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t he worl ds bes t-sel l ing digi tal photo mag a z ine

21-27 AUgu s t

i s s ue 10 0

l o ne w

inspir at ion ide a s in-dep th re v iews


bes t-ever photo t ips!



replace a bland sky

fast in photoshop!

get your shots sharp

from front to back

discover which is the

best budget camera


by Joo Freire
Seascapes dont come much more serene and restful than this.
We especially like the way the subtle, dusky blues of the water
and clouds complement the vivid oranges of the sunset.
TAKEN WITH: Canon 5D Mark II with 16-35mm f/2.8 at 17mm
Exposure: 30 secs at f/11, ISO100


h t t p : // t i n y. c c / z i f u k x

I ts our Birthday!
elcome to the 100th issue
of Photography Week
and an especially warm
welcome to our new readers,
and any of you reading this on an
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time in the planning, but were
thrilled that the magazine is now
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course will enable us to share our
love of photography with a whole
new legion of readers.

If youre already a reader, youll

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paul grogan, editor

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The techniques that every

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The very best images

from around the world

Its cool, that...

The North Korea hyperlapse

with 3 million views on Vimeo


galler y

Can a monkey own copyright?

You tell us what you think...

Crash Course

I N s p iration

Maximise sharpness and depth

of field in your landscapes

elements 12

Replace a bland sky in minutes

with our quick video tutorial


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We take an
in-depth look
at five of the
best entry-level
SLRs and CSCs



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photo tips
To celebrate this milestone issue of
Photography Week, we share our 100
top tips for planning, camera settings,
technique and composition

o mark this very special 100th

issue of Photography Week,
weve come up with the top
100 essential tips and techniques to
help you get better images. Youll
find all you need to know here, from
the basics of setting up your camera
and planning your shoot, to how to
achieve well-exposed and sharp
shots with theminimum of fuss.
Youll learn the best autofocus
modes to use, and when to use
them; how to check your exposures
and how to get the colours right
in-camera; and how you can use
the power of your software to help

polish the results evenmore. There

are also loads of tips on composition,
lighting and creativity, so once youve
nailed the technicalities, but may be
struggling for inspiration or simply
want to improve your shots, youll
find the answers right here.
Whether youre taking your first
steps with your camera, or a more
experienced shooter (and no matter
what subject you want to shoot)
there are tips and techniques here for
everyone. All you need to do is use
the right one next time you are out
shooting, and youll come back with
your best shots ever.

Noise reduction
09 Setting
this to On will
help reduce noise for exposures
of several seconds or more. Be
aware that this takes time though,
so you will have to wait a little
while between exposures.

your camera
10 IfReset
youve been using
extreme settings such as high
ISOs, or exposure compensation,
always remember to return the
settings to normal when you
finish shooting.

11 Format
your cards

Date and time

01 Make
sure that your cameras date and time are set,
as they can help you find your images more easily later on.

100 bes t-e ver photo t ip s

02 Most
cameras allow you to save

your name in the copyright metadata,

so you can keep track of your images.

File naming
03 Change
the file naming to
something more personal, such as
your initials, to make it easier to keep
track of shots.


Upright view

Select whether images shot with

the camera upright are rotated when
you review them on the rear LCD, and
when you come to review them on your
Mac or PC later on.


Focus beep

Make your shooting less intrusive

by turning off the focus confirmation
and timer beeps in the set-up menu.


photo tips

File format
06 For
the best quality images you
need to use raw files, but these can take
longer to write and need processing.
For easier and quicker sharing, choose
the highest-quality JPEG mode.

07 IfColour
youre shooting JPEGs, youll
achieve considerably better results if
you set the colour space to sRGB for
images that are going to be viewed
on-screen or on the web. Adobe RGB
is better for prints and image editing.

Auto distortion
08 Basic
kit lenses can often
produce slightly curved results,
especially at the wide-angle setting
and at the edges of the image. Set the
automatic distortion or lens correction
to On to give better results.

Get in the habit of formatting the

cards in your camera as soon
as you have transferred photos
off them, to ensure that they are
ready for the next time you want
to use them, and so that you can
be sure youve downloaded them
in the first place!

Clean your sensor

12 Save
yourself hours
removing dust spots from
individual images by cleaning
the sensor on your camera as
soon as you notice a significant
number of dust spots on your
images. To check, take a test shot
of, say, a clean sheet of white
paper or a clear blue sky.

13 Clean
and filters

If youve been shooting outside,

always remember to clean your
lenses and filters as soon as
possible when you get back,
rather than leaving them until
you next use your camera.

out your
14 Clean
camera bag

Check that your camera bag is

free from dust or dirt by cleaning
the inside at least every few
months. It will prevent dirt getting
into your camera or lenses.

a bin bag
15 APack
large bag such as a bin
bag can act as an impromptu rain
cover or a ground cover or even
keep you dry when youre caught
out by a rain shower.

100 bes t-e ver phot o t ip s

a cloth
16 AInclude
microfibre cloth is handy
for cleaning the outside of your
camera when on location, before
you put it in your bag.

Take a torch
17 From
finding your way after
dark, to painting your subject with
light, its always worth carrying a
torch on location.


Dont overpack

Dont always take every bit

of kit with you. Its amazing how
liberating it can be to just take
a camera and one lens.

Set a goal
19 Whenever
you go out with
your camera, set yourself a goal
or have a type of image in mind
that you want to shoot.

20 Do

Whether youre photographing

landscapes or outdoor portraits,
the position of the sun is crucial,
so check where its going to be
using a sun position website or a
smartphone or tablet app such
as the Photographers Ephemeris
Otherwise you could turn up at
the perfect location, only to find
the sun is behind a mountain or
building, or shining in completely
the wrong direction.

Check a map
21 Its
always worth checking
a detailed map, online satellite
map or street view of any
location where you are planning
to shoot. Doing this before you
set off means you dont waste
time trying to find the right spot
or route to your location, which
means more time for shooting.

Mark the spot

22 Shoot
signs or information
boards while youre on location:
they can be invaluable for helping
you remember where and what
you have shot and for providing
visual bookmarks. If you use a
camera phone with GPS, you can
also use the location data in the
mapping feature of Lightroom 5.

23 Use
Shift mode

When youre in Program mode, you can

use the input dial to shift the aperture
and shutter speed. Doing this will give
you basic creative control over the
depth of field and motion blur, without
having to change exposure modes.

24 Shooting

If the background is much brighter

than the subject, your camera will tend
to underexpose the shot. To combat
this, you will need to set the exposure
compensation to +1 or +2 to brighten up
the main subject.

25 Shooting

If you are shooting a subject with adark

background, the result will often be
over-exposed. To prevent this,you
should set your exposure compensation
to -1 or -2 to darken the subject.

26 Shutter
Priority mode

Controlling the shutter speed allows

you to freeze or blur moving subjects,
so experiment with using a fast shutter

31 Aperture
Priority mode

Aperture Priority is one of the

most useful exposure modes:
it enables you to control the
depth of field in your images,
as well as the exposure. Try
setting a wide aperture such
as f/4 to blur the background
and foreground of your shots,
or using a small aperture, such
as f/16, to keep more of the
subject sharp from front to
back (see Crash Course).


photo tips

speed such as 1/1,000 sec to freeze

movement, or a slower one, such as
1/15 sec, to create some blur.

Watch your display

27 When
using Aperture Priority or
Shutter Priority mode, make sure that
the camera is able to set a suitable
shutter speed or aperture. If the display
is flashing or showing Hi/Lo, you will
need to change your ISO setting.

Use exposure lock

28 By
filling the frame with your
main subject and using the AE-L button
to lock the exposure before re-framing
your shot, you can often get better
exposures when theres a bright or
dark background.

29 Understand
the histogram

Watch out for gaps showing tothe far

left or right of the histogram, as these
indicate over- or underexposure.

Use RGB histograms

30 Using
the separate colour
histograms will give you even more
information about the exposure of
your shots.

Turn on highlight
32 warning

Setting the image review

display to flash a warning for
over-exposed highlights is a
quick way to check exposure.

Dont rely on
33 the
for raw IMAGES

The histogram is generated from

the JPEG, which is processed
in camera. Theres much more
information in a raw file.

34 Expose
the right

To get the best-quality results

with the least noise, try to use
an exposure giving a histogram
that just reaches the right-hand
edge of the graph. But make
sure that you dont go too far
you dont want to over-expose
the highlights.

35 IfShoot
your whole subject
contains mainly light tones,
you will need to increase the
exposure to get a well-exposed
result. Try setting the exposure
compensation to +2 in order to
get a high-key result.

100 bes t-e ver photo t ip s



photo tips

38 Adjust

Many cameras have the facility to

adjust the viewfinder sharpness using
a feature called diopter adjustment.
Adjust this to ensure you can see
the readout and focus screen in the
viewfinder as clearly as possible.

39 Fine-tune

Even though you may not notice it on

every shot, not every lens focuses
accurately. For critical focusing, you
should adjust the focus for individual
lenses using AF fine-tune in the set-up
menu. Its also a good idea to download
any available lens firmware to ensure its
working as well as it possibly can.

Live View focusing

is especially useful
when shooting
macro images

Use Live View

40 Rather
than using the viewfinder
and autofocus, try using the Live View
screen and Manual for static subjects.
Zoom in on the area that you want to be
sharp, and carefully adjust the focusing.

Shoot low-key
36 Low-key
images mostly
contain dark tones, but to
correctly expose this type of
subject you need to reduce the
exposure. To get a really dark
low-key image, set the exposure
compensation to -2.

USe Bulb mode

37 For
exposures longer than
30 seconds at night, try using
the Bulb exposure mode, which
enables you to keep the shutter
open for as long as you hold
down the shutter release (this
is sometimes accessed using
Shutter Priority mode). Youll
need to use a tripod and remote
release for sharp results, and it
also helps if your remote release
features a lockable shutter
button, so that you dont have
to keep your finger pressed on it
throughout very long exposures.

Select the AF point

41 Rather
than relying on the camera to choose the AF point
automatically, set your camera to single-point AF mode, then
move the active point so that its over the area that you want
to be sharp especially useful when the subject is off-centre.

49 Try

To keep the whole scene sharp

while using a wide-angle lens,
you need to focus around one
third of the way into the scene
andset an aperture of f/16 (see
this weeks Crash Course).

Sharpen using
50 depth
of field

Using a wide aperture to blur the

background can actually make
your subject appear sharper than
when the whole scene is sharp.

Use a tripod
51 Using
a tripod to mount
your camera is the best way to
ensure you achieve sharp results,
especially when youre using
long shutter speeds.

52 Set

The movement of the mirror can

shake the camera on a tripod, so
use mirror lock-up mode if your
camera has it.

53 Turn

Follow the action

42 Try
to continue following moving subjects for as long as
possible after you have taken a shot. It will make your panning
action smoother.

Use focus lock

43 When
your subject is static,
and its in a position where you cant
use an off-centre focus point, position
the subject in the middle and use the
centre focus point, then lock the focus,
and re-frame your shot.


Set the right

AF mode

Always make sure that you use

single servo for static subjects and
continuous servo for moving ones.

45 Practise

Keeping your subject in the same

position in the frame will help you
get better panning shots and sharper
action shots.

46 Pre-focus
on a point

If you are able to predict where the

subject is going to be, pre-focusing
on that spot and then firing off a short
burst is a great way to make sure you
get sharp action shots.


Use the central

AF point

The outer AF points can struggle to

focus in low light, especially when
youre using telephoto lenses, so
use the central point in low light.

48 Use
point groups

When shooting moving subjects, try

using the AF point group option for
more successful focusing.

When using a tripod, you need to

make sure that you turn off any
stabilisation systems, as they can
actually produce softer images.

54 Put
some weight

In windy conditions, you can help

stabilise your tripod by hanging
your camera bag, or similar, off
the centre column.

the wind
55 IfWatch
youre shooting closeups or macro shots in windy
conditions, use your camera
bag to shield the subject.

56 Avoid
minimum aperture

Although its tempting to think

that smaller apertures will
always produce sharper results,
this isnt necessarily the case.
Lenses produce softer results
at apertures such as f/22 than
at f/8 or f/11, so you should
avoid using very small apertures
unless you absolutely have to.

100 bes t-e ver photo t ip s


Use auto ISO

61 Many
cameras allow you to limit
Its essential to get the eyes pin-sharp
when shooting portraits. See tip 59


Brace yourself

If you need to use a slow

shutter speed, particularly when
using long telephoto lenses,
and you dont have a tripod, try
finding a fence, wall or tree to
brace your camera or shoulders
against. Also try kneeling or lying
down to create a more stable
shooting position.

the auto ISO range, so its a great way to

get good results in a range of lighting
conditions, without adding noise.


Use high ISOs

Most cameras will produce great

results at ISO 1,600, but even a slightly
noisy image is better than a blurred one.

63 Set
noise reduction

High settings will reduce noise, but give


photo tips

softer results, while low settings will

make the images sharper, but noisier.

a custom
64 Set
white balance

When shooting in mixed lighting, try

shooting a white or grey subject, and
use this to set a custom white balance.

the wrong
65 Set
white balance

You dont have to aim for neutral

colours. For example, try the daylight
setting at sunset to get warmer colours.

Check your
58 shutter

Even using IS/VR, camera shake

is still one of the most common
reasons for blurred shots, so as
a general rule of thumb, try to
shoot at a shutter speed of 1/the
focal length of the lens or faster
for pin-sharp results so, for
example, 1/100 or 1/125 sec for
a 100mm lens.

Focus on the eyes

59 Make
sure that you
focus accurately on the eyes
of the subject when shooting
portraits, as they are usually
the most important feature.
This is particularly critical if you
are using wide apertures and
shallow depth of field.

Make the most

60 of
direct light

The well-defined shadows

created by high-contrast light
can make your shots look
sharper than those taken in
softer, low-contrast lighting,
so make sure that you shoot in
direct light if you want your shots
to look pin-sharp.

Dont ignore cloudy days

66 The
sun doesnt have to be shining for you to get great
shots. Cloudy days are great for portraits, macro and even details
in the landscape, such as waterfalls. So dont wait for the sun:
shoot more on cloudy days.

Shoot a silhouette
67 Instead
of trying to keep
detail in the foreground in your
sunset shots, look for strong,
recognisable shapes that will
produce a striking silhouette. Set
the exposure compensation to -1
for astronger silhouette.

Shoot into
68 the

Dont always shoot with the sun

behind you: shooting into the light
can produce more interesting
images. Try to position the sun
behind your subject, or an object
such as a tree or building, to help
minimise flare.

Seek out shade

69 The
heavy shadows that
are created by direct sunlight,
especially during the middle of
the day, arent flattering for most
portraits, so look for a shady spot
to produce softer, more pleasant
lighting for your portrait shots.

Soften sunlight
70 Direct
sunlight can produce
some ugly shadows, especially for
portraits and close-ups of flowers
and plants. Try placing a diffuser
between the light and the subject
in order to soften the shadows.

71 Try
and white

The harsh light and strong

shadows during the middle of
a sunny day can be perfect for
producing strong, high-contrast
black-and-white images.

Shoot at twilight
72 The
soft light just after
sunset or before sunrise can
produce striking landscape
shots. Its also a great time of
day to shoot street scenes and
cityscapes, as the sky will have
some colour, instead of being
pitch-black though this may
not always be visible to the eye.


Try using
fill-in flash

Shooting in bright sunlight can

produce shadows on your subject,
so use your built-in flash to lighten
these shadows.

Use a reflector
74 Using
a white or silver reflector can help to lighten
shadows by bouncing light back into the darkest areas of the
subject. You can buy a folding reflector look at the Lastolite
range or make your own from white card or silver foil.

75 Try
slow-sync flash

Shoot moving subjects using a slow

shutter speed and a burst of flash for
some dramatic action shots (right), a
technique that is especially effective
when shooting in low light.

your own
78 Make
flash diffuser

You dont have to buy expensive flash

diffusers when shooting indoors. A
piece of white cloth or thin paper held
between the flash and the subject can
often work just as well.

76 Bounce
flash off a wall

If your flash has a tilt/bounce facility,

experiment by directing the flash off a
wall or ceiling to soften the light.

flash exposure
77 Use

Like any automatic exposure, using

your flash on auto wont always give the
right exposure. Try using -1 or -2 flash
exposure compensation to reduce the
flash exposure or a + value to increase it.

A burst of flash can help to add impact to

panning shots taken in low light. See tip 75

100 bes t-e ver photo t ip s

Keep it simple
79 The
most successful
compositions are often about what
you leave out, so check around the
viewfinder for any elements that dont
add to the composition.

a focal point
80 AFind
lack of a focal point is a
common problem with landscapes and
cityscapes, so look for a subject that
draws your attention, then base the
framing around it.


photo tips

Look for symmetry

81 Although
it goes against many of
the rules of composition, symmetrical
compositions can give your images
a serene, calming appearance. If the
subject has an obvious symmetry,
make the most of it.


Shoot odd numbers

Odd numbers ofobjects tend to

result in a more balanced composition
than even numbers, so if at all possible,
try to be odd!.

Try placing your subject on a third and

framing it with foreground detail (tip 85)

Keep buildings
84 upright

You need to make sure that

you keep the back of the
camera upright when shooting
architecture (or any subject with
obvious vertical lines) to prevent
the subject from looking likeits
leaning backwards.

Make use of
85 natural

Make the most of any objects that

can be used around the edges of
the image to help focus attention
on the main subject.

86 Combine
or more rules

Youll often be able to create more

interesting compositions and add
depth to your shots by using two
or more of the composition rules
together, rather than using just
one in isolation. For example, you
could have a go at positioning
the main subject using the rule
of thirds, then go on to look for
leading lines, foreground interest
or natural frames to use as well.

Break the rules

87 The
rules of composition

Look for reflections

83 Reflections
in glass or water can add interest and
symmetry to many subjects, but also try shooting colourful,
interesting-shaped reflections in isolation for more surreal,
abstract results.

are great for many subjects

and images, but using them all
of the time can be somewhat
restricting. Its always worth trying
out something different, such as
placing the horizon at the very
top or bottom of the frame.

Move closer
88 Often
the simplest way to
improve the impact of a shot is
to move in closer or use a longer
lens to make the subject larger
in the frame. This will help to
eliminate dead space, and
add intimacy to the image,

For abstract images, set a slow shutter

speed and move the camera (tip 98)

the techniques that you know will

work. Simply trying something
new can help give your creativity
a kick-start. Dont worry if you
dont get good results right away:
some techniques just take a little
more practice than others.

98 Use

Angle your camera for impact

89 Shooting
at an angle can make your shots look more
dynamic than keeping the camera level.

Try a high viewpoint

90 Get
above the confines of the
cramped and busy streets by looking
for a high viewpoint for your cityscapes.

Try a low viewpoint

91 Get
an insects eye view by
shooting from ground level, for a fresh
perspective on familiar subjects.


Shoot upwards
for abstracts

Simply point your camera straight

upwards in city streets, woods or
inside buildings.

93 Try
for landscapes

Shooting distant details with a telephoto

lens is perfect for emphasising aerial
perspective and atmosphere.

94 for

Fitting a wide-angle lens for portraits

will allow you to include more of the
background in your shots.

Shoot a triptych
95 Instead
of shooting several
images individually, try to find three
subjects that will work well as a group,
then combine them in a single canvas.

Try a panoramic
96 The
long, thin panoramic format
can add impact to your landscapes,
but you dont need to stitch images
together; high-resolution images can
simply be cropped.

Try a new technique

97 Dont
get stuck in a rut, only using

Not every shot has to be

completely sharp, so why not
tryusing blur to add a sense of
movement to your images? For
more abstract results, try using a
long shutter speed and moving
the camera as you shoot to
produce striking images.

99 aSetproject

For those times when you are

struggling for photographic
inspiration, try to think of a
project or theme to shoot, such
as documenting your family, your
local area, a club or an activity
you are interested in. It will often
help to give your photography
more coherence, and help you
push your creativity.

100 Shoot one

shot every day

Get yourself into the habit of

spotting photo opportunities
by trying to shoot at least one
picture a day. It could be on your
commute, or walking the dog:
just make sure you take your
camera (or cameraphone) with
you to capture something.

Subscr ibe today and Enjoy

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The weeks most inspiring reader photos


Darren Flynn
This personalitypacked photo of a
peacock tree frog
is as engaging
as it is vibrant.
We especially like
the composition,
and the way the
frogs limbs lead
the eye to its
bulging eyes

The weeks most inspiring reader photos

Milky WAY

Kenji Yamamura
McWay Beach in
California has to
be one of the most
beaches in the
world, but this
image is truly
a class apart

A simple rose

Ashley Markham
Images of roses
are ten-a-penny,
but theres a
subtlety to the
lighting in this
shot that sets it
apart. We love the
tight crop, too...

The weeks most inspiring reader photos

Some Kind
of Dream

Trevor J Chapman
This study in blue
has a simplicity
and serenity that
belies how much
work must have
gone into taking it

Flowers in

sarah ward
Double exposures
are tricky to get
right, but Sarahs
stunning portrait
has been brilliantly

The weeks most inspiring reader photos

Shades of Grey

Chris Oliphant
Shot on an Olympus
Stylus 1, this lovely
flower photo is a
mono masterclass


Taken by the
the light of the
moon, which is
visible above the
mountains, this
image of a Fjord
in Norway is a
real winner

The weeks most inspiring reader photos


Garry Lomas
Another characterpacked animal
shot, this time
of Garrys cocker
spaniel Bob in
Snowdonia, UK


Mike Rives
Theres just
enough detail in
this image to make
it work, with the
eye moving from
the wings and the
legs to the eyes
and back again

The weeks most inspiring reader photos

The Kelpies

michael espiner
These 100ft-high
sculptures in Falkirk,
Scotland, are perfectly
suited to black-andwhite, and the vapour
trails leading the eye
to the horse on the
right are a nice touch

Photography Week wants your photos!



Taken a portrait youre particularly proud of? Shot a sensational sunset youd like to
show off? Then join the Photography Week Facebook community and share your best
photos today! Youll get feedback from fellow readers and the Photography Week
team, plus the chance to appear in Xposure, or even on our cover!

I T S C O O L , T H AT
The best thing we ve seen this week

Enter PyongYANG

Prepare to be amazed by the jaw-dropping hyper-lapse video of North Korea

thats chalked up over three million views on Vimeo and counting...
here are time-lapse
videos, and then there are
time-lapse videos or in
this case, hyper-lapse videos (a
hyper-lapse video, for those who
dont know, is a time-lapse that
appears to have been shot with a
smoothly-moving video camera).
Enter Pyongyang has been
co-created by branding pioneer

JT Singh and legendary time-lapse

photographer Rob Whitworth.
Blending time-lapse, slow motion
and animation, the film attempts to
get under the skin of North Koreas
capital like never before, and it
succeeds beyond measure. Both
from a photographic and a cultural
point of view, it is nothing short of a
masterpiece. JT, Rob, we salute you!

h t t p: // t /z31ik x

have your say on the issues that mat ter

Can a monkey own the

copyright to an image,
or does it belong to
the photographer
who set up the shot?
Here are your replies
from Facebook...
photo, but Wikimedias idea (more,
I suppose, to get exposure than
anything else) is like saying that
any photo taken is the property of
the cameras manufacturer and not
the photographer.

Ryan Paraggio

Wanda L Andras
The rights belong to the
camera owner.

Nadine Lianne Spires

I dont know what the monkey
would do with the rights to the

Even if the monkey owned the

copyright instead, its not like
he licensed it to Wikimedia anyway.
Either way they are in the wrong.

Melissa Keeney
I think if it were a human that
took the selfie, it would belong
to that person, but since its an
animal that doesnt have the same
rights or person-ship as a human

then ownership should pass onto

the human who owns the device
the picture was taken with.

Paul Tickle
Been watching this discussion
for a week or so now at last,
some sensible comments. Some
renowned photographers strap
cameras to animals to create
pictures they are still theirs.

Henrik Holm Brask

Well, in a studio (or even in the
field) a photographer can have
an assistant who actually fires the
camera; its not the assistant but the
photographer who owns the right in
those cases, so its the same thing...

Karl Hodge
The law clearly states that
copyright resides with the
*person* that creates the image
(or other work). A monkey is not a
person, so it cannot have rights
conferred to it. The argument, then,
is what happens to those rights?
There could be an argument that
they pass into the public domain.

Richard S Tadman
The monkey has no legal
capacity to contract nor make
rational decisions on the use of the
image. If I was [the photographer]
David Slater I would argue that I
was the monkeys agent and play
Wikimedia at their own game.


To tie in with our round-up of the best entry-level SLRs and compact
system cameras (see this issues Take Five), we were wondering:

WHat was your first EVER camera, and what did you lOVE/LOATHE AbOUT IT?

crash course

How to ge t your
l andsc apes sharp
How do you get nearby objects and distant horizons sharp at the
same time? Rod Lawton explains the mysteries of depth of field
Most photographers
love landscape
photography, as it
gives you a chance to
get out into the countryside with
your camera. But it can often
be hard to get scenic shots that
are as sharp as you want. Its not
just a matter of setting a small
aperture and using a tripod,
you need to take full control
of depth of field
Depth of field is the range
of sharp focus in front of and
behind your main subject. With
shallow depth of field, the
background quickly goes out of
focus. This is great for shooting


portraits, for example, where you

want to concentrate attention
on your subject. However, in
landscape photography the
whole scene is your subject, and
you want as much depth of field
as possible to make everything
in the picture sharp, from the
flowers and stones at your feet to
a distant treeline on the horizon.
A number of factors affect the
depth of field. The focal length
or zoom setting of your lens is
one: a wide-angle setting will
give more depth of field, while a
telephoto setting will give less.
The aperture is a factor too: wide
apertures give shallow depth of

field, while narrow apertures

give more depth of field.
A lot depends on where you
focus. If your subject is close
to the camera, the depth of
field will be quite shallow, but
if its further away, the depth
of field increases. Like a lot of
photographic theory, it all starts
to make more sense when you
actually try it out.
And there is a way to make
depth of field much simpler
when youre shooting landscape
photographs. Its called the
hyperfocal distance, and its
explained in depth at the end
of this tutorial.


The effects of zooming If we shoot this scene with a

standard kit lens at its widest focal length, there doesnt
appear to be a depth-of-field problem at all everything is
sharp. But if we zoom in to the lenss maximum 55mm focal
length, we can now see that only our subject is sharp.

Switch to A mode We like this composition, and using a

longer focal length is the only way to get it, so if we want
more depth of field we need a smaller aperture. If youre using P
mode, the camera chooses the aperture and shutter speed, so to
take control you need to switch to aperture priority mode.



Change the lens aperture Now turn the dial to choose

the aperture setting. This is displayed either on the status
LCD on the top or the main LCD on the back of the camera. Weve
set the aperture to f/16 here. You could set it smaller, but the
picture quality starts to fall off due to diffraction effects.

See the difference At f/5.6, the widest aperture

available at this zoom setting, both the background and
the plants in the foreground are out of focus, but at f/16, much
more of the scene comes out sharp. But we can extend depth of
field even further by adjusting what we focus on

TOP TIP Sky control

In order to get the lines of lavender to converge into the distance we had to shoot
into the light. The sky was very bright and showed almost no detail. This is a very
common problem in landscapes (see this weeks Photoshop section). The solution was
to use a graduated filter. This darkens the sky without affecting the rest of the picture,
and you can get them in different strengths to suit the conditions.




Maximise the depth The trick is not to focus on either

the foreground or the background. If you focus on the
foreground, the background will go out of focus, and if you focus
on a detail in the background, the foreground will be blurred. To
make both come out sharp, you need to focus between them.

Choose your focus point There are two ways to do this.

One is to leave the camera set to autofocus, but manually
position the focus point. You may find it easier to switch to Live
View and use the multi-selector to place the focus point where
you want it it should be a third of the way up the frame.

Set your lens For this you need a lens with a distance
scale. Our 18-55mm kit lens didnt, but most others do.
Use your judgement if the markings are far apart depth-offield calculations make it sound like a precise science, but the
sharpness falls away slowly, so you dont have to be too precise.

Check the figures Or you can switch to manual focus

and use an app like Field Tools to work out the hyperfocal
distance. This places distant objects at the far limit of depth of
field, and so maximises depth of field. At a focal length of 55mm
and aperture of f/16, our app says we need to focus at 9.5m

TOP TIP Hyperfocal distance tables

To use these tables look up the aperture and focal length you are using for your type
of camera. This will tell you the distance to focus at (the hyperfocal distance) to get
as much of the foreground in focus as well as the horizon (infinity), and the depth of
field range youll get. You can download a PDF copy of them from,
which you can print out at home or carry on your smartphone.


h t t p : // t i n y. c c / 5l s p j x


repl ace a l acklus tre sk y

Select and remove a boring sky and replace it with a more attractive one

Last week we demonstrated

how to enhance a shots sky
by gradually darkening the
tones and saturating the
colours towards the top of the frame.
That technique works well if there are
lots of colours and tones to work with,
but if your photographs sky is simply
a mass of overcast clouds then itll be
too bland to enhance using a graduated
adjustment layer. If an object such
as a tall tree overlaps the sky in the


top of the frame then the graduated

adjustment layer will also darken it.
A cloudy sky can add mood and
drama to a shot if it has enough variety
and texture. However, when shooting
landscapes you may end up with
blown-out skies that lack detail. If you
shoot in raw then you may be able
to claw back missing highlight detail,
but with JPEGs youll be stuck with an
over-exposed cloudy sky. Fortunately
you can use Photoshops selection and

masking tools to replace a bland

or over-exposed sky with something
more textured and colourful.
Well show you how to set up the
Magic Wand tool to hunt out all sky
pixels in a few clicks. When removing
sky from a finely textured area such
as our tree branches you run the risk
of leaving fringes of the original sky
clinging to the edge of twigs. Well show
you how to modify the initial selection
to lose these ugly fringes.

WANT TO Learn Elements faster? Get the whole course now!

If you dont want to wait a whole year to learn Photoshop Elements 12 you can download Georges whole
course from the Photography Week app for just $19.99/11.99. Well be including one part of the course every
week until the end of the year in the magazine, so the choice is yours: wait and take the course for free, or buy
it now and learn faster, with all the videos in one place!

ta k e

Best budge t c amer as

What gives the best image quality for the least outlay? Matthew Richards
puts the best affordable SLRs and CSCs through their paces to find out

1 Canon EOS 1200D with 18-55mm lens, $549/429

2 Fujifilm X-M1 with 16-50mm lens, $799/429
3 Nikon D3300 with 18-55mm lens, $647/499
4 Olympus PEN E-PM2 with 14-42mm lens, $329/339
5 Panasonic Lumix DMC-G6 with 14-42mm lens, $648/489
ot so long ago, buying a serious system
camera meant buying an SLR (single-lens
reflex) camera. Nowadays, though, this
tried-and-trusted formula faces increasingly stiff
competition from CSCs (compact system cameras).
The most attractive facet of CSCs, especially
those without built-in viewfinders, isthat theyre
so small. The omission of the mirror and viewfinder
assembly enables a slimmer, shorter build, along
with the possibility of considerable weight-saving.

One component you wont find in anycamera

in this price sector is a full-frame image sensor,
so called because its the same size as a 35mm
film frame i.e. 36x24mm. The most common
sensor format is APS-C (Advanced Photo System
- Classic), which boasts aphysical size of about
23x15mm, and appears in most of the cameras
weve put to the test here.
Ultimately, the most important thing about
any entry-level system camera is that it delivers
great image quality and makes life easy for those
just starting out, yet has sufficient functions and
features to grow with you as you develop your
skills and experience. Want to know which budget
camera is best for you? Lets take a closer look
at what all the contenders have to offer

Take five: Best budget cameras on test

C anon
w i t h 18-55mm l ens 429 / $549
minently popular as an SLR for beginners,
the Canon EOS 1100D is over three years
old. Its refresh comes in the shape of its
direct replacement, the 1200D. Despite still being
on the bottom rung of Canons SLR ladder,
the new camera boasts significant
improvements over the 1100D. The
maximum pixel count for still images
gets a boost from 12.2MP to 18MP,
while the video format is upgraded
from 720p to 1080p.
The 1200D is also a cleverer camera
than its predecessor. It adds an intelligent
auto-shooting mode, basedon analysis
of any given scene. Creative filters are another
addition, including options for toy camera and
fisheye. Theres even EOS Companion, an app you
can add to your iOS or Android smartphone or

tablet for learning photographic tips and tricks.

However, the Guide shooting mode thats actually
built into the Nikon D3300 is more useful at
least for those of us with only two hands.
The 1200D retains the 1100Ds ageing Digic
4 image processor, whereas other recent
Canon SLRs and even the EOS M CSC
have newer Digic 5 or 5+ processors.
At least the LCD screen is improved
from a 2.7-inch, 230,000-dot screen to
a 3.0-inch, 460,000-dot display. That
said, it has the joint-lowest resolution
inthis group, matching the E-PM2 while
failing to deliver that cameras touchscreen.
The nine-point AF system works well in most
situations, but can struggle in dull lighting. The
3fps maximum drive rate is also slow, and wed
hoped for less noise when shooting at high ISOs.

Take five: Best budget cameras on test

w i t h 16-50mm l enS 429 / $799
espite using the same-size APS-C image
sensor as most SLRs, the X-M1 is much
more compact. Its only a little bigger and
heavier than the Olympus E-PM2, the smallest and
lightest camera on test. The 16-50mm lens is
also reasonably diminutive, considering it
doesnt have the retracting design of
the Nikon and Olympus kit lenses. It
offers the widest viewing angle in the
group, equivalent to a 24mm lens.
As with the Olympus and Samsung
cameras, a key downsizing element
is the omission of a viewfinder, so
youre limited to composing shots on the
rear display. The 3.0-inch screens 920,000-dot
resolution helps here, as does a tilt mechanism.
However, the screen is more reflective than those
in competing CSCs. Theres also no touchscreen.

The X-M1 uses Fujifilms X-mount system, for which

a growing number of quality lenses are available.
The camera should be able to take full advantage
of these thanks to its X-Trans image sensor design,
which omits an optical low-pass filter. Even
so, at 16.3MP, the pixel count is down on
other APS-C cameras in the group.
Build quality feels tough and solid,
although handling suffers from the
slimness of the finger grip. Controls
are well thought out. Intelligent auto
and basic modes are supplemented
with advanced shooting modes. Wi-Fi is
supported by a free iOS and Android app.
The contrast-detection AF is sluggish but
performs well, even in dull lighting conditions.
Metering is accurate, too, though it tends to slightly
under-expose high-contrast scenes.

Take five: Best budget cameras on test

w i t h 18-55mm l ens 499 / $647
ravel-friendly for a full-blown SLR, the
D3300 isnt massively bigger than the
Panasonic Lumix G6: its just 2mm wider
and 5mm deeper than the latters 122x85x71mm.
The carrying size has also been minimised
by the new 18-55mm VR II kit lens, which
retracts when not inuse.
Beginner-friendly features include
anewly enhanced Guide shooting
mode, which serves as an interactive,
illustrated guide to photography. A
key enhancement over the previous
D3200 is that the low-pass filter has been
removed, theoretically enabling greater
retention of fine detail in images. This has trickled
down from more advanced cameras in Nikons
current line-up, including the D7100 and D800E.
Other shooting modes include the usual intelligent

auto, exposure and scene modes, plus a barrage

of special effects.
Build quality feels a cut above that of the 1200D,
thanks to an innovative monocoque design in
which the main body shell is fabricated as a
single piece. As a result, the D3300 feels
a little more solid, despite being 20g
lighter. The 3.0-inch LCD has double
the detail of the 1200Ds, at 921,000
pixels, although it lacks articulation
or a touchscreen facility. The Nikon
also beats the Canon for sensitivity,
stretching a stop further in its standard
and expanded ranges to ISO 12,800 and ISO
25,600 respectively.
Autofocus isa little faster in the Nikon, and
slightly more effective in low light. The Nikon also
has two more AF points for a total count of 11.

Take five: Best budget cameras on test

w i t h 14-42mm l ens 339 / $329
he E-PM2 looks more likea basic
snap-shooter than a serious camera
at first glance, thanks to its disarmingly
simple design. It even lacks a mode dial, while
buttons are kept to a minimum.
However, advanced shooting modes
and a wealth of effects modes are all
present and correct. Its just that you
have to embark on a little more menu
navigation than usual. Beginners will
find the Live Guide a useful addition.
Were generally keen supporters
ofdirect-access buttons for as many
shooting parameters as possible. However,
considering the small size of the E-PM2, theres
something to be said for reducing clutter.
As a Micro Four Thirds camera, theE-PM2 has
a range of lenses and other accessories available,

from both Olympus and other manufacturers. The

14-42mm kit lens supplied with the camera is tiny;
it has a similar retractable design to the Nikon but
ismuch smaller overall.
Even though the E-PM2 packs 16.1MP
into its small Micro Four Thirds sensor,
sensitivities of up to ISO 25,600 are
available. The standard ISO range in
auto tops out at just ISO 1,600, but you
can increase this in custom settings.
Focusing on specific areas is aided
bythe touchscreen display, but the
camera fails to take full advantage of
touch facilities for menu selections. Here,
theres more reliance on the directional pad.
Autofocus itself is surprisingly fast, rivalling
the Canon and Nikon cameras in their preferred
phase-detection modes, at least using kit lenses.

Take five: Best budget cameras on test

w i t h 14-42mm l ens 489 / $648
hunkier than the other CSCs on test, the
Panasonic G6 adds the luxury of a built-in
viewfinder and flash. The 1.44MP OLED
viewfinder is particularly good.
Other aspects of handling also bring the
G6 closer to an SLR than any of the
other CSCs on test. Theres a full-sized
hand grip that enables comfortable
handheld shooting, along with a wellstocked mode dial and no fewer than
seven customisable function buttons.
Two of these are virtual buttons,
enabled by the touchscreen facility ofthe
LCD. The LCD is also unique inthis group for
featuring full articulation, rather than being fixed
or merely having a tilt option.
Theres a wealth of advanced scene modes
and artistic effects on the main mode dial, as

well as two custom settings to satisfy more

advanced photographers. Like the Olympus
Micro Four Thirds camera on test, the G6 has a
16.1MP image sensor, but this time the sensitivity
range stretches from ISO 160-12,800, while
equalling the latters maximum value of
ISO 25,600 in expanded mode.
Despite the cameras sophistication
in all other areas, including built-in WiFi, theres a slight frustration for fans of
long exposures. The maximum length
of a Bulb exposure is just two minutes,
compared with 30 for the Olympus.
Metering is both accurate and consistent,
while Autofocus is as speedy asin the Olympus
E-PM2. Colour rendition is natural and lifelike,
with image quality thats just as impressive as
the cameras handling.

ta k e F I V E
Best budget cameras on test

C anon EOS 1200D

429 / $549

w inner

Fujif il m X-M1

429 / $799

Nikon D3300

w i th 18-55mm lens
ending off competition
Unlike the other CSCs in the
from increasingly
group, it comes complete with
sophisticated compact
a built-in electronic viewfinder
system cameras, Nikons D3300
and a very good one at that.
proves that SLRs are still hard to Its articulated touch-sensitive
beat, both in terms of image
OLED screen is similarly
quality and handling. The
impressive, beating that
D3300s 24.2MP sensor
of the Nikon, and the
captures extraordinary
Panasonic also adds
levels of fine detail,
built-in Wi-Fi. Image
helped by the
quality is almost as
omission of a
good but drops off
e xcell ence
low-pass filter. Its
at high ISO settings.
new-generation Expeed
Its actually beaten
4 processor also helps to
in that respect by the
deliver excellent image quality,
Olympus E-PM2, which delivers
even at very high ISO settings,
sumptuous image quality from
along with afast 5fps burst rate.
a relatively tiny, lightweight
The Panasonic DMC-G6 is
package. The Olympus is also
also a tempting proposition.
excellent value for money.

Nikon D3300

499 / $647

Oly mpus PEN E-PM2

339 / $329

Pana sonic L umi x DMC-G6

4 89 / $64 8


THE MAKERS OF Photography week



N-Photo is a monthly
magazine for Nikon
photographers, and is
packed with technique
and Photoshop video
lessons every month.

Links to ALL videos incLuded!

Photo mAgAzine of the yeAr!

Issue 36 Summer 2014

new! teach yourself photoshop videos

August 2014
Issue 90

mAster your

Expert tips, guides and videos!

suMMer sKILLs!

NEW NIkoN D810

fuLL frAme
Full-size sensor, 36 million pixels, redesigned from
the inside out... is this the best D-SLR ever? p88

Capture your best shots of the summer

with our easy D-SLR photography guides

ThE No.1
maGazINe fOr




experT advIce

How to

Six Nikon-fit cable releases tried and tested p104



How it works, when to use it p66

Make a career from your camera we ask

eight top pros what it takes p26

canon pro tIps

How to shoot landmarks & landscapes


My goal is to show and share the

beauty of the natural world when you
love something, you want to protect it.

Vincent Munier, Nature photographer p76

fiLter heAven

Digital Camera

the s
cove ctive
erato read
an ar

Wedding portraits
super test!

specialist lenses
for unique shots

nikon skiLLs

Fisheye, tilt-shift, primes

and diffractive optics

Babies, bokeh and

sensor spots p41

13 free VIDEOs

Learn PhotoShoP cc & Lightroom the eaSy way!

The definitive guide

to SLR photography

august 2014

A monthly magazine
that aims to improve
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an inspirational mix of
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Learn the key skills so youre
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pair of celebrity photographers p8

Stunning photos from

fellow Nikon fans p20

guiDe to
Live view &

trade secrets!

Top tips for brilliant people shots from a

Be insPired

Lees Deluxe filter kit

has all you need! p100

PhotoPlus is a monthly
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Master the art of...


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Mouth-watering shots
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Six SLRs shoot it out in our

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