ISSUE 8, June 2018
WITH PAUL WHITHAM
HOW TO CAPTURE:
LIGHTROOM VS PHOTOSHOP
THAT WANAKA TREE
NZPhotographer Issue 8
by Paul Whitman
Phone 04 889 29 25
or Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Whether you’re an
snapper or a beginner
who wants to learn more,
NZ Photographer is the
fun e-magazine for all Kiwi
camera owners –
and it’s free!
© 2018 NZPhotographer
All rights reserved.
Reproduction of any
material appearing in this
magazine in any form is
forbidden without prior
consent of the publisher.
Opinions of contributing
authors do not necessarily
reflect the opinion of the
WELCOME TO ISSUE 8 O
I hope these cooler days find
you well and catching up on all
of your photo editing from the
Summer and Autumn!
I've had the privilege of
working with some new content
contributors over the past month
to bring you some informative
new content for issue 8... James
Hickok is taking the reigns on
a new post-processing series,
starting with a Lightroom vs
Photoshop article. We also
welcome one of our long-term
readers Emanuel Maisel to the
pages with his article about
Infrared photography. Of course, we also have the regular features;
Brendon recounts his storm chasing days and Richard tells us how
best to capture the Alpine light.
As well as gathering all the content, we've been busy going through
all of your Wanaka Tree entries for the competition and want to say a
huge Well Done to everyone – Turn to page 35 to see who won!
James is an amateur
the United States who
recently moved to New
Zealand for soccer. He has
taken a keen interest in
photography having lived
in five countries over the
past few years.
Brendon is the man
behind ESB Photography.
He treks from sea to
mountain, and back
again, capturing the
uniqueness of New
Editor NZ Photographer
Richard is an awardwinning
and runs photography
tours. He is the founder
of New Zealand
nzphotographer nzp_magazine email@example.com
F NZ PHOTOGRAPHER MAGAZINE
Interview with Paul Whitham
Behind the shot
with Travis Young
WITH PAUL WHITHAM
By Brendon Gilchrist
BEHIND THE SHOT WITH TRAVIS YOUNG
By Emanuel Maisel
HOW TO CAPTURE: ALPINE LIGHT
by Richard Young
FINDING A FRIEND IN PHOTOGRAPHY
by James Hickok
LIGHTROOM VS PHOTOSHOP
THAT WANAKA TREE
PHOTO COMPETITION WINNER
How to capture:
Interview with Paul Whitham
I bought my first digital camera in 2003 which ended up
being a mistake. It was a Samsung point and shoot. It
could take good images of anything that didn’t move
but struggled to focus on things that did. Hence it was
fairly useless to record a fast moving daughter who was
very active in both netball and roller skating. About 18
months later my wife’s boss loaned us his Nikon D70 to
have a play with and I was hooked. Within a month I had
bought my first digital SLR but despite an investment in
fast glass I was still very much at the mercy of the camera
Then, in 2007, I agreed to photograph my first wedding
and that was the incentive to decide that the camera
needed to come out of auto and I needed to take
charge. I enrolled in a night class and at the end of it the
tutor suggested that we should join a camera club if we
wanted to continue to improve. Eleven years later, I am
still involved in that camera club!
PAUL, CAN YOU TELL OUR READERS A LITTLE
Photography is my passion rather than my profession
(I’m an accountant), although some may say that my
photography borders on an addiction. I have an artist
wife and three grown children (all of whom have an
interest in photography), so there is plenty of support for
me to pursue my interests.
I am currently on the board of the Hutt Camera Club as
well as being a councillor in the Photographic Society
of New Zealand. In this latter role, I am both editor of
their online magazine CameraTalk as well as being the
convention director for the 67 th Annual Convention,
which will be held in Lower Hutt in April 2019.
HOW DID YOU BECOME INTERESTED IN
I have been involved in photography for a very long
time. I was in the camera club at both school and
university which at the time meant shooting and
developing your own film. I still have a film tank in the
roof! After university, the interest waned apart from taking
family and holiday snaps which generally meant sending
the film off for processing. Looking back now a lot of the
shots were awful.
WHAT EQUIPMENT DO YOU HAVE?
I am currently shooting two different systems, namely
a Nikon D600 and a Lumix G9. As a result, I have a
collection of lenses for both. I made the move to
mirrorless at the start of the year and am really liking how
the gear is so much lighter and therefore I am taking it
out more often. The D600 is not fully retired though as I
find it gives me better images in the studio environment
so it will be used in that setting alone. I have an Elinchrom
lighting system for studio work and have just ordered a
Godox battery strobe for outside work.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE GENRE TO SHOOT?
I am primarily a people photographer, although the shots
range from simple fashion, models, and weddings up to
creative composite images. Although I do dabble with
the occasional nature or macro shot, the majority of my
work involves people.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR TATTOO PHOTOGRAPHY
Despite the fact that I am too much of a coward to have
any of my own, I have always been drawn to photos of
people with tattoos. In fact, it is fairly unusual that I shoot
a model who does not have any. After I achieved PSNZ
Licentiate I started to plan the set I would submit for the
next level up, and I decided to do a series of images of
people with tattoos. I posted a casting call on Facebook
and also visited a number of local tattoo parlours in my
local area leaving a flyer.
The response was not as good as I would have liked and I
only managed to get four images shot in the first year. As
a result, I have moved onto a different concept for the
honours submission, but am still continuing with the tattoo
series, now as more of a personal series.
F6.3, 1/100s, ISO200
F9, 1/120s, ISO200
WHERE DO YOU GET INSPIRATION FOR YOUR
I am not sure that there is a single answer to this question, as
the inspiration often comes from different things. I do spend
a lot of time looking at images online and also looking at
portraits from the past.
In the case of my “Role of the model” image, the starting
point was a comment I heard about the fashion industry
treating models as merely walking coat hangers. I then
saw an image online from Italian photographer Alessandra
Favetto that had a subject hanging from a coat hanger that
she was holding.
Taking that concept further I thought of a coat rack that
the models would be hanging from. I wanted three models
so I posted a casting call and ended up selecting five. As it
turned out only two turned up on the day, so one had to be
shot twice. The models stood on a box and we raised the
bar so that it looked like it was holding their weight. Then the
box was removed and the models were reshot with them
holding themselves up between two chairs. This provided the
dangling feet. The completed image was a composite of
seven images put together in Photoshop.
WHAT IS YOUR POST-PROCESSING ROUTINE?
My post-processing regime really starts with trying to get as
much right in camera. While I know that you can fix a lot of
issues in post I find that spending 5 minutes at the start is much
better than hours in post.
I mainly use Lightroom and it probably does most of the
adjustments that I do. Once I get the image the way that I
roughly want it then they will be passed across to Photoshop
to fix up anything that Photoshop does a lot better. Obviously
composite shots are mainly put together in Photoshop.
When it comes to retouching portraits I have a fairly simple
approach. I will only retouch out any temporary blemishes
(such as acne). Unless I receive a specific request from the
model, I will not remove any features that are permanent. I
will only use the liquify tool to reshape a body where the issue
has been created with either the pose, or the clothing (such
as a bump created from a bra strap digging in).
WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR PROUDEST MOMENT IN
I would have to say that it was achieving my Licentiateship
of PSNZ in 2017. This involved submitting a portfolio of ten
images to the PSNZ Honours Board to assess. You have to
demonstrate a high technical ability as well as a diversity
of approach. At the Licentiate level, around 40% of the
applications are rejected each year.
CAN YOU PICK A SINGLE FAVOURITE IMAGE?
My favourite image in recent years would be the
Reflections image. It was a combination of a concept that
came together completely and the end result has always
been received well by people who have seen it. The
whole effect with the reflections was achieved in camera
with a relatively simple lighting set up. Jason Naylor (who is
an uber talented Wellington wedding photographer) was
the perfect choice for the look I was going for.
F8, 1/160s, ISO200
WHERE CAN WE FIND YOU ONLINE?
F4.5, 1/40s, ISO640
F5.6, 1/25s, ISO100
F4.5, 1/100s, ISO200
JOIN AN AWESOME
NZ $25/year only
Your own portfolio on Excio
30 photos, 100,000+ impressions
100+ clicks to your website/month
Add your Facebook & Instagram profiles
Discounts from our partners
Free Lightroom presets
“Early bird” access to events and meetups
Get free entry into all competitions and earn
by participating in photo challenges
BECOME A MEMBER
By Brendon Gilchrist
F7.1, 0.6s, ISO640
June 2018 15
2015 was an interesting year that found me travelling
to the USA to go and look at clouds in the Midwest
during the Spring storms.
There was a funny incident when I arrived at U.S.
customs, the customs officer asked where I was going
and when I responded with the Midwest, he asked
why I’d want to go there since most people know
there’s nothing much in the region except flat plains.
I got an even funnier look when I replied that I was
going to look at the clouds in the sky! Perhaps he
would have understood better if I’d said I was going
to chase storms!
A week into the trip, we found ourselves in a town
called Gillette in Wyoming, close to where some
severe weather was forecast. In the morning we went
to the Devils Tower, a huge geological deposit of
igneous rock that rises dramatically from the ground,
measuring in at 265 meters from summit to base. This
natural wonder is a really impressive sight and an
interesting location to visit.
After our walk around the rock, we got back to the
car, headed down, and hung out with some prairie
dogs for a while. They reminded me of meerkat’s
except they have this cute bark if you get too close to
their burrows. Once they got sick of us, we started to
seek the clouds that we had come for though didn’t
really think much was going happen on this particular
day but we were wrong... As the day progressed the
storm got bigger and bigger.
We stopped at a few spots to take photos of some
clouds and a nice hail core. As the storm moved so
did we, stopping and starting and finding various
roads to go down while keeping at a safe distance.
The storm developed quite fast, either that or we
were looking in the wrong place! As we were driving
along the storm seemed to develop into a supercell; a
thunderstorm with a deep rotating updraft. We were
lucky to find a high point in Rapid City overlooking the
Black Hills and Badlands National Park from where we
could see the storm rotating and letting out the odd
lightning strike. It was one of those structures I really
wanted to see while there.
People do not realize how big these storms are until
they see them first hand. They are monsters, one
storm as far as the eye can see with another rotating
thunderstorm on the edge creating a storm within a
huge storm. Amazing!
That night, as we were organizing accommodation,
we heard gunshots – Turned out some guys drove
past and shot our car with a paintball gun, luckily no
one was hit. From one extreme to another this was an
amazing day and one that I will not forget.
The Midwest is a place I will return to again one day
to do more storm chasing as I did not get the tornado
photos that I would have liked. All the lightning shots
I have are from time lapse sequences, this method
allows me to sit back and enjoy the storm while
capturing its raw beauty.
TIP TIPS FOR CAPTURING LIGHTENING.
• Get near the storm – But not too close, remain a
safe distance away!
• Use the widest angled lens you have to capture a
• Time lapse is one way to ensure you capture some
bolts as well as a movie clip.
• Invest in a lightning trigger, or use long exposure
with a neutral density filter (these filters help
increase exposure time).
F10, 1/40s, ISO64
F6.3, 1/80s, ISO64
F2.8, 1/320s, ISO4500
BEHIND THE SHOT
WITH TRAVIS YOUNG
TRAVIS, TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOURSELF
AND YOUR PHOTOGRAPHY...
I grew up in a small town called Katikati in the Bay
of Plenty. I studied Business information systems
at Massey University and currently work as a
fabrication and estimation manager for an ITM
Building supplies business. I am recently married and
we together have 3 amazing children between us.
Growing up I spent a lot of time with my
grandparents. My Pop always had his large video
camera recording all the family events so naturally
when I had kids, and an opportunity came up while
I was working at Harvey Norman to purchase my
first DSLR (A Canon 450d) I jumped on the chance
so that I too could take photos of my family. About
2 years ago I upgraded my camera gear and
started to take my photography more seriously and
started to push myself to learn more. That’s what I
love about photography, there’s always something
new to learn.
WHAT EQUIPMENT DO YOU SHOOT WITH?
My main camera is a Nikon D750 and I also have
a D7200. I have a sigma 35mm art which is on my
D750 the majority of the time. In my bag, I also have
a Tamron 70-200 F2.8 VC, Tamron 24-70 F2.8 VC,
Sigma 85mm Art and a Nikon 14-24mm so I have
most of my bases covered.
TELL US ABOUT THIS PHOTO...
This image was shot on my Nikon D750 with a
Tamron 70-200 F2.8 VC attached to it, my go-to
combo when shooting sports.
It’s an annual pre-season clash between Katikati
and Waihi rugby clubs. It’s is a game that is always
played in good spirits but at the same time, it's still
treated as a fiercely contested local derby game
between the two teams. I was wandering the
sideline capturing the action and a line out formed
in front of me so I knew there would be a good fight
for the ball coming up. With the hooker positioned
infront of me about to throw the ball in I could see
the two forwards packs eyeing each other up,
ready to fight for the prized ball once more. I felt
this image best portrayed the battle between these
two rivals in some horrible conditions as position of
the ball was vital to winning this game.
ARE YOU HAPPY WITH THE SHOT? IF YOU
COULD RE-TAKE IT WHAT WOULD YOU
Yes, I love the image. I like the tension in the photo
as two teams are about to fight over the ball.
There is one thing I would change though and that
is because I didn’t quite nail the focus on the ball.
WHAT ELSE SHOULD WE KNOW ABOUT THIS
This image doesn’t really show how bad the
weather conditions were. The rain was very heavy
and coming in sideways at times. I had my camera
gear inside a plastic cover to protect it from the
weather, however, the rain still managed to find its
way in and I ended up with some wet gear. Lucky
the Nikon D750 and the Tamron 70-200 F2.8 VC
seem to be able to handle a small amount of rain.
ANY TIPS YOU CAN SHARE WITH OUR
READERS ON CAPTURING MOMENTS IN
My number one tip is to always be ready to capture
the action. The moments in games happen so
fast you cannot afford to sit back and watch the
game. Be prepared and anticipate the moments.
another tip I can suggest, if available, is to have two
cameras on you so that you’re able to capture the
action be it far away or close to you.
BY EMANUEL MAISEL
Infrared (IR) photography is described as peculiar,
special and unique. The camera captures a part
of the light spectrum that we do not see with the
naked eye so that a transformed world emerges
with nothing about the colours, as we know them,
making sense - Green becomes white, water and the
sky a tone between black and blue. This is a world
of surreal photographs that utilizes light to display its
extraordinary shapes and characteristics.
One of the reasons I got involved with IR photography,
is the fact that not many photographers are doing it
and appreciation for the images are limited as well.
Although it’s not my main genre of photography, I’ve
been shooting IR for some time now and it gives me
a very different world to explore. Some of the images
almost remind me of those early Noddy books with the
round trees and shrubs.
I have three full spectrum IR cameras, a Canon
Powershot SX20IS, a Panasonic DMC-FZ7 and a
Panasonic DMC-TZ6 and my filters range from 590nm
to 850nm. The 850nm produces some really nice black
and white images though I have yet to embrace the
like for B&W!
IR light is measured in nanometres. The normal light we
see every day ranges between 400nm, which is violet
and 700nm, which is red. This band from 400 to 700nm
is also known as the visible spectrum, which allows you
to see the normal colours violet, blue, green, yellow
orange and finally red. The 700 to 1000nm is your
primary concern and the common 720nm filter falls
into the IR Spectrum, allowing you to see this esoteric
world. This is also known as near infrared as it is close to
the visible spectrum and most digital camera sensors
should be able to pick this up.
Shooting infrared doesn’t differ that much from a
perspective of composition, depth of field, exposure
and F-stop. IR images range from nature, architecture
to portraits. The latter becoming more popular,
because of the wide range of possibilities, it is seen
as a much less used medium for creating some
unanticipated results. Normally, photographers would
prefer not to shoot in the “avoid-the-time-of-day”
zone but for IR photography, the sunnier, the better.
RAW vs JPEG doesn’t count here either (in my opinion)
as you are now relying on the neutrality of your
images, which can be processed either in Lightroom
or Photoshop, each IR image bringing up it’s own
unique challenge when processing.
If you’re feeling intrigued and would like to have a
go at IR photography yourself, you must first test the
sensitivity of your camera to IR as not all cameras
are compatible due to a hot mirror plate sometimes
covering the sensor.
Testing the sensitivity of your camera to IR is quite an
easy process. Just point your camera to any remote
control handheld unit and click the power button.
Take a shot and you should be able to see the light
emitted from the front of the unit. If you’ve tried in
the past to shoot IR images and ended up with a red
mess (like above), the hot mirror plate will have been
the problem. Don’t give up just yet, this is where the
In order for your camera to see the invisible light, you
might have to modify it, either by removing the hot
mirror plate and replacing it with an IR filter with a
specific band width, or by removing the hot mirror
plate all together so that the camera becomes full
A full spectrum camera allows you to fit any external
IR filter. There are some companies who do these
conversions for a substantial amount and replace the
filter of your choice. Unless you have some skills, very
special skills, do not attempt to do this on your own
as it requires some very steady hands as well as an
almost dust-free environment.
TAKING THE SHOT
There are two ways of capturing your first shot, either
have the filter screwed on the lens or placed over
your sensor. Point your camera at anything green
(please limit this to grass or shrubs) and go to the
White Balance setting in the camera’s menu and
do a Custom White Balance. I do not recommend
Auto White Balance. Yes, there are those who do the
correction in Lightroom using the dropper but I prefer
the initial setting as it makes the final processing of the
image so much easier. Now take your best shot and
you will see your ‘Red Mess’ has turned into a much
more acceptable image.
The Red & Blue Channel swap is one of the most
common processing styles in IR, but it does not
always work and your image can come out quite
the opposite of what you expect.
In Lightroom go to Image > Adjustments >
Channel Mixer and do the channel swap from
From the Settings Output Channel – Red, set the
amount to 0 and do a swap to the Blue Channel.
Set the amount to +100
At this point you can basically use any filter plug-in to
do some good creative work. Unsharp and Denoise
filters can also be applied at this stage.
My favourite processing method is to use a
downloaded action. Go to Windows > Actions and
from there use the infrared action and you have a
image ready to be tweaked.
I can recommend Youtube videos by Mark Hilliard
and, if you can find it, the book Digital Infrared
Photography by Deborah Sandidge. For inspiration, I
hope you’ll enjoy seeing more of my own work:
HOW TO CAPTURE: ALPINE LIGHT
Capture the best light in the mountains with these tips from Richard Young
Sunset over Aoraki/Mount Cook F11, 1/15s, ISO100
SUNRISE in the mountains is always magical to witness
and pre dawn pink alpen glow bathing high peaks
has to be some of the most beautiful light to capture.
The dawn air is clearer than any other time of day,
offering crisp views and vivid colours. As the sun then
breaks the horizon, it casts a wonderful low and warm
light across the landscape, offering some of the best
lighting of the day.
DAY TIME is best avoided for capturing views of snow
covered alpine peaks. Especially the middle of a
bright summer’s day when the light is very harsh, as
the sun is high in the sky, making everything very flat.
Shooting in the morning/afternoon will offer a more
SUNSETS offer a softer light than sunrise, as the sky is
full of wind-borne particles from the day. This thicker
atmosphere at dusk can tend to dull the colours,
leading to more washed-out sunsets. On the other
hand, lots of dust can have the effect of scattering
light across a greater region of the sky, creating a
larger drape of colours.
AFTER DARK the mountains can retain a very subtle
light long after the sun has actually set. Once every
last bit of the light of the day has slowly faded away,
night opens up a whole new world of star filled skies.
The light of a full moon on a clear night can also light
up snowy peaks enough to capture the mountains in
a whole different light.
CAPTURE SUNRISE AND SUNSET OVER AORAKI/MOUNT COOK ON A 4-DAY LANDSCAPE MASTERCLASS
WORKSHOP: 14TH - 17TH SEPTEMBER WITH NEW ZEALAND PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOPS
FINDING A FRIEND
by James Hickok
Having had a short yet nomadic career
in professional soccer (I have played
internationally at various levels in Sweden,
Scotland, Spain, U.S.A, and now New Zealand) I
often find myself moving to a new corner of the
world alone with not much more in my suitcase
than clothes, soccer gear, and camera. As you
might imagine, at each stop of the way I have had
to adapt to new cultures, players, languages, and
landscapes, but for me I have always found comfort
in having my camera by my side.
Photography did not come naturally for me. Up until
my graduation from Dartmouth College in the United
States I was usually kept busy with all things soccer
and getting my degree in economics, and frankly
I never saw myself as an even remotely creative or
But they say boredom often breeds creativity, and
things changed when I graduated and decided to
pursue soccer professionally. In soccer not only are
you expected to pick up and move on the spot to
whichever team is interested in signing you, but you
must also look for the best ways to fill your time in a
new city or country outside of team commitments -
Enter my interest in photography!
At first, my infatuation with photography came
from traveling and simply wanting to share my
experiences with my friends and family through a
lens other than my iPhone so I purchased a Canon
For me, getting my first real camera was like finding
the golden ticket in a Willy Wonka chocolate bar (or
Whittaker’s, excuse me) – a feeling of pure elation.
All of a sudden, I had all the freedom in the world to
express myself through pictures and capture unique
perspectives of the amazing places I was seeing but I
soon discovered I had so much to learn!
My photography work originated in landscapes but
over time has progressed into street photography,
wildlife, and portraits. Outside of my original Canon
EF-S 18-55mm kit lens I have made several important
purchases: a Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 III, a Canon
EF 50mm f/1.8 STM (“the nifty fifty”), and a multitude
of accessories like a polarizing filter and tripod. There
is nothing special about that list, but all of those
products together have the ability for me to get the
most out of every shot and also fit into my backpack
with ease while traveling.
I have only been living in Christchurch for two
months, but it hasn’t taken long for me to be
absolutely captivated by the beauty of the South
Island paired with the friendly Kiwi culture. I have
tried to explore all of Canterbury that I can by car,
from Akaroa to Kaikoura to Arthur’s Pass.
Right now, the top thing on my mind (aside from
soccer) is working on further honing my editing
software abilities with Lightroom and Photoshop,
which is why I am so excited to be a part of NZP.
There are an amazing amount of resources available
online to help you unlock your full potential in using
editing software, but there is no better way to learn
than being part of a community of photographers
who are all passionate about improving their work
and seeing how they do it. Over the coming months
I will be covering different post-processing programs,
techniques, and tools to help you get more out of
your photos and expand your creative sphere.
LIGHTROOM vs PHOTOSHOP
These days, the photos you see are rarely, if
ever, a finished product that straight from a
camera before being uploaded or printed.
Even your neighbour’s Instagram post of her cat
on a rainy day has been through some form of
Adobe Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop are the
two applications that are synonymous with editing
and can open up a whole new world of possibilities
to bring more creativity to your work. But with all
that room for creativity comes a lot of functionality
and confusion, how do you decide which program
to use to create your desired effect? Read on as I
explain the fundamental differences between the
Pricing Options (only available as an annual
subscription plan prepaid in full or paid monthly):
• Lightroom CC with 1TB of cloud storage:
• Lightroom CC + Photoshop CC with 1TB of
cloud storage: A$29.89/month
• Lightroom CC + Photoshop CC with 20GB of
cloud storage: A$14.94/month
Lightroom is your bread and butter - you could
only use Lightroom and create some absolutely
fantastic photos from your imports. At a basic
level, Lightroom is highly regarded for its ability
to edit and manage RAW photos in a completely
non-destructive way. That doesn’t mean that you
have to shoot in RAW to use it, but it was certainly
designed to handle the rich set of metadata that
comes along with using the RAW format. If you
don’t know the difference yet, shooting in RAW
essentially provides the most detailed photo and
set of information for your computer to process,
while JPEG is a considerably smaller file and set
of information that results in a less detailed photo
to work with. If you are a beginner, Lightroom is
without question the place to start honing your
editing skills because it will provide the simplest
platform to learn the ins and outs of postprocessing
software while still creating magnificent
One of Lightroom’s top benefits is its organizational
capabilities which allow you to easily sort and
catalog your images before editing them. This helps
to keep your workflow consistent, something that is
normally a nightmare in the post-processing phase
when you have hundreds or thousands of images.
HERE ARE A FEW OF THE ORGANIZATIONAL
TOOLS LIGHTROOM PROVIDES:
• Create Folders and Albums (multiple albums can
go into a folder)
• Sort photos by Date Taken or Date Imported
• Rate each photo from one to five stars
• Add a list of Keywords to each photo
• Choose between “Flag as Picked” or “Flag as
Rejected” (helpful when you have imported
multiple shots that are very similar, the rejected
photo is greyed out)
• Filter your search for photos based on Camera,
Sync Status, Keywords, etc
Another bonus is the ability to edit RAW images
directly as opposed to needing any plug-ins to
convert files (as needed with Photoshop). This builtin
capability helps serve the purpose of making
Lightroom the simplest and most user-friendly
application out there.
Lightroom’s dedicated set of basic editing tools are
easy to navigate and allow you to adjust the light,
colour, effects, and detail using simple sliders to
create the aesthetic you’re looking for. Adjustments
can easily be applied to many photos at once,
and you can even save those changes as a preset
to use on your future photos with the click of a
button. If you’re not sure how to achieve a desired
look, Lightroom provides you with default presents
and you can also download presets created by
professional photographers to use on your photos.
Lastly, part of Lightroom’s larger purpose is derived
from the fact that you can make all these edits and
adjustments to a photo and not run the risk of ever
destroying or damaging the original photo that was
imported. The original photo remains intact and is
always recoverable and Lightroom continuously
saves your work as you go so you never have to
worry about hitting the “Save As” button.
While at a basic level Lightroom seems to
check all the boxes, at an advanced level
it, unfortunately, does not perform as well.
Lightroom does not possess any of the high-level
editing capabilities you can find in Photoshop.
For example, the ability to clone objects, create
multiple layers on an image, smooth/blend
objects into a photo, stitch photos together, or
edit at the pixel-level. It is also important to note
that you can only edit photos in Lightroom –
meaning that you must already have an existing
photo to work with as opposed to creating
something from scratch like in Photoshop.
• Photoshop CC (CC = Creative Cloud) single
app annual plan with 100GB cloud storage:
• Photoshop CC single app monthly plan with
100GB cloud storage: A$45.99/month
Adobe offers multiple versions of Photoshop,
ranging from the full blown Photoshop CC,
to Photoshop Elements, and finally down to
Photoshop Express, with the latter two being
more pared down and simple to use than the
first – Read about these 2 lighter versions below.
Photoshop CC can do everything and more
than Lightroom in terms of its editing capabilities.
The Camera RAW plug-in feature in Photoshop
has almost exactly the same layout as Lightroom
(it just requires an extra import step), so anything
that you can do in Lightroom you can do in
Photoshop (from an image editing standpoint).
If you’re willing to spend the money, Photoshop
is known for being a best-in-class image editor/
creator used by professionals in creative
industries around the world.
• Pixel-level editing
• Removal and smoothing of objects (people,
signs, major eye sores)
• Cloning and addition of objects, people,
animals, etc. to a photo
• Use of image layers (can change position,
opacity, distortion, etc. and use to preserve
• Actions (save a sequence of editing actions
to apply to other photos with one click)
• Stitching multiple photos together
(panoramas can now be stitched
• Major enhancements to photo aesthetics
(think of ethereal, cartoonish, and movie-like
• Creation of advertisements, posters, and
Although this is just a brief list that is missing
countless tools, it is clear that Photoshop can
do anything and everything you’re looking
for in an image editing software. Professionals
and amateurs alike love to utilize Photoshop’s
powerful processing speed and wide array of
advanced tools to not only edit their pictures
but create art.
One of the best aspects of Photoshop is how
intelligent each of these tools are, as actions
like refining, masking, stamping, filling, etc.
all incorporate technology that can detect
contrasts in your image down to the pixel-level
to allow for remarkably easy and accurate
Another unique and defining feature of
Photoshop CC is its use of adjustment layers,
which not only aid in keeping your original
image in tact, but allow for easy editing to top
layers, objects, or smart objects without having
to get into them and edit the pixels. Learning
how to use all of these tools in unison to create
your image takes practice, but having the
power to control and adjust every pixel is hard
to not see the value in.
With so many photo-editing tools comes great
responsibility… and a really steep learning
curve. There’s no question that the biggest
drawback to Photoshop is learning how to use
all of its powerful features. If you were to just use
Photoshop to perform the basic type of editing
that you can do in Lightroom, everything would
feel intuitive and you wouldn’t have any trouble
but that would be like buying a brand new red
Ferrari and only using three out of the six gears,
because there’s just so much more power to
take advantage of!
The lack of an image management system
means you are on your own when it comes to
organizing your Photoshop images and a few
additional complications can arise through
this. With each progressive save of your image
in JPEG format, the photo will lose information
and its quality will continue to deteriorate each
time. Thus, you must keep saving images in .psd
format while you are still working on them if you
want to hold the quality – The drawback to this
is the massive amount of storage space that will
be used on your computer.
• Built-in processing of RAW photos
• Organizational capabilities for
thousands of photos
• Easy retrieval of old photos with
search filters, keywords, and ratings
• Non-destructive photo editing (no
need to "Save As")
• BASIC EDITING
• HDR PHOTOS
• Pixel-level editing
• Removal and smoothing of
• Cloning and addition of objects
• Use of image layers
• Saving of actions
• Stitching multiple photos together
• Creation of advertisements,
posters, and other media
This is a free, mobile-friendly version of
Photoshop (also available for PCs) that has
extremely limited capabilities but is fantastic
to use for simple retouching and sharing of
photos. It is a little more expansive than the
default photo editing options that appear on
every iPhone, so it is worth the download, but
you definitely get what you (don’t) pay for.
Price: A$151.79 (Not available as a
Photoshop Elements is a lighter version of the
full Photoshop CC program, ideal if you’re not
sure about the financial and/or educational
aspects. It trims some of the unnecessary fat
in terms of editing tools and also has many
different Guided Edit tutorials that will walk
you step by step through the actions needed
to create your desired outcome.
Elements also includes an Organizer as a way
to manage your photos that the full version
of Photoshop doesn’t because it expects
you to use Lightroom too. It might seem like
the inclusion of PS Elements confuses things
more, but in fact, it is an app directed at a
completely different audience.
PS Elements is not directed at aspiring or
learning professional photographers, but
rather amateurs and families who need a
post-processing program to be simple yet
powerful. It has similar basic editing and
organizational capabilities as Lightroom but is
less powerful at processing RAW images in any
sort of quantity.
WHAT PHOTOSHOP ELEMENTS LACKS
COMPARED TO PHOTOSHOP CC:
• Edit large batches of images, especially in RAW
(the Camera RAW plug-in is different)
• Accept a large number of third-party plug-ins
• Channel mixing
• Record actions
• No support for Duotone, CMYK, Lab, or
Multichannel colour modes
• Little 16-bit support (will limit use of layers and tools)
• Fewer blending modes and vector-based tools
• Overall fewer panels (missing 3D, Brush, Character,
Clone Source, Layer Comps, Paths, and more)
Many photographers use both Lightroom AND
Photoshop to allow them to have the image
management system plus the full range of editing
tools. I’m the same, often times my editing work starts
in Lightroom and then I’ll choose to open the photo
in Photoshop from there which allows me to save the
final, more significantly edited photo as a copy back
into Lightroom when I’m done.
In short, it’s best to think of Photoshop as an
advanced image editing tool while Lightroom is more
of an image management tool with some limited
image editing capabilities.
FREE ALTERNATIVES TO LIGHTROOM AND PHOTOSHOP
GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program) – Mac and
An open-source photo editor (meaning it is constantly
being developed and updated by the community of
people who use it) that is definitely the most popular
free alternative to Photoshop in terms of advanced
Pros: Offers basic assistance and tutorials
Cons: Not as intuitive in layout or workflow (can seem
even more complex than Photoshop), no adjustment
layers, no RAW processing or CMYK support
Paint.net – PC Only
A fantastic alternative that will perform and feel quite
similar to Photoshop, but is more user-friendly.
Pros: Easy user interface, similar basic editing features
to Photoshop, list of actions makes it easy to undo
Cons: Not as powerful as Photoshop (no adjustment
layers, no dodge or burn tools, and limited brushes),
no photo organization or sharing features
PAID ALTERNATIVES TO LIGHTROOM AND
Luminar by Skylum – Mac and PC
Another example of a software that skirts the gray area
between Lightroom and Photoshop. It has advanced
editing capabilities using layers and pixel-level detail,
but that doesn’t make up for its complete lack of
organization for your photos. That being said, it is a single
image editor like Photoshop, and its competitive price
certainly makes it attractive.
Pros: Price, support for layers, non-destructive editing,
smooth design, unique filters
Cons: Lack of image management tools, slow data
processing, no batch editing
Capture One by Phase One – Mac and PC
Price: Either US$20/month subscription or US$299 one-time
Best described as a significant upgrade from Lightroom,
Capture One will feel quite familiar to amateur
photographers and above as it can process RAW files
while also introducing the use of layers, masking, and
other Photoshop-like features.
Pros: Easy to use, ability to use layers and masking, quick
Cons: Not good for composites or extensive retouching,
not supported by all cameras
Affinity Photo by Serif – Mac and PC
A high quality alternative to Photoshop that performs
most of the same functions and boasts a similar easyto-navigate
layout, Affinity Photo certainly gives you a
bang for your buck, with the catch being reduced RAW
processing ability and sometimes destructive editing.
Pros: Price, batch processing, multiple editing “personas”,
Cons: RAW processing and some editing features are
destructive, exporting to other file formats will reduce
Paintshop Pro by Corel
Another budget-friendly version of Photoshop that
can handle advanced editing of almost any kind for
beginner and intermediate photographers, Paintshop
Pro has released a new update that addressed many of
its previous concerns from users regarding its processing
speed and outdated crop, clone, and dropper tools.
Pros: Price, “Essentials” workspace mode for easy use,
Cons: Limited built-in RAW tools, occasionally slow editing
That Wanaka Tree
On the following pages, you’ll find the best entries to our Wanaka Tree photo competition.
This was our hardest competition to judge to date due to having just 1 prize winner and a
high amount of images of the same quality hence also having some highly commended
picks. For the winning entry, we wanted a photo with the wow factor of course but we
were also looking for something a little bit different. A big Well Done to all who entered.
F14, 1/25s, ISO100
Deepest winter... just two of us there to see this dense misty minimalism. Captured at first flush of
brightness not long after the sun crested the mountains beyond.
F8 ,121s, ISO80
ONE CALM TREE
F10, 100s, ISO200
A whirlwind trip around New Zealand's top landscape locations ended with a
gloriously calm morning at Lake Wanaka.
We'd travelled 1500kms in 5 days and slept barely 18 hours , finding our peace
on the shore if only for an hour before the drive back to Christchurch.
THE TREE ON A LAKE...
The colors of Spring, the snow clad Buchanan Peaks, and the blue and clear Lake Wanaka make a
complete frame. I loved capturing the beauty...
A peacefull and calm sunset at Wanaka when the light and reflections perfectly match the mood.
A very low angle (slightly under the water!) taken with my Samsung S8 Phone on HDR mode. TOO many people
about plus I had the pleasure of being wheel clamped when I got back to my car!! (I didn't even stay the night!)
THOSE WANAKA PETALS
F14, 30s, ISO64
I've waited a long time to share a shot of the Wanaka tree that I'm happy with. I try
to avoid posting shots unless I can do something unique or apply my style to it to
make it at least a bit different. Hopefully this is a bit of the latter by being able to
apply my moodier darker style to the much loved tree.
I tried to get a unique foreground for this composition, so I was pretty happy to find
some petals on the shore next to the water. Actually taking this shot proved a bit
harder than it might look. In order to get everything in focus I had to do some focus
staking and due to how close I wanted to get to the petals, it meant I had to shoot
this as a 5 shot vertical panorama. To get the water smooth I had to use filters too.
So quite a few advanced techniques all going in to one shot.
F2.8, 2.5s, ISO50
This was shot on an Autumn morning with the famous Wanaka tree.
The sky was clear and the lake a bit dried-out but it was perfect for
F22, 1/160s, 10mm
Wide shot of the Wanaka tree
A CRISP SUMMERS DAY
F22, 8s, ISO200
It was a beautiful day in Wanaka earlier this year. Having previously come down for sunset I wanted to capture
the tree in daylight as well. I took this on a Nikon D7100 with a wide angle lens. I used a ND filter to get the long
exposure and smoothness of the water. I was at the tree for about 45 minutes after setting up my shot waiting for
a group of kayakers to get out of the way in the background. The tree was humming with photographers.
DIFFERENT VIEW WANAKA TREE
This was taken April 2017 when the lake was low and the tree exposed
and out of the water.
MINIMALIST WANAKA TREE
F22, 3.2s, ISO50
The little Wanaka tree has been photographed, and then some! This is my attempt at something a
little different. I'm a minimalist at heart.
F14, 1/40s, ISO100
That Tree. Taken while filling in time waiting for a flight to Milford Sound.
Fortunately nobody else was around!
F8, 1/800s, ISO200
My two dogs having a drink down at the tree on a late January morning in 2017. We can get snow
on the mountains at any time down here. It really improves things for landscape photography too.
F16, 1/40s, ISO100
'That Tree' with a stormy sky in Wanaka
BIRD IN THE TREE
F4.8, 3s, ISO200
That Wanaka tree early one
morning. The long exposure made
the lake a milky white and the
bird remained still long enough to
WANAKA TREE 2018
F9, 1/200s, ISO100
Taken over Easter on a windy day. Raw file processed in Lightroom
Classic, I added an Infrared Profile for a different look.
INTERNATIONAL LINEUP IN WANAKA
F10, 1/80s, ISO1000
The Wanaka Tree is a lone small willow growing in the shallows of Roy's Bay, at the southern end of Lake
Wanaka. It's a photographer's dream and at every dawn and dusk you'll see scores of snappers setting
up tripods, or crouching in front of viewfinders, clamouring for the perfect shot. The morning we were
there was a perfect example of just how popular the tree has become with international visitors.
BURNING SUNRISE AT THE WANAKA TREE
F11, 50s, ISO100
This was the first time I had ever photographed the Wanaka Tree and I was treated to a sunrise I will
never forget. Not sure if I will ever be lucky enough to get vibrant light like that again!
THAT WANAKA TREE
This photo was taken during one winter evening. It was my first time to
Wanaka. This infamous tree was definitely on my list to see when I was in
THE WANAKA TREE
F20, 15s, ISO800
This photo was taken on a cold winter evening. There certainly weren't as many people
photographing it then as there are now! I wanted to take a photo of this popular tree, but I wanted a
photograph that was different to the many taken before, so I decided on a portrait orientated image
and to use the rocks in the foreground to add some depth to the photo.
THE DUCKS AND THE TREE
F10, 1/30s, ISO800
I was trying to get an early morning shot of "That Wanaka Tree", hoping for calm water and beautiful light,
when these two curious ducks came out of no where troubling my water...
F8, 1/125s, ISO100
It was a cold morning in August 2016, me and my friends went to Wanaka for a ski trip. The weather was a
bit cloudy but very peaceful, I used a very low angle to shoot this reflection shot.
F8, 1/1250s, ISO200
"All your life...You were only waiting for this moment to be free..."
Every single image I've seen of 'That Wanaka Tree' is beautiful and different.That moment when you stand on
the shores of Lake Wanaka is a moment we don't forget soon. The willow tree is a witness to that moment. A
companion to share the majestic beauty with.
F20, 1/3s, ISO100
I had heard so much about this famous tree and thought that so many people had photographed it
that there was no point in doing so myself. That was until I saw it on this glorious early morning and
was drawn to taking my own creation of this.
AMAZING CLOUDS AT WANAKA TREE
F11, 2.5s, ISO200
I was with a photography group and was at the Wanaka tree the evening before this picture was taken. It was a
huge disappointment as there were at least 20 photographers, no clouds or colors in the sky, and no reflections.
We went again the next morning for sunrise and I was not having high hopes. But then as the sky slowly got
brighter, the colors were getting more intense and red donut shaped clouds suddenly became very visible. That
was the time I got completely overwhelmed by sheer excitement and joy.
WANAKA DAWN TWILIGHT
F11, 3s, ISO100
The Wanaka Tree, shot at dawn in late autumn, complete
with pied shags happily roosting in the branches.
Taken on an early autumn morning, the sun rising over Mt Iron and the light shining on the tree. It
grew from an old willow post which was left in the lake when the fences came down.
MY WANAKA TREE
F11, 10s, ISO400
The world famous Wanaka Tree with a solitary bird resting on a branch within the tree and the snow
capped mountains as a backdrop. This tree is world famous in photography circles and when taken,
there were eight photographers there, I was the only New Zealander!
ASK ME WHAT
I USE - I TELL THEM