Photo plus the canon magazine - february 2014


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Photo plus the canon magazine - february 2014

  1. 1. A warm welcome to... WIN! CANON EOS 5DCANON PRO MK III + DAY WITH A + 6 CANON PIXMA PRO-100 PRINTERS PAGE 28 CANON EDITION THE BEST MAG FOR CANON D-SLR PHOTOGRAPHERS H Q We’re the only magazine in the newsagent that’s 100% dedicated to Canon D-SLRs – making us 100% relevant to your needs. Q We’re 100% independent. We don’t answer to Canon and don’t rely on them for advertising – if Canon brings out a new camera or lens and it’s rubbish, we’ll say so! Q We’re all Canon D-SLR enthusiasts and between us we’ve got 200 years of photography experience. We’re excited about passing on what we’ve learned – even from our mistakes! Q We don’t assume you’re a millionaire. We focus on the Canon D-SLRs most people buy, and feature software and accessories within the average person’s budget. appy New Year everyone! And Happy New Gear (geddit?) to those of you who are now using a new Canon EOS D-SLR. Whether it’s your first D-SLR or an upgrade, we guarantee to help you become a better Canon photographer in 2014. Stick with us and we’ll take you through every step of the way; from what to do with it straight out of the box to the best ways to set it up ready to shoot, progressing to more advanced D-SLR skills for seasoned enthusiasts. See page 31. Learn how to take beautiful winter landscape photos of trees as our Apprentice spends a day with a top Canon pro in the New Forest (p8). If you’d rather stay in the warm, your free eight-page pullout is a guide to creative close-up indoor photography (p55). We also help you pick your first Canon D-SLR (p78), and we test eight budget telephoto zoom lenses, starting at £100 (p96). It’s the ideal first lens upgrade to progress your photography. Our Skills section is packed again with great tutorials, from getting started with Photoshop Elements and our new Raw in Elements series to capturing traffic light trails and creating an amazing hyperlapse (p43). Plus turn to page 28 now for a fantastic competition; the main prize is a Canon EOS 5D Mk III and a day with a great Canon pro, with six Canon PIXMA PRO-100 printers up for grabs too! Be quick, as the closing date is 31 January 2014! Peter Travers Editor Q Our Video Disc has an unrivalled collection of D-SLR technique and Photoshop videos – which can be viewed via our digital editions too! Q We are proud to feature some of the best writers and photographers in the business. Turn to page six to meet them all now! The new Photography Show promises to be the biggest and best UK event for photographers of all abilities and styles, and it’s taking place over four days at Birmingham’s National Exhibition Centre, from 1-4 March 2014. You can get your hands on the latest cameras and photo kit from all the big-name manufacturers, including Canon, and there will be talks and workshops from some of the world’s top photographers. Find out more and book your place at PhotoPlus February 2014 | 3
  2. 2. Issue #83 February 2014 The Apprentice................ 8 Our Apprentice learns to photograph forests under the guidance of top pro Mark Bauer Your Letters ................... 18 The latest from the PhotoPlus mailbag Subs Club ........................20 Exclusive offers just for loyal subscribers! Inspirations ....................22 Another selection of awe-inspiring images from top Canon photographers Competition ...................28 Win a 5D Mk III plus PIXMA PRO-100 printers! SCENIC FOREST PHOTOGRAPHY Happy New Canon!......... 31 You’ll find everything you need to know to start taking great shots in our crash course Our Apprentice learns to photograph trees on a day trip to the New Forest PhotoPlus Skills ...............43 Improve your shooting and image-editing skills with our new tutorials and videos Page 8 Creative close-ups ...........55 Master macro with our free 8-page guide PhotoPlus Workshop.... 74 Canon’s metering modes explained Dream Team ..................78 Our experts tackle your Canon queries Your Photos ...................82 Get your favourite images critiqued and enhanced by our team and a top Canon pro Help Me Buy ..................90 We help a reader choose between five funky fisheye lenses for creative photography Super Test ......................96 Eight telephoto zooms on test from just £100 Next issue.....................105 Can’t wait for next month’s PhotoPlus? Get a sneak preview of what we’ve got lined up! FREE GUIDE! CREATIVE CLOSE-UPS Page 55 My Favourite Shot ...... 114 Winter sports photographer Grant Gunderson on his dramatic skiing shot 4 | PhotoPlus February 2014 YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED… HELP ME BUY A... FISHEYE LENS Page 90 Which D-SLR should I buy? p78
  3. 3. Are you a subscriber? See Subs Club for exclusive offers! Page 20 NEW D-SLR SKILLS! D-SLR SKILLS TIPS! HAPPY NEW CANON! We guarantee to help you become a better Canon photographer in 2014 Page 31 MASTERCLASS CAPTURE TRAFFIC TRAILS Page 68 SUPER TEST BUDGET TELEPHOTO ZOOMS FROM £100 Page 96 Should I go independent? p80 STEP-BY-STEP GUIDES! Improve your Canon D-SLR skills and images with our photo projects! Turn to page 43 now for our Skills section ONLINE VIDEO To view our videos, click on the ‘Watch the Video’ badges that appear alongside the tutorials. Click on the badge to the right to see what videos are in store this issue… What is Auto picture style? p81 WATCH THE VIDEO http:/ / How can I keep buildings straight? p81 PhotoPlus February 2014 | 5
  4. 4. Meet the team Meet the Who we are, what we do, and what we’re most looking forward to in 2014… Peter Travers Editor • EOS 5D Mk III Adam Waring Operations editor • EOS 7D “Stick with PhotoPlus in 2014 and we guarantee to make you a better Canon photographer. This year I’m really looking forward to photographing my two kids as they grow up…” “I’m going to go wild in the January sales and invest in some new camera kit. I’ve long been coveting a 70-200mm f/2.8L, and I might even get a 5D Mark III to go with it…” Claire Gillo Technique editor • EOS 5D Mk II Matt Richards Technical writer • EOS 70D “This year I plan on printing more of my images so I’m going to invest in an A3+ printer. The Canon PIXMA PRO-100 is tempting…” See how you can win a PIXMA PRO-100 printer on p28! “I can’t wait for the new motorsports season. I’ve bought an EF 70-300mm L-series lens for my 70D, which should give spectacular quality and a long 480mm ‘effective’ telephoto reach.” Hollie Latham Staff writer • EOS 60D Martin Parfitt Art editor • EOS 600D “There have been rumours that Canon will release a 7D Mark II every year – so perhaps it’ll finally see the light of day in 2014? Or was the 7D a one-off, replaced by the 70D line?” “My New Year’s resolution is to do one of those Project 365s. The twist is they’ll all be ‘selfies’. I’ll be gurning away at weddings, parties, bus stops, with my D-SLR on self-timer.” This issue’s contributors… Mark Bauer If you go down to the woods today there’s a chance you’ll bump into Mark, shooting scenic shots of trees. See how he and our Apprentice got in the New Forest (p8). Jack Fisher Videographer Jack explains how he painstakingly shot his amazing Bath in Motion hyperlapse with Canon kit – and how you can too in your hometown! (p50) EJ van Koningsveld Aerial ace EJ critiques one reader’s mountaintop shot of a Swiss Air Force Hornet fighter plane in this issue’s Your Photos (p82). Grant Gunderson Winter sports photographer Grant comes in from the cold to tell us the story behind his powder-blasting skiing action shot in Japan’s Hakkoda mountains (p114). Meet our Subscriber of the Month! Gavin Kruk Lives: Gloucester Camera: Canon EOS 500D “This shot was taken in Singapore at a spectacular show that included traditional dance and fire breathing. I had an idea of the kind of shot I wanted to get, and after several attempts I was pleased with how this turned out. The shot was taken in very low light, so I increased the ISO to 1600 to allow me to keep the shutter speed up so that I could achieve a sharp image and freeze the movement, but in doing so I had to be careful not to overexpose the flames. I used a shutter speed of 1/500 sec at f/11, having tried a few combinations. This seemed to give the best results, and I was pleased with the end result.” JOIN OUR SUBS CLUB NOW! Subscribe to PhotoPlus and you’ll also get membership to our Subs Club – packed with exclusive offers and competitions every month. See page 20 for more details. PhotoPlus, Future Publishing 30 Monmouth Street, Bath BA1 2BW Editorial +44 (0)1225 442244 Subscriptions and back issues 0844 848 2852 Or go to The PhotoPlus team Peter Travers Editor Adam Waring Operations editor Claire Gillo Technique editor Hollie Latham Staff writer Martin Parfitt Art editor Angela Nicholson Head of testing Matt Richards Technical writer Guy Edwardes Cover photo Our contributors George Cairns, David Caudery, Jack Fisher, Adam Gasson, Grant Gunderson, Marcus Hawkins, Richard Hood, EJ van Koningsveld, Mike McNally, Gavin Roberts Without whom… Mark Bauer, Dan Burden, Alan Carder, Pete Gray, Adam Lee, Alun Pughe, Roger Woodall Advertising Sasha McGregor Advertising sales manager – photography 01225 788186 Matt Bailey Senior sales executive 01225 732345 Clare Coleman-Straw Sales director Management Nial Ferguson Managing director – tech, film & games Matthew Pierce Head of photography group Paul Newman Senior editor Steve Gotobed Group art editor Circulation and marketing Samantha Book Marketing manager Dan Foley Trade marketing manager James Ryan Direct marketing executive Mark Constance Production manager Roberta Lealand Production controller Regina Erak Licensing & syndication director Future produces carefully targeted magazines, websites and events for people with a passion. Our portfolio includes more than 180 magazines, websites and events and we export or license our publications to 90 countries around the world. Future plc is a public company quoted on the London Stock Exchange (symbol: FUTR). Chief executive Mark Wood Non-executive chairman Peter Allen Company secretary Graham Harding Tel +44 (0)20 7042 4000 (London) Tel +44 (0)1225 442244 (Bath) Print: 25,820 Digital: 3,246 Combined print and digital circulation for Jan-Dec 2012 is 29,066 Printed in the UK by William Gibbons and Sons Ltd, on behalf of Future. Distributed by Seymour Distribution Ltd, 2 East Poultry Avenue, London EC1A 9PT. Tel: 020 7429 4000. Printed in England. All information contained in this magazine is for informational purposes only and is, to the best of our knowledge, correct at the time of going to press. Future Publishing Limited cannot accept any responsibility for errors or inaccuracies that occur. Readers are advised to contact manufacturers and retailers direct with regard to pricing. PhotoPlus is an independent publication and is not in any way authorised, affiliated, nor sponsored by Canon. All the opinions expressed herein are those of the magazine and not that of Canon. ‘EOS’ and all associated trademarks are the property of Canon. All submissions to PhotoPlus magazine are made on the basis of a licence to publish the submission in PhotoPlus magazine, its licensed editions worldwide and photography-related websites. Any material submitted is sent at the owner’s risk and, although every care is taken, neither Future Publishing Limited nor its agents shall be liable for loss or damage. © Future Publishing Limited 2014. All rights reserved. No part of this magazine may be used or reproduced without the written permission of the publisher. We are committed to only using magazine paper which is derived from well managed, certified forestry and chlorine-free manufacture. Future Publishing and its paper suppliers have been independently certified in accordance with the rules of the FSC (Forest Stewardship Council).
  5. 5. “Now I can see the woods for the trees!” Join us on a photography road trip through the New Forest National Park as Canon pro Mark Bauer shows our Apprentice many different ways to shoot trees Words: Peter Travers Location pictures: Adam Gasson 8 | PhotoPlus February 2014
  6. 6. Your chance to shoot with a pro THE APPRENTICE… Name: Alan Carder Camera: Canon EOS 650D Originally from Croydon, 75-year-old retiree Alan now lives in Somerset. He’s been a keen amateur photographer for the past 60 years; in the late ’70s he bought his first SLR, and six months ago joined the digital age with his first Canon D-SLR, an EOS 650D. He loves photographing landscapes and has regularly visited the New Forest, but asked for our help to get to grips with his new camera and help take some top shots. THE PRO... Name: Mark Bauer Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark III Mark is an award-winning professional landscape photographer and regular contributor to PhotoPlus. Mark is 48 years old and lives in Swanage, Dorset, and is a partner in Dawn 2 Dusk Photography, which offers a range of one- two- and three-day workshops in various locations throughout the southwest of England. For more details, and to see his impressive portfolio, go to PhotoPlus February 2014 | 9
  7. 7. PhotoPlus Technique assessment Is Alan ready to branch out? Pro landscape photographer Mark Bauer shares his wisdom to help Apprentice Alan set up his D-SLR RAW+JPEG image quality Aperture Priority “I always shoot in Raw image quality without fail. It offers the most control post-shoot to bring out tones, detail and colours that you simply can’t achieve with a JPEG image without degrading image quality,” reveals Mark. “As Alan was new to Raw images, we set his 650D to take both RAW+JPEG images. That way, he had his JPEG, plus the Raw image to play with in Canon’s free Digital Photo Professional software.” “Landscape photography is all about capturing the whole scene. You need a narrow aperture for a good depth of field, but not too narrow, as defraction causes loss of quality; so use f/11 or f/16, rather than f/22,” says Mark, “I told Alan to use Aperture Priority (Av) mode to set the aperture, then his D-SLR will take care of the shutter speed for a good exposure. Then simply focus at about one-third into the scene for sharp shots, from foreground to horizon!” KILLER KIT OF THE PROS #1 Tripod head and legs “It’s important that landscape photos are the best possible quality images, with good depth and sharpness throughout. To ensure camera-shake is never an issue whatever the shutter speed, use a solid tripod and the best head you can afford,” says Mark. “I use the Manfrotto 405 geared head for ultimate control that I can adjust incrementally. With Gitzo 6X GT354LS carbon legs.” 10 | PhotoPlus February 2014
  8. 8. Your chance to shoot with a pro MARK’S CANON KIT When on a landscape shoot, Mark carries this little lot in his backpack Canon EOS 5D Mark III body Canon EOS 5D Mk II backup body Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L USM Set of Lee Filters: NDs, ND grads, Big Stopper ND B&W Circular Polariser Gitzo 6X GT354LS carbon tripod legs Manfrotto 405 geared 3-way head Apple iPhone 5 smartphone EXPERT INSIGHT Live View for everything! “Canon D-SLRs have large, sharp and clear LCD screens and offer excellent performance in Live View mode,” reveals Mark. “You can focus very accurately zooming in at x10, then manually focusing with your lens. You can check your histogram to ensure a full range of tones will be captured during the exposure – use exposure compensation to brighten or darken images. Alan’s 650D has a touchscreen LCD, and in Touch Shutter mode he can simply tap the screen to take a shot!” Alan’s comment “For our first shot we had an early start, and were on location before sun up. Sadly it remained cloudy with no colourful sunrise, but it was wonderfully still for this shot of trees reflecting in a small lake in the New Forest near Lyndhurst. A narrow aperture of f/11 has captured good depth of field in this five-second exposure. As there was no cloud detail or colour in the sky, Mark suggested I make a virtue out of it by using +1 stop of exposure compensation for a ‘highkey’ shot, with lighter tones and a whiter sky. This was all shot in camera, with Mark’s guidance, using a Monochrome picture style with a blue tint!” Exposure: 5 secs at f/11; ISO100 Lens: Tokina 12-28mm f/4 AF AT-X PRO DX PhotoPlus February 2014 | 11
  9. 9. The PhotoPlus Apprentice Exposure: 0.3 secs at f/16; ISO100 Lens: Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS II Alan’s comment “Mark knew about these fantastic old trees hanging over the road – this shot sums up the New Forest for me. Mark helped with my composition, zooming in to focus on the trees, with the road leading you into the frame. Although the leaves were still golden, Mark explained that an infrared-style black-and-white conversion would work well for an even more striking and graphic image – achieved simply using the Infrared Effect setting in Photoshop Elements’ Convert to Black and White tool.” KILLER KIT OF THE PROS #2 Cable release “I explained to Alan that touching his D-SLR to take the exposure could cause a blurred shot, even when using a tripod. To avoid this I always use a remote control to trigger the shutter release. My old Canon remote broke so I bought this PIXEL replacement for £5 on eBay!” smiles Mark. “Alternatively use the Self-timer drive mode, which triggers the shutter two or ten seconds after pressing the button.” 12 | PhotoPlus February 2014
  10. 10. Your chance to shoot with a pro Alan’s comment “We trekked to the top of the moors to find this big silver birch tree stood from the forest. Mark suggest a portrait-shape shot, so that we could place the tree centrally, with the horizon line on the bottom third for a balanced composition. We knelt down low, angling the camera up so the background forest didn’t ruin the horizon. My 650D’s angled LCD came in very handy when using Live View to focus and compose the shot, rather than getting a stiff neck bending down to see the back of the camera LCD low on the ground. Mark used a polarising and ND grad filter together for darker, bluer sky; the latter also helped to lighten the tree, and bracken that wasn’t in shadow. In Photoshop Elements, I slightly desaturated the image for a cooler, wintry feel, and quickly cloned out a few distracting bits of bracken cutting into horizon.” Exposure: 1/8 sec at f/16; ISO100 Lens: Tokina 12-28mm f/4 AF AT-X PRO DX ALAN’S TIP Best image quality “As we were using a tripod for every shot and so didn’t need to increase the ISO sensitivity to obtain a faster shutter speed for handheld shooting, Mark explained that we can always keep ISO to 100 for the best image quality, with minimal noise or grain in the shots – even when shooting in low light,” says Alan. KILLER KIT OF THE PROS #3 Wide-angle lens “I use my excellent Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM wide-angle lens for the majority of my landscape shots. It’s super-sharp across the frame, captures great colour and contrast, and is more than wide enough on my full-frame 5D Mk III. It’s not just for big vistas; it helps when framing up single trees in situations when you don’t have much room to step back,” says Mark. On crop-sensor bodies, like Alan’s EOS 650D, you’ll need an ultra-wide-angle lens with a focal length range of around 10-20mm for an equivalent field of view. PhotoPlus February 2014 | 13
  11. 11. The PhotoPlus Apprentice Exposure: 1/6 sec at f/11; ISO100 Lens: Tokina 12-28mm f/4 AF AT-X PRO DX Mark’s comment “I love this shot, captured with my 12-28mm wide-angle lens. The tree looks so proud and defiant! During winter the sun remains low in the sky, which Mark suggested we take advantage of for some strong side-light to highlight this tree on top of the moors. It was taken an hour before sundown. Again we shot from down low, this time to ensure the bottom branches were clear of the horizon. Mark helped me add a small ND grad filter effect to the Raw image in Photoshop Elements to darken the top sky and keep the eye focused towards the tree.” MARK’S TIP Follow the sun “Landscape photography is all about the weather – and knowing where the sun will be in relation to your locations. I use the Sun Scout app on my iPhone (£6.99; that shows you where the sun will be in your landscape throughout the day so you know where you’ll need to be for the best compositions. We’d picked a day with sunny weather, and thanks to the app I knew sunrise was at 7.39am and sunset at 4.07pm,” explains Mark. Mark’s New Forest favourites A trio of tree shots that show why it’s worth getting up at the crack of dawn… Misty morning 1 “This was all about being in the right place at the right time, and was taken only a few feet away from Bratley View carpark! The clump of trees rising out of the mist made a natural focal point, so I placed them a third of the way into the frame, and dialled in +1 stop of exposure compensation to allow for the bright mist.” 14 | PhotoPlus February 2014 Sunrise 2 “I arrived just in time, setting up the camera as the sun began to rise over the distant trees. I composed quickly, using the foreground path to lead the eye into the view towards the rising sun. I focused about a third of the way into the scene to maximise depth of field.” Lone birch tree 3 “This was taken on one very atmospheric morning, when the mist was clearing from the valley below Mogshade Hill. This lone silver birch tree is one of my favourite trees in the forest and made a strong focal point for this scene, shot at 1/5 sec and at f/16.”
  12. 12. Your chance to shoot with a pro KILLER KIT OF THE PROS #4 KILLER KIT OF THE PROS #5 Dress for the weather Set of filters “There’s nothing worse than being cold and uncomfortable when out taking landscape photos in the winter, and you’ll be stood still for as long as it takes to get the shot, so wrap up warm,” smiles Mark. “I wear layers of jumpers and fleeces with a wind/waterproof winter jacket, overtrousers and a stout pair of walking boots.” “I’d be lost without my filters,” admits Mark, “They’re a landscape photographers’ secret weapon. I use a polariser to make blue skies and trees more punchy and contrasty; graduated neutral density (ND grad) filters are essential for balancing bright skies against the darker land; while ND filters are crucial for long exposures to blur movement in clouds and to smooth out water in your landscape scenes.” MARK’s TIP Creative blur “For an abstract forest shot use a slow shutter speed to capture some creative blur,” says Mark. “Shoot in Tv mode at about 1/2 sec and your camera will set an appropriate aperture. Fill the frame with about half trees/half forest floor. As you fire the shutter, move your tripod head down smoothly in a straight line. Tall, skinny silver birch trees work well as they contrast with the foreground.” SHARP BLUR
  13. 13. The PhotoPlus Apprentice MARK’s TIP Warmer colours ÒAs the sun set clouds started to form, which helped to improve the colours in the sky Ð using a Cloudy white balance setting will help enhance their colours, too.Ó 16 | PhotoPlus February 2014 Alan’s comment ÒWe were very fortunate with the weather on the day, right up to a colourful sunset. Initially my exposure was too bright as I was exposing for the tree. I was shooting in Av mode at f/16, and Mark told me to dial in -1 stop of exposure compensation, which turned the tree into a silhouette and also darkened the sky. To enhance the sunset fur ther I boosted the Saturation in Photoshop Elements. I think it’s amazing that I captured this on my 18-55mm kit lens!Ó [2] [1] [3]
  14. 14. Your chance to shoot with a pro Exposure: 1/6 sec at f/11; ISO100 Lens: Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS II Be a PhotoPlus Apprentice! Want help with taking your photography to the next level? We need more budding PhotoPlus Apprentices. Let us know what you would like help with and we could pair you up with a top pro for the day. Email or fill in the form below… Name...................................................................................................... Address.................................................................................................. .................................................................................................................. .................................................................................................................. ................................................................. Postcode ............................. Daytime telephone ............................................................................. Email ....................................................................................................... Your camera model ............................................................................ What you would like help with .......................................................... .................................................................................................................. .................................................................................................................. .................................................................................................................. Return to The PhotoPlus Apprentice, PhotoPlus, 30 Monmouth Street, Bath BA1 2BW February 2014 Next issue… Studio portraits Mark’s verdict “Alan was a game Apprentice and captured some great shots on the day. You need to be patient with your landscape photographs, especially for sunsets, and I encouraged him to keep shooting every two-to-three minutes as the light and colours will constantly change, even after the sun has gone down. Alan took this shot as the colours and clouds peaked [1] 30 minutes after the sun had disappeared. His exposure is spot on, with the dark outline of the tree [2] perfectly silhouetted against the colourful sky. And he’s positioned the tree off-centre [3] with minimal dark landscape, so the tree and sky dominate the frame.” Q Learn how to take striking portraits, and the Photoshop techniques to transform them, as our Apprentice spends a day with a talented Canon professional photographer On sale 4 February 2014
  15. 15. PhotoPlus Mail Box YourLetters Send us your comments on the magazine, and photography in general. Drop us a line any time at Camera snobs need to shutter it! Subscriptions & digital editions PhotoPlus is the best magazine for all Canon EOS D-SLR photographers. If youÕve missed a back issue, or want to save money, why not start a subscription? All subscribers become Subs Club members! PhotoPlus is available in print with our Video Disc, and also as an enhanced digital edition, with all videos included. For iPad and iPhone users, download the Apple Newsstand app; Android and PC users can use Zinio to download digital editions; weÕre also available on AmazonÕs Kindle Fire, Nook and Google Play. For print and digital editions go to this quick link now: 18 | PhotoPlus February 2014 I fully endorse the positive comments of readers expressed in recent issues regarding the EOS 1100D, especially those of Janet Kearns in Issue 79; she’s right on the button about encouraging other photographers. My 1100D is my first foray into digital cameras after giving up photography in the mid-1990s, and I couldn’t be happier with it. Whether one is a wine, photography, car or ‘whatever’ snob, they do no credit to themselves or the activity they profess to love. We all started out with a 110 cartridge camera (or equivalent), and how many of these ‘experts’ would be embarrassed to see all their earliest photos now? You know the ones – out of focus, poor composition, etc, but still showing happy family memories or places visited nonetheless. Matthew Bulman Wanganui, New Zealand We heartily agree Matthew – and it’s always good to hear from a film veteran who’s rediscovered the joys of photography through D-SLRs! PhotoPlus: Even better second time around! I love reading your magazine. I’m located in the USA, so it takes a while for me to get my delivery, but I do enjoy getting my little ‘gift’ in the mail every month. I’ve been a subscriber for about a year now, and with my knowledge and skills growing every day I’ve started re-reading all my issues. I’m now reading articles, tutorials and reviews that I skipped the first time around because the discussion was too advanced for me – now that I know a bit more about the subjects involved, I’m reading these ‘new’ articles with a better understanding. It seems like I’m getting double pleasure out of a single subscription! Mark C Thomas Cary, North Carolina WIN NEW 16GB MEMORY CARDS AND READER! Every LETTER OF THE MONTH winner gets either a Kingston Technology 16GB Ultimate CompactFlash 600x or 16GB SDHC Ultimate Class 10 flash card, plus a Kingston MobileLite G3 card reader! Just how wild are wildlife photos? The 1100D is the ideal camera for anyone new to SLRs – or film veterans taking up digital I try to be something of a wildlife photographer, and I find the articles in PhotoPlus very helpful. However, December’s magazine highlighted an issue about which I’ve agonised for some time. The president of my local camera club told me that “a photo is a photo is a photo”, and that regardless of the challenges faced in getting a
  16. 16. Your Letters Martyn Tuckwell is justifiably proud of this shot of a puffin in flight Join us online today! PhotoPlus isn’t just a magazine – it’s also a fun and friendly online community… Join the online debate: Magazine website Facebook Camera reviews Flickr Twitter @photoplusmag Check out these 10 great websites for Canon users, courtesy of the good people at Wex Photographic: wex_canon particular shot, a picture is still judged solely on its photographic merits. So, for example, the photos by Pal Hermansen and Connor Stefanison, featured in Inspirations, which showcased images from Wildlife Photographer Of The Year 2013, will be judged by the same standards as the shot taken by Chris Wallis and featured in Your Photos – a shot I believe any reasonable photographer with a half-decent camera and access to a bird of prey centre could have taken. And to have cloned out the jesses (the leather straps fastened to the legs of birds of prey), as one of the readers critiquing Chris’s photo suggested, would, in my opinion, have been less than honest, as it would have given the impression that the photo had been taken in the wild. I attach a picture I took of a puffin in flight. I understand that puffins can fly at speeds of up to 100kph, particularly when being chased for their catch by gulls as this one was. However imperfect my shot may be, it’s the high point of my photographic life – I’m sure I’ve taken ‘better’ pictures, but this is the one of which I am most proud. Martyn Tuckwell Shilbottle, Northumberland Digital editions? I was delighted to see on my Facebook feed that I could read the December issue of your magazine for free as a digital copy. What I didn’t realise was that I couldn’t open it on my Kindle Fire. What a shame! But it made me think: shouldn’t us subscribers have access to a digital copy anyway? And is there any sign of a Kindle edition? Sam Browne Manchester Unfortunately the free digital copy offer was only available through Google Play, Sam, which is why you couldn’t access it on your Kindle. You can read PhotoPlus on your Kindle via Amazon, however, and it’s also available on other digital platforms – see the facing page for more details. However, because digital editions are supplied by third-party retailers, we’re unable to offer them to print subscribers for free. CONTACT US AT PHOTOPLUS TODAY! Get in touch! We’d love to hear your views, comments and handy tips… Email: Write to us at and kindly put ‘Your Letters’ in the subject line of your email. Post: Write to Your Letters, PhotoPlus, Future Publishing, 30 Monmouth Street, Bath BA1 2BW, UK. We reserve the right to edit letters we print for clarity and brevity. PhotoPlus Are you in the market for a new Canon EOS D-SLR or a new lens? Canon’s Winter Cashback scheme offers discounts on the 100D, 600D and 700D, as well as a few EF-S and EF lenses, and two Speedlite flashguns – all ideal gear for beginners and enthusiasts, with a helpful little discount. Available in the UK only, and the offer closes 26 Jan 2014. More details at www. – don’t forget to check the Terms&Conditions! 10 tips for taking better pictures of bridges…Bridge photography is a favourite subject for travel and landscape photographers alike, but getting quality pictures of bridges isn’t as easy as you might think. Your main subject is static, but there are a whole host of other elements to think about. Below we’ve offered 10 bridge photography tips direct from the experts to help you bag better pictures of bridges… PhotoPlus PhotoPlus @ukphotoshow Rankin, Steve McCurry, Joe McNally and Terry O’Neill lined up for the Super Stage! Get tickets at PhotoPlus PhotoPlus February 2014 | 19
  17. 17. Welcome to the… W as Santa good to you this year? Or did you treat yourself to some shiny new kit in the January sales? Either way, it pays to ensure your expensive photo equipment is properly insured, and we have a generous 15% off offer with Photoguard specialist camera insurance, exclusively for subscribers. It may save a lot of heartache should the worst happen! Peter Travers, Editor Gavin Kruk Welcome to the PhotoPlus shop! The PhotoPlus shop is the place to buy a whole host of goodies – and subscribers can save up to 20%! Check out our great range of bookazines. The Ultimate Canon SLR Handbook: Volumes 1 & 2 have everything you need to get to grips with your EOS – plus there are titles on sports, landscape, portrait and monochrome photography, Photoshop guides, and much more. Simply head to www.myfavourite and use the discount code SUBSCLUB. Lives: Gloucester Camera: Canon EOS 500D Subscriber since: Issue 68 WIN! This particular shot was taken on my honeymoon in Singapore a couple of years ago, using a Canon EOS 500D with a Sigma 18-200mm lens. We had been on a night safari through Singapore Zoo, which was followed by a spectacular show that included traditional dance and fire breathing. I had an idea of the kind of shot I wanted to get, and after several attempts I was pleased with how this turned out. The shot was taken in very low light, so I increased the ISO to 1600 to allow me to keep the shutter speed up so that I could achieve a sharp image and freeze the MOVIEPLUS X6 & PHOTOPLUS X6 movement, but in doing so I had to be careful not to overexpose the flames. I used a shutter speed of 1/500 sec at f/11 which, in hindsight, was not the best choice of settings as a wider aperture would have allowed for a lower ISO and less noise, but having tried a few combinations this seemed to give the best results at the time and I was pleased with the end result. I edited the Lens: Sigma 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 DC OS HSM Exposure: 1/500 sec at f/11; ISO1 600 photograph using Lightroom, performing a slight white balance and contrast adjustment along with some localised dodging and burning to give the image a bit more impact. BE OUR SUBSCRIBER OF THE MONTH! Fancy being our next Subscriber of the Month? We’ve made it quick and easy to submit your best shots with our dedicated Subs Club Flickr group at Each issue, we give away a double-pack of Serif’s PhotoPlus X6 image-editing program, plus MoviePlus X6 video software – together worth £130, and everything you need for making the most of the multimedia capabilities of Canon’s latest cameras! See for more.
  18. 18. PhotoPlus VIP area Save 15% off Photoguard camera kit is properly covered… insurance! Ensure your precious T he festive period is over for another year, and many of us will be the proud owners of new Canon kit. But photography is an expensive hobby, and it doesn’t take long before we find ourselves carting around thousands of pounds’ worth of gear in our kitbags. So it makes sense to ensure your kit is properly covered. Photoguard is offering PhotoPlus subscribers 15% off specialist camera insurance cover. Simply go to get the discount, but hurry, this offer expires 31 March 2014. Adrian Scott, head of specialist photography insurers Photoguard, shares his top tips for keeping cameras and accessories covered. ARE YOU COVERED? AMATEUR OR PRO? Many photographers don’t spend enough time researching the sort of policy that offers them the best protection. While many online policies provide immediate cover, take the time to research policies and select the one that best suits your needs, especially if you have more than one piece of kit. Whatever stage you’re at in your photography career, insurers could classify you as a professional if you earn any form of income from your photographic equipment. As many home insurance policies don’t cover professional equipment, you may need to take out additional cover. Many specialist insurance policies will not only cover your camera but also a wide-range of accessories that are essential to photographers – from your laptop and memory card to software packages – meaning your business wouldn’t be impacted should an accident occur. CHECK YOUR HOME INSURANCE POLICY It’s easy to assume your kit will be covered under a contents policy, however insurance can vary greatly and photographers need to look beyond the price and read the small print to ensure the cover is fit for purpose. Home contents insurance policies may require you to pay an additional premium if you are insuring expensive equipment, so specialist photography insurance may work out cheaper. GOING OVERSEAS? Holidays are an ideal time to test out your new gear. But while white sandy beaches may provide an attractive backdrop for your holiday album, a few grains of sand can have a potentially devastating effect on your equipment. It’s therefore essential to ensure your camera is covered when travelling abroad. Many travel insurance policies include camera cover but they are often subject to a number of clauses. Some travel insurance policies cap the maximum amount that can be claimed by a single item at as little as £200. With many cameras priced well above this bracket, it may be worth seeking out specialist cover. COVERING OTHERS While you may be confident in your ability to avoid tripping over your tripod, others may not be so careful. Therefore, a key consideration is liability insurance that will keep you covered if your equipment causes injury. It may also be worth looking into specialist cover if you’re planning to shoot in a busy public place. KEEP IT HIDDEN If you’re planning to leave your equipment unattended in a vehicle, be sure to keep it hidden. Many insurers include clauses in their contracts that will invalidate your policy if your equipment is left on show. If you’re likely to fall foul of this all-too-common error, opting for more advanced cover may be significantly cheaper in the long run. COVERING YOUR KIDS ON CAMPUS If you’ve packed your kids off to university, it pays to ensure they’re covered when away from the family nest. While many home insurance policies do offer cover for those classed as a member of your household while they’re living away on campus, additional cover may be based upon the value and nature of camera equipment or required if they choose to live off campus. Q PhotoPlus February 2014 | 21
  19. 19. PhotoPlus Inspirations Stunning imagery from the world of Canon photography 22 | PhotoPlus February 2014
  20. 20. Great Canon photographers in action PhotoPlus February 2014 | 23
  21. 21. PhotoPlus Inspirations PREVIOUS PAGE Buachaille Etive Mor by Brian Kerr “This location is a favourite of mine. I took this shot at the start of November, hoping for a layer of snow on the mountains, but unfortunately there was only a sprinkling. It was the last trip of the day and I was hoping for perfect weather and light. Initially I thought I was too late, but as I was composing a shot I noticed a little colour appear, and by the time I was ready to shoot the colour had intensified to the point where it looked as if the tree was on fire, or the buckle was erupting lava from its summit. I was able to fire off a few shots before the colour faded; as the light was fading fast I set a slightly longer exposure than usual, and I used a Lee hard grad 0.6 for the sky. The Raw file was processed in Lightroom; I simply brought out some of the shadow detail and applied some sharpening.” Location: Buachaille Etive Mor, Glencoe, Scotland Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mk II Lens: Zeiss Distagon T* 3.5/18 ZE Exposure: 3.2 secs at f/11; ISO200 RIGHT Arcminute Microkelvin Imager by Nigel Blake “I’ve often photographed these radio telescopes at the Mullard Radio Astronomy Observatory outside Cambridge at dusk or after dark, but only from outside the fence. Recently the observatory contacted me to ask for prints of a couple of my images that they’d seen online, to hang in the new reception. Instead of charging for the images I asked for access to the site, so I could get some close-up shots with wide lenses. This shot was taken in Bulb mode, using an exposure of 92 seconds; I calculated the exposure settings by shooting some test frames and reading the histogram. The sky colour is a result of light pollution from Cambridge city reflecting off the clouds, and I also painted light on the dishes with a high-powered torch.” Location: Mullard Radio Astronomy Observatory, Cambridge Camera: Canon EOS-1Ds Mk III Lens: Canon EF 20mm f/2.8 USM Exposure: 92 seconds at f/6.3; ISO200 LEFT Fire Up by Mike Ridley “I met up with some fellow photographers to demonstrate light painting techniques at a beach near South Shields. There was a sea cave close by which served as an excellent backdrop, and looking at the geology of the overhanging rock I thought this wire wool spinning technique would produce a strong light source to create some shadows. I used a cordless drill with a custom-made adapter to hold two whisks, which were packed with fine-grade wire wool. When the wire wool is lit and pulled through the air by the drill, the centrifugal force produces a shower of sparks; it’s important to wear eye protection. I shot in Raw, converted the image to monochrome in Lightroom and made other minor adjustments in Photoshop.” Location: South Shields, Tyne and Wear, UK Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mk III Lens: Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM Exposure: 49 secs at f/10; ISO200 24 | PhotoPlus February 2014
  22. 22. Great Canon photographers in action RIGHT Light Pillars by Mike Reva “Last winter I spent a few days at my countryside house to take some shots of the night sky. The temperature outdoors was around -27C, and I knew the sky would be clear at night. As it got dark a couple of street lamps came on, and I was lucky enough to see these gorgeous light pillars, a phenomenon created by the reflection of light from ice crystals in the air. I knew they wouldn’t be visible for long, so I had to set up quickly. I used a wide-angle lens to capture as much of the night sky as possible, including Jupiter and the star cluster Hyades in the upper-right of the frame; I also made sure the Orion constellation rising above the horizon would be visible. I chose a wide aperture to shorten the exposure and thus avoid star trails.” Location: Orehovo, Russian Federation Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mk II Lens: Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM Exposure: 25 secs at f/4; ISO1000 PhotoPlus February 2014 | 25
  23. 23. PhotoPlus Inspirations ABOVE A View From the Tyne by Alan Howe “There are so many good locations in the north-east of England, and for this shot I went to Newcastle to shoot some light trails on and around the Tyne Bridge. I was on the High Level Bridge looking down over the Tyne, which looked amazing with the light reflections and three bridges in view. I had my ISO set to 500, which I like to do when shooting night photography; I find you can use a fairly high ISO on the 6D without it affecting the image quality too much. For a more dramatic image I converted it to black and white in Lightroom.” Location: Newcastle upon Tyne, UK Camera: Canon EOS 6D Lens: Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM Exposure: 30 secs at f/16; ISO500 LEFT Improvement by Mike Pearce “This shot was taken in Heal’s furniture store in London. Having taken some shots earlier on in the year I knew that the store was due to carry out some work on the staircase and install a new piece of lighting, and I went back to the store to capture some shots of the refit. I was amazed to find that they had installed a floor-to-ceiling light fixture, which looked outstanding. This shot was taken from the very top of the staircase, using my Samyang 8mm fisheye lens. I was able to capture a huge amount of the staircase along with some interesting angles in the rails, and the lights down the centre added the finishing touch. I didn’t have a tripod with me, so I used the railings to steady myself. I processed the shot with the Photomatix Pro HDR program to bring out the shadow detail. I then used Photoshop CS5 and Nik Silver Efex Pro to get the monochrome effect I was after.” Location: The Heal’s Building, London Camera: Canon EOS 600D Lens: Samyang 8mm f/3.5 IF MC Fisheye Exposure: 1/8 sec at f/8, ISO400 26 | PhotoPlus February 2014
  24. 24. Great Canon photographers in action RIGHT World War Two Veterans by Julian Bound “I own a barbershop, and several of my customers are World War Two veterans. They’re now aged from their late eighties to their mid-nineties, and there are not many still with us, so I decided to document them by taking their portraits, after giving them their customary short back and sides. I used a blank wall between the shop’s mirrors as a backdrop, but as most of the subjects visit my shop early in the morning, lighting was a slight problem. I wanted to capture them in natural light, so I used an aperture of f/4 and switched between ISO125 and 400 to obtain a decent shutter speed. I shot in Raw, converted the images to black and white in Lightroom, and cropped them to a medium format ratio (1x1). I added some vignetting, and after doing some dodging and burning in Photoshop CS5 I used the High Pass filter to bring the images to life. I also noted each subject’s rank and age.” Location: The Barbershop 2, Oswestry, Shropshire, UK Camera: Canon EOS 7D Lens: Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM Q Sergeant Major David ‘Taff’ Lewis b.1920 Lance Bombardier Eric Morrey b.1923 Exposure: 1/60 sec at f/4; ISO400 Exposure: 1/45 sec at f/4; ISO200 AB Kenneth Edwards b.1927 Sergeant Emerson Boyd Rollinson b.1919 AB Ronald D. Scott b.1927 Exposure: 1/180 sec at f/4; ISO200 Private Desmond Norsworthy b.1924 Exposure: 1/30 sec at f/4; ISO125 Exposure: 1/60 sec at f/4; ISO160 Exposure: 1/60 sec at f/4; ISO125 PhotoPlus February 2014 | 27
  25. 25. Promotion Superior Prints with Canon Take your next step with a Canon PIXMA PRO printer Y our Canon EOS DSLR is an amazing device capable of capturing truly stunning shots, so there’s nothing worse than ending up with lacklustre photos because your printer or print lab isn’t up to the job. You want to see your images looking great in print, so it makes sense you’ll need a top-quality printer. And there are no better printer partners for your EOS DSLR than Canon’s great PIXMA PRO range. Whether you’re an advanced amateur printing your family portraits to hang at home, a budding semi-pro selling your first set of landscape shots, or a seasoned professional framing and exhibiting your latest portfolio of pictures, Canon’s PIXMA PRO printers will ensure you’ll always have prints to be proud of. From the PIXMA PRO-100, to the PIXMA PRO-10 and PIXMA PRO-1, 28 | PhotoPlus February 2014 there’s an A3+ printer for every budget. With 8, 10 or 12 ink systems you’ll be in full creative control to achieve stunning prints; whether glossy or matte, colour or black and white, whatever your paper choice, you’ll be able to breathe life into your prints. On PhotoPlus we’re big fans of Canon’s A3+ printers, and in our Printers Super Test (December 2013), the Canon PIXMA PRO-100 won our Best Value award, while the Canon PIXMA PRO-1 won our Best On Test award. Just as you rely on your intuitive Canon EOS DSLR to help you take great photos, you can be assured of the same high-quality, easy-to-use and lightning-fast performance with a PIXMA PRO printer. You can finally be in full control to print big photos – from your own home or studio – that really do your images justice!
  26. 26. Promotion I WEON!KRIIOI CANON S 5D M A HAP AND A DAY WITIXMA SIX P PLUS S! PRO-100 PRINTER Exclusive Competition! To help you to discover the power and potential of Canon’s PIXMA PRO printers, we’re giving away six PIXMA PRO-100 printers in our exclusive online competition – plus we’re offering one reader the chance to win a professional Canon EOS 5D Mark III, along with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to spend a one-to-one session with one of the UK’s top Canon professional photographers. The best image from your day’s shoot will be printed on a PIXMA PRO-1 printer. From learning how to master your Canon DSLR to getting the best out of your Canon printer, our Canon pro will help you to become a better photographer and will help to create better prints. T&Cs The most suitable Canon professional photographer and location will be announced once we know the winning subject category. Entries must be received by 31 January 2014. The winners will be selected by the PhotoPlus and Digital Camera editorial teams. The prize is as stated: no alternatives, cash or otherwise, are available. For full terms and conditions please visit To enter our competition, we want to see one or more of your best images relating to the following creative themes: 1 2 3 4 5 6 Landscapes Wildlife Action Portraits Black & White Close-ups The winners of each category will win a PIXMA PRO-100 printer. The overall winner will be selected from the category winners and will receive a Canon EOS 5D Mark III DSLR and a day’s tuition with a top Canon professional of our choosing. All winners will be announced in the April issues of PhotoPlus and Digital Camera magazines, and also online at You can enter the competition online at PhotoPlus February 2014 | 29
  27. 27. D-SLR SKILLS TIPS! HAPPY NEW A new Canon EOS D-SLR isn’t just for Christmas. Whether you’re an absolute beginner or a seasoned enthusiast, we’ll help you get started on the right track with your camera in 2014 Words: Matthew Richards he best things come in (moderately) small packages, and if you’re lucky enough to have a new Canon D-SLR at Christmas, you’re in for a treat. There are no less than four superb cameras catering to beginners, in the slinky shapes of the 1100D, 100D, 600D and 700D. More up-market ‘enthusiast’ models range from the venerable 60D and 7D to the power-packed 70D and the highly advanced 6D, the latter of which brings full-frame photography to the consumer market. While Canon is something of a legend for keeping things as simple as possible, any D-SLR can be a daunting prospect for newcomers. We’re here to give you a helping hand. On the following pages we’ll cover the basics, from setting up your new camera kit, to making the most of simple shooting modes before progressing to more advanced techniques. Sure enough, there’s a lot to learn but the great thing is that you can start simple and get great results in next to no time, while also learning new tricks and techniques along the way. Ultimately, it should be a rewarding, highly enjoyable and long-lasting experience. Month by month, we’d love to be there with you, every step of the way. Let’s get cracking. PhotoPlus February 2014 | 31
  28. 28. HAPPY NEW GOT A NEW D-SLR? Essential setup advice for new cameras straight out of the box What to do first! First things first, and the best place to start is to get everything out of the box and check it’s all present and correct. It’s likely that there will only be minimal charge in the battery, so pop it on charge while you get a few other things sorted out. It’s well worth attaching the supplied neck strap to your camera, to avoid expensive accidents later on. This is also a good time to install Canon’s excellent free software onto your computer, like Digital Photo Professional for processing Raw files, and the EOS Utility program. Once the battery is fully charged, remove it from the charger and insert it into the camera’s battery compartment. The Canon 100D is an excellent first D-SLR that’s small and user friendly It’s a good idea to select ‘Low level format’, especially if the memory card has been used in another device previously On the menu Insert a memory card into your camera, attach the lens (see Tip 5), and you’re ready for the first switch-on. It’s a good idea to set the time and date, as this will be recorded in the ‘EXIF’ information of each image file. Next, press the Menu button, go to the Setup menu and select the ‘Format card’ option. Lift the camera to your eye, lightly press the shutter, and check that the viewfinder information looks sharp; rotate the dioptre adjustment, if necessary, to give the sharpest view. 32 | PhotoPlus February 2014
  29. 29. Beginners’ advice Setting the scene Current entry-level cameras have an on-screen features guide; enable this in the Setup menu to help you find your way around. The 100D, 600D and 700D boast a ‘Scene intelligent auto’ mode, signified by a green square with a + symbol. This automatically analyses compositions, and makes optimal adjustments to shooting parameters. Using the wide variety of scene modes, you can manually select anything from portraits to landscapes or sports. Better still, these so-called Basic+ modes come complete with ‘Ambience’ options like vivid, soft, warm and intense, available via the Q (Quick menu) button. View and review All current Canon D-SLRs boast a Live View mode, which enables you to compose shots on the rear screen. The LCD is also essential for reviewing and checking your images. Press the Play button and you can scroll through the pictures you’ve taken. Press the magnify button to enlarge images on the screen, so you can check the sharpness in critical areas. Repeated presses of the Info button will also display a histogram (graphical representation of brightness) with a flashing highlights alert, to show where very bright parts of a picture may be washed out to white. STEP BY STEP Fitting and changing lenses Press the button Keep it clean Lens types First, ensure that the camera is switched off. If a lens is already attached and you want to switch to another one, you’ll need to press the lens release button, shown above. While keeping the button pressed in, start to gently rotate the lens anticlockwise, you can then remove it from its bayonet-fit mount. Dust is the enemy of D-SLRs. Ideally, only change lenses in environmentally clean conditions that are as dust-free as possible. It helps to keep the camera’s lens opening facing downwards, to avoid dust falling into the camera. Always fit a body cap to the camera if storing it without a lens fitted. Canon makes EF-S lenses for APS-C cameras and EF lenses that fit both APS-C and full-frame cameras. They use either a white square or a red circle alignment symbol respectively, which needs to be lined up with the relevant marking on your camera, then you simply twist clockwise until the lens clicks into place. PhotoPlus February 2014 | 33
  30. 30. HAPPY NEW KEY SETTINGS Getting to grips with your camera’s main settings From basic to creative The Canon 700D will suit beginners but has enough advanced options for those looking to progress their photography The shooting mode dial of most Canon cameras is divided into Basic Zone and Creative Zone modes. The latter is for more expert use and contains P (Program), Tv (Time value), Av (Aperture value) and M (Manual) modes. Bridging the gap between the two zones is the CA (Creative Auto) mode. In this case, the Quick menu (Q button) gives access to easily adjusting the background blur by widening or narrowing the aperture. For widerranging control over all available shooting attributes, switch to Program mode. A better description is ‘Program shift’ because, while the camera aims to serve up the ideal combination of shutter speed and aperture, you can shift the settings simply by turning the main dial, next to the shutter button. Quick and easy You’ll notice that, in any of the Creative Zone shooting modes, pressing the Q button reveals many more options on the Quick menu. It’s a wonderfully easy and intuitive way to alter shooting parameters, even more so in cameras like the 100D and 700D that feature touchscreen LCDs. For example, you can switch the Auto Lighting Optimizer on or off, and adjust its strength for getting a better balance between bright highlights and dark shadows. Access to picture styles like Standard, Portrait and Landscape is also useful. Unlike using scene modes, this tailors just the image style to the composition, while giving you full reign over other settings. Read the meter Exposure metering is an all-important part of successful photography. There are four different options to choose from. Evaluative metering biases the exposure to the active focus point (or points) that achieve autofocus. It therefore works well even in tricky situations, like backlit portraits. Centreweighted metering concentrates mainly on the central region of the frame, but averages in brightness levels around the periphery. Partial metering is based solely on the central region of the frame, while Spot metering works in the same way but only uses a relatively tiny point at the frame’s centre. More on metering on page 74. 34 | PhotoPlus February 2014
  31. 31. Enthusiasts’ advice Beat the shakes Blurred shots from camera-shake are a common problem, especially for beginners. To avoid this in handheld photography, the rule of thumb is that you need a shutter speed that’s at least the reciprocal of the effective focal length. For example, at a zoom setting of 50mm on cameras that have an APS-C sensor, like the 700D, the 1.6x crop factor gives an effective focal length is 80mm. You’d therefore need a shutter speed of at least 1/80 sec for consistently sharp handheld shots. Lenses with image stabilisers help you get away with slower shutter speeds but, to freeze the action of moving subjects, you’ll need faster shutter speeds. Use the Auto ISO feature or manually select a higher sensitivity if necessary, to enable sufficiently fast shutter speeds under dull lighting. Be more focused If shooting close-ups, use a tripod and focus manually, zooming in on the most important part of the image STEP BY STEP Live View can be a big help when highly accurate focusing is required, common in close-up photography. In this case, the camera switches to contrast-detection autofocus. It’s not as fast as regular phase-shift autofocus but is extremely accurate. For cameras with touchscreen LCDs, you can simply point to the part of the scene you want to focus on, then lightly press the shutter button to achieve autofocus. For ultraprecise focusing, it’s better to focus manually and select a magnified preview to enlarge the most important part of the composition. Autofocus options Autofocus modes Multi-point AF Single-point AF The AI Focus option is pretty smart. It locks on to static objects with a light press and hold of the shutter button but, if the object begins to move, it switches to continuous autofocus to track the action. Alternative options are One Shot for completely static subjects and AI Servo for fast-moving subjects. This engages all AF points and the camera will generally focus on whichever area in the scene corresponds with the closest AF point, or points. In AI Servo mode, the central point is used initially but surrounding points are engaged if the object begins to stray from the centre of the frame. When you want to focus on one particular place, like the eyes of a person in portraiture, it’s better to switch to single-point AF in One Shot mode. Either use the central AF point and swivel the camera after AF has been achieved to improve compositions (eg portraits), or pick a point that best suits the object’s position. PhotoPlus February 2014 | 35
  32. 32. HAPPY NEW MODES EXPLAINED Understanding your D-SLR’s more complex shooting modes The EOS 70D has larger body with more advanced settings for experienced Canon enthusiasts Priority modes Metering is still automatic in Aperture Priority (Av) mode, but you select the aperture you want to use and the camera adjusts the shutter speed accordingly. It’s vice versa for Shutter Priority (Tv) mode, as you set the shutter speed and the camera adjusts the aperture. Beware of a blinking aperture or shutter speed display in the viewfinder, which indicates that you’ve set a value outside of the range that will enable a correct exposure in the prevailing lighting conditions. Single shooting mode is best for landscapes or portraits, while Continuous suits sports or wildlife photography Drive modes In the Single shooting drive mode, only one shot will be taken, regardless of how long you hold down the shutter button. Continuous drive mode is often better for action sports and wildlife, and some cameras have options for fast and slow frame rates. Be aware that the memory buffer may fill up quite quickly, especially if you shoot in Raw quality mode, and you’ll then have to wait for data to be written to the memory card. Other drive options include a two-second or ten-second self-timer release. A burst of shots is often also available after a self-timer delay, ideal for self-portraits. 36 | PhotoPlus February 2014
  33. 33. Enthusiasts advice Going steady It can be notoriously difficult to get sharp images when shooting extreme close-ups or when using a very long telephoto lens, even when the camera is mounted on a tripod. Mirror-bounce is the culprit. It’s caused by the reflex mirror flipping up immediately prior to the exposure, which can unsettle the camera and give blurred results. ‘Mirror lockup’ is a neat function that’s available on all current cameras apart from the 1100D. Enable this and, if you’re not using a remote controller, also select a two-second self-timer delay. When you press home the shutter button, the mirror will flip up but the shutter won’t open until two seconds later, giving the camera a chance to settle. Get flash The pop-up flash fitted to most Canon cameras is useful for adding a little fill-in illumination to brighten foreground shadows, but lacks any real power or versatility. A proper flashgun is much more useful. A neat trick is to configure the pop-up flash to act as a wireless controller. Set this in the shooting menu’s Flash Control section and switch compatible flashguns to their wireless slave mode. It’s an easy, wire-free method for enabling off-camera flash, which can give a more natural look to portraits and still-life shots. STEP BY STEP Exposure compensation ALO off Get compensation Bracketing exposures The Auto Lighting Optimizer can help to boost shadows and reign in highlights, but can fight against any exposure compensation you apply. Canon therefore recommends switching off ALO before applying exposure compensation. Add positive compensation to brighten images, negative compensation to make them darker. Exposure compensation is generally available in the Quick menu, as well as from controls on the back of the camera body. In the 70D shown here, quick access is enabled by the Quick Control dial. There’s a risk of applying exposure compensation accidentally, unless you engage the underlying Lock lever. You can set the starting point and incremental value of exposure compensation for a series of ‘exposure bracketed’ shots. In this case, it’s handy to also use Continuous drive mode. Hold down shutter button on the camera or remote controller and shooting will cease automatically after the sequence is complete. PhotoPlus February 2014 | 37
  34. 34. HAPPY NEW ADVANCED SKILLS Discover how to get the most out of your Canon EOS D-SLR The professional Canon 5D Mark III is a powerful 22Mp full-frame D-SLR for those who want high performance (and can afford its high price) Switch to manual For ultimate control over exposure settings, switch to the Manual shooting mode. You can still take advantage of any of the camera’s metering modes, as well as using the viewfinder’s exposure level indicator as a guide. You’ll definitely need to switch to Manual mode when using studio flash heads. Preferred settings for this are often a shutter speed of 1/125 sec, with an aperture of around f/8. You’d then simply adjust the power of the flash heads until you achieve a correct exposure. Flatter your lenses You can counteract common lens flaws in-camera under the Lens Aberration Correction menu Many current cameras have features that can flatter the performance of lenses. The Lens Aberration Correction option in the shooting menu includes in-camera corrections for peripheral illumination (vignetting) and chromatic aberration (colour fringing). However, these are only available for genuine Canon lenses, and you may need to download data for some lenses using the EOS Utility program. Bear in mind that if you shoot in Raw quality mode and don’t process the files with Canon’s own Digital Photo Professional program, corrections won’t be applied. Up-market cameras often also feature AF fine-tuning for individual lenses. For example, when using a zoom lens on the 70D, you can apply two independent fine-tuning values for either end of the zoom range. Filter options You can apply an enormous range of enhancements to images when editing but sometimes you simply can’t get the effects you want without using a filter. Popular options include circular polarising filters to reduce reflections in, say, watery surfaces and windows, as well as enhancing blue skies. Neutral density filters are great for enabling wider apertures for a reduced depth of field, or slower shutter speeds to give motion blur to waterfalls and weirs. Graduated neutral density filters help to achieve a better balance between very bright skies and darker land beneath in landscape photography. 38 | PhotoPlus February 2014
  35. 35. Advanced skills Depth of field Control over depth of field can often be the making or breaking of a great shot. For example, in landscape photography, you may want the foreground and background to be simultaneously sharp. In portraiture, you’ll more often want to blur a fussy background. In all cases, a shorter focusing distance will reduce the depth of field. In landscapes, it often works best to focus on a point about a third of the way into the scene. Wider apertures and longer focal lengths (eg f/5.6 at 200mm) give a reduced depth of field. Narrower apertures and short focal lengths (eg f/16 at 18mm) increase the depth of field. STEP BY STEP High dynamic range Scenes that contain very bright and dark areas may often exceed the dynamic range of any camera, but an HDR (high dynamic range) image can capture a full range of tones in one image. No longer do you need to create an HDR image by taking three bracketed shots then merging them into one image in software, as Canon D-SLRs, such the 100D and 700D, have scene modes for automatically capturing HDR images. Three bracketed shots are taken and the results are automatically merged in-camera Adjust dynamic range On the 70D or 6D, it’s best to switch to HDR mode via the shooting menu, rather than using the Basic Zone scene mode. You’ll then have full control over what camera settings are used, as well as being able to adjust parameters in the HDR capture process, including the overall dynamic range. into a single image in which low-lights are boosted and highlights are reigned in. Cameras like the 70D and 6D give you greater control over the process (see below), although only the single merged image will be saved and you can’t shoot in Raw or Raw+JPEG quality modes. To save three Raws and the merged image, you’d need to step up to a 5D Mark III. Continuous HDR In ‘1 shot only’ mode, HDR capture is limited to a single burst of three successive shutter operations, during which the bracketed exposures are captured. Normal shooting will resume thereafter. Select ‘Every shot’ if you wish to carry on capturing HDR images, until the feature is disabled in the main menu. Auto image align Enable Auto Image Align when handholding the camera and shooting a sequence for HDR processing. If the camera is mounted on a tripod, it’s better to disable the auto alignment feature. Resulting images may be a little cropped when using auto alignment as each shot is moved slightly when lined up. Q PhotoPlus February 2014 | 39
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  38. 38. Sharpen your skills with our expert guides Skills ONLINE VIDEO To view our videos, click on the ‘Watch the Video’ badges that WATCH appear THE VIDEO alongside the tutorials. Everything you need to perfect your photos Hollie Latham Staff writer Welcome... T he days are short at this time of year, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t as many photo opportunities as in sunnier months – so why not use the longer nights to your advantage and try shooting light trails? With the evening rush hour coinciding with nightfall, there’s plenty of traffic on the roads to provide ample light sources for your dramatic slow-shutterspeed shots. We explain all the shooting and processing techniques you’ll need in this issue’s Masterclass (page 68). We continue our kit lens series, and show you how to use the humble 18-55mm lens that came with your camera for architectural shots (page 44). We also take a closer look at the Elements toolbar (page 64), show you how to master the Lasso and Marquee tools (page 66), and look how to perform basic edits in Adobe Camera Raw (page 48). And for something completely different, we’ll teach you the art of ‘hyperlapse’ – a time-lapse with added movement (page 50). PHOTOSHOP ELEMENTS/CS/CC The latest versions of Photoshop Elements, CS and CC have significant differences from previous versions, with a redesigned interface and major changes to the way Adobe Camera Raw works. We are now producing most of our tutorials with these newer versions, and while it’s possible to follow the lessons in older versions with a little adaptation, we recommend upgrading. OUR VIDEO GUIDES FOLLOW OUR NEW TUTORIALS IN PRINT AND VIDEO NEW PROJECTS! PROJECT Shoot architecture 44 Kit lens series part 3: PROJECT Elements part Basic hyperlapse movie tools in Elements 48 Raw inedits in ACR 1: 50 Create an amazing 64 Choosing and using MASTERCLASS and Marquee tools 66 Master the Lasso traffic trails in the ‘blu 68 Capture e hour’
  39. 39. Skills Architectural photography Your guide Claire Gillo MASTER YOUR KIT LENS: PART 3 Shoot architecture with your kit lens Get great shots of buildings and industrial landscapes with a 18-55mm lens Checklist What you’ll need • Kit lens (18-55mm)• Tripod • Photoshop Elements How long it’ll take Half a day The skills you’ll learn How to use leading lines to create a strong composition How to shoot in Raw using the Monochrome picture style How to convert your image to black and white in Elements 44 | PhotoPlus February 2014 I n the third part of our series on getting great images with your 18-55mm kit lens, we’re going to show you how to shoot architecture. We’ve chosen an industrial scene for our shoot, but the techniques will work for all kinds of buildings and other structures, both old and modern. The main thing to be aware of when you’re shooting architecture is lens distortions. All lenses produce distortions to some extent, but the effects are more obvious in architectural shots because they generally contain lots of straight lines. Your kit lens won’t control distortions as well as more expensive zoom or prime lenses, so for the best results you should avoid the extremes of the focal range – wide settings will introduce barrel distortion, which causes straight lines to bow outwards, while narrow settings can create pincushion distortion, where lines bow inwards. You’ll also want to minimise perspective distortion or ‘converging verticals’. This occurs when you angle your lens upwards to shoot tall buildings from close up, and while it isn’t caused directly by your lens – you’d see a similar effect with the naked eye – lenses exaggerate the effect, particularly at wider zoom settings. We’ll show you how to process your Raw image in ACR, and then convert it to black and white in Elements to emphasise the dramatic shapes and textures.
  40. 40. WATCH THE VIDEO Claire Gillo http:/ / PhotoPlus February 2014 | 45
  41. 41. Skills Architectural photography Phrase Book Tilt-shift lenses Tilt-shift lenses are designed to equip a D-SLR with some of the adjustments facilitated by largeformat cameras. The shift adjustment can be used to correct perspective distortion, and the tilt adjustment to alter the plane of focus; aligning the plane to the length of a receding subject ensures the subject is in focus along its entire length, even at wide aperture settings. Canon currently offers four tilt and shift (T-SE) lenses: 17mm, 24mm, 45mm and 90mm; they don’t come cheap however, starting at around £1,100. Compose and focus Location and position For our shoot we chose cranes on Bristol’s historic harbourside. When you’re looking for a location you need to think carefully about where to set up your camera; if you’re shooting tall buildings, to avoid perspective distortion move further back and look for a higher vantage point, rather than shooting close up at your lens’s widest setting and with the camera angled upwards. For our shot we concentrated on the form and structure of the cranes, and used the train tracks and the railings on the platform as leading lines. Focus the shot manually, using Live View to ensure that key details are sharp. We timed our shot to coincide with the train pulling away from the platform, so we could capture the steam to add interest to the image. Raw adjustments Shooting settings Super Tip! If you’re not able to avoid capturing a shot with ‘converging verticals’ you can correct the distortion in Elements using the Correct Camera Distortion filter, by dragging the Vertical Perspective slider left to straighten the vertical lines. When you do this, however, you’ll lose information from the top and sides of the image, so you’ll need to plan ahead and leave space around a subject if you don’t want to lose the top of a church spire, for example. 46 | PhotoPlus February 2014 Set your camera up on a tripod. As we want to keep the detail in our scene sharp from front to back select Aperture Priority (Av) mode, set the aperture to f/16 for a broad depth of field and set the ISO to 100 for maximum quality; the camera will set the shutter speed automatically for a good exposure. Mono preview Choose the Raw quality setting, and select the Monochrome picture style so that you can see how the image looks in black and white; as long as you shoot Raw, the picture style won’t be applied to the file when you open it in Elements, so you’ll be able to convert it using the colour information; if you shoot JPEGs the style will be applied, and can’t be changed. Open the start file in ACR. To straighten the image, select the Straighten tool and draw a line along the horizontal line halfway up the foreground crane, then right-click inside the crop box, select the 2 to 3 ratio and adjust the crop for a tighter composition. Hit Enter to level and crop the image. Set Exposure to +0.15, Highlights to -25 to recover the highlights, and Shadows to +12 to bring out shadow detail. Set Clarity to +25 to enhance the midtone contrast. Convert to black and white Click Open Image to open the image in Elements’ Expert/Full Edit mode, and press Ctrl+J to copy the ‘Background’ layer. Go to Enhance > Convert to Black and White, select the Infrared preset to create a mono image with plenty of contrast, and click OK. Next we’ll remove most of the people from the scene. Download project files from:
  42. 42. Next issue Shoot perfect pet portraits with your kit lens Super Tip! Clone away the people Select the Clone Stamp tool, and carefully clone out the most prominent figures using suitable areas of detail, Alt-clicking to sample pixels. To clone out the top half of the man taking a photo in the bottom-left of the shot, for example, sample the grey pier and red doors from just above him. Adjustment layers Next we’ll use adjustment layers to tweak the exposure and contrast in different areas, using layer masks to hide and reveal the effects. To boost the contrast in the steam, add a Levels adjustment layer and set the Shadows slider to 20, Midtones to 0.71 and Highlights to 250. Click the layer mask, press Ctrl+I to invert it from white to black and hide the effect, then take the Brush tool and paint over the steam with a white brush at 50% opacity to reveal the adjustment. Add a tint Add a third Levels layer to boost the overall contrast, setting the Shadows slider to 14 and the Highlights slider to 231. Next add a Photo Filter adjustment layer to apply a warm tint to the image; leave the Filter option set to Warming Filter (85), and increase Density to 50%. Blend the layer Change the layer’s blending mode to Overlay to boost the contrast, and reduce the opacity of the layer to 28% to tone down the effect. Target the layer mask, and paint over the darker parts of the image with a black brush at 50% opacity to reduce the effect a bit more. Next target the top layer in the stack, and press Ctrl+Alt+Shift+E to create a merged layer. Dodge and burn Lighten the building Add another Levels adjustment layer, and this time set Shadows to 20, Midtones to 1.49 and Highlights to 251. Invert the layer mask as before, and paint over the building on the left with a white brush at 50% opacity to lighten it and boost the contrast. The sky in our image is fairly flat, so select the Clone Stamp tool, set its opacity to 50%, Alt-click to sample parts of the steam cloud and clone the steam over the sky. To finish off use the Dodge and Burn tools to lighten and darken areas to enhance the contrast and emphasise particular features. Set the Exposure for both tools to 10% so you can build up the effect gradually, and select the tonal range you want to lighten or darken from the Range menu. Q When you’re using the Clone Stamp tool you can display a preview of the sampled pixels to help you align them with surrounding detail. Click the Clone Overlay button in the Options panel, tick Show Overlay, and tick the Clipped option so the preview is only visible within the brush tip. If you don’t enable the Clipped option you’ll see a floating duplicate of the entire layer after you’ve sampled pixels – this can be useful in some situations if you reduce the opacity of the overlay, but it makes retouching smaller areas difficult. Phrase Book Picture styles For our shoot we’re simply using the Monochrome picture style on our D-SLR to preview the scene in black and white, and converting the image to mono in Elements. If you want to try out all of Canon’s picture styles post-shoot, and adjust the settings for different styles, such as contrast and colour saturation, you’ll need to process your Raw file in Canon Digital Photo Professional, which comes with your camera. ACR includes emulations of some Canon picture styles in the Camera Calibration panel, but not Monochrome. PhotoPlus February 2014 | 47
  43. 43. Skills Elements Essentials WATCH THE VIDEO RAW IN ELEMENTS: PART 1 Basic edits in ACR Process your Canon Raw files in Photoshop Elements’ built-in digital darkroom, the Camera Raw editor http:/ / Your guide George Cairns W e generally recommend you shoot Raw files on your Canon D-SLR, for maximum image quality and flexibility at the editing stage. Raw files contain much more brightness and colour information than JPEGs, and this enables you to recover detail in blown-out highlights or underexposed shadows that would be lost if you shot JPEGs. Before you can edit Raw (.CR2) files in Elements’ main editor, or print and share them, you need to process them in a program such as Adobe Camera Raw (ACR) or Canon’s Digital Photo Professional. In this new series we’ll show you how to process Raw shots in ACR, starting with a look at its key tools and features. The Camera Raw toolbar DNG file Zoom tool The Basic panel Tabs & panels Histogram White Balance Our start image has been saved as a digital negative file (DNG, which is Adobe’s standardised Raw format), so it will open in Elements’ Camera Raw editor by default. You can zoom into a shot by clicking, or clicking-and-dragging, with the Zoom tool; hold down Alt and click to zoom out. If the Hand tool is active, hold down Ctrl to toggle the Zoom tool. The Basic panel contains tonal and colour adjustment tools, and Detail contains noiseremoval and sharpening tools. Camera Calibration enables you to emulate Canon picture styles. Just like the histogram on your D-SLR, this graph shows the spread of tonal information in an image, from shadows at the left, through the midtones to highlights on the right. Use the menu to change the White Balance preset you chose in-camera. You can use the Temperature slider to warm up or cool down a shot, or Tint to remove or add magenta or green. Crop tool Straighten tool Red Eye Removal Exposure Shadows Vibrance To level a tilted shot, draw along a line that should be vertical or horizontal and hit Enter; the image will be levelled and cropped in one go. To remove red-eye caused by your camera’s flash, click once on a pupil, or click-anddrag to draw a selection around the entire eye. The Exposure slider enables you to lighten or darken a shot as if you were applying exposure compensation in camera – the scale is calibrated in f/stops. Drag Shadows right to lighten shadows without altering brighter tones; if you lose contrast in the shadows, drag Blacks left to darken the darkest tones. The Vibrance slider enables you to boost the saturation of the weaker colours in your images without oversaturating stronger colours or skin tones. Right-click on your image to choose a crop ratio, draw a crop and hit Enter to apply it. You can modify a crop at any time by selecting the Crop tool again. 48 | PhotoPlus February 2014 White balance tool You can remove a colour cast by clicking on a tone that should be white or neutral grey with this tool; the colours throughout the image will be adjusted.
  44. 44. Photoshop Elements STEP BY STEP Enhance a Raw image with ACR Phrase Book Settings menu Open in ACR Clarity for contrast Open the start file in Elements. As the file is a .dng (Digital Negative, which is Adobe’s standardised Raw format) it will open in the Camera Raw editor by default. The Basic tab is where you make your exposure, colour and contrast adjustments. All the sliders are set to 0 by default; drag a slider right to lighten tones or intensify an effect, or left to darken tones or reduce an effect. The clouds are mostly flat-lit midtones, so look rather bland. By dragging the Clarity slider right to around +40 you can increase the contrast between the midtones, to tease out texture and detail – this also brings out detail in the sand and rocks, and gives the shot more impact. When editing portraits you can use a negative Clarity value to smooth a subject’s skin. Level and crop Vibrance and Saturation The horizon in our image is tilted. To level the shot, take the Straighten tool from the toolbar, click-and-drag to draw a line along the horizon, and hit Enter to apply – the image will be levelled and cropped in one go. You can also level an image ‘by eye’, by drawing a crop box with the Crop tool and then clicking-and-dragging outside the box to rotate it. Our start image looks a little flat and drab, so drag the Saturation slider right to +10 to give the colours a boost. To give the image’s paler tones a further boost without oversaturating the stronger colours, set Vibrance to +55. Click the Preview box at the top of the interface to compare the edited image with the original. Lighten the shadows Close the file Our shot lacks detail in the darker midtones, but if we increased the Exposure value to lighten those tones we’d also blow out the brightest highlights, which at the moment are well exposed. To lighten just the shadows, without affecting either the brighter tones or the very darkest tones, move the Shadows slider right, to around +50. After processing a Raw file, you can click Done to save the image with the new ACR adjustment settings; you can then reopen the image at any time to fine-tune your adjustments. If you want to continue editing an image in Elements’ Full Edit/Expert mode, using tools such as adjustment layers and filters that aren’t available in ACR, click Open Image. Q The Settings menu, which you open by clicking the menu icon to the right of the tabs, enables you to quickly compare different sets of adjustments. Image Settings reverts you to the settings that were applied to a shot when you opened it (which will be the Camera Raw defaults if you’ve opened an image for the first time). Camera Raw Defaults returns you to the default settings after you’ve made changes. Previous Conversion applies the settings from the Raw image you last worked on in ACR, so it’s handy for a batch of similar shots. ‘Custom Settings’ reapplies the last settings you configured yourself. Download start image at: Super Tip! The Clarity slider is a great tool for adding punch to images that contain lots of texture and detail, but which don’t have much contrast. Rather than simply increasing contrast between the lightest and darkest tones like the Contrast slider, it boosts the contrast between the midtones in areas of detail. It’s perfect for bringing out the textures in the rocks in our image, and it also works well for stonework, foliage, or for ‘character’ portraits of older subjects. PhotoPlus February 2014 | 49
  45. 45. Jack Fisher Skills Create a hyperlapse! WATCH THE VIDEO http:/ / Your guide Jack Fisher PROJECT Create a hyperlapse! Master the shooting skills and editing techniques you’ll need to create a stunning time-lapse movie, using tracking shots for extra dynamism A time-lapse is essentially a sequence of photos taken at regular intervals and then compiled into a movie to create the effect of speeding up time. Typical time-lapses may show a flower blooming over the course of a couple of minutes, or an entire day compressed into a few seconds. A hyperlapse takes things a step further. It’s a form of time-lapse photography, but rather than the camera remaining stationary its position is changed between each exposure to create a tracking shot, giving the movie a dynamic sense of movement. This added dimension naturally means more work, both to capture the shots and create the movie, than for a standard time-lapse. In this tutorial I’ll show you the techniques I used to achieve the long tracking shots in my hyperlapse film Bath in Motion (see Such a movie takes many weeks to plan, shoot and edit, so to keep things simple I’ll show you how to create a short hyperlapse sequence. My post-production workflow is to batchedit the Raw files in Adobe Lightroom, and then assemble the time-lapse in a specialist application called LRTimelapse. I then use STEP BY STEP Plan, shoot and edit a hyperlapse Checklist What you’ll need Tripod • variable ND filter • remote shutter release • Google Picasa • Adobe After Effects How long it’ll take One day The skills you’ll learn How to plan a hyperlapse and shoot the component images How to combine the individual shots into a movie How to smooth out your movie in Adobe After Effects 50 | PhotoPlus February 2014 Plan the sequence Work out the path you want the hyperlapse to follow (flat ground will make it easier to stabilise your sequence). It can be helpful to mark out the path using features, such as bricks or paving slabs, to keep a consistent interval between camera movements for smooth sequences; alternatively, use chalk and a rope marked every metre or so to draw a path on the ground for the hyperlapse to follow. You can then align your tripod’s legs on the path after each camera movement. Work out the intervals Next you need to determine the distance interval between each shot. This can be as small as 10cm and as big as 10m, depending on how far away you are from the main subject, and how much time you have; it’s safer to underestimate, and use smaller intervals. If you’re no more than a couple of hundred metres from the main subject, the 50-100cm interval usually produces nice smooth results. Download project files from:
  46. 46. Adobe After Effects Super Tip! Adobe After Effects to smooth out the video, and Final Cut Pro to add the final bells and whistles – linking sequences, adding music and subtitles, and so on. All these programs are available as free trials if you want to give them a go, but the only essential is After Effects, for its Warp Stabiliser feature (see Step 9). For simplicity, I’ve based this tutorial on Google’s free Picasa editor (picasa., which has a Time Lapse feature, and I’ve processed the Raw files and converted them to JPEGs. A final word of advice: hyperlapse is a tricky art to master, and takes a lot of trial and error to get right – so be prepared to fail before you get a truly pleasing result. Choose an anchor point Camera settings Anchor points are reference points for aligning your shots as you move the camera; for example, the top of a flagpole. Use Live View mode, and line up the point with one of the cross-points on the Live View grid. If this isn’t possible, use a tiny piece of Blu Tack on the LCD as the reference point. The stabilising process can crop 10-25% into the frame, so it’s best to use wider focal lengths and stand further back – but don’t shoot below 24mm, as it’s hard to stabilise ultra-wide shots. We need full control over the exposure so the camera doesn’t alter settings; if it does, you’ll get unwanted flickering in the final movie. Select Manual mode, and set the drive mode to One Shot. Set ISO to 100 and set a narrow aperture, around f/16, for a good depth of field. A shutter speed of between 1/60 and 1/2 sec gives a nice motion blur effect; a variable ND filter is useful for consistent exposures. Disable image stabilisation, and manually focus using Live View. The time it takes to create a hyperlapse is divided between the planning, shooting and postprocessing stages; it can be done in as little as an afternoon, but can take much longer. My Bath in Motion film comprises over 30 sequences and several thousand stills, and took threeand-a-half months to complete! Scout locations beforehand; look for flat areas so that you won’t have to adjust the legs of your tripod for every exposure, and walk your intended routes to check for potential problems before you turn up with your kit. How long it takes to shoot a sequence depends on how much ground you want to physically cover, and the interval/distance you leave between each shot and camera movement, but you can reckon on between 45 minutes and four hours. Post-production will take another couple of hours (this is a processor-intensive task, and dependent on the speed of your computer), with a whole lot of waiting for your movie to render. PhotoPlus February 2014 | 51
  47. 47. Skills Create a hyperlapse! Phrase Book Warp Stabiliser Moving your tripod between shots means you’ll end up with shaky footage that’s likely to induce motion sickness in viewers! After Effects’ Warp Stabiliser analyses your footage, and smooths it out by rotating each frame so key features line up. However, as each shot is rotated this creates uneven edges; these are cropped out of the frame, which can lose 10-25%. That’s why you should shoot wider than you think you need too when framing your sequence. As in stills photography, shooting Raw offers quality advantages over JPEGs, enabling you to fine-tune the exposure until it’s spot-on. Obviously it would be enormously time-consuming to edit each Raw file in a sequence of hundreds, but Adobe Lightroom has superb batchediting features; just edit one shot, then apply the settings to all your other shots. While I prefer to work with full-resolution Raw files, these will eat up memory card space and increase the processing time, so you may want to use medium- or lowresolution JPEGs while you’re honing your skills. 52 | PhotoPlus February 2014 Import into After Effects Take a shot using a remote release, then move your tripod and camera the determined distance, lining up two of the tripod legs so they’re on the line you want to track. Align your reference crosshair or Blu Tack with your selected anchor point, and take another shot. Repeat these steps – you’ll want at least 200 frames for a sequence. To create the finished movie we play these frames back at 25 frames per second, so every 25 shots equates to one second of footage. Open After Effects and select Create A New Composition. Choose the setting to correspond to your saved video file: Frame Rate 25fps and Quality 1080 in our case; the other default settings are fine. It’s best to give this file the same name as your original file and append IS (for image stabilisation). Import your video file – it will pop up on the left of the screen – and drag it into the Composition bar in the bottom quarter. Import into Picasa Super Tip! Shooting the sequence Warp Stabiliser Import your photos to your computer, and put them in a folder. Open Picasa, and import the images via the Import button at the top-left of the screen. Once the images have loaded, locate the folder in the panel on the left-hand side of the screen and click the Create Movie Presentation button – the icon is located just above your images, next to the Share button, and looks like a piece of film. Go to Effects > Distort > Warp Stabiliser. This will take a few minutes to adjust and straighten each frame, and the results are quite incredible. If your shot is still a little jerky you can adjust the smoothness of the Warp Stabiliser; the default is 50%, and you can go higher than 100% if necessary, but note that increasing the Warp Stabiliser smoothness also increases the crop factor applied to your hyperlapse. Create the time-lapse Assemble your hyperlapse In the window that opens, select Time Lapse from the Transition Style drop-down menu, and set Slide Duration to 1/25 Sec. Now set the dimensions of your hyperlapse. I usually opt for the highest quality settings of 1920x1080 (1080p); however, in order for our sample images to be a manageable size we’ve resized them to 720x405 pixels. Click Create Movie to assemble your sequence of shots into a movie file. Your hyperlapse is now ready to be stabilised. When you have several sequences ready to combine into a movie you’ll need video software such as Final Cut Pro or Premiere Elements. The Zoom effect is useful for linking clips; the shot of the Royal Crescent in the Bath in Motion film, for example, is two separate hyperlapses; one shot from close up and the other from further back. The clip shot from further back forms the first half of the sequence, with a Zoom transition to the close-up hyperlapse of the Crescent. Q
  48. 48. EE T! FR -OU LL PU Your essential guide Baby, it’s cold outside… stay warm indoors and discover the joys of capturing amazing close-up photos with your Canon D-SLR