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Can You Earn More Awards Than Last Year?

Gold Award by Pedro Jacque Krebs, winner, Revealing Nature category,…

Lapland With David Evans

Many photographers have the aurora or Northern Lights on their…

Atelier Evening - Tuesday 30 July 2019

Peter’s been travelling quite a bit this year, but he’s…

I’m a very, very happy photographer! I’ve just opened up one of the 10 advance copies of The New Tradition that were flown in, ahead of the main shipment which is due later this month.

I’m also panicking a little because I have 1000 copies of them arriving and there’s not enough room in the office. We’re thinking downstairs in the garage, but Kathie is a little worried it might be damp, so we’ve got a spot under our stairs at home to store a lot of them. I can’t help thinking about the joke I always tell when giving workshops on book publishing:

How do you know you have a professional photographer near you? His car is parked on the street because his garage is full of photography books he hasn’t yet sold!

Fortunately, my car will still have a place in the garage and we’ve also sold several hundred copies to wonderful readers who have pre-ordered a copy, no doubt feeling concerned about my potential storage issues!

But back to the book. I LOVE IT! Okay, so I’m biased, but I’ve spent 10 years (on and off) putting it together, during which time I imagined what I wanted in a book. Most importantly, the print quality had to be first rate – and it is! Second, the book needed to feel substantial and valuable when held in the hand – and boy, does it! It’s a big, heavy tome printed on the finest art paper, a french-fold dust-jacket and securely cocooned in a protective postage case.

What I find with publishing is that when a book or magazine comes back, you see all the shortcomings, most of which fortunately fade in time. Reviewing older books and magazines, I love them today, but I often think the test is when you first look at the book.

And that’s why I’m so happy. I really feel like I have a book that is complete in terms of content, quality and presentation. There’s nothing I’d do differently – and that’s a great way to feel.

So, if you’re interested in helping me clear my stock of books from under the stairs, the special pre-publication offer still stands until the books arrive in a couple of weeks: $95 instead of $120, and we’ll include postage and packaging in Australia (it’s $145 for addresses outside of Australia.)

And if you are thinking of investing, think about adding a print as well. In this digital age, there’s nothing more luxurious or important than a real print. We have an amazingly inexpensive package deal of a book and an A2 print (a choice of 10) for just $295 – it's a great investment for the discerning photographer!

For full details, visit the website: www.betterphotography.com and look for The New Tradition!

I’m always struggling to work out what camera gear to take. And invariably, I wish I took something else, although I am becoming better (meaning, I rationalise my poor decisions more effectively).

Travelling to Antarctica is a photo opportunity you don’t want to skimp on. Although I’ve been fortunate to visit several times, each voyage is different and it’s just like visiting for the first time – I don’t want to miss a single shot.

The first step in working out what gear to take is to decide what types of photos you’d like to come home with. I wanted to shoot fully detailed landscapes for large prints and books (so I needed medium format); I wanted to capture the wildlife, so I needed a DSLR or mirrorless camera, and I wanted to shoot some video – so again, a DSLR, mirrorless or POV camera.

Once I’d worked this out, it was a matter of deciding what equipment to take. For medium format, I essentially took everything: Phase One XF camera body with IQ3 100MP Trichromatic back, 35mm, 55mm, 110mm and 240mm lenses. I also took the Phase One A-Series with a standard 100MP back and a 23mm ultra wide-angle lens. And my NiSi 100mm filter kit works for all the lenses, except the 240mm.

For the first time, I took a mirrorless system for wildlife. I was suitably impressed with Fujifilm’s new X-T3 and its much improved autofocus speed and precision. I added in an X-H1 body, 8-16mm wide-angle, 200mm f2.0 telephoto (there’s a 1.4x teleconverter somewhere too) and a 35mm f1.4. This allowed me to shoot both stills and video, and it was lighter and more versatile than medium format.

However, I’m also enjoying the GoPro camera because it’s so small, waterproof and it can fit in any pocket. I have two of these, one on a gimble for smooth motion footage. And then I have my Sandisk storage cards (both CF and SD), plus my back-up drives which comprise LaCie’s Rugged 2TB, the DJI CoPilot and the new Portable SSD.

Now, before you wonder how I fit all this into one camera bag, I didn’t! I had two bags. I took a waterproof SKB hard case which has a backpack inside it. This allowed me to transport my cameras (but not all at the same time) from the ship to land in safety, and once on shore, I could leave the case behind and use the backpack. My biggest challenge was deciding what gear to take with me each time we went out!

For the flights to and from the ship, it meant  I could pack the large 200mm and a few other lenses and bodies inside the backpack, suitably padded with clothing, and then I placed this in my suitcase with further padding. The hard case came along as well, holding boots, tripods and other things that could get lost by the airlines if absolutely necessary!

The rest of my gear was in my standard camera backpack. When I travel, I work out what I can’t do without if my luggage gets lost – and take that with me as carry-on.

I hear that the airlines are looking to crack down on carry-on luggage. I don’t think they’re targeting photographers, rather people who seem to carry everything including their kitchen sink! Probably best to keep a low profile with our gear!

If you're interested in joining me on a voyage to South Georgia and/or Antarctica, check out the website for options in March and November 2020.

Hamadan Taxi Driver, Iran.
Canon EOS 5DSR, 70-200mm lens @ 200mm, 1/400 second @ f2.8, ISO 100

New York is known for its yellow taxi cabs and no doubt they are prevalent in many other cities around the world, but I'd suggest few cities have as many yellow taxis as Hamadan in Iran. On our photo tour, Nuran Zorlu and I spent a few hours loitering in the Hamadan's busy centre with our band of adventurous photographers. The Imam Khomeini square boasts a rich but decaying circumference of elegant building facades, with a hurried, bustling congestion below. Crossing the road to the park in the centre of the square was not without its challenges!

Nuran had suggested that Imam Khomeini square was a great place to sit down and observe life, but we weren't sitting very long before we found ourselves the centre of attention, with plenty of opportunities to photograph the people.

What struck me was the number of taxis, either in transit as a laneless melee around the park, or waiting in long lines for fares. The challenge was to capture them as a part of daily life. For the street scenes, I found a wide-angle lens allowed me to get close to the taxis as they whizzed past, placing them in the foreground and retaining the building facades behind.

As I stood on the roadside, I noticed how every taxi had its own sub-plot inside, the life of the driver and maybe his passengers, so I switched to a 70-200mm zoom and lowered my camera height. This let me look across the road into the taxis and at the driver.

On occasion I was discovered by the drivers, but never castigated. Perhaps it was because I was obviously a foreigner and somewhat of a novelty in a country that has recently re-opened its borders for general tourism.

There's no doubt this taxi driver knew I was there!

Note: Peter Eastway and Nuran Zorlu have another trip to Iran booked for April this year.  After a couple of cancellations there are now some spots left....!

Click here for all the details of the April 2019 trip on the Better Photography website or email Kim - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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