Open menu
  • Subscriptions
  • Photo Tours
  • The New Tradition
  • Menu
  • Login
    • Better Photography Education Website Info

      If you are already a subscriber to Better Photography or one of our many other courses, you'll need to login at our sister website, Yes, it's a little confusing - and you should complain bitterly to our editor about it! However, in the meantime, click on any of the links in this panel to be taken directly to the Better Photography Education website where your reading and viewing material is awaiting your return!

      Click here to visit the Better Photography Education Website

  • Home
Slide 1
Don't Miss Out!

Peter Eastway's inspirational photography book, full of ideas and techniques - guaranteed to improve your photography. Take $30 off with coupon code TNT30
Full details and sample pages available here.

Slide 2
Great Landscapes

Peter Eastway shares his capture and post-production skills in an extensive MasterClass. Learn at your own pace, online or download. And take 50% off with coupon code NEWS2021

Slide 3
The Ideas Library

Four times a year, Better Photography magazine will give you an injection of ideas, inspiration and techniques! Support us by subscribing now - and get immediate access to our archive of over 50 magazines!
Get 40% off with coupon code BPFORTY

Guillemots nesting, Alkefjellet, Svalbard
Phase One XF, 110mm lens, f5.6 @ 1/250 second, ISO 100

Alkefjellet is a line of cliffs in the middle of Svalbard. You get there by ship and, as I understand it, it's pretty easy for the captain to take the vessel in nice and tight so you get a good view of the nesting Guillemots. I'm told there are over 200,000 of them in the cliffs, but I didn't count them personally.

Mind you, when you look closely at the print, there are three or four blurred birds flying across the frame. They are probably blurred for two reasons: they are a lot closer than the cliffs, so a lack of depth-of-field; and the shutter speed of 1/250 second isn't fast enough to freeze the action.

Some readers might suggest I wait a little while until the coast is clear. Good thought, but reference my earlier observation of 200,000 birds. There simply isn't a time when there aren't LOTS of birds in the air! And second, the ship is moving slowly along the cliffs, so if I waited too long, this angle would be gone.

Our ship went up and then back again, so I had two opportunities to shoot this particular slab of rock. It reminds me of a castle or battlement tower and in post-production, I helped this similarity along by darkening the surrounding cliffs.

I think most people look at the photo and say, okay, but it's when they get up close and see how many bird bums are pointing at them that the content of the image really hits home. In this way, the judging procedure at the AIPP's awards works really well because when a print is judged, it is turned around on a presentation board surrounded by grey cloth and evenly lit from above and below. Having seen the photo from a distance, the five judges get up from their chairs and walk up to inspect the print closely - and this is when the impact of the print and and all the birds takes hold.

The other option is to make a much bigger print! Note to self!

And just to let everyone know, judging for the Better Photography Photo of the Year Award is underway. Results at the end of September.

S5 Box


If you're having trouble logging in, you might be on the wrong site! To see your subscriptions, log in at:

S5 Register