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Better Photography Online Edition

Better Photography is available four times a year (at www.betterphotographyeducation.com) as an online read or you can download it to your device for offline reading.

Huge Digital Archive Resource!

When you subscribe to the paper edition or the full online subscription, you have immediate access to over 45 magazines online! There's lots of amazing content and ideas to enjoy and learn from.

Or Purchase The Paper Edition

If you like reading a physical magazine printed on paper, subscribe to our paper edition and receive the online subscription as well!

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Enjoy a sample copy of Better Photography online!

Recent Blogs from Better Photography

Click on the headings to read the full article.

An Amazing Location - but Only for Photographers with Imagination

Winterton River and tributary, Middlehurst, New Zealand
Phase One XF 100MP with 80mm Schneider lens, f2.8 @ 1/2500 second, ISO 200

This is one of my favourite aerial photographs. Why? I'm often asked about my favourite location, favourite camera, favourite photo and my usual answer is 'the next one'. Yet I keep coming back to this photo. 

I realise for some that it is possibly too simple, too monochromatic, too repetitive, yet these are exactly the characteristics I love. I guess I have always been attracted to the folds of the landscape, the 'Sara Lee' layer-upon-layer-upon-layer effect and around this part of the Inland Kaikoura Range, there's no shortage. In fact, it is the repetition that makes the image so simple, yet complicated at the same time. There's a contrast in the idea - the same subject repeated in many different shapes, sizes and directions. And I have purposely asked the pilot to fly a little lower so I can exclude the surroundings, creating the impression that this landscape extends 'forever' outside the frame.

Yet within the frame, I have other contrasts. The light grassy yellows in the foreground contrast with the rich earthy browns above. The Winterton River, barely visible, makes a natural border between the two, while the more obvious, unnamed tributary disappears into the shadows at the top of the frame - where does it go? Another contrast is the softness of the clouds floating breathlessly above the hardness of the mountains. Some people might find it a distraction, but for me it adds to the 'unknown', asking us to guess what is hidden below - more of the same or something undisclosed?

I think this photo epitomises what Tony Hewitt and I try to encourage on our Middlehurst photography retreats. During the week we're at the station, while we're out every day shooting from the air or down by the side of a river, it's the conversation that matters. And our conversation encourages photographers to be confident about what they like in their photographs, rather than trying to replicate an award winning photo taken at an internationally famous landmark. 'Trophy photography' is a lot of fun and I love shooting famous locations as much as the next photographer, but shooting like this doesn't give me the same satisfaction as discovering something new, something the rest of the world hasn't discovered.

It doesn't matter where or what you shoot, we all have the opportunity to do something personal, something different. Sure, take the hero photos as well, why wouldn't you, but after you've put your tripod legs in someone else's position, look around for something that's personal to you.

And if I have encouraged you in some small way to join Tony and myself this July, now is the time to have a chat. The 19-26 July 2021 Middlehurst experience is sold out, but we're looking to put on a 12-18 July 2021 week if we get the numbers! Please send me or Tony an email, or contact Kim at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (Kim works Mon, Wed and Fridays).

True Confessions of Someone About To Travel

Pages from the Looking Down Notebook, a personal project of aerial photos. 
Printed on Eggshell paper and spiral bound by Momento Pro.

I love the printed photograph. Originally, it was something printed in a darkroom or using an offset press. Today it is using an inkjet printer or an on-demand press. And if I'm honest, the quality I'm getting today is so much better than anything I produced in the 1990s and early 2000s.

Next week, I'm travelling. Just a small step from NSW to the Northern Territory where I'm running a number of workshops and photo tours with the AIPP. On the itinerary is an aerial workshop for an afternoon a little north of Darwin. When it comes to aerials, I have a preference for the 'squarial', the almost abstract pattern shots that are created by looking directly down from the aircraft and excluding the horizon.

To give the presentation, I thought it would be nice to share some of my work in the printed format, so I put together around 90 images and sent them off to Momento Pro for printing on their Indigo press. I'll also take a few prints made on my Epson SC-906, printed on Canson Rag Photographique. Are there differences? Of course! When you read your paper edition of Better Photography, as good as the reproduction is (also printed by Momento on an Indigo press), a four or six colour device can't match the 10 inks in an Epson printer. And Momento itself offers a premium printing service where it also uses exactly the same types of Epson printers photographers do to print the pages.

What I love about the printed image is being able to linger on the image, to see the detail just by moving my eyes, rather than enlarging and scrolling around. If you don't have your own printer, there's nothing stopping you from having some of your best images printed by someone like Created for Life or Brilliant Prints. Send them a digital file and they'll send back a physical print.

Ignacio Palacios and I are doing a short photo and printing workshop at Sydney's Blue Mountains at the end of June if you're interested in knowing more (here's the link), and while the Darwin workshops are all sold out, there's an evening talk on Tuesday 18 which has seats available (see https://aipp.com.au/events/ for details).

Below are a few more spreads from my Looking Down Notebook. And I hope I've encouraged you to make a few prints!

Head On 2021 Now Open

Since 2004, Head On has been helping photographers all over the world to create, exhibit and inspire, awarding over $700,000 in cash and prizes. The Head On Photo Awards represent a global selection of the best work from emerging and established photographers across three categories: Portrait | Landscape | Student.

You are invited to enter the 2021 Head On Photo Awards. Entries open 1 May - 11:00pm 31 May (Sydney time)

The Head On Portrait and Landscape Awards are open INTERNATIONALLY to photographers of all levels. The Head On Student Award is open to Australia’s young photographers (school years K-12). $30 entry fee per image ($US23 €19 - although annual Head On members receive $5 discount on each image entered).

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