Shooting from a zodiac
Getting you into all the right places.
A photograph of an iceberg in Greenland received a lot of attention over the weekend on my Instagram feed. I wish I knew which pictures pushed people's buttons because while it's a nice shot (I shared it with you a couple of weeks back in this newsletter), it's not necessarily my best!
However, it lead me to think, how many people know what it takes to get into position for shots like these? The answer is simple: a zodiac. A zodiac is a largish inflatible dingy and varies a little in size. It can comfortably take 10 photographers but 8 is better because there's a little more room.
Access is down the gangway from the ship and in waters like you see here, it's very easy. Some ships ask you to put your camera bag over your shoulder so you have both hands free to hang on to the railings and arms of the crew as you board the zodiac; other ships say keep your camera bag in one hand so that if you do fall into the water, you can simply let it go and float back up to the top! Both are reasoned arguments and I'll let the experts tell you which is the best approach!
When the water is a little busier, with ocean swells for instance, access can be a little more challenging, but you'll find that you enter and exit the zodian in the lee of the ship where the zodiac is somewhat sheltered from the wind and swell.
Once aboard, the zodiac itself is very stable. It is an excellent camera platform, especially if you have a good rapport with your 'driver' as you can move around your subject to get the right angle, the right light or the best background. And sometimes you can be lucky and get all three together!
As the following photos show, if you have a group of well equipped photographers on board, the middle of the zodiac can be full of equipment, but on most occasions, there's plenty of time to shoot and the group doesn't leave until everyone has their shot. The only exception is when photographing wildlife and sometimes it's the wildlife that brings the photo session to an end!
Late afternoon - Yazd's Amir Chakmak Square, Iran
Photographs by Nuran Zorlu
Nuran Zorlu is a commercial photographer in Sydney - and a passionate traveller, historian and gourmet! He has visited Iran a couple of times and has published a book of photographs on the country, its architecture and culture. I'm not quite sure what I'm getting myself into with our tour to Iran later this year, but I'm sure it will be a lot of fun! Nuran was speaking to me about the importance of taking enough time at travel destinations to ensure you get the best light - as his three photographs from Yazd show.
The view of Hells Gate from Middlehurst, South Island, New Zealand.
Phase One XF 100MP, 60 seconds @ f12, ISO 50, ND filter
A popular Photoshop technique to great perceived sharpness and detail is to use a High Pass filter on a copy layer and change the blend mode to soft light. It creates a similar effect to the clarity slider found in Lightroom, ACR and Capture One. However, there are lots of variations in the technique, including the different blend modes which I want to discuss here.
The photo above is a long exposure taken on my Phase One XF with the amazing 100-megapixel IQ3 sensor, processed in Capture One and then finished in Photoshop. To create the 'sharpness' in the mountains, I applied the High Pass technique with hard light to the lower foothills, but this strength was too much for the crags up above. The solution was to copy the layer and change the blend mode to soft light, adjusting the mask accordingly.
A similar result could be achieved using the clarity tool in Lightroom with the Adjustment Brush and Capture One with its Local Adjustments.
So, what is the difference between soft and hard light? Take a look at the following comparisons on the website.
Compact, High Capacity and – importantly – Rugged!
Peter Eastway reviews LaCie’s Rugged Mini on a trip to beautiful Bhutan and why it provided such a valuable sense of security.
As seen in Better Photography Magazine as a special promotion.
With the technology we have today, there is no reason to lose a photograph. Ever.
Naturally that assumes your camera is working properly, but once that photograph is recorded correctly onto your camera’s memory card, it should never be lost.
Different photographers have different strategies. For instance, if you are shooting a lot of photographs in a short period of time, such as at a wedding, then it makes sense to use a camera with two memory card slots and to record each image to both cards - so if one card were to fail, you have a second. Other photographers are happy to review their photos from time to time during a shoot, because if the camera can read the memory card, the files should be okay (assuming the memory card doesn’t fail later on, of course).
Is this the ultimate gadget from Eizo? The RadiLight is designed to establish a low base illumination in your editing room
plus a small light to illuminate your desk or keyboard.
To get the most out of your EIZO monitor (or any monitor for that matter), you want to work within a room or environment where there are no distracting or image-degrading reflections on the screen. Many monitors, such as the EIZO ColorEdge range, include a hood to prevent direct light from overhead light sources affecting the screen. Similarly, most EIZO monitors have a low-reflectivity surface which also helps minimise reflections. Even so, in order to prevent all reflections on the monitor screen caused by ambient light, many photographers and video editors tend to work in very dark rooms.
Unfortunately, viewing a bright monitor in a dark environment over a long period can cause eyestrain and make it more difficult to see other tools or cups of tea near the workstation.
The solution is to have a soft light that won't spill onto the monitor screen or create unwanted reflections and it would seem that an ideal position for such a light would be behind the monitor itself.
EIZO originally introduced the RadiLight for radiologists, but the device is equally useful for photographers and video editors. The RadiLight attaches to the back of your monitor and shines a light on the wall behind it. This eases the amount of concentrated light traveling to the photographer's eyes and so reduces eye strain, while not impacting the editing room's overall ambient lighting or visibility of the images on the screen.
Due to the way brightness is controlled on LED backlights, some people perceive flicker on their monitor which causes eye fatigue. With technology based on the dimming control of EIZO's LED-equipped monitors, such as the FlexScan EV Series, RadiLight is a flicker-free lighting solution that reduces eyestrain. And because the RadiLight attaches to the back of the monitor stand, it does not take up desk space. Power is supplied to the RadiLight via the connected monitor's USB port for quick and simple setup. The Radilight is also equipped with a spotlight on an articulated arm called RadiLight Focus, which allows you to check or read printed documents or see your keyboard and other tools.
And both the RadiLight Area and RadiLight Focus lights can be easily turned on or off with the touch of a button, so you can use them only when you need to.
For more information visit eizo-apac.com/medical-store/radilight#
The RadiLight installed behind the monitor.