEC, F/2.8


your questions answered

christine Bennett

Christines original shot has a

distinct pink cast, although the
feeling of warmth is nice.

Andrews adjustments remove

the magenta caused by the filter,
while preserving some warmth.




tHInk pInk

I got a set of nd filters. Some of my

images show a distinct pinkish colour
cast. How can I correct it? Christine Bennett

Andrew says Some

neutral-density filters
are not truly neutral, so
when you use them, they have
a tendency to add a colour cast
to your image. Typically this is
the pink or magenta cast that
you describe.

If your filters do this, its

relatively easy to open the
images in your chosen editing
software and correct it. However,
Id also suggest that if you are
anticipating shooting a lot of
landscapes using these nD
filters, correcting every single

photo will become a chore thats

best avoided.
Colour casts are more
prevalent with less expensive
filters, so Id suggest you start
saving up to invest in a set from
a company like lee Filters. I use
them, as do many professional
landscape photographers I know.
They are not cheap, and in such
demand that there can be a
waiting list for them at retailers,
but their nD filters do not give
any kind of colour cast. looked
after well, a set of lee nDs
should last you a long time, so I

think it is money wisely

invested. Ive even been round
the factory and watched them
hand-making the filters, so Ive
seen first-hand the care they put
into producing each one.
Christine sent me one of her
offending images. As you can
see, shes right about the pink
cast. But we have to be careful in
fixing the colour cast, because
we also dont want to ruin the
warm light shes captured in this
image. Heres how I tackled
Christines problem photo using

How to correct a colour caSt

take your photo into lightroom and remove the unwanted hues

1 Adjust the Tint slider

Open the image and take the Tint slider towards

green to start reducing the magenta. It wont get rid
of it totally, but it will make a difference. For this
shot, I settled for -51 on the Tint slider.

2 Adjust the Temperature slider 3 Correct the saturation

now tweak Temperature, moving it to the left.
We need to be careful: if we lose the natural warmth
in this image, we lose what this shot is about. A value
of 4,105 seemed to give the best colour balance.

If there is still some magenta visible, go to the

HSL Panel and select Saturation. Take the Magenta
slider to -100. I also reduced the Orange slider to -26
to further balance the image.

March 2015 Digital Camera




your questions answered




email photos to
digitalcamera@ with
the subject Rate
My Photo

Above When bright sunlight causes deep

shadows, a simple tweak with Lightrooms
Shadows slider can help.



Above Reader Rebecca Brown captured this cheeky chap at Marwell Zoo,
Winchester. Some light HDR processing helps to bring out the textures.


I took some people photos while on

holiday. there is a lot of shadow across
the faces. Is there anything I can do to
improve the shots? Dave Duggan

Andrew saysWhen you

photograph on bright
sunny days, ugly and
unwanted shadows frequently
cause problems. At the time, you
could avoid the issue by using
a little flash, just to fill in the
darker areas. If your camera has a
built-in flash, then its perfect
for this situation.
Since you were sensible
enough to shoot raw-format
files, there is a really easy fix that
we can do to bring out the detail
in the shadow areas and balance
that exposure more. I had a hunt
through some holiday pictures
to find something similar to
holiday shots, so hopefully the
shot above of the Chilean guard
will prove suitable to show what
you can do with your images.
The key to sorting this out
is only to affect the dark areas
and not the light. A simple
exposure tweak wont do it, as
that will brighten both the
Digital Camera March 2015

lighter and darker parts of your

image, potentially causing the
brightest areas to overexpose.
Both Adobe Camera Raw and
lightroom have a Shadows slider,
which we can use to selectively
bring out the details hidden in
the shadows. Having tested
the shadows slider in both
lightroom and ACR with the
same images, I can confidently
say there is little or no difference
in terms of how they improve
the image, so either software
works equally well on this.
Even at +100 on the Shadows
slider there is no detrimental
effect on my raw image,
although this amount of shadow
lightening doesnt necessarily
look natural. For this shot,
I would be inclined to leave
Shadows at about +50, where
there is still a clear shadow from
the soldiers cap but it has been
reduced enough to allow us to
see the hidden eye detail.

this months photograph is from
Rebecca Brown, who has only been
using a digital Slr for a year
Rebecca says I took this
photo shortly after one
of the keepers at
marwell Zoo gave a talk about
their meerkats. This little fella
was on lookout while the other
meerkats hunted for their food.
I like the way he is looking out
in every direction, keeping
constant watch.
I took some other images in
colour, but I much prefer them
in black and white. After some
minor editing in Photoshop,
I used the HDR Toning tool to
enhance the detail of his fur.
The most challenging part to
wildlife photography is having
patience. meerkats move
quickly, so Im pleased
I captured this moment.
Ben says The clean,
blurred background
frames the meerkat
standing on guard nicely.
youve applied just the right

amount of HDR - enough to

give it a boost without looking
too processed, and the
monochrome finish enhances
its fur. The final result is a little
dark, and could use a little lift
to bring out the detail.
meerkats are very nippy, so
youve done well to keep this
one sharp. To help improve
your shot, Id suggest you crop
into the log and create a tighter
frame around the creature.

The plain background
gives a clean finish.
nicely processed, if a little
dark and heavy.
The meerkat is crisp
and sharp.
The bottom of the log
is distracting.

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The Digital Camera inTerview

As one of Britains most renowned

photographers gets ready to appear at
the Photography Show, he tells Geoff
Harris about his distinguished career

Martin Parr

* Martin Parr is one of the UKs best known

social, documentary and fine-art
photographers, and is the current president
of Magnum Photos.
* His numerous projects and books include
The Last Resort (1986), Common Sense
(1999), Think of England (2000) and Black
Country Stories (2014).
* Martin has exhibited globally, with Parrworld
opening in Munich in 2008 before touring the world for two years.
* Martin has joined the roster of must-see speakers at the
Photography Show in Birmingham see page 47 for details.



Ascot, from
Luxury, 2003
(Previous page)

The deliberate mistake, with the

left-hand figure getting in the
way, is a classic Parr flourish.

New Brighton, from

The Last Resort, 1983-5

Martins masterly use of colour

and light etches the protagonists
out from the background.

Digital Camera March 2015

hile there are many

reasons to attend
Marchs Photography
Show in Birmingham,
the chance to hear
Martin Parr speak is as good as any. He
would bristle at the plaudit, but he is a living
national treasure of British photography,
celebrated for his acute social observation
and mischievous wit. Martin is an eminent
photography historian and collector, too, and
has done much to raise the appreciation of
the photo book.
Now 62, with a mighty international
reputation and healthy income streams
he readily admits to being Magnum Photos
top earner for several years Martin could
hardly be blamed for scaling back, but he
maintains a demanding workload. In
addition to being president of Magnum,

he continues to take on commercial

commissions and pursue his own projects.

RhubaRb anD Dope

I have more commissions than I can handle,

Martin explains during our interview at the
modest Shoreditch flat he uses as a London
base. Yesterday I was working on a project
for Oxford University Press; today Ive been
shooting a chocolate festival; next week Im
starting on a project on the rhubarb triangle
between Pontefract, Wakefield and Leeds.
This quirky schedule says a lot about
Martin Parr. While he photographs the
establishment (even chancellor George
Osbornes had the Parr treatment), his
fascination with the oddball, quaint and
eccentrically English remains.
Despite looking and sounding like
part-provincial accountant, part-Oxbridge

Martin Parr

Christs Hospital
School, 2010

Taken at an Alice in Wonderlandthemed ball, hence the small cup.

Benidorm, 1997

A Parr classic from one of

his best-known collections.

Don, Martin has a streak of iconoclasm, and

found plenty to rebel against while studying
photography at Manchester Polytechnic in
the early 1970s. The course was run by
ex-RAF photographers, who didnt really
understand much about the notion of
creative photography, he recalls. There were
some people there I identified with, but the
overall mood was very commercial. An
external assessor actually gave my final
project quite a high mark, much against the
better judgement of the staff.
Martin bonded with other iconoclasts
studying there, including Brian Griffin
(interviewed in issue 159). Brian and I would
smoke dope and look at each others work.

new DiReCtions

Martin also became fascinated by a new

breed of photographers, who were

I dont try to blend in by wearing

boring clothes or deliberately using
small cameras. I go as I am
concerned with capturing the ironies,
contradictions and rapid social flux of
post-war life and consumerism: names like
Robert Frank, Lee Friedlander, Garry
Winogrand, and of course, Tony Ray Jones.
(Seeing the latters work was a real
moment of inspiration for Martin.) A
fascination with seaside postcards and the
other paraphernalia of British working-class
culture also developed during this period.
While Brian Griffin moved to London
after graduating, Martin stayed in the north.
I worked for a while in Manchester, and
then moved to Hebden Bridge in Yorkshire.

I have been
totally digital
for the last
eight years, Martin says.
Digital cameras have
got a lot better in the last
few years. The high ISO
performance is a great
advantage. I have bought
the Canon 5D Mark I, II
and III, and they keep
getting better. My main
lenses are a macro lens,
a 2470mm and a
70300mm (I dont use
this so much, but I enjoy
it). Zooms are good for
picking out details.

March 2015 Digital Camera



THE Digital Camera INTERvIEW


This image was taken in front of the

tourist honey pot that is the Acropolis,
Athens, and is part of the Small World
collection from 1991.


While Martin now shoots digitally, this

image was taken with a mediumformat Plaubel 6/7 and a 55mm prime
lens wide enough to capture the
juxtaposition of the groups, with the
Acropolis in the background.


While the two groups of tourists are

beautifully balanced, the slightly wonky
horizon gives a snapshot feel.
resort of New Brighton, near Liverpool. His
images of tatty beaches, sunburnt flesh and
hyperactive kids helped coin the adjective
Parr-esque. The Last Resort was very
good for me, and helped launch my career
internationally, says Martin. There is still
a steady demand for those pictures.
The Last Resort also attracted a little
controversy, however, with Martin accused
by some detractors of displaying snobbish
disdain for his predominantly working-class
subjects. Its more accurate to describe the
work as affectionate and teasing, in the
words of Martins friend Grayson Perry, but
Martin never seemed bothered by the furore.
Im quite happy for people to say whatever
they like its water off a ducks back now,
he shrugs. I have a pretty good idea of what
I am doing, and I realised pretty early on that
being controversial didnt do you any harm.
For me, the subjects I chose arent that
controversial, but if people think they are,
what can I do? I go along with it really, and
turn it to my advantage. Its better for people
to be annoyed with you than to ignore you.
I just fancied photographing that vicinity.
The early Yorkshire work started to make
Martins name. Come 1982, hed returned
to the UK after relocating to Ireland, and
started shooting in colour. We began to see
colour photography taken seriously in the
UK, and William Egglestones work was
making waves in the US. Egglestone was
Digital Camera March 2015

able to photograph very ordinary subject

matter and make it interesting.

annoyeD is gooD

Theres simply not the space here to list

Martins numerous achievements, but one
project in particular cemented his reputation.
The Last Resort (1986) shows the fading

obsession anD peRsistenCe

While Martin is not the kind of artist to give

a blow-by-blow account of how he took a
shot, chatting about his compositional
approach is revealing. How, we wondered, did
he get so many wonderfully candid images,
particularly when his fondness for flash and

Martin Parr

For me, the subjects I chose arent

that controversial, but if people think
they are, what can I do?
ring flash must have made him painfully
obvious to his subjects? What you dont see
are all the pictures where people are looking
at me. I take a lot of bad pictures, like anyone
else does; in fact, I probably take more than
most, because I take a lot of photographs.
Most of the time when somebody looks at
you, it ruins it but just occasionally, it
doesnt. I use body language to my advantage
as well, although I dont try to blend in by
wearing boring clothes or deliberately using
small cameras. I go as I am, and I take the
cameras I need.
So anyone hoping for Martin to reveal
some kind of special sauce for his

Florida, from
Common Sense,
1998 (Opposite)

Several Parr motifs come

together in this classic shot.

Bristol, from Think

of England, 1995-99

This bowls match in Martins

adopted home town is given
a gently teasing Parr twist.

New Brighton, From

The Last Resort,
1983-5 (Right)
Here Martin uses flash to
separate out the subjects.

March 2015 Digital Camera



pRo insight

Practical advice from a giant

of British photogaphy

get in closer
I see many shots that are simply
taken too far away.

be bold and impertinent,

and believe in yourself
There are no shortcuts and
photographing people is difficult,
but thats why its interesting.

Dont feel guilty

Photographing kids at the seaside is
obviously problematic now, so you have
to be careful. But photographing in public
need only become an issue if you make it
one. Just explain to people what are you
doing, if necessary.

strive for originality

Think seriously about your subject
matter and photographic clichs.
(For more on this, read Martins essay via

Chichen Itza, Mexico,

2002 (Top)

Travel photographers might wait

until the tourists left, but for
Martin, they are the subject.

Switzerland, from Small

World, 1990 (Top right)
For these tourists, the tacky
souvenirs are more interesting
than the brooding, archetypally
Romantic peaks.

Kalkan, Turkey, from

Small World, 1994

Martin has written extensively

about the ubiquity of
photography, in tandem with the
rise of post-war tourism and the
advent of digital cameras. Read
his photo essay on the subject

Digital Camera March 2015

beautifully composed images will be

disappointed. A big challenge in his kind of
spontaneous photography is avoiding messy
or distracting backgrounds, but again, he
claims it comes down to hard work and luck.
You take the best picture you can in the
situation. Sometimes it works, sometimes it
doesnt. I dont go around Photoshopping
my backgrounds. I am very persistent,
however. You have to be obsessive to be a
photographer like me. Theres no choice.
Certain motifs run through Martins
work: rapid social change, the resilience and
idiosyncrasies of the British class system,
the remorseless spread of tourism, the
ubiquity of photography and, of course, food.
Its as strong a theme in Black Country
Stories, published in 2014, as it is in earlier
work. Food really took off when I got a
close-up camera in 1995. Previous to that, it

You take the best picture you

can... Sometimes it works,
sometimes it doesnt
was there, but the close-up camera gave me
the opportunity to explore food as a social
landscape, which I have persisted in since.

almost famous

Does Martin ever worry about being typecast

by his fame? People who commission me
have a certain expectation, which I try to
fulfil. But Im not really famous. I go to the
Black Country and nobody knows who I am.
Youre just Martin the photographer, and
I like that. Thats how it should be.

The definitive guide

to slr photography

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March 2015 Digital Camera


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New gear Expert tests Buying advice

102 Angle of View

116 GoPro Hero 4

104 Pentax K-S1

118 Mini-Test:
Wireless flash triggers

The latest news and launches

Ready, steady, GoPro!

We test Pentaxs new SLR with

a 20.4MP CMOS sensor

110 Fujifilm X100T

Take charge of your flash set-up

with these six options

120 Group Test:

Image-editing software

Fujifilms retro-style X100T is

put through its paces

114 Leica D-Lux (Typ 109)

Angela Nicholson finds out
whether this premium compact
is worth the investment

How we test

Digital Camera is brought to you by the UKs

most experienced team of photography
journalists, which means you can trust
everything you read on our pages, and
compare kit with confidence.
We believe the best way to test a product is
to use it as it was intended. Our real-world
testing involves taking equipment on a proper
shoot whether outdoors or in the studio
and using it exactly as you would, to let you
know whether its fit for purpose.
Although scientific data wont tell you
everything about a product, its a great way to
make comparisons and sense-check our
real-world conclusions. We have a series of

Find out the best tools for making

your photos look amazing

133 Micro-Test: Straps

Hold your camera in comfort

controlled tests for cameras and lenses that

deliver objective benchmarks.
Digital Camera is 100% independent
and never swayed by the influence of PR firms
or advertisers. The tests you read here are our
genuine, unbiased opinions. Future Publishing,
the company behind Digital Camera, has a
strict code of conduct on testing the most
rigorous of any camera magazine.
You can download the high-resolution test
images and resolution charts we shoot from
our TechRadar website (www.techradar.
com/cameras). This means you can check
the quality for yourself and even run your
own tests if you wish.

Our ScOreS performed to ensure
all products are
AnD AWArDSthat
credibly graded.

Each of our tests scores

out of five in one or
more sub-categories;
then we award an overall
mark out of five. We
take great pride in the
rigorous nature of our
testing process. Every
product and service is
tested in appropriate
circumstances, and
a combination of
real-world and
laboratory tests are

Forget it
Below average
Good for the price
Very good all round
An exceptional,
best-in-class product


Given to the top
product in
a group test

Given to products
that offer superb
value for money

Given to products
that receive five
stars overall

Given to products
that are innovative
or groundbreaking

Given to products
that merit special

July 2014
2015 Digital Camera


Angela Nicholson test-drives an action
camera, a softbox for your flash, and more

Epson SureColor SC-P600

new gear
to buy

INKJET PRINTER 570 / $799 >

Epsons flagship A3+ photo printer gets a new

inkset using a total of nine cartridges
he SureColor SC-P600 replaces the Stylus Photo R3000
as Epsons top-end A3+ photo printer. It uses the
companys new nine-colour UltraChrome HD inkset,
which includes Vivid Light Magenta, Vivid Magenta, Yellow, Light
Cyan, Cyan, Light Light Black, Light Black, Photo Black and Matte
Black. Like the R3000, the P600 can hold all nine cartridges; unlike
its predecessor, the P600 can swap automatically between Matte
Black and Photo Black when you select the paper type.
The maximum printing resolution (5,760 x 1,440dpi) and
minimum droplet size (2pl) are the same as the as the
R3000s, and there are 180 nozzles on the printer head
dedicated to printing each colour. Wi-Fi Direct wireless printing
is possible from smartphones, tablets and computers, and
Epson Connect and Google Cloud Print are supported.
Our tests reveal that the P600 produces superb
images, with A3 prints taking around 15 minutes at best
quality. Tonal gradations are very smooth, and both detail
and colour are reproduced very well.

Below Epsons new

P600 delivers topgrade photo prints.

What I like: Top-notch print quality.

What I dont like: Despite the improvements, its about time
there was a slicker solution for swapping between black inks.

Sony AZ1VR Action Cam Mini

A compact action camera with Live View remote-control wristband
vIdEo camERa 171 / $200 >

he AZ1VR is sold as a kit that includes a

removable waterproof (to 5m) case,
mounts and a Live View-enabled
remote control on a wrist strap, so you only
have to glance at your wrist to see youre getting
the footage you want.
The AZ1VR is capable of capturing 1080p
video at 60fps in XAVC S format, and recording
MP4 format at 120fps enables 720p slowmotion playback.

digital camera March 2015

The footage is vibrant with decent definition,

contrast and plenty of detail in the shadows
and highlights. And while using SteadyShot
image stabilisation cuts down the angle of
view, it does an excellent job.
What I like: Small size; Live View remote;
SteadyShot image stabilisation.
What I dont like: Waterproof case only
has a maximum dive depth of 5m.

above 30% smaller than its predecessor, the AZ1VR

can record full HD video, while a wristband
accessory lets you check video at a glance.


of ViEw
ouR tEStS

weyefeye S
View images on an iPad connected via Wi-Fi
WIRElESS BRIdgE 99 / $99 >

he WeyeFeye S is the follow up to the Weye Feye,

but unlike the original version that allows you to
control the camera remotely on a mobile device
such as an iPad, and adjust features like exposure and focus
point, this model only allows you to view the images that
youve taken on your camera on the mobile devices screen.
The S is simple to operate. You just connect it via a USB
cable to your camera, then make a Wi-Fi connection
between the WeyeFeye and the iOS or Android device.
A free-to-download app can then be used to view,
download and share the images youve taken.
What I like: Quick sharing of images taken on cameras
that dont have built-in Wi-Fi connectivity.
What I dont like: No control over the camera.

Right If your camera lacks Wi-Fi connectivity, add a WeyeFeye S to

bridge the gap between your camera and your tablet or phone.

Hahnel Speedlite
Softbox 60 Kit
SofTBox 49.99 / $80 >

TSC525K travel tripod
TRIPod 199 / $314 >

PortraitPro 12
SofTWaRE 135 / $150

Soften flashgun illumination

for more flattering results

It may be small, but this tripod

can take the weight

Tone down imperfections and

wrinkles with this program

This 60x60cm softbox is designed to fit

directly onto your flashgun when its used
remotely from your camera. It softens the
harsh light, creating more complimentary
illumination. The softbox arrives in a neat
fabric case. Once popped up and slotted
together it can be quickly bolted onto any
flashgun, ready to use.

This compact tripod packs down to just

30cm and weighs less than a kilo, but can
support a maximum load of 8kg, more than
enough to take a Canon 5D MkIII with a
2470mm f/2.8 lens. The downside is that it
only reaches an extended height of 1m,
although that is often enough. A detachable
leg can be used as a monopod, so could be
a good support to take on a days hike.

PortraitPro enables you to tone down skin

imperfections with ease. Just load in your
portrait and the Windows or Mac OS X
software will do a quick analysis before
youre able to manually adjust to perfection.
Although its possible to overdo the
adjustments, theres plenty of scope for
subtlety. This should appeal to busy portrait
and wedding photographers.

What I like: Lightweight and very portable.

What I dont like: Only extends to 1m.

What I like: Simple, quick enhancements.

What I dont like: Easy to go over the top.

What I like: Small, light and easy to attach.

What I dont like: Like all diffusers, a little
light power is lost.
digital camera July 2014




Focal length
ISO range
Autofocus points
Max Burst Rate
Shutter speeds
power supply

20.4 million pixel APS-C

sized CMOS sensor
(23.5 x 15.6mm)
Pentaprism 100%
viewfinder, 0.95x
Full HD (1,920 x 1,080)
11 (9 cross-type focus
points in the centre)
3-inch, TFT colour LCD
1/6,00030 sec
558g (including battery and
memory card)
93 x 120 x 70mm
D-LI109 Li-ion battery

espite the fact that

Pentax does indeed
make some very good
digital SLRs, it generally
always plays second
fiddle to the big names of Canon and
Nikon. Its possibly for this reason
that in recent years, the company has
tended towards gimmicks to try and
shift units.
Take the K-S1. Its available in an
array of bewildering colours, including
a new Sweets collection. Theres
also a panel of lights on the front of
the camera, which are supposedly
designed to guide operations.


Ignoring the aesthetics, at its heart,

the K-S1 actually has some very
decent specifications and interesting
technologies especially for an
amateur-level camera. At its heart
is a 20-million-pixel CMOS sensor
with a sensor-based shake reduction
system. In principle, this will provide
an image-stabilising effect with any
lens you choose to fit. This system is
also used for the Pentaxs distinctive
Anti-Alias Simulation modes.
The sensor itself has no antialiasing filter, which means slightly
sharper fine detail but the risk (rare

SLR Pentax K-S1 > With 1855mm lens: 439 / $649


Flashy number

Different colours, flashing lights: are all the

gimmicks of the Pentax K-S1 hiding a
decent camera? Amy Davies finds out
more sensitive cross-type points.
On the back of the camera is a 3-inch
TFT LCD monitor, with a 921k-dot
resolution. Theres no tilt mechanism
for adjusting the screen angle.
You can shoot in raw format.
One particularly useful factor in
Above The green
Pentax cameras is that its raw format
button resets
whatever function is of choice is DNG, rather than a
being adjusted; if its proprietary camera or manufacturer
ISO, it sets it to Auto.
format. This means that your
software, whether its Photoshop or
an alternative, should already be able
to read the files it outputs rather than
having to wait for an upgrade.
Theres no built-in Wi-Fi
connectivity in the K-S1, despite the
feature becoming more and more
especially as the kit lens really
common in other cameras. Theres
isnt up to scratch.
just one memory card slot, for SD/
If youre not already tied to
a particular brand, though, you
SDHC/SDXC cards, and youd need
should take a look at the
a second before a third-party Wi-Fi
equivalent Canon and Nikon
card became a realistic option.
SLR models for a better overall
As Pentax has been making SLRs
shooting experience.
for quite some time, theres a huge

in practice) of moir or interference

effects appearing in image areas with
very fine patterns and textures.
The K-S1 can shoot continuously
at 5.4 frames per second and it has a
maximum shutter speed of 1/6,000
second. It has a proper pentaprism
viewfinder, with 100% coverage.
The camera also offers a selection
of effects modes and a large array of
digital filters; you can use these as you
shoot, or apply them later.
There are 11 autofocus points, of
which the nine in the centre are the

Stick or twist? Upgrade advice

If youre looking for your first

digital SLR, the K-S1 is a decent
option if youre keen to avoid the
big names of Canon and Nikon
for whatever reason. If youve
already got some Pentax gear,
perhaps from the film days, it
should also be pretty appealing,

Digital Camera March 2015





What we love about the K-S1

Good colours

Colours directly from the

camera are bright and
punchy, while skin tones
are recorded accurately.

Exposure control

Sometimes youll need

to dial in some exposure
compensation to deal
with underexposure in
certain conditions.

November 2014 Digital Camera




Zooming in on the
pentax K-S1

The viewfinder
offers 100%
coverage of your
scene, which is
unusual for an
entry-level camera.

Some quirky design helps

this camera stand out


Use the dial on top

of the camera for
altering shutter
speed or aperture,
depending on which
shooting mode
youre in.

Activate Live View

shooting by tapping
this button, just next
to the viewfinder.

The shooting mode

dial is on the back of
the K-S1 one of a
few design choices
that set it apart.

Hold down the OK

button to switch
between using the
directional keys for their
dedicated function or
for setting the AF point.

The colourful rear

display makes it
quick and easy to
see which settings
are selected.

range of lenses available, so those who

had an old Pentax film camera and a
collection of glass might be tempted
by this digital model.


In a design choice that is likely

to divide opinion, theres a strip
of lights built into the grip

The K-S1 has quite a boxy and

utilitarian look to it, with squared off
edges, compared with the rounder,
softer edges you might find on a
Canon or Nikon SLR. Theres a pretty

hefty grip on the right-hand side of

the camera, but our fingers didnt sit
all that comfortably on it. Theres also
no recess where your forefinger might
sit a bit more flush with the camera.

Meet the
The cameras
taking on the
Pentax K-S1


nikon D3300
Price with 1855mm lens:
400 / $499
An excellent choice as a
first digital SLR: lots of
detail, and quality images.
Reviewed: Issue 150

Digital Camera March 2015

Canon EOS 700D

Price with 1855mm
lens: 539
A capable camera that
produces quality images
and affords lots of control.
Reviewed: Issue 140

panasonic G6
Price with 1855mm
lens: 399
A well-rounded CSC that
features just about
everything youd want.
Reviewed: Issue 142

In a design choice that is likely to

divide opinion, theres a strip of lights
built into the grip of the camera,
which illuminates when the camera is
first switched on. If youre using the
self-timer mode, the strip will flash
in different sections to indicate when
the shutter is about to be released.
A light also encircles the shutter
release button and pulsates slowly
when the camera is on but not
currently being used, or is on
constantly when the camera is active.
If you switch to video record mode,
the light will turn red.
A fairly large dial on the top of
the camera can be used to alter the
aperture or shutter speed, depending
on the shooting mode that youre in.
This dial is easily reached with your
thumb and is stiff enough to not
accidentally slip out of place while
youre shooting, but not too stiff to
be difficult to turn. You also use this
dial to adjust exposure compensation




How does the K-S1 fare against its rivals?

COLOUR ERROR Scores closer to zero are better

Pentax K-S1


Nikon D3300


Canon EOS 700D


Panasonic G6




COLOUR ERROR RESULT: The K-S1 produces the least accurate

colours in the lab, but real-world results are pleasant enough.


Pentax K-S1
Nikon D3300

Canon EOS 700D

Panasonic G6


RAW SIGNAL-TO-NOISE RATIO* Higher scores are better








nOISE RESULT: Another impressive result here. This time the noise
result matches closely with that of the Canon EOS 700D.

RAW DYNAMIC RANGE* Higher scores are better



after youve pressed the exposure

compensation button.
Each of the directional keys also
gives you access to a dedicated
function, such as ISO (up) and white
balance (down). In the middle of the
navigational pad is a large OK button,
which you guessed it lights up.
Hold this down to switch between
using the directional keys to set
the autofocus point, and using the
directional keys for their dedicated
functions. This approach can make it
a bit of a slow process when you want
to quickly change a setting, but its
something you soon get used to.
As the four directional buttons and
the OK button sit fairly flush to the
camera, theyre not easy to navigate
by touch alone, for example when
youre holding the camera up to your
eye to shoot.
Just behind the lens mount is a
switch for moving between manual
focus and automatic focus. Its a

fairly loose dial, so it is reasonably

easy to accidentally knock it out of
place while the cameras in a bag
or something. This can leave you
wondering why its not focusing.
Sadly, the kit lens for the K-S1, an
1855mm f/3.55.6 zoom, is a real
let-down. Both Canon and Nikon
have super-smooth, near-silent AF
motors built into their lenses, but this
one is driven by a focusing screw in
the lens mount. Its quick enough, but
its coarse and noisy, and will hunt
and hesitate in some situations.


Colours in JPEG images direct from

the camera are bright and punchy,
showing a nice level of saturation








DYnAMIC RESULT: The K-S1 has an impressive dynamic range,

matching closely with the Panasonic G6.


When looking at JPEG images, the camera is slightly less impressive
which is a shame considering that most beginner users will work with
these files rather than raw-format files. For dynamic range, the K-S1 sits
somewhere in the middle of the group, while for noise reduction it fares
a little better, coming second in the group after the Panasonic G6.
* Raw results use images converted to TIFF

Above Detail is well

resolved by the
cameras sensor,
which doesnt
feature an
anti-aliasing filter.

The cameras 20-megapixel

sensor is capable of resolving
a good amount of fine detail

without being unrealistic. Comparing

colours in the raw-format DNG files
shows a more muted palette, which
gives you good scope for working
with the files to get exactly the look
you need. Meanwhile, the cameras
20-megapixel sensor is capable of
resolving a good amount of fine detail,
probably a result of not having an
anti-aliasing filter.
Other Pentax cameras we have
tested have suffered a little from
March 2015 Digital Camera




underexposure in some conditions,

but the K-S1 performs a lot better
in this area, providing well-exposed
images in a variety of situations. If its

Above There are

plenty of lenses for
the K-S1s K mount;
its a good idea to
ditch the kit lens if
you can. This was
taken with an
18-135mm lens.

Left The K-S1 body

has a rather angular
shape that will
have its lovers
and detractors.

a very high-contrast scene, however,

you may still need to dial in some
exposure compensation.
The automatic white balance
system does a pretty good job in most
conditions, providing accurate colours
directly from the camera. It errs ever
so slightly towards yellow and orange
tones under artificial lighting in our
test images, but if youre finding
this to be a problem, you can simply
switch to a more appropriate white
balance preset.
Images taken in low light at high
sensitivity display a good level of
noise control. Right up to around ISO
3,200, picture noise is barely visible
at all, even youre examining an image
at 100%. Even at ISO 6,400, theres
barely any noise apparent, and at
normal printing and web sizes (such
as A4 or below) the overall impression
of detail is excellent.


Overall, this camera is a decent

purchase for people who are looking
for their first digital SLR. Some will
undoubtedly be put off by the design
Digital Camera March 2015

choices on offer here from Pentax,

principally the liberal use of status
lights, while others will welcome
them. If you buy from a camera shop,
you can handle the camera first to see
what you think.
Factor in some budget for replacing
the kit lens and youll no doubt be
pretty happy with the camera. But
if your budget is inflexible, youre
probably better looking at the
similarly priced alternatives from
Canon or Nikon, which come with
much better kit lenses.





WE SAY: The K-S1 is a decent choice for
those looking for their first digital SLR, but
its even more enticing if you already have
some Pentax gear especially a lens or two
to replace the duff kit lens.



compact camera review

> tHe speCs
Focal length

iso range
autofocus points
max burst rate
shutter speeds
power supply

16.3MP APS-C X Trans

sensor (23.6 x 15.6mm)
Hybrid viewfinder: optical
viewfinder, 92% coverage,
0.5x magnification;
electronic viewfinder,
100% coverage,
0.65x magnification
Full HD (1,920 x 1,080)
20064,000; expandable
to 10051,200
3 inch, 1040k-dot TFT
colour LCD monitor
Mechanical shutter ,
1/4,00030 sec; electronic
shutter, 1/32,0001 sec
440g (including battery and
memory card)
127 x 75 x 53mm
NP-95 rechargeable
Lithium-ion battery

ompact cameras with

large sensors are very
popular at the moment.
Within this field, the
X100 series and its
fixed-length lens has a smaller, more
niche, audience, but is still admired.
The latest incarnation in the series
is the X100T, which is very similar
to the preceding X100S. It has the
same 16 million pixel X-Trans CMOS
II sensor and Fujinon 23mm (35mm
equivalent) f/2 lens, as well as the
same EXR Processor II.


The X-Trans CMOS sensor features

a unique design which uses a 6x6
RGGB filter array pattern, with an
effectively random arrangement of
colour filters within each block of
36 photo receptors. Ultimately, this
means that the sensor is less prone to
rendering moir patterning in areas of
fine detail, and thats why Fujifilm can


CompaCt Fujifilm X100T > 999 / $1,299 >

Beauty and style

The X100T marries style with the promise
of superb image quality. amy davies finds
out if the latest model can deliver
get rid of the anti-aliasing filter for
increased detail and sharpness.
One of the X100 series most
distinctive features is its hybrid
viewfinder, which can be switched
between optical or electronic modes.
The X100T updates this with the
ability to see an electronic display in
one corner of the optical finder, to
make manual focusing easier.

above Theres an
aperture ring around
the lens.

meet the
The cameras
taking on the
Fujifilm X100T

Fujifilm X100s
699 / $849
You can get the X100Ts
predecessor more cheaply
- a good shout if you wont
need the new features.
reviewed: issue 159

Digital Camera march 2015

ricoh gr
439 / $599
Ricoh has created a superb
pocketable alternative to an
SLR. It has all the control
over exposure you need.
reviewed: issue 159

nikon Coolpix a
500 / $449
Despite minor gripes
about write times and AF
speed, the Coolpix A is
enjoyable to use.
reviewed: issue 159

Theres also now a 3-inch 1,040k-dot

viewfinder with a 3:2 ratio, compared
with the 2.8 inch, 460k-dot screen
and a 4:3 ratio on the X100S. A new
Film Simulation, Classic Chrome, has
also been introduced, and you can
now set exposure compensation to
+/- 3EV. Theres also the ability to set
a fastest shutter speed of 1/32,000
second when youre using the new
electronic shutter.
Other features include built-in
Wi-Fi; full 1080p video recording;
macro focusing as close as 10cm; and
Intelligent Hybrid AF, with a claimed
focus time of just 0.08 seconds.

Build and Handling

When it comes to the physical design

and control layout, not a huge amount
has changed from the X100S to the
X100T, although there is now the
ability to customise a good proportion
of the buttons on the back to better
suit your shooting style.



How does the X100T measure up?
CoLouR eRRoR Scores closer to zero are better

Fujifilm X100T
Fujifilm X100S


Ricoh GR


Nikon Coolpix A







Colour error result: The X100Ts almost-perfect colour

error result is a good reflection of its accurate colours.


Fujifilm X100T
Fujifilm X100S

Ricoh GR
Nikon Coolpix A


RAW SIGNAL-To-NoISe RATIo* higher scores are better









noise result: The X100Ts converted raw files are a little noisier
than the X100Ss, but our test shots show they also have more detail.


RAW DYNAmIC RANGe* higher scores are better

There is no mode dial, and while there

is no true fully automatic mode, a
close approximation is reached by
setting both the shutter speed dial
and aperture ring to A for automatic.
In order to switch between the
electronic and optical viewfinder,
theres a small switch on the front of
the camera, which is easily reached
with your fore- or middle finger when
holding the camera up to the eye.
Probably the cameras biggest
changes have been made to the
viewfinder. When the optical
viewfinder is used and the camera
is in manual focus mode, a rectangle
appears in the bottom right of the
screen, showing an enlarged view of
the target area. When the focus assist
option is set to Digital Split Image,
this shows a twin view of the subject,
which merges into one as the lens is
correctly focused.
An alternative option is to use the
X100Ts Focus Peaking system. You

can set the display to show different

colours of your choice, which indicate
where the areas of highest contrast
are. (These are usually the areas of
best focus.)
Another change to the optical
viewfinder is that the bright lines
that show the framing of the image
in the optical viewfinder actually
shift as the focus distance changes.
This is to correct parallax error, and
its especially useful for accurate
composition with close subjects.
The information in the X100Ts
viewfinder is also cleaner-looking
than in the X100S. In a nice touch,
the display text rotates to be easier
to read when the camera is turned
to shoot in portrait mode.









dYnamiC result: The two Fujifilm cameras are evenly matched

with the Nikon in the test, while the Ricoh GR comes out the worst.


Not surprisingly, in most of the tests, the X100T achieved very
close scores to the X100S, and in terms of JPEG signal-to-noise
ratio, both cameras outperform the Ricoh and the Nikon. For
dynamic range, again, the X100T and the X100S are more or less
identical, but both lag a little behind the GR and the Coolpix A.
* raw results use images converted to tiFF

above The Classic

Film Simulation
mode produces
muted colours with
an earthy note.

Colours directly from the camera

display the beautiful warmth that
Fujifilm is known for


Because the X100T keeps the same

image sensor and processor as its
predecessor, we had no doubts that
the image quality would also be
high. The biggest change here is the
introduction of the electronic shutter
to allow for super-fast shutter speeds
when shooting in bright light.
Colours directly from the camera
display the beautiful warmth that
Fujifilm has come to be known for,
with its film simulation modes giving
March 2015 Digital Camera




For TeST

compact camera review

Zooming in on the Fujifilm X100t

A similar look to the X100S, but more customisable


The dials for shutter

speed and exposure
compensation are
easily reachable as
you shoot.

This sensor switches

the screen off and
the viewfinder on
when the camera is
lifted to the eye.

By default, this
button gives you
direct access to the
Wi-Fi functionality
of the camera.

Press this button to

access the quick
menu, accessing
your commonly
used settings.

you lots of scope to shoot exactly how

you want to.
The new Classic Chrome film
simulation mode is a good choice for
a lot of different shooting scenarios.
If you shoot in raw format, you can
opt to revert back to a clean colour
version of an image shot with any film
simulation mode, should you need it.
With no anti-aliasing filter, the
X100T is excellent at resolving
detail and, in this regard, is certainly
a match for SLRs equipped with an
equivalent lens.

You can chose to set

a custom function to
each one of the keys
on the four-way
navigational pad.

The X100T copes admirably

when shooting in low-light,
high-sensitivity situations

Below Shutter
speed and exposure
compensation can
be adjusted quickly
via top-plate dials.

The function of this

dial varies with the
modes you select.
Change the shutter
speed when using
the electronic
shutter, for example.

The X100T copes admirably when

shooting in low light, high sensitivity
situations. Noise is barely apparent
in JPEGs up until around ISO 3,200,
and even then only when looking
at images at 100% magnification.
The overall impression of detail is
fantastic right up to ISO 12,800 at
small printing and web sizes. The
absolute highest setting of 51,200 is
probably best reserved for those times
when youre really desperate.

Focusing speeds are pretty quick

in good light, but theres still a
noticeable back-and-forwards hunt
when trying to acquire focus and
that process is lengthened when
shooting in low light.


The X100T cant be all things to

all people, and theres no getting
away from the hefty price tag. If
you want something which offers
more flexibility, such as different
focal lengths, this isnt the camera
for you the Fujifilm X30 might be
a better choice.





We saY: Fujifilm once again smashes the
ball out of the park with the X100T. The
beautiful, retro design is married with
practical and customisable controls that
make it great to use.

Digital Camera march 2015




> The speCs
Focal length
isO range
autofocus points
Max burst rate
shutter speeds
power supply

Four Thirds type with 16.84

million pixels (12.8 million
0.38-inch electronic
viewfinder with 2,764,000
4K (3,840x2,160)
20025,000; expandable
to 10025,000
40 frames per second with
focus set at start; 6.5fps
with continuous AF
3-inch 921k-dot LCD
Mechanical shutter,
1,400060 sec; electronic
shutter, 1/16,0001 sec
117 x 66 x 61mm
Rechargeable Li-ion battery

he Leica D-Lux (Typ

109) is a rather unusual
camera. Thanks to a
working agreement
between Leica and
Panasonic, its almost identical to the
Panasonic LX100, one of our favourite
cameras of 2014. There is a price
premium to pay for the Leica model,
but this also brings a three-year
warranty, and Lightroom 5 is included
on a disc in the product box.
For those unfamiliar with the
LX100, the sensor is a Four Thirdstype; according to Panasonic, its
the same 16MP sensor used in the
Panasonic GX7, but it only uses a
maximum of 12.5 million pixels (in
4:3 mode). As its a multi-aspect ratio
sensor, 3:2 and 16:9 images use pixels
that lie outside the area used by the
camera in 4:3 mode.
This sensor is coupled with a
new Panasonic Venus engine, which
enables a native sensitivity range of
ISO 20025,000 (with expansion
settings taking it to ISO 10025,000)
and 4K or Full-HD video recording.

COMpaCT Leica D-Lux (Typ 109) > 825 / $1,195 >

Luxury goods

The D-Lux (Typ 109) is Leicas version of

the Panasonic LX100. angela nicholson
investigates if its worth the extra money
Like the LX100, the D-Lux has a
Leica DC Vario-Summilux 24-75mm
(equivalent) f/1.7-2.8 lens. As with
the rest of the camera, although
this lens has Leicas name on it, it
is actually built by Panasonic. The
company has invested a lot of effort
to keep size down while ensuring its
a high quality optic.

above Theres no
denying that the
D-Lux is a finelooking camera.

BuilD anD hanDling

The D-Lux (Typ 109) is aimed at

experienced photographers who

Meet the
The cameras
taking on the
Leica D-Lux

panasonic lX100
699 / $899
The same spec as the
D-Lux, with a shorter
warranty. Its front grip is
a plus over the D-Lux.
Reviewed: issue 159

Digital Camera March 2015

Fujifilm X30
459 / $599
The same 12MP 2/3-inch
X-Trans CMOS II sensor and
28114mm f/2.-2.8 lens as
the X20, in a larger body
coupled with an EVF.
not reviewed

Fujifilm X100T
999 / $1,299
Its 16MP APS-C format
sensor and Fujinon 23mm
f/2 lens give this compact
bags of appeal.
Reviewed: page 122

want a high-quality compact camera

that affords plenty of control. It
doesnt disappoint: it has a highquality feel, along with traditional
controls (including a shutter speed
dial, aperture ring and exposure
compensation dial) to allow quick
exposure adjustments. The aspect
ratio can also be changed (between
3:2, 16:9, 1:1 and 4:3) using a sliding
switch on the lens barrel, just next to
the manual focusing/zoom ring, and
theres a switch on the lens to select
focus mode.
Further good news is that the
2,764k-dot electronic viewfinder
(EVF) is very good and provides a nice,
clear view. Its especially useful in
bright conditions, where the 3-inch
921k-dot screen can suffer from
reflections, as do most screens.
However, the front grip thats on
the front of the LX100 is completely
missing from the D-Lux. This makes
it feel rather insecure in your hand,
especially in cold weather. There is
an optional front grip available that
attaches via the tripod bush, although



LEiCA D-LuX (TyP 109)



How does the D-Lux fare against the rest?

COLOur ErrOr Scores closer to zero are better

Leica D-Lux 109


Panasonic LX100


Fujifilm X100T


Fujifilm X30





COlOuR eRROR ResulT: It lacks the accuracy of the Fuji X100T,

but the D-Lux scores pretty well, producing vibrant images.


Leica D-Lux 109

Panasonic LX100

Fujifilm X100T
Fujifilm X30


rAw SIgnAL-TO-nOISE rATIO* Higher scores are better








nOise ResulT: The LX100 and D-Lux stand up well to the

competition from the X100Ts larger sensor. Noise is controlled well.

DynAMIC rAngE (EV)

rAw DynAMIC rAngE* Higher scores are better

this arguably spoils the clean lines

of the camera.


Like the LX100, the D-Lux (Typ 109)

produces impressive results. Images
taken in daylight have lots of detail,
natural colour and good tonal range,
and distortion is controlled well. As
usual, the highest-quality results
are produced at the lower sensitivity
settings, and the maximum setting
(ISO 25,000) is best avoided.
Dropping down to ISO 6,400
results in much better images and,
although wed still recommend
shooting raw files, JPEGs are suitable
for making A3 prints. Ideally, its best
to keep the sensitivity to ISO 1,600
or lower, where the image quality is
very good, noise is controlled well
and theres plenty of detail.
Even in fairly low light, the
D-Luxs autofocus system manages

to get subjects sharp quickly; it only

starts to struggle in dark conditions.
The general-purpose metering
system does a good job, but it
sometimes produces quite bright
images. It can be beneficial to reduce
the exposure by 1/3 or 2/3EV to get
more saturated colours or to protect
the highlights.












DynaMiC ResulT: This indicates that the D-Lux captures a wide

range of tones at the lower sensitivity settings.


These figures show the results when the raw files from the LX100 and
D-Lux are processed using their own supplied software (Silkypix and
Lightroom respectively). When they are both processed using Adobe
Camera Raw, the results are a very close match.
* raw results use images converted to TIFF

above The D-Luxs

images are vibrant and
full of detail.

We say: The D-Lux is a delight to use. it
produces high quality images, but the
Panasonic LX100, which has the same spec,
feels safer in your hand, thanks to the front
grip thats missing from the Leica camera.

Right Thats an
aperture ring towards
the front of the lens.

March 2015 Digital Camera



> THe speCs
angle of view

170 degrees
None (Optional LCD is
available, or use Wi-Fi Live
view on iOS or Android
max resolution
isO range
Video, 4006,400; photo,
max burst rate
6 frames per second
None (Optional LCD is
available, or use Wi-Fi Live
view on iOS or Android
exposure control Exposure compensation
+/-2EV and sensitivity
Video format
NTSC and Pal
File format
H.264 MP4
power supply
NP-FW50 W-series
rechargeable battery
88g (152g with housing)
41 x 59 x 30mm
power supply
Lithium-ion 1,160mAH,
3.8V, 4.4Wh

he action camera
market is expanding at
speed. The best-known
name in the sector right
now is GoPro, with the
latest top-end incarnation being the
Hero 4 Black, which replaces the Hero
3+ Black.
Thanks to their small size and
high-quality footage, GoPro cameras
feature extensively at sports events,
and theyre used by broadcasters
like the BBC to capture spectacular
wildlife footage.
GoPro cameras offer a wide-angle
view and are designed to be attached
to something, rather than be handheld
like conventional cameras. As such,
theres a vast range of mounts that
enable the Hero 4 to be fixed to
everything from a surfboard to a dog.


Weve tested the GoPro Hero 4 Black,

ViDeO Camera GoPro Hero 4 > 369.99 / $499.99 >

Tough guy

alastair Jennings road-tests the Hero 4,

an action camera that shoots 4K video and
has enabled some spectacular footage
the top model. (Theres also the Hero
Silver and the entry-level Hero.)
It comes encased in a removable
housing thats waterproof to 40m and
provides shock and dust-proofing.
Headline new features include 4K
video at 30fps and 1080p at up to
120fps (that means Full HD playback
at quarter-speed slow motion);
Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity;
simultaneous 12MP still and video

above The lens has

a 170-degree angle
of view.

BuilD anD HanDling

meet the
The models
taking on the
Hero 4 Black

recording; and the ability to tag

your best footage as you shoot. Pro
videographers will also appreciate
the ProTune feature, which enables
greater scope for grading in postproduction, and USB and HDMI
ports for external microphones and
monitors. This is a crazy amount of
power in a device that costs about the
same as an entry-level SLR and is just
larger than a matchbox.

iOn air pro 3

279 / $349
Sleek, discreet and
streamlined, this camera
takes a simple approach to
design and operation and
captures 1080p footage.
not reviewed

Digital Camera March 2015

Toshiba Camileo X-sports

179 / $297
Its larger than the Hero 4,
but has a screen. It also
comes with a host of
mounts in the box so you
can get started instantly.
not reviewed

sony aZ1Vr/W
264 / $348
This ultra-small camera
is simple to use and
produces high-quality
footage. See Angle of
View, page 102.
not reviewed

The Hero 4 features a few cosmetic

changes over the Hero 3+, but
operation still requires just three
buttons. A button on top of the
camera is used to start or stop
recording. Recording and viewing can
also be controlled using an app for
iOS and Android devices; this is easy
to set up and use.

image qualiTy

The 4K footage at 30fps shows a huge

improvement over that produced



Dont leave the house without these add-ons


left Once locked

shut, this housing is
waterproof to 40m.

K-edge go Big pro Handlebar mount

price: 50 / $50 Web:

Mountain and road bikes are one of the most popular options for
mounting action cameras. K-Edge manufactures a series of
machined aluminium action camera accessories, in a range of
coloured finishes. The metal construction makes these mounts
tough and creates a solid connection between camera and bike.

by the Hero 3+ at 15fps, with far

smoother motion making the footage
usable. Using 1080p at the new option
of 120fps produces exciting results.
The footage looks smooth on-screen,
but the real revelation comes when its
slowed to quarter-speed, stretching
out one second over four. Here, theres
plenty of detail, good colour and, most
importantly, smooth motion.
The Hero 4s small lens captures
a 170-degree field of view, yet
distortion isnt as pronounced as
you might expect, although some
chromatic aberration is apparent
towards the edge of the frame in
high-contrast situations.

Exposure settles quickly as the

camera moves from light to shade,
with few burnouts or blackouts in
the footage. In low light, however,
visual noise appears, while colour
saturation and tone drops, in
contrast to the vibrant, well-defined
footage from brighter conditions.


The Hero 4 Black can be mounted

to just about anything and is tough
enough to go almost anywhere in
order to capture broadcast-quality
footage. The enhancements in 4K
capability and 1080p frame rates are
the big news, but the changes to the
settings navigation system make the
camera easier than ever to use.
Theres an increasing field of
cameras to choose from, but the
output options and huge array
of mounts mean that, for at the
moment at least, the Hero 4 Black
still has the edge over the rivals.


BuIld quAlITy

ImAGe quAlITy


above Theres a microSd card port
underneath the side flap.

We say: Designed for action to produce

instantly recognisable wide-angled footage.
if you like the style and understand the
limits of the this type of camera, the GoPro
Hero 4 Black really is the state of the art.

lee Bug action Kit

price: 66 / $125 Web:

Lee Filters brings high-quality filters to the action camera market
with the Bug system. As with Lees still camera filter systems, the
Bug clips onto the front of the waterproof housing and bolts on to
ensure it stays in place. The Bug set includes a three-stop ND grad
and a polariser.

gopro Fetch Dog harness

price: 60 / $60 Web:

Launched alongside the Hero 4, the
Fetch enables you to directly mount a
Hero on a dog. it comes with two
mounting options, either on the chest or
on the back for different point of views.
The harness is only available in one size,
but can be adjusted to fit the dog, from
a small Cocker Spaniel to a Labrador.

March 2015 Digital Camera






Wireless flash

Get creative with your lighting!

Free your flashgun with one of
these remote triggering systems
Cactus V6
1 Price:
50 / $70

Calumet Quad Plus

2 Price:

3 Hahnel
Price: 160/$250




Controlling multiple flashguns from one

receiver is great for creative lighting effects,
but not everyone is lucky enough to own a
selection of flashguns from the same brand.
The clever thing about the Cactus is that it
can simultaneously control a whole range of
different flashguns, including Canon, Nikon,
Nissin and Sigma models.
Youll need two V6s to get started, which
makes the combined price slightly less
appealing, but the system offers an excellent
100-metre range and the ability to manage four
flash groups over 16 channels. Theres also a
simple but speedy control system.

Unlike pricier triggering systems, the Quad Plus

has to make do without a fancy LCD control
panel, and it doesnt have wireless TTL
capabilities. Even so, build quality is good and
there are metal hotshoe mounts, including one
that enables TTL pass-through.
The Quad Plus can control four groups of
flashguns over four channels and, thanks to its
radio frequency system, you can be up to
150m from your flashguns.
Canon and Nikon versions are available.
Both have a control system thats effortlessly
easy to use. The Quad Plus can also be used
as a wired or wireless remote shutter release.

The Viper will control up to three groups of

flashguns via its impressive 2.4GHz radio
frequency range. Unlike the other systems
here, theres no choice of channels, as Hahnel
uses an automatic Digital Chanel Matching
system to connect the transmitter to each
receiver without interference.
Operation is a cinch using the single control
wheel and clear, backlit screen. Theres even a
manual override option if you want to set a
flashguns power independently of the Viper.
Unfortunately, the Viper system is only
compatible with Canon cameras, and it cant
wirelessly transmit TTL signals.

Whats good: Cross-brand flashgun and

camera compatibility.
Whats bad: Wont wirelessly transmit TTL
metering signals.
We say: If youve got a mix of flashguns,
this is the triggering system to buy.

Whats good: Extensive wireless range

with control over multiple flashgun groups.
Whats bad: Lacks wireless TTL
transmission; no remote power adjustment.
We say: A capable kit that nails the basics
for a reasonable price.

Whats good: Remote power adjustment

and auto channel adjustment.
Whats bad: Canon-only; cant send
wireless TTL signals.
We say: A good mid-range option for
Canon users.

Digital Camera March 2015





Strobies iSync 4
4 Interfit
Trigger & Receiver

Price: 46 / $60

Pitting this simple little Strobies kit against

some of the sexier set-ups here is almost cruel,
but in fairness, the iSync 4 has a lot to offer. Its
the smallest and lightest pairing here. Although
its 30-metre range trails the competition, its
enough for most scenarios. There are four
available channels to avoid interference, or the
receiver can be triggered by flash burst.
You cant have it all for this kind of money,
though: the iSync 4 will only manage a single
zone of flashguns and theres no remote power
control or TTL functionality. The build quality
isnt inspiring, either.

Whats good: Accessible price for the kit;

extra receivers.
Whats bad: Only offers manual flash
triggering over a short distance.
We say: It does the job, but the Calumet kit
is a better budget buy.


Odin TTL
5 Phottix
Price: 250 / $280
This set-up is far from cheap, but you get bang
for your buck. It immediately impresses with a
large backlit LCD, similar to what youd find on a
high-end flashgun. This gives you control over
three groups of flashguns in four frequency
channels with A:B ratio adjustment, and allows
you to remotely set their flash head zoom
controls as well as power.
Available in Canon, Nikon and Sony variants,
the Odin will wirelessly transmit TTL signals,
and it can be configured to control one
flashgun group manually while another uses
TTL. Its also one of the few triggering systems
to support high speed sync capabilities.

Whats good: Feature-packed; well-built;

easy to control.
Whats bad: Menus arent the fastest to
navigate; no flashgun pass-through.
We say: A terrific triggering system thats
worth every penny.


6 PocketWizard
FlexTT5 & AC3

Price: 360 / $500

Web: www

PocketWizard is a name that carries plenty of

kudos in this sector, and its easy to see why
with this pro-level combo. The MiniTT1 will
transmit Canon E-TTL or Nikon i-TTL metering
signals to one or more FlexTT5 receivers over
a 240-metre range or up to 365 metres with
basic triggering.
Theres also full high-speed sync with
compatible flashguns, allowing for super-fast
shutter speeds up to 1/8,000 sec.
The AC3 ZoneController lets you remotely
control flashguns, but pushes the price to a
level thats hard to justify over the Phottix.

Whats good: Flawless performance and

full compatibility with advanced features.
Whats bad: Cost; underwhelming build;
plastic hotshoe mounts.
We say: A top-notch triggering system, but
its starting to look overpriced.

March 2015 Digital Camera






Image editors

Which is the best tool to help you make your

photos fulfil their potential? Rod Lawton finds
out if theres life beyond Photoshop
the entry List
1 Adobe photoshop CC 2014 8.78 / $9.99 per month*

Most would contend that Photoshop is the best image editor bar none, but
its now one of the best bargains too, thanks to its subscription plan.

2 Adobe photoshop elements 13 81 / $100

Adobes amateur-orientated image editor has a few new effects and a
redesigned interface, but does it do enough to stay ahead of the rest?

3 Adobe photoshop Lightroom 5 8.78 / $9.99 per month*

or 103 / $149 for permanent licence

With Apples Aperture on its way out, Lightroom is now the top pro image
cataloging application, and Adobes subs offer makes it even more tempting.

4 Corel paintshop pro X7 60 / $80

PaintShop Pro is one of the imaging industrys old-timers, so this latest

version has some work to do to keep up with its rivals.

5 CyberLink photoDirector 6 80 / $100

This amateur-orientated Lightroom challenger adds some interesting editing

tools that its Adobe rival doesnt have, although that may not be enough.

6 Dxo opticspro 10 119 / $199

DxOs instant and automatic lens corrections can transform the results
from your camera, and its raw conversions are among the best too.

7 phase one Capture one pro 8 182 / $285

Phase Ones professional image-capture and raw conversion program

is only half a step behind Lightroom, and produces beautiful results.

8 serif photoplus X7 80 / $125

PhotoPlus promises the power of Photoshop at a fraction of the price,

but can it compete now that the real thing is so affordable?
*via Adobe Creative Cloud Photography Plan subscription

Digital Camera March 2015



March 2015 Digital Camera





hotoshop has long

been regarded as the
yardstick for all other
image editors but the
market has changed.
Photographers dont
just need image-manipulation tools:
they also need programs that can
organise, search through and share an
ever-growing library of photos. And
as more of us shoot raw-format files,
the quality of the raw conversion
process and the tools you can bring
to bear on it become more important.
So although Photoshop might still
be the best image editor, an image
editor in itself may no longer be
enough for the things we want to do
with our photos today. Thats why
weve rounded up eight different
image-editing tools to cover all these
different jobs, from regular image
editors to image-cataloguing
specialists like Lightroom and all-out
raw converters like DxO OpticsPro.

tAg-teAm eDiting

Whats becoming increasingly

obvious is that one program alone
may not be enough. You may find you
need to use two, or maybe even three,
to get all the features you need. For
example, Photoshop is brilliant at
image-editing, but offers no tools at
all for organising, searching and
collating your photos. You can use its
bundled companion program Adobe
Bridge, but thats really just a file
browsing tool, and relies on you
maintaining a rigid folder-based filing
system. The larger your image
collections become, and the more you

Whats becoming
increasingly obvious is
that one program alone
may not be enough
want to find, use and share your
photos in different ways, the more
difficult it becomes to use folders
Thats why many photographers
use Lightroom alongside Photoshop.
Lightroom tackles the complex image
management jobs that Photoshop is
not designed for and makes light work
of day-to-day enhancements and raw
files, while Photoshop takes care of
the advanced image-editing tasks that
Lightroom cant do. Its no accident
that Adobe is bundling both together
in its current subscription-based
Photography Plan. They complement
each other perfectly and, in many
ways, they belong together.
Photoshop Elements is a more
complete package, coming with its
own Organizer app to look after your
photo collection. But it is designed for
casual snappers and enthusiasts in a
way thats very obvious, and
sometimes a little irritating. It has
limitations for more advanced work,
and while once it cost a fraction of the
price you paid for Photoshop, the gap
is now effectively very narrow if you
stay up to date with each release.

how we test software

ix of these programs
come in both Mac and
Windows versions. These
were tested on a dualcore Mac with 8GB RAM
running OS X 10.10
Yosemite. Two, Corel
PaintShop Pro X7 and Serif
PagePlus X7, are Windowsonly. These were tested on
a dual-core PC with 4GB
RAM running Windows 7.
Given the performance
difference between the
two machines, allowances
were made for operational
The eight applications
were evaluated using a
range of criteria:
The range of tools: not
just editing options, but
image management.

Lightroom rivALs

Lightroom does not have the image

cataloguing and raw conversion

non-destructive editing

raditional image-editing processes

permanently modify the pixels in the
image. Once youve made changes, theres no
way back. This means you need to save a new
version of your photo so that the original is still
available, and while programs like Photoshop
offer some degree of undoing, even after the
file has been saved, editing is usually an
irreversible process.
The increased use of raw files, however,
poses a challenge to this convention, because
they cannot be edited directly. The solution is
to use non-destructive editing tools, which
change the appearance of the raw file being
edited but are only applied permanently when
a new, processed JPEG or TIFF file is exported.
The advantages of this approach are:

Digital Camera March 2015

Raw conversion
quality an increasingly
important factor for
todays photographers.
Ease of use and
interface design.
The range of effects,
and the quality of results.
Suitability for users of
different skill levels.
The brief was principally
to bring together all the
leading commercial
image-editing programs
on the market to see how
well they catered for the
evolving needs of digital
photographers. We use
reviewers with longstanding software
experience, both with the
products being tested and
their previous versions.

market to itself. Cyberlink

PhotoDirector 6 offers many of the
same tools with a more amateurorientated twist, while Capture One
Pro 8 is bearing down on Lightroom
from the professional end of the
market, with its own cataloguing tools
and a highly competitive set of raw
image adjustments.
Its interesting to compare the
results from these different raw
conversion tools. Adobe Camera Raw,
as used by Photoshop and Lightroom,
is by far the best-known and most
widely used raw converter, but that
doesnt mean its the best. DxO
OpticsPro takes raw conversion
quality to the extreme, using
lab-developed camera and lens
profiles and constantly developing
technology to deliver results you may
not have realised your camera is
capable of.

the oLD versus the new

Above Software with non-destructive editing tools
give you the ultimate in photo processing flexibility.

All adjustments can be reworked and wound

back at any time even years later.
The original file is unaltered and this can
apply to regular JPEGs, not just raw files.
It saves disk space because edited versions
are virtual until you export new files.

Digital imaging is going through some

exciting times. So where does this
leave old favourites like Corel
PaintShop Pro and Serif PhotoPlus?
Both have proved popular with PC
owners looking for lower-cost
solutions, but times are changing.
Which companies are ahead of the
curve, and which are trading on past
glories? And can any of them topple
the mighty Adobe from its perch?



get to know Adobe photoshop CC 2014

One of the best-known user interfaces in the world

software spotlight
Layers and masks
Many image-editors offer layers, but
Photoshop brings a special blend
of power and simplicity, thanks
to Smart Objects with undo-able
filters, fast and effective masking
tools and the integration of blend
modes and adjustment layers.
The other key point about Adobes
Creative Cloud subscription is its
community aspect. It also works
alongside free Adobe iOS apps such
as Photoshop Mix, for mobile
image-editing, Photoshop Sketch,
Adobe Color and Adobe Shape.
tooLs pAneL
Many of the tools have fly-out
panels for choosing different
tool variations.

The Photography workspace
hides 3D, drawing and design
tools you dont need.

The panels can pop open when
you need them, then close again
when youre finished.

Adobe Photoshop CC 2014

8.78 / $9.99 per month*
WInDOWS / MAC Is it worth paying for monthly?
dobe caused controversy
when it swapped over to
a subscription-only
plan for Photoshop
purchases, but Adobe has since cut
the fee right down to under 9 per
month and that includes a
subscription to Lightroom 5.
This means you can get both
programs for less than 100 each year,
with automatic updates. The most
recent major update was in June 2014,
when Adobe replaced the original
Photoshop CC with a new Photoshop
CC 2014 version.
The update has brought with it
a performance boost, thanks to
improvements to Adobes Mercury
graphics engine, and intelligent

Photoshop will let you

do practically anything
you want if you
know what you want
upsampling for better results when
enlarging images. The new version
also has some advanced Spin and Path
blur effects; a Focus Mask tool for
isolating sharp areas of images; an
advanced Perspective Warp tool that
can straighten two sides of a building
at once; and an improved version of
the Content-Aware Fill tool, now with
colour blending.


There are simpler, cheaper

alternatives to Photoshop CC, but no
other program can match its depth,
power and sophistication. Yet Adobe
has managed to condense all this
power into a clean, straightforward
and efficient interface.
Photoshop excels at effects,
montages, layers and selections.
Although its largely a traditional
destructive editor, it can do
non-destructive editing too, thanks
to Adobe Camera Raw, Adjustment
Layers and Smart Objects, which let
you rework plug-in filter settings.
Photoshop doesnt offer a whole
lot of help to beginners but by
Adobes way of thinking, thats what
Photoshop Elements is for. Neither
does Photoshop offer much by way
of creative guidance. Itll let you do
practically anything you want if you
know what you want in the first place.
* Photography Plan, with Lightroom





March 2015 Digital Camera





get to know Adobe photoshop elements 13

An interface that can evolve as your editing skills improve

software spotlight
Guided edits
The Guided mode in Elements
is a great introduction to more
advanced techniques. Each process
follows a step-by-step sequence,
where each step is accompanied
by a short explanation of whats
involved and how that particular
tool or process works.

tooLs pAneL
Elements has many of the tools
in Photoshop, but in a novicefriendly interface.

eDit moDes
Expert mode gives most
control; Guided and Quick are
mainly for editing novices.

tooL options
When you select a tool, its
options are displayed in this
area below the image.

Elements 13 introduces an eLive panel

that links to online resources and
tutorials. Otherwise, the additions
since version 12 are small: you can
now use Photomerge Compose to
blend objects from different images
more convincingly; its possible to
nudge selections precisely into
position; and the Crop tool suggests
four different ways for you to
compose your image.


Adobe Photoshop Elements 13

81 / $100
WInDOWS / MAC Its Photoshop for editing novices
hotoshop Elements has
long been popular with
photographers looking
for a cheaper and easier
alternative to Photoshop, but Adobes
swap to a subscription plan for
Photoshop means the price
differential is almost gone you can
get Photoshop CC and Lightroom 5
for a year for just 20 more.
But Elements is still the easier
option for image-editing novices. The
Organizer app can sort, organise and
search your whole photo library, and
it connects directly with the Editor
application, which has three modes:
Quick, Guided and Expert.
Quick mode offers basic, pushbutton enhancements, but Guided

Digital Camera March 2015

The Crop tool

suggests four different
ways for you to
compose your image
mode is more interesting because you
can try out effects and learn how
theyre done at the same time.
Expert mode is where you get to
take full manual control, and it offers
a good proportion of the tools in
Photoshop itself although the tool
options panel design takes up a little
too much space at the bottom of
the screen.

Back when Photoshop cost hundreds

of pounds to buy, it was easy to accept
that Elements offered a cut-down
toolset. Now its not. You dont get
Curves adjustments (the Adjust Color
Curves panel is not really a proper
substitute); you cant work in CMYK
or Lab colour modes; and you dont
get Path or Pen tools for more
complex editable selections.
Perhaps the biggest loss to
photographers, however, is inside
Adobe Camera Raw. The version that
comes with Photoshop has 10 panels
and is practically an image-editor in
its own right. The version that comes
with Elements has just three panels,
catering for only the most basic
raw-format adjustments.








get to know Adobe photoshop Lightroom 5

Devoted to helping you get the most out of your photos

software spotlight
Lightroom library
Lightrooms editing tools are only
half the story its real power lies in
its image-cataloguing tools. Each
image can be assigned different
attributes, such as a star rating,
colour label or flag, and you can
add keywords, captions, copyright
information and more, then filter
your images.

You can add ratings, colour
labels and flags to images,
and filter them later.

The image enhancement option
and effects are displayed in
these stacked panels.

You can crop images, add
gradient and radial filters and
even clone out objects.

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5

8.78 / $9.99 per month*
WInDOWS / MAC Image cataloguing and editing in one
hotoshop is a terrific
image editor, but its
companion Bridge is not
designed for managing
large photo collections. Lightroom is.
Its based around a powerful image
management database, and can make
light work of organising, filtering and
searching big image collections.
The editing tools are the same as
those in Photoshops Camera Raw
plug-in, reconfigured into a single
window. Modules address each stage
of your photographic workflow:
importing and organising your
photos, enhancing them, then sharing
and printing them via Slideshow,
Book, Print and Web modules. You
can even log where they were taken.

It can make light work

of organising, filtering
and searching big
image collections
Lightrooms editing adjustments are
non-destructive. You can revisit and
rework them any time you like. If you
want to use these edited images in
any other applications, you can export
them as JPEGs or TIFFs.

Adobe Camera Raw, its editing

options are limited. You can apply
localised adjustments with a brush,
graduated and radial filters, and you
can remove spots or unwanted objects
with the Spot Removal tool. Theres
also automatic lens correction (for
supported lenses) and an excellent
Upright tool for fixing converging
verticals and other perspective issues.
What you cant do is create layered
images, make complex corrections or
create sophisticated multi-step
effects. For that, youll still need
Photoshop. The good news is that if
you subscribe to Adobes Photography
Plan, you get both.
You can still get Lightroom 5 as a
regular purchase with a permanent
licence, but it costs more than a
one-year subscription to Photoshop
CC and Lightroom together.
A subscription will also enable you
to get the most from your mobile
device theres a free Lightroom
Mobile app for iOS or Android, which
offers basic editing and organising
tools and synchronises with the
desktop version.
* Photography Plan, with Photoshop CC.
Permanent licence, 103 / $149.






Lightrooms cataloguing tools are

terrific, but because its based around

March 2015 Digital Camera





get to know Corel paintshop pro X7

A program thats become increasingly novice-friendly

software spotlight
Special effects
PaintShop Pro X7 comes with eight
special effects, each of which gets
its own dedicated tools. This is
the Selective Focus effect: its like
the tilt-shift tools in other imageeditors and plug-ins.
The new X7 version brings a Magic
Fill tool (the equivalent of Adobes
Content-Aware Fill), 30% faster
brushes, and text- and shape-cutting
tools. This underlines that fact that
PaintShop Pro is not just for imageediting its an all-round painting,
drawing and illustration tool.
instAnt effeCts
The Effects panel offers a good
choice, and you can hide it to
save space.

LeArning Centre
PaintShop Pros Learning Centre
helps you discover imageediting techniques as you go.

These work in much the same
way as the layers in Photoshop
and Elements.

Corel PaintShop Pro X7

60 / $80
WInDOWS One of Photoshops oldest rivals
aintShop Pro has become
simpler and more
novice-friendly over the
years. It now presents an
integrated workflow with three tabs:
Manage, Adjust and Edit.
The Manage tab takes care of your
photo organisation. You can browse
folders directly without having to
import them, but you can also create
virtual and smart collections. On the
whole, its simple and straightforward
to understand.
The Adjust panel is for routine
image enhancements, and offers a
good selection of effects. These
adjustments are not non-destructive,
though PaintShop Pro might look
like Lightroom and PhotoDirector, but

Digital Camera March 2015

PaintShop Pro might

look like Lightroom,
but in fact its a
traditional editor
in fact its a traditional editor that
edits your images directly, saving new
versions of your files when its done.
The Edit panel offers more
advanced and manual controls, such
as the levels, curves and colour
adjustments youd use in Photoshop.
PaintShop Pro is also compatible,
Corel says, with Photoshop plug-ins,
so you can add extra tools.


The editing tools are comprehensive,

but theyre also a little clunky. The
adjustment dialog boxes offer small
before and after previews, which
seems terribly old-fashioned. There is
a checkbox to display the results of
your adjustments live, but the screen
updates are not quick.
Worst of all, it falls down on one
of the most basic operations for an
image editor today: opening and
converting raw files. It has a Camera
Raw Lab, which opens automatically if
you select a raw image for the Edit
mode. Oddly, this can be bypassed if
you simply use the Adjust mode, with
rather poor results.
Not that the Camera Raw Labs
results are much better. The tools
are limited and the quality of the
conversions is poor. Youll have to
work pretty hard to equal the quality
of your cameras JPEGs, let alone
improve on them.








get to know Cyberlink photoDirector 6 ultra

Discover photo editing at its purest

software spotlight
Edit module
PhotoDirectors Adjustment
module offers non-destructive
editing tools, just like Lightroom, but
its Edit module acts like a regular
image editor. But while these
Edit tools add to PhotoDirectors
versatility, they dont go far enough
to replace a regular image editor.

All the tools in the Adjust
module are non-destructive
you can use preset effects too.

Like Lightroom, PhotoDirector
organises your tools into
modules to avoid clutter.

This is PhotoDirectors
graduated filter in action
its just like Lightrooms.

sequences, create panoramas and

make people look more beautiful with
Beautifier tools and a Body Shaper.
The downside is that these tools
are quite amateur-orientated. They
certainly dont cover the whole range
of photo projects and adjustments
people might want to try and,
unlike Lightroom, PhotoDirector
doesnt let you seamlessly transfer
images to a second image editor.


Cyberlink PhotoDirector 6 Ultra

80 / $100

WInDOWS / MAC This Lightroom look-alike undercuts it

he resemblance of
PhotoDirector to
Lightroom is quite
striking. It has the same
broad workflow, with different
modules running across the top.
These include a Library, Adjustment,
Edit, Slideshow and Print panels. It
doesnt have Lightrooms Map, Book,
Slideshow and Web panels, but these
are probably not on top of most
photographers must-have lists.
So why does PhotoDirector have
both an Adjustment and an Edit tab?
Thats because they respectively offer
non-destructive and destructive
adjustments for your use.
Lightrooms editing tools are nondestructive. But there are things a

The Edit tools dont

cover the whole range
of projects people
might want to try
non-destructive tool like this cant
do, like layers and masks; for those,
Lightroom passes you over to the
traditional tools of Photoshop.
PhotoDirector, however, offers
many of these conventional
adjustments without the need for an
second program. In the Edit panel you
can remove objects or backgrounds,
combine images, blend HDR exposure

Its in the Adjustment panel that

you get to carry out the same
non-destructive enhancements as
Lightroom, and its where the
similarities are most obvious, right
down to the Adjustment Brush,
Gradient Mask, Radial Mask and
Spot Removal tools.
Its all very smooth and slick, but
you can never escape the feeling that
youre working with a cut-price
Lightroom clone except that the
price isnt cut by much. You get extra
tools in the Edit panel, but theres
no equivalent of Lightrooms Upright
automatic perspective correction tool,
its Quick Develop tools, or its Smart
Previews for editing images stored
on disconnected devices.





March 2015 Digital Camera





get to know Dxo opticspro 10 elite

Software to help your digital photos sparkle

software spotlight
ViewPoint and FilmPack
DxO makes two other programs
viewPoint 2.5 and FilmPack, both
59 which can now integrate with
OpticsPro as plug-ins. Youll now
need viewPoint to apply geometric
corrections. FilmPack 5, meanwhile,
is designed to reproduce old films
and darkroom processes.
difference in detail rendition and
noise control compared with Adobe
Camera Raw is immediately obvious.


The Customize tab is where you
make detailed adjustments to
your photos.

Youll now need the viewPoint
plug-in to apply perspective
corrections to photos.

The powerful Prime noise
reduction process is now faster
than before.

DxO OpticsPro 10 Elite

159 / $199

WInDOWS / MAC The most specialised program on test

xO OpticsPro detects
the different degrees of
distortion, chromatic
aberration, edge softness
and vignetting common to practically
all digital camera lenses, then
compensates for them. It checks the
EXIF shooting data embedded in the
image by the camera, then looks up
the combination of camera body and
lens in its test database.
Its also a raw converter, and DxO
has applied just as much scientific
rigour to this process as to its lens
corrections. (Fujifilm owners take
note, though OpticsPro does not
currently support X-Trans sensors.)
You can apply a range of presets you
get to see how your image will look

Digital Camera March 2015

The difference in
detail and noise control
compared with Camera
Raw is obvious
before you choose or adjust the
settings manually.
At this point, OpticsPro can get
quite technical, especially when youre
juggling the Exposure Compensation,
Smart Lighting and Selective Tone
settings to get the best tonal balance
and dynamic range. Its worth it,
though, because DxO OpticsPros raw
conversions are quite superb. The

OpticsPro now integrates directly

with DxOs ViewPoint 2.5 and
FilmPack 5 programs. ViewPoint
offers advanced perspective
corrections, while FilmPack replicates
the look of classic films, darkroom
processes and cheap cameras.
DxO has also made its Prime
de-noising process faster. The
standard noise reduction is
impressive, but Prime can work the
most amazing transformations on
high ISO images, although its slow.
A new ClearView option applies
localised contrast enhancement to
improve distant landscape scenes,
and, according to DxO, the program
is 1.5 times faster to launch and 10
times faster at loading files.
The results from OpticsPro are
excellent. However, it lacks any image
cataloguing tools and localised
adjustments, so it could never be your
one and only image-editing tool.
Both Essential and Elite editions
handle all cameras, but you need Elite
for the more advanced tools.








get to know phase one Capture one pro 8

From a niche tool to a genuine Lightroom contender

software spotlight
Capture One Pro can and create
variants, which apply different
treatments to one photo without
changing the original. variants can
be processed and exported in
just the same way as real photos.
This takes up a lot less space than
creating real copies of files in a
program like Photoshop.
Details (sharpening, noise reduction,
grain) and batch-processing options.
You can rearrange these tabs to suit
your workflow, hide the ones you
dont want and re-arrange your
favourites into a single Q (quick) tab.
tooLs AnD tABs
The tools and tabs can be
rearranged to suit your
preferred working methods.

This shows the image youre
working on, which is selected in
the Browser.

You can work on existing images
or create a variant so you can
experiment with your edits.

Phase One Capture One Pro 8

182 / $285

WInDOWS / MAC Software thats as good as its cameras?

apture One began as a
professional tethered
shooting studio
application, but has
steadily migrated towards mainstream
use. With the addition of full
cataloguing tools in version 7,
Capture One became a direct rival to
Lightroom, offering raw conversions
for a wide range of cameras, powerful
non-destructive image adjustments,
style presets, automatic lens
corrections and local adjustments
made with adjustment layers and
masks an easier approach to grasp
than Lightrooms, and powerful too.
Version 8 brings an updated
processing engine, a modernised
interface (the slider knobs are bigger,

The result is a
terrific impression
of sharpness, clarity
and definition
but nothing else leaps out), improved
HDR tools, better noise and moir
reduction, a speed boost and sundry
other improvements.
The basic workflow is the same,
though. You import images into the
Catalog, then use a series of tool tabs
to adjust Color, Exposure, Lens
(corrections), Composition (cropping,
straightening, keystone correction),


Capture One Pro is expensive

compared to its rivals, so youd expect
the results to be good. In fact, they are
more than just good. Capture One Pro
can extract exceptional detail from
raw files the difference compared to
JPEGs, or even Adobe Camera Raw
conversions, can be striking.
It also produces strong, powerful
colours and contrast, and extremely
good separation of shadow tones.
The result is a terrific impression of
sharpness, clarity and definition.
But Capture One Pro has a flaw. It
does not support external editors or
plug-ins, so you cant send an image
to Photoshop or Googles Nik
Collection plug-ins, for example, and
have the edited version returned
automatically to the Capture One
Catalog. If Phase One were to add
this, then Capture One Pro would
have five-star potential.





March 2015 Digital Camera





get to know serif photoplus X7

A powerful image-editor thats easy to get into

software spotlight
Photoshop on the cheap
On paper, PhotoPlus X7 does
practically everything that
Photoshop does. If youre patient
and stick at it, youll able to achieve
some decent results. Mac owners
will soon be able to get a Serif image
editor: the company is working on
Affinity Photos to line up alongside
its Affinity Designer program.


how to
The How To panel offers
intermediate users a handy
guide to editing tasks.

This displays all the images
currently open handy when
combining photos.

PhotoPluss layers work just like
Photoshops, and you get
adjustment layers too.

Serif PhotoPlus X7
80 / $125
WInDOWS Photoshop power at a budget price
hotoPluss similarity to
Photoshop is obvious,
right down to the screen
layout, with a tools palette
on the left, tool options on the top
toolbar and stacked palettes including
adjustments and layers on the right.
But then the two programs diverge.
PhotoPlus X7 has beginners in mind,
and features an array of Studios for
creating different photo effects.
Theres a general-purpose
PhotoFix Studio, for example, plus
Makeover Studio, Black and White
Studio, Warp Studio, Cutout Studio
and Print Studio.
This latest version adds support
for Lab mode (useful for certain kinds
of colour adjustment), lens

Digital Camera March 2015

PhotoPlus X7 has
beginners in mind,
and features an array
of Studios for effects
corrections and a Clarity filter, which
boosts local contrast for added
definition. The Clone tool from earlier
releases is improved, with an
advanced live preview; the PhotoFix
Studio has a Smart Brush tool for
applying adjustments to specific
areas; and there are three new blend
modes for layers: Vivid Light, Hard
Mix and Pin Light.

These features are worth having, but

they dont address PhotoPluss
principal failings. One problem is that
its confusing why have a PhotoFix
window, for example, that carries out
what look like similar adjustments to
the main editor window? Another is
the poor quality of some of the tools.
The slow and ponderous Cutout
Studio, for example, had trouble
cutting out a dark grey set against a
near-white sky a simple subject.
Worst of all, though, is the Raw
Studio. This supports most cameras
(theres a list on the Serif website),
but the quality between models varies
massively. The results from a Nikon
D7100 seemed OK, but those from a
Nikon D5200 looked dark and muddy.
As if that wasnt enough, if you try to
open a raw file that PhotoPlus X7
doesnt support, it doesnt tell you
so it just creates a really bad
conversion with distorted colours
and muddy tonal rendition.
In itself, PhotoPlus X7 is patchy
but reasonable but the low quality
of its raw conversions is a major
drawback for anyone using it to work
on their own photos.








the DigitAL CAmerA verDiCt


The combo of Photoshop, Lightroom and a low-cost sub is unbeatable

ne thing has become clear. If you want the

best image cataloguing tool, the best raw
converter and the best image-editor, youre not
going to find them in one program but you
might in one package. Available for a single
subscription fee, the Photoshop CC and
Lightroom 5 combination comes closest to a
single do-it-all solution, especially since they
work so well together.
But thats not quite the whole story. More
photographers are shooting in raw to get the
best possible quality. Here, DxO OpticsPro 10
and Capture One Pro 8 deliver the best images.

THE RESULTS Our top three image editors in a nutshell




Whats good: You get the worlds best image

editor and (possibly) the best imagecataloguing tool, all for under 9 per month.
Whats bad: Adobe Camera Raw (used in
both Photoshop and Lightroom) is a good raw
converter but its not the best.
We say:This is by far the most powerful and
complete solution and it doesnt really cost
much more than its rivals.

Whats good: Excellent lens and

perspective corrections; superb raw
conversions and noise reduction.
Whats bad: Too specialised to be your
only software, with no cataloguing tools and
no localised adjustments.
We say: You thought Adobe Camera Raw
did a good job with raw files? DxO OpticsPro
will open your eyes.

Whats good: Exceptional fine detail; rich

and saturated raw conversions; local
adjustments; cataloguing.
Whats bad: No support for external
editors or plug-ins its one weakness
compared to Lightroom.
We say: If youre more interested in
ultimate quality than do-it-all versatility,
this is a serious contender.

product name

photoshop CC

elements 13

Lightroom 5

Corel paintshop
pro ultimate X7

photoDirector 6

Dxo opticspro
10 elite

phase one
Capture one
pro 8

serif photoplus


8.78 / $9.99
a month*

81 / $100

8.78 / $9.99
a month*; or
103 / $149

60 / $80

80 / $100

159 / $199

182 / $285

80 / $125



windows / mac

windows / mac

windows / mac


windows / mac

windows / mac

windows / mac


raw support
























virtual copies








Lens correction
























eAse of use
*Adobe Creative Cloud photography plan includes photoshop CC and Lightroom

March 2015 Digital Camera




At newsagents,
Apple Newsstand
& Zinio

P a c k e d wit hon s
v i d e o le sst h!
ev e r y mon







Sling-style straps

Dont let your camera be a pain in the neck:

lighten the load with a better breed of strap

1 B-Grip
Price: 39 / $40 Web:
The B-Gliders wide, neoprene shoulder pad
is sumptuously comfortable, and the quickrelease mounting plate holds your camera
tight. Unfortunately, the slider clamp isnt so
secure and the whole mount is huge.

4 Joby
Sling Strap for Women

Price: 38 / $30 Web:

This slim sling is shaped to fit around feminine
contours for increased comfort. It certainly
makes a difference, although those with a
curvier figure or a heavy camera may not be
quite as impressed.

2 BlackRapid
Price: 59 / $74
Heres a simple sling that nails the essentials.
Theres great comfort and a compact
mounting system that slides beautifully.
You also get a useful under-arm strap.

5 Parastrap
Shoulder Strap

Price: $26 Web:

Spreading weight effectively lightens your load,
so this expanding strap shrouds your whole
shoulder for increased comfort. Dont expect
many admiring glances though, or for the
chunky mounting clips to fit all cameras.

Quick Shoot Strap

3 Hama
Price: 38 / $58 Web:
18 air pockets boost this slings comfort,
though youd need a heavy camera to feel the
difference. Its also a bulky design, but packs
a handy memory card pocket, plus a tripod
mount pass-through.

Design Slide
6 Peak
Price: 39 / $60
The Slide is like a sling, shoulder- and neckstrap in one. Making the transformation is a
doddle thanks to the clever camera release
system, while the seatbelt-style strap glides
smoothly and is always comfortable.

March 2015 Digital Camera


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A limited number
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are available at

Issue 160
Feb 2015

Master your camera

now! Your ultimate photo
starter pack Wide-angle
prime lenses on test
ISO setting basics
Get to grips with long
exposures Make a ring
light 12 expert videos
Eight free tips cards


Issue 159
Jan 2015

10 creative home photo

projects Canon 7D Mk II
reviewed Mediumformat mega test City
photography Shutter
speed made simple 12
expert videos 68-page
dictionary of photography
Eight free tips cards

Issue 158
Dec 2014

Discover the skills and

techniques you need to
take creative photos at
night Master the art of
macro Best budget
cameras on test Eight
free tips cards 68-page
photography trivia book
11 expert videos


All your digital magazines can travel with you wherever

you go and even if you delete them from your device,
they are free to re-download at any time



Issue 157
Nov 2014

Issue 154
Aug 2014

Start creating beautiful

portraits with our experts
essential techniques
Stylish retro cameras
on test Master the art of
wildlife photography
11 expert videos Eight
free tips cards 68-page
kit bag guide book

Issue 156
oct 2014

29 great ways to make

cash from your camera
Eight affordable ultra
wide-angle lenses on test
Master the art of lightpainting 13 expert
videos including
Lightroom training
Eight free tips cards

Issue 155
sep 2014

Essential skills for

superb garden photos
Affordable telephoto
lenses on test Make a
DIY clamp 12 videos
including Scott Kelby
interview Free gifts:
history mini-mag and
portrait lighting guide

10 laws of the land:

essential landscape rules
Canon vs Nikon: SLRs
on test Fix photos in
Lightroom Make your
own softbox Francesco
Tonelli inteview Free
Xara software, video
lessons and history guide

Issue 153
Jul 2014

Issue 152
Jun 2014

Issue 151
may 2014

Issue 150
spr 2014

12 great ways to shoot

better photos Make
streaky skies Dave
Shopland interview
Prime lenses for CSCs
tested 5 Lightroom
videos Free gifts: history
mini-mag, buyers guide,
full ebook!

The beauty of black &

white All you need to
know about lenses
10 hot photo ideas to try
this summer Pro advice
on shooting weddings
499 cameras tested
Conquer flat conditions
with a mono conversion

Take your most creative

shots ever! Master raw
and HDR Take better
bird photos Explore stilllife in your home Black &
white bonus mag Free
Photography Week
voucher, nine videos
and wallet cards

150 best-ever photo

tips Take control of
autofocus Capture
balanced exposures
Long telephoto lenses
tested Learn fresh
flower tips Master
depth of field Nine
tutorial & review videos

Teach yourself

Our 228-page guide to

mastering your digital SLR,
lenses and accessories
complete with a free
disc inside!
Check out our other
Masterclass handbooks!

Issue 149
Apr 2014

Get close-up with great

ideas for magical macro
shots Get richer skies
with polarisers Banish
camera shake for good
Compact system
cameras on test Nine
videos, tips cards and
SLR skills bonus mag






8 - 14 ja nua ry



1-7 ja nua ry

i s s ue 120

18-24 December

i s s ue 119

i s s ue 117


25-31 December


i s s ue 118


c h r i s t m a s


11-17 December


De ee


De ee


De ee


a w a r D s

s p e c i a l

i s s ue 116


gear nXt camera?

of the
2 14

s p e c i a l

s a m s u n g

n X 1

o n

t e s t

coulD this be your

the best



photography of

n e w

y e a r

s p e c i a l

paint your nighttime

scenes with light

how to make a
time-lapse movie

the best & worst in

photography 2014

learn how to crop

anD fiX horizons

master the art of

shooting fireworks

gear of
the year

how to set up your

slr: 11 key settings



p l u s

o u r

n e w

l i g h t r o o m

c o u r s e

lightroom: how to
copyright images

make an anDy warhol

pop-art portrait!

we review the
fujifilm X100t

Learn essential camera skills Expert video guides to shooting and editing
In-depth video reviews of all the latest cameras Inspirational galleries
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iSSuE 162
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don mccuLLin

Discover the best rigs to

help you take control of the
light in your shots. Plus:
Sonys Alpha 7 Mk II on test

The definitive photojournalist speaks out

about his greatest images
and career highlights

Getty images

STudio LiGhTS

Barry Cawston

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March 2015 Digital Camera



How mucH do you know?

Welcome to our back page quiz, where Geoff Harris, the Big Daddy of brainteasers
and pontiff of puzzles, puts your brain through photography boot camp
How is an f number
A The focal length of the lens
(in millimetres) divided by the
diameter of the lens aperture
B The lens aperture divided by
the shutter speed
C The size of the aperture in
millimetres divided by the
maximum lens focal length
D f stands for focus, so its simply
the optimal length (in inches)
you need for sharp focusing

What are you usually

doing when you merge
bracketed exposures?
A Combining a two-stops
underexposed image with one
that is two stops overexposed
B Combining a shot at a high
shutter speed with one taken
at a slow speed
C Combining three shots: one
stop underexposed, one shot
normal and one shot
D Combining shots taken at low,
medium and high ISO settings to
maximise detail

What is the name of

the swinging 60s
photographer played by David
Hemmings in Antonionis classic
zeitgeist movie, Blow-Up?
A Thomas
B Austin
C Henri
D William Fox

How many pixels are there

in a megapixel?
A 10,000
B 100,000
C 1 million
D 1.5 million
Digital Camera March 2015

Nikon raw files are called

NEFs. But what does NEF
stand for?
A Nikon Enhanced Format
B Nikon Electronic File
C Noise Enhanced File
D Nikon Electronic Format

Which uber-geek brothers

are credited with
developing Photoshop?
A Angus and Malcolm Young
B Ronald and Reginald Kray
C Thomas and John Knoll
D Lars and Sven Bender

Answers: 1 A 2 C 3 D 4 B 5 C 6 A 7 B 8 C

MGM / The Kobal Collection

Which piece of
photography slang derives
from vulgar military usage?
A Shutter Speed Damn Difficult
(from SSDD)
B Photoshopped Beyond All
Recognition (from FUBAR)
C Fabulous New Gear (from FNG,
aka a new arrival)
D So Not the Aperture for You
(from SNAFU)


What was the main

disadvantage of the wet
collodion process?
A Collodions were hard to find
after the Napoleonic war
B The process had to be done
before the wet plate dried out
C The moisture from the process
would make images appear soft
D It took 48 hours for the
photographic paper to dry out

How dId yoU scorE?

0: Impossible youre just messing with us
1-2: Terrible. Start again
3-4: Not bad, but could do better
5-6: Well done, but check where you went wrong
7-8: Excellent but we'll get you next time!

Next issue
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27th February





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27th feBruary
























Pocket Reference


on sale friday
27th feBruary


With all AF points active, the camera

will decide where to focus. But it doesnt
always get it right. Your cameras One
Shot AF mode helps you get more
reliable results:
1 choose an af point
use the control wheel or thumbstick
to select an AF point directly. you may
have to press a selection button first.
Highlight the subject
Choose an AF point that corresponds
with the most important detail, such
as a persons eye in a portrait.
focus and recompose
If the AF point doesnt line up with the
subject, move the camera until it does.
keep the shutter button half-pressed
to lock the focus, then recompose
the shot.

key settings for

exposure mode
focus mode

key settings for




exposure mode
shutter speed

1/250 sec


youll need to use a tripod and remote
release to prevent camera shake.
For accurate colours, set the white
balance to the Tungsten preset.
use long-exposure noise reduction
to help minimise the noise that can
occur at long shutter speeds.


Try to shoot using only natural light for
the best results.
Try a variety of poses, including
coming in close, or isolating features
like the hands and feet.
use props to add colour and interest
to the frame.

toP tiP before sunset, when theres

no artificial lighting, try using a strong
or variable ND filter with your long
exposure to achieve a similar effect.

toP tiP If you are using window light

as the main light source, try using a
reflector to bounce light back into
the shadows to reduce the contrast.

key settings for

key settings for




exposure mode
focus mode
shutter speed



1/200 sec

exposure mode
focus mode

Aperture Priority
Single or One Shot

Program (P)
for general photography
The camera sets both the aperture
and the shutter speed.

sHutter Priority (s/tv)

use this to freeze or blur
movement in the shot
you set the shutter speed, and the
camera sets the aperture.

aPerture Priority (a/av)

use when depth of field is
key; eg, portraits, landscapes
you set the aperture, and the camera
sets the shutter speed.

manual (m)
use when you dont want
the camera to change the exposure
you set both the aperture and the
shutter speed.

key settings for

exposure mode
focus mode

Aperture Priority
Single or One Shot


If there is a large area of sky, use -1
exposure compensation; you may
need up to -3 for some subjects.
If the sun is in the shot, try to hide it
behind the subject.
Centre-weighted metering can be
more reliable than Matrix metering.
toP tiP To get deep, dark shadows,
make sure that you have features
such as Active D-lighting or Auto
Lighting Optimiser turned off.

key settings for



exposure mode
Aperture Priority
focus mode
f/4 or wider
lens Macro between 50 and 105mm


Its best to choose a dark location, and
also use a dark background to make
the dancer really stand out.
Set up your flash off-camera, and use
a wireless trigger to fire the flash.
Adjust the exposure by adjusting the
aperture or the flash power.


Look for areas where the ground is
carpeted in flowers to fill the frame.
youll get the most dramatic results by
shooting into the light, but watch out
for this causing under-exposure.
Choose the most obvious flower as a
focal point, and carefully focus on it.


An object with a textured surface, like
a feather, makes an ideal backdrop.
A small eye-dropper is perfect for
carefully positioning the water drops.
A desk lamp is ideal for lighting your
drops. Remember to change the white
balance to Tungsten.

toP tiP For more even lighting on

the dancer, try using two flashes
and positioning them at around 45
degrees either side of the subject.

toP tiP using a long telephoto lens

will allow you to shoot from a greater
distance, which make the flowers
appear much closer together.

toP tiP Mixing some glycerin with

the water can help to make it easier
to produce large drops, as it will alter
the viscosity of the liquid.




Pocket Reference




You can master raw


Learn how to process your raw files to perfection

ost of us probably began shooting images in

JPEG form, and while some have made the
switch to raw, others are more reluctant. While
its true that JPEGs have their advantages, in
some ways raw is the less complicated format.
A raw file is a complete record of all the information
captured by your camera. In contrast, JPEGs are processed
in-camera, with any unused information discarded. This
means that raw files are much more forgiving of mistakes as
the extra information makes it easier to correct exposure,
tease out details and tweak colours.
Perhaps the main reason some dont make the switch
to raw is the relatively limited options in post-processing.

You can open a JPEG in almost any image editor, whereas

raw files require converting before you can open them into
Photoshop. The best place to convert them is in Adobe
Camera raw. But its far more than just a file converter. ACR
has a range of powerful tools and commands, whether you
want to adjust tones, remove noise, correct distortion,
convert to mono or perform many other useful edits.
In this guide, well show you how to get the most out of
ACRs superb tools. And were not just talking simple tweaks
either. You can use ACR to create a range of effects from
HDR to hand-colouring.
Youll find accompanying videos and project files on the
Video Disc where you found this ebook.


Download the
start files for
these projects

Discover these top techniques and more..

page 8

Detail Panel sliders

Learn how to use the sliders in

the Detail Panel of ACR to add
sharpening to your raw files and
also fix noise in your shots

page 10

Selective control

Well show you how to make

selective adjustments to your
raw files with three essential
tools in ACR

page 16

Five great ACR effects

From hand-colouring to
solarisation, you can treat your
raw files to a surprising number
of different effects in ACR

You can master raw


Get familiar with the interface and tools you

need to improve your raw photos
ACR has a simple layout. All of the main controls
and settings are on the right-hand side of the
display, with a toolbar along the top. You can
use these tools and settings to take advantage
of a raw files greater range of tones and detail.
Every move you make in ACR is reversible, so
youre free to try out any combination of
settings you like. You can close the image, then
come back to it later and all the settings remain
editable. And while Photoshop offers similar
tools, doing the job in ACR will ensure the
maximum possible quality.


If you have multiple files open, click the

Select All button to make universal changes
tothe whole set. This is great for processing
multiple images. For example, to correct a
recurring sensor mark, open the set of images,
click Select All, then simply remove the mark
inone image with the Spot Removal tool.

ACR is regularly updated with new
data and tweaks to the settings, so
make sure you keep Photoshop up to
date (Help>Updates). Your version of
Camera raw will depend on your copy
of Photoshop. For example, if you have
CS5 you will have version 6.7, whereas
CS6 owners can use version 7.1. Some
of the slider names have been changed,
but the majority of the features remain
the same in all versions. Elements users
can also edit their raw files in the ACR
plug-in, but the Elements version is
more basic, with access to three panels:
Basic, Detail and Camera Calibration.
A few tools are also missing, including
the Adjustment Brush. Its
still a powerful plug-in (the
Basic panel alone makes it
an essential step in your
workflow) but youll have to
enter the main interface for
more advanced adjustments.


If youve made a series of adjustments

that you really like, and you want to apply
themto the rest of your image set, click the
Synchronise button to apply them to the other
images. You can choose exactly which settings
to include or omit from the synchronisation.


You can use these tools to zoom in andout,

and pan around your image, or alternatively,
you can use the trusty keyboard shortcuts
ctrl/cmd and + or - to zoom in or out, and the
Space Bar to pan. Double-click the Zoom tool to
zoom to 100%, and double-click the Hand tool
to pull back to full-screen.


This powerful tool enables you to target and

adjust particular tones and colours in your
image simply by dragging left or right over
them. Click and hold over the tool to choose
from Parametric Curve, Hue, Saturation,
Luminosity or Grayscale Mix.


Click and hold the Crop tool to choose from

a handy list of crop ratios such as 1 to 1 and 2 to
3. Nothing is irreversible in ACR, so if you
change your mind about a crop, click back on
the tool to re-adjust it.


Fix small marks and blemishes with the

Spot Removal tool. Its useful for removing a
recurring sensor mark from a batch of images,
but for most ordinary tasks the Healing Brush
and Clone Stamp tools in Photoshop offer more


Two of the most powerful tools in ACR, the

Adjustment Brush and Graduated Filter enable
you to make selective adjustments to colours,
tones and detail across your image. The
Graduated Filter is especially useful for
improving dull, flat skies.


This is really more like a Save As

command. Click the button to access your
saving options. Its great if you need to batch
rename files, save a set of raw files as JPEGs, or
convert a manufacturers raw file (such as
Nikons NEF) to Adobes DNG format.


Click here to access output options such as

Bit Depth. Choosing 16 Bits/Channel will
ensure the image has the maximum number of
colours when you open it in Photoshop (so
many, in fact, that your monitor and printer are





incapable of displaying them all). But it will also
limit your image-editing options. Selecting 8
Bits/Channel will give you fewer colours, but
more options. You can also alter the bit depth
in the main editor interface.



The histogram displays the images

tonal range from shadows on the left, to
highlights on the right. The height of the graph
at any point indicates the number of pixels
with a certain brightness value. For most
images, a healthy histogram should taper off at
both ends. If it intersects the side of the box, it

means areas of the image are lacking detail,

having been clipped to pure black or white.
If this is the case, you may be able to recover
detail using the sliders in the Basic Panel.


You can toggle flashing clipping

warnings on or off by pressing u for shadows
(think under-exposed) and o for highlights
(think over-exposed). Alternatively, hold down
alt while dragging the Exposure, Shadows,
Highlights, Whites or Blacks sliders in the Basic
Panel to see the clipped pixels overlaid on the
image as you adjust the settings.


Most panels display a set of sliders. You

can double-click a slider to reset it, so you can
get a handy before and after by holding your
mouse still over a point on the slider then
alternating between a single and double-click.


Click this button to open the file into

Photoshop, or hold down shift and click to
open the image as a Smart Object, which
enables you to go back and edit the file in ACR
by clicking the Smart Objects thumbnail
in Photoshops Layers Panel.

You can master raw

Discover the wealth of features in
Adobe Camera raws 10 panels

Adobe Camera raw is the first port of call

for raw files, but its far more than just a
quick stop off for converting your
images. Theres surprising depth to the
features on offer. You cant make
composite images, graphic designs or
text, but you can make exactly the kind
of edits photographers need to make,
such as tonal adjustments, lens
correction and sharpening. Many of

these controls are accessed via the

panels on the right of the interface.
There are 10 different panels to play
with, housing hundreds of options for
changing colour, exposure, detail and
more. And, of course, its far better to
make these changes in ACR rather than
in Photoshop, because youll retain the
maximum amount of image data and
quality available from the raw file.

See Camera
Raw in action
with our video


The Basic tab opens by default

when you first open a file in ACR,
and with good reason. Its the
ideal place to begin editing your
image. Start at the top with White
Balance, then work your way
down the list of sliders. You can
check for clipped pixels by holding
down alt while dragging the
Exposure, Highlights, Shadows,
Whites or Blacks sliders. The
Clarity and Contrast sliders can
give your image extra punch, but
be careful not to go too far.
Saturation will intensify the
colours universally, while
Vibrance will target and boost
only the less-saturated colours.


The Tone Curve tab allows you to

improve tones and contrast by
making certain parts of the tonal
range lighter or darker. The darker
tones are to the left of the box,
and the lighter tones to the right.
The Curve line can be moved up or
down to lighten or darken certain
points along the scale.
This is easier to understand
when using the Parametric
settings, which allow you to
control the line with sliders for
different tonal ranges: Highlights,
Lights, Darks and Shadows. The
Point tab enables you to add up to
14 anchor points along the line
and drag them up or down.


The Detail tab houses Sharpening

and Noise Reduction sliders. Both
work very well. Its best to reduce
noise at the beginning of the
editing process, as further
adjustments later on may amplify
the noise. Youll need to zoom in
close to see the results doubleclick the Zoom tool to view at
100%, and the Hand tool to go
back to full screen. When
sharpening, use the Amount and
Radius sliders to control the
strength, and the Detail and
Masking sliders to control the
areas in which the sharpening is
applied. Hold down alt while
dragging to see the effect.


HSL stands for Hue, Saturation

and Luminosity, accessed through
the three tabs at the top. With
control over eight colour ranges,
the HSL/Grayscale panel is the
best place to make colour tweaks.
You can use the sliders, or use the
Targeted Adjustment tool from
the Tools Panel and drag left or
right over points within the image
to zone in on particular colours.
The Convert to Grayscale check
box at the top will render the
image in black and white while
giving you control over the
brightness of the colour ranges.
So its a great place to apply a
range of black and white effects.


Youll retain the

maximum amount
of image quality


The Split Toning Panel allows you

to change the hue of the highlight
or shadow tones independently
of one another. So its useful if
you need to correct an image with
a noticeable colour cast in the
highlights or shadows. Used at
higher Saturation levels, it can
also dramatically alter colours for
creative results or retro colour
shifts. If youve converted the
image to monochrome with the
HSL/Grayscale panel, split-toning
will help you introduce colour
tints to the highlights and
shadows, which enables a range
of mono effects such as sepia or
selenium toning.


ACR has a large database of

common lenses, so it can
automatically detect and correct
problems such as distortion and
vignetting. The list of lenses is
regularly expanded and updated,
so the chances are high that the
lens you used to shoot the photo
will show up, but if not then you
can correct lens problems
manually. Chromatic Aberration
usually occurs around areas of
high contrast, such as on the
outlines of trees or buildings
against a bright sky, and can crop
up even with quality lenses. Its
easy to correct under the Color
tab in the Lens Correction Panel.


ACR isnt the best place to apply

lots of whizz-bang effects, hence
the limited options available in
the extravagantly named Effects
Panel. Here you can choose to add
grain or a vignette.
Sometimes a vignette can
improve a composition by drawing
the eye into the frame, so you
may want to try darkening or
lightening the corners with the
Post Crop Vignetting sliders. Its
also possible to create a range of
border and spotlight effects by
experimenting with the sliders.
The Grain settings can be useful
on mono images for getting an
authentic film look.


This is one of the biggest reasons

to shoot in raw. By default, the
Camera Profile is set to Adobe
Standard, but often this doesnt
give the best results. By selecting
one of the other camera profiles
from the menu, youll get much
more pleasing tones.


The Preset Panel allows you to

save settings to be used on other
images. You can also apply these
Presets in Bridge by right-clicking
a file and choosing Develop
Settings. The Snapshot Panel lets
you save certain points in
your ACR workflow.

You can master raw

Find out exactly what each slider in the
Detail Panel does, and when to use them
Sharpening your raw files

Sharpening is an essential step in the image-editing

process, particularly when working with raw files, which
are usually softer than JPEGs due to JPEGs being
sharpened in-camera. There are two types of sharpening:
Capture and Output. In ACR, we apply initial Capture
sharpening to fix an inherent softness in most digital
images. Output sharpening is usually done at the end,
before making a print or presenting on-screen, so its best
carried out in Photoshop.
Sharpening works by increasing contrast around edges
where lighter tones meet darker tones. At the edge, the
light tones will be lightened, and the shadow tones will be
darkened. To the eye, this makes the edge crisper. But push
it too far and you begin to see edge halos.
Most images will benefit from a certain amount of
sharpening. But how much?
In general, images with fine detail such as landscapes
require less sharpening than images with soft detail, such
as portraits. So for portraits, a typical setting would be
Amount 35, Radius 1.2, Detail 20, Masking 70. For
landscapes, try Amount 40, Radius 0.8, Detail 50, Masking
0. Of course, these settings are just a starting point. The
level of sharpening required will depend on your subject
matter and the camera resolution.


Controls the strength of the sharpening

effect. View the image at 100% when
judging the amount. Double-click the Zoom
tool to jump to 100%.


Determines the number of pixels around

the edge in which the sharpening effect is
applied. A larger radius increases the chance
of unwanted halos.


Low Detail settings restrict sharpening to the

more obvious edges. High settings will
enhance finer details and texture.


Allows you to restrict sharpening in less

detailed areas of the image. Hold down
alt while dragging the slider to see the
masked areas in black.



Fixing noise


If youre shooting at
ISO 100 then noise isnt
a problem for modern
digital sensors, but if you
have to push ISO to 400
or higher, or use a long
exposure, then its likely
youll begin to see more and more noise in your images. The
forest scene here was shot at ISO 3,200, so the noise is
very visible, particularly in the shadow areas.
A bit of noise isnt necessarily a bad thing; it can add
atmosphere to landscapes or create a gritty documentarystyle effect. But large levels of noise can spoil a shot.
Fortunately, ACR has a range of excellent sliders that
combat noise. The main tools for noise reduction in ACR are
the Luminance and Color sliders. Luminance reduces grain
and blotchy dots, while Color reduces unsightly spots of
random colour. The trade-off to noise reduction can be
slight blurring and loss of detail, so youll need to decide
whether to accept the noise, or attempt to correct it.
Sharpening and noise reduction are two sides of the
same coin, so if you sharpen a noisy image its likely that
youll increase the visibility of the noise. Youll need to
strike the right balance between sharpening and noise
reduction by experimenting with different sharpening
amount and luminance settings. Toggle the Preview box on
and off to judge the results.


The primary slider for noise reduction. Use

this to reduce the effects of monochromatic
noise, most often seen in shadows and areas
of even tone.

Luminance Detail

Higher luminance detail values can help to

preserve details, but may increase noise.
Lower values will give cleaner results but
decrease image detail and texture.

Luminance Contrast

A higher setting will increase contrast but

can give blotchy results. Lower values will
smooth details.


Targets and removes specks of colour noise.

You can be more aggressive with Color
than Luminance, as it doesnt affect details
in the same way.

Color Detail

Higher values preserve colour in edge detail

but can lead to unnatural colour spots.
Lower settings help to remove spots but
can result in bleeding colours.

You can master raw

Learn how to make selective
adjustments to your raw files
with three essential tools in ACR
Since the days of dodging and burning in the
darkroom, making selective adjustments to
different areas of your image has always been
an essential skill for photographers. Before
Photoshop CS4, adjustments made in ACR
were limited in that you could only apply them
to the entire image. But with the introduction
of the Graduated Filter and Adjustment Brush,
ACR suddenly became a whole lot more useful.
In ACR version 7 (which comes as standard
with CS6) the Adjustment Brush and
Graduated Filter tools have been improved
with extra options to adjust white balance,
making it easy to selectively correct white
balance and warm or cool an image.
The tools have been used here to cool down
the sky and add warmth to the land, and to
tease out details in the foreground. Weve also
used the Targeted Adjustment tool to boost
the saturation of the orange colours in the sky.

The tools have been

used here to cool
down the sky and add
warmth to the land
ACR is the best place to correct white balance
for realistic-looking colours. But as well as
adjusting white balance over the whole
image, the Graduated Filter and Adjustment
Brush also give you selective control. Not
only is this useful for cooling tones in a sky
or warming tones in land as weve done
here, its also great if you have a scene with
different light sources, such as a portrait

The Graduated Filter lets you plot a
gradient over an area then change
the tones. As well as altering
exposure, you can also make
useful tweaks to things like white
balance, sharpness and colour
saturation. Whats more, you can
set more than one gradient, which
makes it easy to change different
areas or create a retro film-style
border as weve done here.
graduated filter tips
Hold shift while dragging a
gradient to keep it perfectly
horizontal, vertical or at a
45-degree angle.
Click a gradient to alter any setting,
or press Delete to remove it.
The tool remembers the last-used
settings, which isnt always
helpful. Double-click any slider to
quickly reset it.
Press V to toggle the gradient
overlay guidelines on or off.

captured with a mix of daylight and

tungsten lighting.
white balance controls
Drag left to cool tones and right to
warm them.
Allows you to fine-tune white balance to
compensate for a green or magenta tint.

White Balance tool

Click on a tone that you know to be white or
neutral grey. ACR will then detect the
correct temperature.

start imag


The Adjustment Brush is perhaps the
most powerful tool in ACR. Use it to
selectively alter areas of an image.
It behaves in much the same way as
the Graduated Filter (note that the
tonal settings for each are identical).
Except rather than plot a gradient,
you paint a mask. Each mask is
represented by a pin. These pins
and their masks can be added to,
altered, or deleted.
adjustment brush tips
Tick New to start painting a
fresh mask, Add to continue
painting a mask, and Erase to
remove parts of it.
Press Y to toggle the visibility of
the selected mask overlay.
Tick Auto Mask for automated
assistance when painting a mask.
The tool will snap onto edges, lines
and shapes.
Use the number keys to quickly set
a density for your brush: press 1 for
10%, 2 for 20% and so on.

ACRs sliders arent the only method for
adjusting tones. If you prefer interactive
control, there is an alternative. The Targeted
Adjustment tool lets you click and drag
within the image to target and alter specific
colours or tonal ranges. Dragging left or
down decreases values, right or up increases
them. Grab the tool from the Toolbar then
right-click for five sets of parameters:

Parametric Curve
Drag to lighten or darken Highlights, Lights,
Darks, or Shadows.
Target and alter the Hue of eight
different colour ranges.

Make colour ranges lighter or darker by
dragging left or right over them.

Increase or decrease the Saturation of
specific colours in the image.

Greyscale Mix
Convert to mono then target colour ranges
to lighten or darken.

You can master raw

Use the powerful Adjustment Brush
to give your portraits a pro makeover

Enhancing portraits is all about making

selective adjustments to certain areas
of the face. It can be helpful to think of
the face as a series of zones, each
requiring a particular edit. Youll lighten
the eyes, soften the skin, boost the lips
and sharpen the lashes. You might think
the best place to make these changes is
in Photoshop, but ACR also has a few
powerful retouching tools. In fact,

Sharpen the lashes

Add make-up

Paint a mask over the cheeks, then

introduce red with the Color Picker.
Add blue to the eyes in the same way.

Paint over the lashes with the

Adjustment Brush, then use the
sliders to sharpen and add Clarity.

Lighten the whites

Enhance the irises

Carefully paint over the whites of the

eyes, then increase Exposure and
Highlights to lighten the whites.

Soften the skin

Drag the Clarity slider down to soften

the skin, and increase Exposure
slightly to lift the tones.

using ACR, its possible to perform a

complete retouching workflow without
even entering the main Photoshop
interface. Whats more, by making
tweaks in ACR rather than in Photoshop,
youll ensure the best possible quality.
And because ACR is so neatly organised,
easy to navigate, and totally nondestructive, you may find its the ideal
choice for enhancing your portraits.

Boost the colour, contrast and

detail in the irises, but keep the
circular edges dark.

Boost the clothes

Use the Temperature and Saturation

sliders to warm the hues in the jumper.
Increase Clarity and Highlights.

Improve the lips

Boost the colour in the lips. Paint a

precise mask to cover them, then
increase Saturation and Clarity.


Watch these
techniques with
our video

You can edit a

masks settings
at any time

start imag


Most retouching work in ACR is done with the
powerful Adjustment Brush. It allows you
to paint a mask over an area, and then apply
changes to it, so its ideal for retouching
a face. Weve used it here to soften the
skin, boost the eyes, enhance the lips and
even add digital blusher. The Adjustment
Brush works by setting pins, each of which
represents a mask. To set a pin, click over

the part of the image you want to change,

then paint over the rest of the area. It can
be helpful to check Show Mask while youre
painting, so you can see where the mask
is operating. It also helps to set an obvious
mask colour such as the garish green weve
used here by clicking the colour picker next
to the Show Mask check box.
When painting, use the ] and [ keys to
resize your brush tip (hold down shift and ]
or [ to change the hardness). To erase parts

of the mask, hold down alt and paint. You

can use the resizing shortcuts for the Eraser,
too. When youre happy with your painted
mask, uncheck Show Mask, then make your
adjustments using the sliders on the right.
To add more pins, check New at the top right.
The tool remembers the last-used settings,
so be careful to reset the sliders each time
you want to make a different adjustment.
You can edit any masks shape or settings at
any time by clicking the related pin.

You can master raw

Get to grips with image blending using
one raw file and Smart Objects

Raw files processed through ACR can

beopened into Photoshop as Smart
Objects. This means that you have
theoption to bring the image from
Photoshop back into ACR at any time,
simply by double-clicking the Smart
Object thumbnail in the Layers Panel.
There are several advantages to
working this way. First and foremost, it
means you can change your mind about

any edits made in ACR, such as a crop or

sharpening settings. But it also opens
upmore creative possibilities. By
duplicating the Smart Object layer, you
can combine different treatments made
in ACR using Blend Modes. Dont worry if
this sounds complicated, in practice its
very easy. Within minutes you can
transform a flat scene into a punchy,
detailed landscape. Heres how its done.

Process a raw
image with
our video

start ima

Open start image

Open coast_before.DNG from our project files into ACR then set
Temperature to 5000, Tint -7, and Vibrance +50.

Remove Chromatic Aberration

Go to the Lens Correction option in the menu and then tick Remove
Chromatic Aberration.

Graduated Filter

Click on Graduated Filter tool. Hold Shift then drag a line from sky to
land. Set Exposure to -1.35. Hold Shift and click Open Object.

Tonal tweaks

Set Exposure -0.40, Contrast +60, Highlights -100, Shadows +80,

Whites -50, Blacks +50, Clarity +100, and Saturation -100.

Luminosity Blend Mode

In the Layers Panel, click on the Blend Mode drop-down and

then choose Luminosity.

New Smart Object

In the Layers Panel, right-click the layer and choose New Smart
Object via copy. Double-click copys thumbnail to go back to ACR.

Make Tone Curve Panel adjustments

Go to the Tone Curve Panel. Under Parametric, set Highlights +10,

Lights +25, and Darks -25. Click OK.

Removing edge halos

To fix unwanted halos, press ctrl/cmd+shift+alt+e to merge a

copy of the layers, then grab the Burn tool. Set Range: Highlights,
and Exposure 10%, and brush carefully over the edge halos.

You can master raw

start image

Learn how to add a variety of cool creative effects using
nothing more than the tools in Adobe Camera raw

Black and white

ACR is a great place to make your mono conversions.

Its just like using a Black and White Adjustment Layer
in Photoshop.
Go to the HSL/Grayscale panel
and check Convert to Grayscale box.
Use the colour sliders to tweak the
tones and the Adjustment Brush to
simulate the Dodge and Burn tools.

Create five
special effects
with our video


The inverted tones and haunting hues of

asolarised image were popularised by the
surrealist photographer Man Ray in the 1920s
after a fortuitous darkroom mistake.
Go to the Tone Curve Panel and skew the curve
into an upside down U shape (see right). Its worth
experimenting with the curve. Push and pull it to
extremes and see what happens.


Cross process

This popular technique references a

chemical process from the traditional
darkroom with characteristically skewed
colours, saturation and contrast.
To replicate this in ACR, go to the Tone
Curve Panel and select the Point Curve
window. Here you can tweak the individual
Red, Green and Blue channels (see left). Once
youre happy, save the effect as a preset.

Split tone

Adding a split tone is a great way to give your mono

images a creative twist by adding different colour tints
to the highlights and shadows.
In the Split Tone Panel, use
the sliders to target different
colours and intensity for the
shadows and highlights.

Hand colour

It might be hard to believe, but it is possible to replicate the

look of a hand painted image in ACR.

Youll need to make your image black and white, but do this
using the Saturation slider in the Basic Panel rather than the
HSL/Grayscale Panel. Next, select the Adjustment Brush and
paint colour with a low saturation onto the image.


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