Better Photography Online Edition

Better Photography is available four times a year as an online read (as you can see below), or you can download it to your device for offline reading.

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When you subscribe to the paper edition or the full online subscription, you have immediate access to over 36 magazines! There's lots of amazing content to enjoy and learn from.

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Recent Blogs from Better Photography

Click on the headings to read the full article.

Big Trouble With Grand Canyon

One of the many locations in the world that I struggle with (photographically) is the Grand Canyon. I remember before I had visited there the first time, someone told me I would be blown away by the scale. I was sure I would be, because everyone says how big it is, but there are big places in Australia, too.

Yet, knowing all this and thinking I was prepared for 'big space', when I first stepped out of the rental car and looked over the edge, I couldn't help myself, exclaiming "F*%# me, that's huge!!"

Now, I realise you will be utterly shocked to learn that I swear. My parents taught me proper, especially in public. On the other hand, if you have already visited the Grand Canyon, you're probably smiling and remembering your own first encounter with 'big space'.

Yet despite the Grand Canyon being so grand, I struggle to get great shots. Sure, I can take panoramas and overviews, but often there is so much haze that the photos struggle to look impressive. In the photo books you find in the souvenir shops, you see that this style of photograph works best when there's a weather system pushing through. And I guess the more times you go, the greater the chances of finding interesting light.

If the weather isn't cooperating (photographically), then early mornings and late evenings provide me with the best opportunities. If there's direct sunlight, it can be a struggle to deal with the high contrast: deep shadows inside the canyon versus the bright sky above. Before sunrise and after sunset, the light softens out and this is when the above photo was taken. There's also a bit of a colour cast in the file - from memory there was a little cloud over the horizon where the sun was rising - and I've chosen to keep the colour in the final image.

I've also used a telephoto. While everyone should take a grand view and a panorama, if you're looking for images with impact, then I think a telephoto allows you to concentrate on small sections of the Canyon. And there is no shortage of opportunities as you drive along the rim road.

This photo was taken earlier this year on a photo tour with Tony Hewitt, travelling from San Fran to Las Vegas. We're going again next February and there is just one seat left in our luxury van, so if you're interested, check out the website here.

TNT At The Printer

A quick update for everyone who has purchased (or is going to purchase) a copy of The New Tradition!

Up above you can see the book jacket opened in InDesign. There's been a design change to the cover, thanks to Kathie, my wonderful wife and art director!

The book was sent to the printer in Hong Kong a couple of weeks ago. Over the years, I have had Better Photography magazine printed in Hong Kong by Toppan for two reasons, price and quality. In the old days, you could get the same high quality in Australia, but not at the same price (and not always with consistency). These days, the difference in price isn’t so marked, but consistency still seems to be a problem based on other magazines I have had printed in Australia. However, since I have such a great relationship with this printer that spans over 20 years, I actually wanted to print with Toppan.

And they are really looking after me. They know this book is special to me. They know it is an ‘art book’. And we are using all the best materials and processes. We have a new French-fold jacket, all the pages are wet-on-dry machine varnished, we’re printing on a beautiful 157 gsm Moorim matt and the case bound book is section sewn and fully cased with arlin over boards, H&T bands and square backed. So there!

At this stage, the book will not reach Australia until 19 February 2019, based on our current printing schedule. It’s much quicker to print a magazine, but with books, you need to allow extra time for the binding. And you don’t want to rush things – you need to allow time for the ink and glues to dry.

I’m not in a rush. I want this book to be as good as it can possibly be.

And I would like to sign the pre-publication book orders, so while the shipment will arrive in February, Kim and I will need a little more time to unpack the books, open the postage cartons, sign the books, allow them time to dry, repack and address. To complicate matters, I will be in the USA on a photo tour and not back until early March, so it may be mid-March before your book arrives.

But I promise you the wait will be worth it.

As mentioned, my wonderful wife Kathie has re-designed the cover and refined the typography. Just as photographers like to pixel-peep, my wife is a stickler for good design. She gave me a B+ for my original design (and A- for effort), but her final result is now AAA+!

As I write this, some preliminary Xerox proofs are arriving. The printer wants to check they are on the right track and following my approval, they will then deliver a sample of machine wet proofs. This is the ultimate test – actually putting paper through a press so I can see exactly what the results will be like. It’s not a cheap process, of course, but it’s a bit like photography. When you do all the steps correctly, you’re more likely to get a better result!

If you'd like to order a copy of the book at its pre-publication price, or order a copy of the book and a personally printed photograph, click through to the website here. And we can provide gift certificates if you'd like to make this a Christmas gift - just email Kim after you've made the order!

Fujifilm X-T100

THEY ARE GETTING smaller and lighter, but they retain an incredible feature set of useful functions! The latest X-series mirrorless camera from Fujifilm, the X-T100 boasts a high magnification electronic viewfinder, a horizontal tilting rear LCD screen and an extended battery life of up to 430 frames.

The X-T100 weighs just 448 g and features an anodised-coated aluminium top cover, providing a retro look with a luxury feel, Fujifilm claims. The 24.2-megapixel APS-C size sensor is the same as the other X-series interchangeable cameras and it uses a phase detection autofocus system with a newly developed autofocus algorithm that offers faster and more precise focusing.

The standard kit lens is also new, a Fujinon XC15-45mm f3.5-5.6 OIS PZ, a small and light electronic zoom. There are now 26 lenses available in Fujifilm’s extensive line-up, covering a vast focal length range from 15mm to 1200mm (35mm format equivalent), including zoom and prime lenses.

For photographers wedded to their phones and tablets, new Bluetooth low energy technology has been incorporated for quick, easy and automatic transfer of still images to paired devices, using the free smart-device app, Fujifilm Camera Remote. The seamless transfer function provides constant image transfer, even while you’re shooting, enabling images to be shared and uploaded at a moment’s notice. The camera is also compatible with the Fujifilm Instax SP-3 printer, so you can make real photos as well as virtual ones.

Fujifilm suggests that artistic expression is made easy with its unique film simulation and advanced filter modes. The X-T100 offers 11 film simulations and 17 filter effects for your dining pleasure! However, for standard creative photography, all camera settings are quickly and easily made with one-step operation via the function dial, the exposure compensation dial or the touch-and-flick function on the rear LCD monitor.

For more information, visit www.fujifilm.com.au. RRP $1049.

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