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NZPhotographer Issue 23, September 2019

As of December 2022, NZPhotographer magazine is only available when you purchase an annual or monthly subscription via the NZP website. Find out more: www.nzphotographer.nz

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ISSUE <strong>23</strong>, <strong>September</strong> <strong>2019</strong><br />

INTERVIEW WITH<br />

FAIRLIE ATKINSON<br />

SHOOTING SHARP<br />

LANDSCAPES<br />

BY RICHARD YOUNG<br />

HOW TO CRITIQUE<br />

YOUR OWN PHOTOS<br />

BY SAMUEL OGUNLAJA<br />

IMAGINE AUCKLAND PEOPLE’S<br />

CHOICE AWARD WINNER<br />

<strong>September</strong> <strong>2019</strong><br />

1


WELCOME TO ISSUE <strong>23</strong> OF<br />

NZ PHOTOGRAPHER MAGAZINE<br />

HELLO EVERYONE,<br />

This edition of NZP puts the focus<br />

on learning, experimenting, and<br />

growing as a photographer whilst<br />

also introducing the topic of why<br />

and how photography should<br />

be encouraged in the younger<br />

generation.<br />

In our interview, photography<br />

teacher Fairlie Atkinson takes us<br />

under her wing to share her bird<br />

photography and also explains<br />

her teaching methods and the<br />

importance of the Arts in education.<br />

We also get to see what some of<br />

her photography students at Kapiti<br />

College have been working on and<br />

how photography is showing up in<br />

their everyday lives.<br />

From young adults to young kids,<br />

Ana shares her thoughts and tips on<br />

introducing photography to kids at a<br />

young age, as soon as they're able<br />

to hold a phone or camera. She<br />

explains how photography can help<br />

children improve their concentration<br />

whilst also developing a skill that is often overlooked; the art of seeing.<br />

Don't have kids or maybe they've already flown the nest? Don't worry, we have<br />

plenty of articles to teach and inspire your photographic journey too! Richard's<br />

article gives in-depth detail on shooting sharp landscapes and, instead of an<br />

Expert Critique session this month, Sam is going to teach you how to critique your<br />

own photos – A vital step that must be completed before sending your images out<br />

into the big wide world to be critiqued by others.<br />

Last but never least, we've greatly enjoyed looking through your own<br />

experimentations in readers' submissions learning how you've been pushing out of<br />

your own comfort zones with long exposures, double exposures, and more.<br />

Emily Goodwin<br />

Editor NZ Photographer<br />

General Info:<br />

<strong>NZPhotographer</strong> <strong>Issue</strong> <strong>23</strong><br />

<strong>September</strong> <strong>2019</strong><br />

Cover Photo<br />

Falcon Profile taken at Wingspan<br />

National Bird of Prey Centre<br />

by Fairlie Atkinson<br />

Publisher:<br />

Excio Group<br />

Website:<br />

www.excio.io/nzphotographer<br />

Group Director:<br />

Ana Lyubich<br />

Editor:<br />

Emily Goodwin<br />

Graphic Design:<br />

Maksim Topyrkin<br />

Advertising Enquiries:<br />

Email hello@excio.io<br />

2 <strong>NZPhotographer</strong>


REGULAR CONTRIBUTORS<br />

Brendon Gilchrist<br />

Brendon is the man<br />

behind ESB Photography.<br />

He is an avid tramper<br />

who treks from sea to<br />

mountain, and back<br />

again, capturing the<br />

uniqueness of New<br />

Zealand’s unforgiving<br />

landscape.<br />

Ana Lyubich<br />

Co-founder of Excio, Ana's<br />

photography journey<br />

started many years ago<br />

with one of the first Kodak<br />

film cameras. She loves<br />

exploring the unseen<br />

macro world and capturing<br />

genuine people's emotions.<br />

Richard Young<br />

Richard is an awardwinning<br />

landscape and<br />

wildlife photographer who<br />

teaches photography<br />

workshops and runs<br />

photography tours. He<br />

is the founder of New<br />

Zealand Photography<br />

Workshops.<br />

nzphotographer nzp_magazine nzp@excio.io<br />

© <strong>2019</strong> <strong>NZPhotographer</strong> Magazine<br />

All rights reserved. Reproduction of any material appearing in this magazine in<br />

any form is forbidden without prior consent of the publisher.<br />

Disclaimer:<br />

Opinions of contributing authors do not necessarily reflect the<br />

opinion of the magazine.<br />

<strong>September</strong> <strong>2019</strong><br />

3


CONTENTS<br />

IMAGINE AUCKLAND PEOPLE’S CHOICE<br />

AWARD WINNER: TINA MACRAE<br />

6<br />

INTERVIEW<br />

WITH FAIRLIE ATKINSON<br />

6<br />

8<br />

12<br />

22<br />

BEHIND THE SHOT<br />

with Kelly Vivian<br />

INTERVIEW WITH FAIRLIE ATKINSON<br />

THE UP AND COMING TALENT<br />

FROM KAPITI COLLEGE<br />

30 #WOMENINPHOTOGRAPHY<br />

GETTING TO KNOW CHARLOTTE E JOHNSON<br />

38<br />

42<br />

48<br />

55<br />

IMAGINE AUCKLAND PEOPLE’S CHOICE<br />

AWARD WINNER: TINA MACRAE<br />

THE ROUTEBURN TRACK<br />

by Brendon Gilchrist<br />

ENCOURAGING OUR CHILDREN TO BECOME<br />

PHOTOGRAPHERS FROM A YOUNG AGE<br />

by Ana Lyubich<br />

SHOOTING SHARP LANDSCAPES<br />

by Richard Young<br />

HOW TO CRITIQUE YOUR OWN PHOTOS<br />

by Samuel Ogunlaja<br />

12<br />

SHOOTING SHARP LANDSCAPES<br />

BY RICHARD YOUNG<br />

8<br />

BEHIND THE SHOT<br />

WITH KELLY VIVIAN<br />

48


Imagine Auckland People’s Choice<br />

Award Winner: Tina Macrae<br />

MURIWAI GOLD<br />

F10, 1/125s, ISO125<br />

HI TINA, TELL US ABOUT YOU…<br />

I have been very fortunate to live in the<br />

beautiful Whitianga on the Coromandel<br />

Peninsula for the last 22years with my partner<br />

Mark and our two gorgeous boys (or I should<br />

say young men) plus two cats, and Badger<br />

our Lab/foxy cross rescue dog. I’m passionate<br />

about native plants and gardening, food,<br />

travel, and photography.<br />

WHAT’S YOUR CONNECTION WITH<br />

AUCKLAND?<br />

I was raised in West Auckland and lived in Te<br />

Atatu South. I attended the local school’s,<br />

finishing my education at Rutherford High so<br />

west coast beaches were my local stomping<br />

ground.


HOW AND WHEN DID YOU GET STARTED<br />

WITH PHOTOGRAPHY?<br />

My Grandfather and Aunty have always been<br />

avid photographers and my Mum was always<br />

taking family snaps but it was my art teacher<br />

(Gary Shuker at Rutherford High) who taught<br />

me the fundamentals of photography like<br />

form, composition, lighting, and developing<br />

black and white film.<br />

Later on, when I had a family of my own,<br />

I was always taking family snaps but started<br />

stretching my skills by taking landscape and<br />

macro shots.<br />

Wanting to improve and learn, I joined a local<br />

camera group called Focus Photography in<br />

2016 which then merged with the Whitianga<br />

Camera Club in 2018. We have some amazing<br />

accomplished photographers within the club<br />

who are happy and willing to share their<br />

time and knowledge with monthly workshops<br />

covering topics includiing astro, portraits, and<br />

long exposure.<br />

HOW DO YOU PUSH YOURSELF TO<br />

IMPROVE AND TRY NEW THINGS?<br />

With the monthly challenges from the<br />

Whitianga Camera Club, I have been pushed<br />

outside of my comfort zone, exploring new<br />

techniques and styles of photography. Who<br />

knew that I would enjoy astrophotography<br />

and wandering around at 4am trying to take<br />

photos of the Eta Aquarids meteor shower<br />

back in May (and yes did manage to capture<br />

a couple)!<br />

WHAT CAMERA DO YOU HAVE?<br />

Currently, I’m shooting with a Canon<br />

Powershot G3 x which is a bridge style<br />

camera. While it does have some restrictions,<br />

at the moment it suits me fine as it’s ideal for<br />

travelling – I don’t have to worry about having<br />

the right lens with me (it has an incredible long<br />

range zoom) and it’s able to perform most<br />

tasks a DSLR can.<br />

DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE GENRE OR<br />

PREFER A CERTAIN STYLE?<br />

As yet I don’t have a preferred genre as such<br />

but I do tend to take more landscape and<br />

nature photographs. However, I am interested<br />

in developing my skills in street photography.<br />

TELL US ABOUT THE DAY YOU TOOK THIS<br />

WINNING SHOT…<br />

We were fortunate enough to be staying<br />

at the family bach at Muriwai which is<br />

a quintessential kiwi bach from the 60’s.<br />

I decided to hit the beach for a long walk<br />

with my camera on a stunning June afternoon<br />

as the tide was dropping. My idea was to<br />

work on capturing people on the beach in a<br />

more abstract way. The light was incredibly<br />

beautiful. As I was leaving the beach<br />

I climbed the sand dunes behind the surf<br />

club watchtower to capture the sunset and<br />

silhouette of the tower and was rewarded<br />

with a glorious golden sunset where the sky,<br />

sea, and sand were ablaze. It wasn’t really a<br />

planned shot but one I thought summarized<br />

Auckland’s west coast.<br />

ARE YOU HAPPY WITH THE PHOTO? IS<br />

THERE ANYTHING YOU WOULD HAVE<br />

LIKED TO HAVE DONE DIFFERENTLY?<br />

I like the effect and colour of the image as it<br />

was on the day but I should have used a filter<br />

so the sun wasn’t as glaring but alas, I didn’t<br />

have them with me.<br />

HOW DID IT FEEL FINDING OUT THAT<br />

YOUR PHOTO HAD WON THE PEOPLE’S<br />

CHOICE AWARD?<br />

To be honest I was surprised but totally thrilled<br />

at the same time as there were some amazing<br />

images in the competition.<br />

HAS WINNING PEOPLE’S CHOICE<br />

GIVEN YOU A SENSE OF NEW FOUND<br />

CONFIDENCE?<br />

Actually, it really has. I guess I have always<br />

been my own worst enemy with self doubt but<br />

this is my second win of the year as I also had<br />

a photo shortlisted in the still life category of<br />

the Sigma amateur photographer of the year<br />

competition.<br />

DO YOU HAVE ANY TIPS OR ADVICE FOR<br />

FELLOW PHOTOGRAPHERS WHO MAY<br />

BE HESITANT ABOUT SUBMITTING THEIR<br />

WORK TO COMPETITIONS?<br />

Don’t stop learning and keep trying and<br />

experimenting with different genres, ideas, and<br />

techniques. For those just starting out, get off<br />

Auto mode and start using Manual – Have fun!<br />

WHERE CAN WE FIND YOU ONLINE?<br />

Nowhere yet as my photography has just been<br />

for me up until this point but who knows what<br />

the future may hold!<br />

<strong>September</strong> <strong>2019</strong><br />

7


Behind The Shot<br />

with Kelly Vivian<br />

8 <strong>NZPhotographer</strong>


O’HARE AIRPORT<br />

F5.6, 1/1200s, 18mm<br />

<strong>September</strong> <strong>2019</strong> 9


KELLY, PLEASE INTRODUCE YOURSELF TO US...<br />

I live on Auckland’s North Shore with my 17 year old<br />

son, Sebastian. I have a 19 year long history working<br />

within the hospitality and customer service industries<br />

and began my amateur photography journey in 2015<br />

when I bought my first DSLR, a Nikon D3300.<br />

I primarily bought a camera to take shots of my son<br />

on the basketball court and ended up doing multiple<br />

contracts for Basketball NZ after they saw some of<br />

my shots. I then diversified and began taking shots of<br />

almost everything I could to practice and get better<br />

at other styles of photography.<br />

Landscapes, wildlife, travel and long exposure<br />

photography are my favourites now. I still take sports<br />

photography shots, but they aren’t so much my focus<br />

anymore.<br />

WHAT ARE YOU SHOOTING WITH?<br />

My current weapon of choice is the Nikon D500. I love<br />

the functionality and speed of the body, it’s not too<br />

heavy when shooting handheld and I find it produces<br />

such high-quality RAW images.<br />

I have three lenses, the first is a Tokina AT-X Pro,<br />

11-16mm, f/2.8 which I love for landscapes and, with<br />

my Hoya 10 stop ND filter and remote shutter control,<br />

long exposures. Then I have my Nikkor FS kit set lenses,<br />

18-55mm & 70-200mm which are great multi use lenses<br />

and finally my Tamron SP 70-300mm, f/4-5.6 which I use<br />

for wildlife photography.<br />

I use an extreme pro 256GB SanDisk memory card<br />

because of the super-fast processing, a Godox<br />

speedlight flash and a Joby Gorillapod as my tripod<br />

but am looking to get a larger tripod as a more stable<br />

base for my long exposures. I shoot exclusively in<br />

manual mode, but rarely do I take the ISO off auto, I<br />

just adjust the f stop and shutter speed.<br />

TELL US ABOUT YOUR O’HARE AIRPORT<br />

PHOTO...<br />

My son and I were travelling to North Carolina for him<br />

to trial for a college basketball team and we had to<br />

go from LAX to O’Hare then onto Greensboro in NC.<br />

This photo was taken during our stopover in O’Hare<br />

Airport in Chicago.<br />

Upon leaving the plane, we needed to move from<br />

one terminal to another and to get to the second<br />

terminal, we needed to go down a large steep<br />

staircase and along the travelator shown in the<br />

image.<br />

The lights along the roof changed colour and I was<br />

mesmerised by the sight. It was spectacular, and I<br />

couldn’t help myself but to get my camera out of my<br />

hand luggage and take a couple of shots.<br />

I opted to go down the most central lane heading<br />

the right way and take the shot, so the lines of the<br />

10 <strong>NZPhotographer</strong><br />

handrails were as centred as possible. I had to avoid<br />

people coming up behind me and didn’t want to<br />

get in the way, so it was a super quick few shots fired,<br />

hoping that I’d got the shot.<br />

WHAT WAS HAPPENING BEHIND THE CAMERA?<br />

My son was super tired and less than impressed<br />

that I was holding him up from getting his breakfast<br />

because I was ‘taking more photos’ haha.<br />

ARE YOU HAPPY WITH THE PHOTO, WHAT DO<br />

YOU LIKE/DISLIKE ABOUT IT?<br />

I always liked this image, especially as it was taken on<br />

the fly, with no real planning or time to perfect it. The<br />

fact that the passengers in the photo are somewhat<br />

blurry initially annoyed me, but now I feel they tell<br />

a story of how rushed people can be at one of the<br />

largest airports in the United States and how they<br />

don’t take the time to stop and look around in such a<br />

busy place.<br />

I like to take photos free of people so I tried to take<br />

this with the least amount of people in the frame,<br />

but in retrospect, I quite like the silhouettes of weary<br />

travellers in the image and I think it adds to the<br />

aesthetic of the image as a whole.<br />

I don’t know if there is anything I could have done<br />

better, maybe got a different angle of the space<br />

from off the travelator with a more stable non-moving<br />

spot, but it just wasn’t going to happen with a hungry<br />

teenager hounding me haha.<br />

WHAT DID YOU LEARN FROM TAKING THIS<br />

PHOTO?<br />

The main thing I learned from taking this image is to<br />

take chances, take opportunities to get the shot,<br />

regardless of what is happening around you, what<br />

people may think of you or where you are. The most<br />

challenging shot can often be the most rewarding.<br />

WHERE CAN WE FIND YOU ONLINE?<br />

www.instagram.com/kells1photography<br />

www.facebook.com/kells1photography<br />

albums.excio.io/profile/KellsPhotography<br />

BEHIND THE SHOT IS PROUDLY<br />

SUPPORTED BY


FRESH SHOOTS<br />

PHOTO COMPETITION<br />

We’re inviting photographers to highlight all the wonderful things that make the Wellington<br />

Botanic Garden much more than a garden, while encouraging photographers to focus on<br />

the garden season by season.<br />

For prizes and full Terms & Conditions see: www.excio.io/freshshoots<br />

The last season of the competition is now open:<br />

Winter<br />

22 June - 20 <strong>September</strong> <strong>2019</strong><br />

CATEGORIES<br />

NATURE<br />

PEOPLE &<br />

EVENTS<br />

CREATIVE<br />

PARTNERS<br />

<strong>September</strong> <strong>2019</strong><br />

11


Interview with<br />

Fairlie Atkinson<br />

HI FAIRLIE, ALTHOUGH READERS WILL KNOW<br />

YOU FROM OUR BLOG INTERVIEW, WHY DON’T<br />

YOU GIVE US A RECAP?!<br />

I live in Kapiti and teach Photography and Design at<br />

Kapiti College. My partner Peter and I have four children<br />

(2 each) and we also have two exchange students<br />

living with us long term while they study at Kapiti College.<br />

Our life is pretty busy as we are doing up our home. That<br />

being said it is perfect for our large eclectic family.<br />

Since I teach photography, I am immersed in it all day<br />

with my students, time for my own photography during<br />

the school term is rare so I tend to do my own creative<br />

work on the weekends if it is a project I can involve my<br />

kids in, and during school holidays.<br />

My own photography passion is creating bird portraiture<br />

as a way of fundraising for local wildlife reserves and<br />

I donate my images of native New Zealand birds to<br />

wildlife and conservation organisations to use in their<br />

advertising and marketing to avoid them having to use<br />

their budgets to pay for this service.<br />

Aside from photography I love horse riding and teach<br />

horse riding after school one day a week. I enjoy<br />

reading crime novels, visiting nature reserves, bush<br />

walks, and travelling to new places. I love foreign food,<br />

learning languages and last but not least spending time<br />

with my eclectic family.<br />

TELL US MORE ABOUT HELPING CHARITIES<br />

WITH YOUR PHOTOGRAPHY, WHAT HAVE<br />

YOU DONE MOST RECENTLY?<br />

Most recently I was in Turangi and captured<br />

images of whio in the wild that I have donated to<br />

an organisation called Whio Forever. They partner<br />

with DoC to protect the whio, and photos of whio<br />

in their natural habitat are a wonderful indicator<br />

of their success. They can use my photos (if they<br />

wish) to showcase this success on social media<br />

or anywhere that might raise their profile. I also<br />

donate my images to Staglands and Nga Manu<br />

whenever I visit, and I have a series of images taken<br />

at Nga Manu, when I sell prints of these I donate a<br />

percentage to the Reserve. They do incredible work<br />

rehabilitating our native birds and I believe it is only<br />

fair to give back to the community that supports my<br />

photography.<br />

HOW AND WHEN DID YOU DECIDE TO<br />

BECOME A PHOTOGRAPHY TEACHER?<br />

I have spent most of my career teaching at universities<br />

in Asia and the Middle East. My children were born<br />

in the Middle East but I wanted to raise them in New<br />

Zealand. Therefore, I returned to high school teaching<br />

in New Zealand in 2015 where I taught English and<br />

Technology.<br />

I had been given a DSLR camera that same year<br />

and started playing with it so by the time I moved to<br />

Kapiti in 2017 I had decided photography was what<br />

I wanted to teach. I enrolled in a level 5 diploma of<br />

photography with the Southern Institute of Technology<br />

and realised very quickly that I wanted to teach<br />

a creative subject that students took as an option<br />

rather than a core subject that students had to take.<br />

I was lucky that Tony Kane, the principal had faith<br />

that I could do this and I am in a supportive working<br />

environment. The Visual Arts teaching community<br />

is incredibly caring and share many resources and<br />

support new teachers to the subject very well.<br />

HOW DO YOU APPROACH THE TEACHING OF<br />

PHOTOGRAPHY?<br />

My approach is two-fold. First, I believe students need<br />

to experiment. The first thing I do for new students is<br />

to run a camera boot camp which is two weeks long.<br />

Each day we focus on something different like shutter<br />

speed or aperture etc. I give them challenges related<br />

to this, like take a photo that shows someone jumping<br />

in the air, with no blur.<br />

12 <strong>NZPhotographer</strong>


<strong>September</strong> <strong>2019</strong> 13


I also do things like getting them to build their own<br />

lightbox from white cardboard and photographing<br />

a cicada shell placed in the centre. In order to<br />

photograph the cicada well, they need to use their<br />

camera on manual. Once they have the camera<br />

basics right and know how to manipulate studio<br />

lighting, I encourage as much experimentation as<br />

possible. My catchphrase is “go play!” What I mean<br />

by this is go and play with the settings, lighting, subject<br />

matter, location. Experiment and see what evolves.<br />

Secondly, I believe ‘creative conversation’ is essential<br />

(either one on one with me or peer feedback) to the<br />

creative process for a student operating within the<br />

confines of NCEA. Asking the hard questions such as<br />

‘how much time did you devote to this? How does this<br />

image relate to your theme or the images around it?<br />

Who is your artist model? Where are you going with<br />

this and what’s next?’ gets students to look with a<br />

critical eye at their images.<br />

However, I very much believe that students need<br />

to follow their own creative journey so I tend to give<br />

them very loose themes like ‘Turangawaewae’,<br />

which they can interpret very literally or in an abstract<br />

manner. Many students create a photographic series<br />

based on their identity, or something they identify with.<br />

And because I am careful to work within their interests<br />

they tend to be more engaged in the process.<br />

WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE THING TO TEACH IN<br />

THE CLASSROOM?<br />

The first couple of lessons in Photoshop! Students<br />

think they can magically transform a terrible photo<br />

in Photoshop but they find out very quickly that this<br />

isn’t the case at all. They also discover that a well shot<br />

image just needs some tweaking in Photoshop to look<br />

absolutely fantastic. Once they have mastered the<br />

tools, I love to see them getting creative and trying<br />

things like surrealism and pop art using their own<br />

photos. Some of their creations are weird, wonderful,<br />

and bizarre, but all of them are a creative journey.<br />

WHAT’S THE BEST PART OF BEING A<br />

PHOTOGRAPHY TEACHER? AND THE WORST?!<br />

The very best thing about this job is the immense<br />

satisfaction that comes when a student’s work is<br />

recognised or exhibited. To know that I was a small<br />

part of that creative journey is very satisfying and to<br />

have others appreciate the innovation and creativity<br />

of the teenage mind is wonderful. I also derive a great<br />

deal of personal inspiration from my students and from<br />

the creative conversations we have. They push me<br />

to get out of my comfort zone as a photographer. A<br />

direct result of this is that I have started dabbling in<br />

some surrealist photography of my own which you<br />

can see on the next page. My picture of the baby<br />

ruru was taken at Wingspan and then I went online<br />

and found a copyright free image of an eye and<br />

one of a steampunk style clock face. I then blended,<br />

painted, coloured, and smudged until I got an image<br />

I was happy with. It was my first attempt at surrealism<br />

and I still like it.<br />

The worst thing is that photography is underfunded,<br />

underappreciated, and undervalued in every high<br />

school. Therefore, we struggle to find funds for<br />

equipment and resources. It is also a subject that is not<br />

viewed as particularly academically rigorous by many<br />

in the community. This perception is completely false,<br />

and students have to work extremely hard to pass,<br />

and standards are very high. This is an issue for many<br />

optional subjects and subjects in the Arts and not just<br />

photography.<br />

WHAT CHALLENGES DO YOUR STUDENTS FACE<br />

AND HOW DO YOU/THEY OVERCOME THEM?<br />

The biggest challenge is coming up with an idea that<br />

will run across 2–3 NCEA boards. That’s anywhere<br />

between 40–60 photos that connect to each other,<br />

are based on various artist models, that fit into a<br />

theme, and that can provide enough variety to keep<br />

the marker interested.<br />

Students often say, “but Miss I don’t have any ideas.”<br />

That’s where the Internet, this magazine, Excio,<br />

Instagram, Pinterest, and the library come in! I ask<br />

students to explore photography by other people<br />

based on themes of interest to them. Once I know<br />

what they are interested in and what creative style<br />

they like I can recommend photographers that can<br />

be used as artist models so that students can learn<br />

from established practitioners. They can then develop<br />

their own interpretation of that style and work towards<br />

developing their own approach to their photography.<br />

Artist models are established practitioners in their<br />

field of art, whether that be painting, sculpture,<br />

photography etc. Our students are required to<br />

reference more than one artist and their style or<br />

techniques somewhere in their work. For example, if<br />

a student wants to shoot a photographic series and<br />

incorporate type into it they might use Barbara Kruger<br />

as an artist model and shoot their images in black and<br />

white and use red and black type. The images and<br />

message will be unique to them but will be influenced<br />

by the artist model's style.<br />

WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON<br />

PHOTOGRAPHY (AND THE ARTS AS A WHOLE)<br />

IN THE SCHOOL CURRICULUM?<br />

They are absolutely necessary. Not every kid can<br />

read and write well, and not every kid is musical,<br />

mathematical, or sporty. Not every child likes science.<br />

So what’s left? We as a society need to nurture<br />

creative pursuits. They inspire others, and push us to try<br />

new things. When a student leaves school, employers<br />

are increasingly looking for adaptable, creative, and<br />

conscientious people. The Arts does a very good job<br />

of preparing our young people to think creatively and<br />

solve problems with the tools in front of them. If the<br />

Arts are removed from a curriculum, so is creativity in<br />

its purest form.


<strong>September</strong> <strong>2019</strong> 15


16 <strong>NZPhotographer</strong>


<strong>September</strong> <strong>2019</strong> 17


18 <strong>NZPhotographer</strong>


HOW DO YOU EDUCATE YOURSELF SO YOU<br />

CAN BETTER HELP YOUR STUDENTS?<br />

I look a lot at student work and talk to them about their<br />

interests. I then go online and see what other artists and<br />

photographers may have done in that field and how<br />

they have done it. I spend a lot of time on online forums,<br />

watching tutorials, or exploring different genres in order<br />

to better help my students. Essentially, I am constantly<br />

learning alongside them.<br />

I find it pointless to teach the same thing to everyone.<br />

Last year a student said she loved the work of Prue<br />

Stent and Masie Cousins so I went online and explored<br />

their work and their techniques with that student. We<br />

experimented making coloured cornflour paste, and<br />

Googled the ingredients for a milk bath so she could do<br />

a shoot at home. We bought glitter, and slime and found<br />

out how hard it is to clean it up after you have taken<br />

photos with it and that the glitter keeps reappearing<br />

weeks, even months later. It’s about learning, and<br />

experimenting together. This year when a student asked<br />

me about those two photographers, I was ready with<br />

answers!<br />

When you train to be a teacher, or train within your<br />

subject matter, it doesn’t mean you now know<br />

everything. You can learn as much from your students as<br />

they can learn from you if you choose to.<br />

TELL US HOW YOUR SCHOOL HAS TEAMED UP<br />

WITH EXCIO TO SHOWCASE STUDENTS’ WORK…<br />

It started with me leaving a comment on one of the<br />

<strong>NZPhotographer</strong> Magazine posts on Facebook that<br />

asked what we, as a community, wanted to see<br />

in the magazine. I was tired of seeing all the posts<br />

of landscapes and what I felt was the same style<br />

of photography again and again posted by the<br />

photographic community. I felt that it excluded the<br />

creativity and talent of our younger generation.<br />

I use this magazine as a teaching tool, and I wanted<br />

to see the magazine evolve and attract a younger<br />

generation of reader – I think this is definitely happening<br />

lately, which is awesome. Ana and I began talking<br />

about my feature on the Excio blog and I asked her<br />

if we could have an Excio account for the school as<br />

the photography the students do is fantastic, and a<br />

bit different from what we normally see showcased in<br />

photography magazines and in social media.<br />

She was immediately supportive and when she came<br />

to talk to our students she was so inspirational. She<br />

essentially voiced the message that I have been trying to<br />

get across to our students about photography telling the<br />

students that photography does not have to be about<br />

the ‘likes’, the ‘followers’ and the ‘influencers’, but it can<br />

be about doing good and communicating a message<br />

for change or just sharing a beautiful moment. I feel very<br />

grateful to have had someone like Ana in my classroom<br />

living those words with her work with Excio and NZP as<br />

an example of how a photographic community can be<br />

based on something other than the pursuit of fame and<br />

money.<br />

At the moment we have around 8 students on Excio with<br />

1–3 photos per student, but are in the process of adding<br />

more. What we are trying to do is showcase a variety of<br />

images from our students so users of the app can see<br />

how varied our students’ talents and interests are. I have<br />

put together a student team to help me administer the<br />

school collections so we can showcase as many as<br />

120 photos at a time. It’s very exciting for us, and gives<br />

students the motivation to strive hard to be innovative<br />

and creative because, in the end, it is those images that<br />

have the most impact and those are the ones we want<br />

to show. Photography as a subject is only growing at<br />

Kapiti College, and with our partnership with Excio it will<br />

only attract more students keen to be appreciated for<br />

the innovators and artists that they are.<br />

HOW DO YOU THINK PHOTOGRAPHY BENEFITS<br />

KIDS AS A WHOLE?<br />

Photography has something for kids who think and see<br />

things differently. Maybe they can’t draw or play a<br />

musical instrument but are still creative. Imagine a world<br />

without creative people, without photography, art and<br />

music, it would be a very grey world. Children paint, sing,<br />

and dance before they read, write, and calculate. It’s<br />

their way of communicating, and essentially that is what<br />

art is in its purest form; a vehicle for personal expression.<br />

Photography facilitates creativity, personal expression,<br />

communication, and changes the way kids look at the<br />

world. Once you begin to be able to communicate a<br />

message with an image, you start seeing the potential for<br />

photos, and for communication everywhere. Remember,<br />

we are a society made of kids whose first instinct is to<br />

imagine, create and explore. Why can’t we continue this<br />

into adulthood?<br />

<strong>September</strong> <strong>2019</strong><br />

19


20 <strong>NZPhotographer</strong>


WHAT ADVICE DO YOU GIVE YOUR STUDENTS<br />

WHO WANT TO MAKE A CAREER OUT OF<br />

PHOTOGRAPHY?<br />

If this is your dream then go for it. If it’s the only thing they<br />

want to do then why not? Photographers are employed<br />

by the Armed Forces, the police, hospitals, regional<br />

councils, real-estate firms, government departments and<br />

by publishing groups.<br />

Many students talk to me about their fear of financial<br />

insecurity that comes with choosing a job in the Arts. This<br />

is indeed valid, as photography has become very much<br />

a contract business. I think there are ways and means of<br />

making money from doing what you love though, without<br />

money being the primary objective.<br />

WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON GETTING A<br />

FORMAL EDUCATION IN PHOTOGRAPHY VERSUS<br />

TEACHING YOURSELF WHEN THE AIM IS TO MAKE<br />

PHOTOGRAPHY INTO A CAREER?<br />

I taught myself everything from Youtube, the Internet and<br />

by just playing with my camera. I think a formal education<br />

will help you if your employer is one that requires it and<br />

that’s the direction you want to go in but honestly, what<br />

I gained from a formal education in photography is the<br />

qualification, not the skills themselves.<br />

Saying that, not everyone learns the same way and many<br />

people like the structure of lessons and being told what<br />

to try and in what direction to move before they try the<br />

practical skills out. I prefer to learn by doing. I see in my<br />

classroom kids who want me to actively show them every<br />

tool and how it works in Photoshop and other kids who just<br />

want to dive in and click everything and see how it works.<br />

To be honest, the kids who dive in seem to learn the tools<br />

more quickly because they are not afraid of making a<br />

mistake but that’s not to say that one approach is better<br />

than the other.<br />

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE OUR READERS<br />

FOR CHOOSING A PHOTOGRAPHY COURSE?<br />

Consider what purpose it will serve. If you need a<br />

qualification for a job then by all means go and get it.<br />

Remember, at its core, photography is a practical art form<br />

so make sure you choose a course where there is room to<br />

practice and hone your practical skills, and not just write,<br />

or reflect on, or critique work.<br />

Critique is valuable, but courses seem to want to add a<br />

fair amount of peer critique in them to make them feel<br />

more ‘academic.’ I, myself, found little value in mandatory<br />

critique. Voluntary, on the other hand, has a great deal of<br />

value and leads to a more authentic learning experience.<br />

I actually love the photo critique section in the magazine<br />

and on the blog but what we have to keep in mind is that<br />

one person’s idea of a good photo is not someone else’s.<br />

ANY WORDS OF WISDOM TO LEAVE US WITH?<br />

Learning is a lifelong pursuit. Art is personal and art<br />

critique is subjective. In a nutshell, do what you love, keep<br />

learning, and trying new things. Go and play with your<br />

camera as often as you can!<br />

WHERE CAN WE FIND YOU ONLINE?<br />

albums.excio.io/profile/Fairlie Atkinson<br />

facebook.com/kapitiphotography<br />

<strong>September</strong> <strong>2019</strong><br />

21


The Up and Coming Talent from Kapiti College<br />

We’ve heard Fairlie talk about teaching, now let’s switch sides and hear about<br />

the creative/photographic journey that some of her students are on as we see the<br />

projects they’ve completed.<br />

aesthetic. My style of photography is quirky, girly<br />

aesthetics. I love both trying to communicate a<br />

message through photography in a creative way,<br />

and also just experimenting with random meaningless<br />

ideas. I find photography a way to express my<br />

creativity and art, using props and settings to create<br />

an image no one else will have seen.<br />

CAN YOU CHOOSE A FAVOURITE PHOTO OR<br />

PROJECT?<br />

These photos are a series of four demonstrating a<br />

progressing heart. The first photo is just a sparkler by<br />

itself, the second a 1/4 heart, the third a 3/4 heart,<br />

and the fourth a full heart. I created these images by<br />

using sparklers to draw a heart shape. I adjusted the<br />

settings manually to a low shutter speed, the lowest<br />

for the full heart as it took the longest to draw, and a<br />

short shutter speed for the still sparkler. The low shutter<br />

speed meant that I could draw the heart shape with<br />

the sparkler and the camera would capture the light<br />

trail, and dismiss the wire stick of the sparkler so that a<br />

heart outline was created with sparks flying off it. I also<br />

put a piece of pink cellophane over one studio light,<br />

and a blue piece to cover the other, this created an<br />

ombre background.<br />

NAME: MIETTA<br />

AGE: 17<br />

TELL US ABOUT YOUR JOURNEY WITH<br />

PHOTOGRAPHY SO FAR…<br />

I have always had a passion for taking aesthetic<br />

images, and an appreciation for beauty – Trying to<br />

capture the good in things or bring out the beauty.<br />

I have always loved taking photos however had never<br />

used a proper camera before, only using my phone.<br />

So this year is the first year I have actually taken<br />

photos on a DSLR. I struggled at the beginning to<br />

figure out how to adjust and manipulate the settings<br />

however, for every photo shoot I did, I played around<br />

with the manual settings a lot until I got it right.<br />

WHAT’S YOUR PHOTOGRAPHIC STYLE?<br />

I just love experimenting with props and camera<br />

settings to create images that hold a beautiful<br />

WHAT CHALLENGES YOU MOST IN CLASS?<br />

HOW DO YOU/DID YOU OVERCOME THAT?<br />

I sometimes struggle to come up with ideas, or plan<br />

a series of shoots. I usually overcome this by finding<br />

inspiration from Pinterest, or just coming up with a<br />

simple idea. I then experiment a lot, so the basic idea<br />

expands and more ideas come flowing until I finally<br />

get the photo or idea I want. My best photos are the<br />

ones where I had no plan or a very rough plan, the<br />

photo created purely from experimentation. That is<br />

what I find fun in photography: experimenting heaps<br />

to get my creativity flowing.<br />

HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT YOUR<br />

PHOTOGRAPHY BEING CHOSEN TO FEATURE<br />

ON THE KAPITI COLLEGE EXCIO ACCOUNT?<br />

When I heard that, I was really excited and proud! To<br />

be honest, when I first started the subject at school,<br />

I didn’t think I would be good at photography, I was<br />

kind of just messing around with some ideas and never<br />

really thought they would go anywhere.


<strong>September</strong> <strong>2019</strong> <strong>23</strong>


NAME: CHARLISE SEFO<br />

AGE: 16<br />

WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO STUDY<br />

PHOTOGRAPHY?<br />

I’ve been interested in taking photos since I was<br />

younger. My cousin is a photographer and has<br />

travelled to Switzerland, his photos were a big<br />

inspiration for my love of photography and an<br />

introduction to quality photography. Watching the<br />

process of him taking the photos always looked like<br />

the hardest part but seeing the final outcome was<br />

always inspiring to me. My favourite thing about his<br />

photography was how he would always perfectly<br />

match the colours together, perfectly balancing the<br />

photo. This pushed me to study photography.<br />

WHY/HOW IS PHOTOGRAPHY IMPORTANT TO<br />

YOU?<br />

Photography is a way of expressing myself. A photo<br />

means a thousand words and tells a story or journey.<br />

It’s important to me because it’s my own way of<br />

writing a story, without the words.<br />

CAN YOU CHOOSE A FAVOURITE PHOTO? TELL<br />

US ABOUT IT…<br />

My favourite photo is what I call “Dream State”. The<br />

flower is a symbol of love with the blur on the side to<br />

hint that it’s a dream. With the blue overall, the neon<br />

colours pop more which allows specific things, the<br />

important hints, to be seen. I let the viewer wonder<br />

what it means. Is it a dream? Or a distant memory of<br />

what once was? That’s why it’s my favourite image,<br />

the wonder of the story behind it, is it an untold story or<br />

fearful dream?<br />

WHAT CHALLENGES YOU MOST IN CLASS?<br />

HOW DO YOU/DID YOU OVERCOME THAT?<br />

Having to use artist models can be very restrictive. My<br />

ideas are inspired by images that may not necessarily<br />

be done by famous photographers while the NCEA<br />

says we have to use them. I overcome this by looking


up a certain image or photographer and putting<br />

my own twist on it. I used Jochim Froese as one of<br />

my artist models on my first NCEA level 2 board and<br />

changed a few things to fit my aesthetic and the<br />

energy of my board.<br />

DO YOU HAVE PLANS TO PURSUE<br />

PHOTOGRAPHY AS A CAREER OPTION?<br />

I didn’t think that photography could be a career<br />

option for me till I was recognised – I have realized<br />

now that it could hopefully be a career path for me<br />

one day. It’s something I really enjoy and something<br />

I love to do. I love to show people what I see through<br />

my photos. To capture quality moments with friends<br />

and family.<br />

HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT YOUR<br />

PHOTOGRAPHY BEING CHOSEN TO FEATURE<br />

ON THE KAPITI COLLEGE EXCIO ACCOUNT?<br />

When I first heard I was being featured I was over the<br />

moon excited and told all my family and friends. It’s a<br />

massive honour and has made me more focused and<br />

given me the drive to try harder, to experiment more<br />

with the lights and the camera to create awesome<br />

and unique photos.


NAME: LUCAS REID<br />

AGE: 18<br />

WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO STUDY<br />

PHOTOGRAPHY?<br />

I wanted to do a fun and creative subject. I didn’t<br />

want to choose a subject where you are restricted<br />

to exams and study – I wanted to do something<br />

more relaxed and be creative in a fun classroom<br />

atmosphere. I enjoyed the class in year 12 so I ended<br />

up taking a double line of it in year 13.<br />

WHY/HOW IS PHOTOGRAPHY IMPORTANT TO<br />

YOU?<br />

To be honest, photography is not part of my career<br />

plan, but it is part of my creative outlet. Life is busy<br />

with work and school, and there is not much time to<br />

just take time to enjoy creating something – This is my<br />

space to do that.<br />

CAN YOU CHOOSE A FAVOURITE PHOTO?<br />

The reason I have chosen this photo as my favourite<br />

is because it shows all the elements from my level 3<br />

NCEA board. It shows all the bright colours and all the<br />

objects in one photo as well as a clear photo of my<br />

model. I started my board by creating photo art in<br />

the style of Emily Blincoe but I used everyday NZ food<br />

like hundreds and thousands biscuits and Liquorice<br />

Allsorts. I then introduced my model, who I have<br />

dressed as a colourful, yet grungy drag queen. He<br />

is shown with these other elements to try and make<br />

an extraordinary picture out of an ordinary boy and<br />

ordinary objects.<br />

WHAT CHALLENGES YOU MOST IN CLASS?<br />

HOW ARE YOU OVERCOMING THAT?<br />

The challenges I face are following the NCQA rules<br />

for the external photography boards as well as being


creative and having my own ideas. Because I need<br />

to pass the boards I need to follow the rules that<br />

NZQA have put out for me, and this can sometimes<br />

restrict how creative I can be with my photos. For<br />

example, I would quite like to do photos in my own<br />

style, or in the style of influencers on social media but<br />

I have to use artist models that NZQA and the teacher<br />

approves.<br />

HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT YOUR<br />

PHOTOGRAPHY BEING CHOSEN TO FEATURE<br />

ON THE KAPITI COLLEGE EXCIO ACCOUNT?<br />

I’m amazed! It feels great to know that my photos will<br />

be featured on the Excio account, my teacher has<br />

more faith in my work than I do!<br />

<strong>September</strong> <strong>2019</strong><br />

27


Want your photography<br />

to have impact?<br />

Join Excio today for global reach<br />

and showcase your message.<br />

We’re different from magazines and social media.<br />

Take a look<br />

www.excio.io<br />

28 <strong>NZPhotographer</strong>


excio.io<br />

#photographyforgood<br />

<strong>September</strong> <strong>2019</strong><br />

29


#WomenInPhotography<br />

Getting To Know Charlotte E Johnson<br />

ASCENSION: MICROSCOPE CAPTURE<br />

OF A PINE CONE SECTION<br />

30 <strong>NZPhotographer</strong>


DO YOU HAVE A CERTAIN STYLE OR A<br />

PREFERRED GENRE?<br />

I adore fine art portraiture – this is the area I’m<br />

working towards with my own work. Our modern<br />

world is filled with amazing photos but the ones that<br />

make me stop scrolling are the ones that engage<br />

me and make me feel something. It’s the same<br />

feeling you might get when you view a beautiful<br />

painting in an art gallery or come across an image<br />

that makes you think ‘wow’.<br />

CHARLOTTE, LET US KNOW WHERE YOU’RE<br />

FROM AND WHAT YOU DO!<br />

I’m a photographer and microscopist for the<br />

University of Auckland. I spend my working hours<br />

taking photos (either on a camera or through a<br />

microscope) and editing them in Photoshop – it’s a<br />

pretty great job. I moved here from the UK almost<br />

2 years ago where I did my Ph.D and subsequent<br />

postdoc researching cancer biology. Quite a jump<br />

in career and geographical location!<br />

HOW AND WHEN DID YOU GET INTERESTED<br />

IN PHOTOGRAPHY?<br />

I bought my first DSLR (a Sony a200) about 8 years<br />

ago. After about a year of casually playing around<br />

with it, I wanted to do more but I had no idea<br />

how to take it off auto mode so I took an evening<br />

course in photography for beginners. That sparked<br />

my interest which led to a second and a third<br />

course, plus an obsession with film photography.<br />

I was greatly inspired by the classic abstract works<br />

of photographers like Minor White and Edward<br />

Weston. At the time I couldn’t understand my<br />

classmates’ interest in taking photos of people –<br />

now portraiture is my favourite genre!<br />

WHAT ARE YOU SHOOTING WITH?<br />

For my digital work, a Sony A7Riii with a selection of<br />

Sony or Zeiss prime lenses and a Minolta Dynax7 for<br />

35mm and Hasselblad 500C for medium format film.<br />

TELL US MORE ABOUT THE CREATIVE<br />

PROCESS BEHIND YOUR ‘PAINTERLY<br />

PORTRAITS’…<br />

I want to create art which is beautiful to me, that<br />

has depth and feeling. I sometimes start off with<br />

a prop or accessory and the idea builds around<br />

that, or other times I take inspiration from artwork or<br />

techniques I’ve seen elsewhere and want to put my<br />

own spin on. I’m very lucky to have several creative<br />

contacts who share my passion and am often<br />

asked to take part in their projects.<br />

For my painterly style portraits, my keyword is usually<br />

‘soft’; soft lighting, soft hands, soft textures. I will<br />

often make a Pinterest board which helps keep me<br />

on track leading up to and during the photoshoot<br />

as I tend to get carried away in the moment.<br />

For me, the real magic happens during the postprocessing<br />

stage, for which I use Photoshop.<br />

I employ several techniques to most of my images<br />

which I’ve picked up from workshops, but every<br />

image is uniquely processed – I almost feel each<br />

one pulling me towards a certain look.<br />

DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE IMAGE?<br />

My favourite image is the one I’m going to take<br />

tomorrow!<br />

But if I must choose, one of my favourite images is<br />

my Curious Kea. Taken on a trip to Wellington not<br />

long after we moved to New Zealand, it was the<br />

closest I’d ever been to a kea – I’d only brought my<br />

35mm prime lens so didn’t have much choice.<br />

I was cautious about putting the camera (and<br />

my fingers) so close to the bird as I’d heard<br />

about their penchant for ripping things to bits but<br />

I approached slowly and calmly, speaking to the<br />

kea in a soft voice so as not to scare it. As you can<br />

see from the image on the next page, it was dimly<br />

lit so my shutter speed was quite slow. As you can<br />

see from the image on the next page, it came out<br />

so sharp as I was hand-holding. When I look at this<br />

photo, I see the curiosity and intelligence of the<br />

kea and I am very happy to have captured this<br />

intimate moment.<br />

<strong>September</strong> <strong>2019</strong><br />

31


CURIOUS KEA<br />

F5, 1/1000s, ISO1000<br />

32 <strong>NZPhotographer</strong>


<strong>September</strong> <strong>2019</strong> 33


ELLE<br />

Collaboration with makeup<br />

artist HollyB and model Elle<br />

Alexeenco<br />

F2.8, 1/125s, ISO250<br />

34 <strong>NZPhotographer</strong>


VOODOO QUEEN<br />

Collaboration with designer/<br />

stylist The Baroness Creates<br />

and model Suzan Tibane<br />

F4, 1/125s, ISO100<br />

<strong>September</strong> <strong>2019</strong><br />

35


WHAT CHALLENGES HAVE YOU OVERCOME<br />

IN PHOTOGRAPHY AND HOW DID YOU DO<br />

THAT?<br />

I came from an amateur background with a foundation<br />

study in photography and jumped straight into a fulltime<br />

photography job where I was asked to take photos<br />

of anything and everything at publication quality using<br />

unfamiliar equipment. I didn’t sign up for a 365 project but<br />

I most certainly did take photos every single day, learning<br />

the equipment and techniques as I went.<br />

I used online workshops and YouTube tutorials,<br />

joined the Photographic Society of New Zealand<br />

and went to my first photography convention,<br />

joined a local camera club where I received image<br />

critique, and practised, practised, practised.<br />

A lot of my work involves taking portraits but I had<br />

no experience in portraiture, so I put up a sign on<br />

a notice board asking for students to model for<br />

me in exchange for photos. Often they had never<br />

modelled before and we learnt together from the<br />

experience.<br />

HOW DO YOU PUSH YOURSELF TO IMPROVE<br />

AND WHAT DO YOU DO TO GET OUT OF A<br />

CREATIVE SLUMP?<br />

When I first started taking photos, I was of the firm<br />

belief that post-processing was not necessary if you<br />

got everything right in camera – I even thought it<br />

was cheating!<br />

I was introduced to editing during my photography<br />

evening courses. The idea of using a complicated<br />

software scared me but I was intrigued by the<br />

creative possibilities, so I took an online course<br />

thinking nothing much would come from it. Some<br />

years on, I am now an Adobe certified expert in<br />

Photoshop. My happy place is sat at my desktop<br />

with a cuppa, listening to music and editing<br />

images.<br />

HOW HAVE YOU BENEFITED FROM BEING<br />

PART OF LESLEY WHYTE’S WOMEN IN<br />

PHOTOGRAPHY, WHY IS BEING PART OF AN<br />

ALL-FEMALE GROUP IMPORTANT TO YOU?<br />

There is an under representation of women in<br />

photography, especially at a professional level.<br />

Lesley is doing her part to encourage women<br />

photographers and it’s important to me to be able<br />

to support that by being a member of her group. It<br />

also offers many opportunities, including attending<br />

talks by female photographers who you would be<br />

unlikely to otherwise meet. For instance, I attended<br />

a recent talk by Marina de Wit who I had previously<br />

read about in a British photography magazine and<br />

had been inspired by her work – I had no idea she<br />

was living in Auckland! I’m so pleased to have had<br />

the chance to connect with her.<br />

WHAT DO YOU THINK THE ADVANTAGES ARE<br />

OF BEING A FEMALE PHOTOGRAPHER?<br />

I think it’s easier to approach female models and<br />

connect with them plus female models can feel<br />

more at ease during a shoot.<br />

ANYTHING ELSE YOU’D LIKE TO ADD?<br />

I’m open to collaboration and am always on the<br />

lookout to challenge myself. I am available for<br />

Photoshop tutoring/workshops too.<br />

WHERE CAN WE FIND YOU ONLINE?<br />

albums.excio.io/profile/cejphoto<br />

www.instagram.com/cej.photo<br />

www.facebook.com/cej.pp<br />

PROUDLY BROUGHT TO YOU BY:<br />

I don’t get in creative slumps but I do get very<br />

downhearted when my images don’t do well in<br />

competitions. I’m so grateful to the people I have<br />

in my life who help remind me that if what I’m<br />

creating makes me happy, then that’s really all that<br />

matters.<br />

36 <strong>NZPhotographer</strong>


<strong>September</strong> <strong>2019</strong><br />

YURI<br />

Collaboration with makeup<br />

artist Kaith Fainsan and<br />

model Yuri Chetty<br />

F4, 1/200s, ISO100<br />

37


The Routeburn Track<br />

by Brendon Gilchrist<br />

EARLAND FALLS<br />

F9, 1/160s, ISO100<br />

38 <strong>NZPhotographer</strong>


Come on a written journey with me as<br />

I venture onto the Routeburn, one of the<br />

greatest walks in New Zealand covering<br />

32km of tramping track from Glenorchy to The<br />

Divide or vise versa.<br />

This is a walk that many people do during the<br />

official season which runs from from 29th October<br />

to 30th April. Last year a total of 6,606 Kiwi’s and<br />

8,536 international visitors walked the Routeburn<br />

Track. Myself and my Dad can't be included in<br />

those figures though as we're walking it in the off<br />

season, a time when the track is walked by very<br />

few.<br />

DAY 1 – FROM THE DIVIDE TO LAKE<br />

MACKENZIE HUT<br />

Driving up to The Divide which is where the track<br />

begins, there was a lot of snow banked up at the<br />

side of the road which seemed to get deeper the<br />

further we drove but the road itself was thankfully<br />

clear.<br />

Arriving at The Divide around 9.30am we got kitted<br />

up with our boots, hats, and gloves and headed off<br />

into the bush.<br />

The track started slowly, winding uphill towards Key<br />

Summit turn off but this was a detour that we didn’t<br />

take as the clouds were low and the view wouldn’t<br />

have been very good so we continued on the main<br />

Routeburn track, making it to Lake Howden Hut<br />

after about an hour 20 minutes. Considering the<br />

track was covered in snow, we were doing well.<br />

As we carried on there were many streams and<br />

bridges to cross, some with icicles hanging by the<br />

water.<br />

I should have stopped and taken some photos of<br />

these icicles when I saw them but I didn’t and I am<br />

a little gutted because on the return trip they were<br />

gone.<br />

At approximately 1,000 metres above sea level,<br />

the snow was deep in patches which was tough<br />

going. We could hear the 174 metre high Earland<br />

Falls before we could see them but when our eyes<br />

did catch up with our ears it was a spectacular<br />

sight with snow and ice hanging on to the sides and<br />

water pouring over the top. Standing at the base<br />

we could see large chunks of snow falling off the<br />

side of the waterfall – I took a few photos but was<br />

wary of hanging around too long incase something<br />

bigger fell down!<br />

I thought that once we reached this point,<br />

roughly half way with no long hard climbs ahead,<br />

just a consistent altitude until we reached Lake<br />

Mackenzie, that the going would get easier.<br />

My thoughts were a little bit wrong! Over this<br />

next section, we made good time crossing a few<br />

avalanche paths (one of which was signposted<br />

400 meters long) but it was not easy and the snow<br />

never stopped, it was as if it snowed more the<br />

further we went in! It was around 4pm now with<br />

a little bit of daylight left and I had a great idea<br />

to go ahead of Dad and light a fire to warm the<br />

hut up, but now there was no dry firewood. I tried<br />

anyway but failed and although we had some<br />

success later, we spent two nights in a hut that was<br />

warmer outside then it was inside, how is that even<br />

possible?!<br />

Given the amount of snow we had walked through,<br />

there was no way we were going to even attempt<br />

to go up the Harris Saddle as it was bound to be<br />

neck-deep! So our plans for the next day were to<br />

relax and hope the weather would clear for a little<br />

bit.<br />

Night fell and we had nothing else to do but sleep<br />

by the fire in hope that it would be slightly warmer<br />

here than in the bunk bedroom.<br />

DAY 2 – IN AND AROUND THE HUT<br />

The next morning we collected what wood we<br />

could find, it wasn’t much, but it had to do – a lot of<br />

the good stuff was buried under the snow.<br />

I went for a walk to the campsite which is 10<br />

minutes from Lake Mackenzie Hut hoping that the<br />

view of the mountain with the frozen lake below<br />

(the shot I came for which is just 2 minutes from<br />

the hut) would be visible but the mountain was still<br />

hidden by clouds.<br />

It would have been such a stunning shot but this is<br />

the way of photography, it’s not always a success<br />

but you go and try anyway as you never know<br />

when you might get a lucky break.<br />

At sunset I headed out with my camera and<br />

tripod again but there were no colours at all, a<br />

very blue evening. I managed to get a few good<br />

compositions of the lake and the mountain but not<br />

that stunner I’d been hoping for.<br />

Our last night in the hut was an interesting one, the<br />

rain poured down and the ice on the roof came<br />

crashing down, waking us up now and then.<br />

DAY 3 – FROM LAKE MACKENZIE VIA LAKE<br />

HOWDEN BACK TO THE DIVIDE<br />

Morning came and we had to pack up and clean<br />

the hut. I was hoping the rain would stop by the<br />

time we were ready to walk out but no, it poured all<br />

day long.<br />

I put on my over pants and my rain jacket and I was<br />

ready. I didn’t think about the 12km we had to walk<br />

but just stepped out of the hut and started walking.<br />

The only good thing with the rain was that a lot<br />

of the snow had melted so the track was mostly<br />

visible.<br />

<strong>September</strong> <strong>2019</strong><br />

39


We arrived at Lake Howden hut<br />

looking like drowned rats. We stepped<br />

inside for a rest, put on some dry<br />

clothes and warmed up a bit before<br />

walking the last hour back to the car<br />

knowing that the hardest part was<br />

over.<br />

The rain continued to fall on the last<br />

stretch back to the car. We turned<br />

the engine on so as to have the<br />

heater going and got changed inside,<br />

shedding more soaking clothes. It<br />

was a good feeling getting the heavy<br />

pack off my back and into some<br />

normal (dry!) clothes again.<br />

On the drive out, looking forward to a<br />

warm drink and a nice hot meal, we<br />

saw people again, the first in 48 hours.<br />

The further away we drove from The<br />

Divide the less it rained until our arrival<br />

back in Te Anau where it was mostly<br />

dry!<br />

LOOKING BACK<br />

Despite the weather this trip was<br />

beautiful in every way – time in the<br />

bush is some of the best time ever<br />

spent and I enjoyed good company,<br />

refreshing views, fresh clean pure<br />

drinking water and came back with a<br />

few hundred photos to go through.<br />

I will be back again soon, the summer<br />

tramping season is almost upon us<br />

and I have some cool plans of places<br />

to visit!<br />

3 TIPS FOR WINTER<br />

PHOTOGRAPHY<br />

• At night in the huts, keep all your<br />

camera batteries in your sleeping bag<br />

with you so as to keep them warm.<br />

They can lose power even when not<br />

in use.<br />

• Chemical heat packs can be great<br />

for Astrophotography when moisture<br />

can become a problem on your lens.<br />

Wrap the heat pack/s around your<br />

lens and it will keep it warm for hours.<br />

• If the weather is not as great as<br />

what you had hoped for, know<br />

that there are always other options.<br />

Telephoto lenses can give you a very<br />

moody mountainscape and a part<br />

of a tree and a mountain top can<br />

look just as dramatic as the entire<br />

landscape.<br />

40 <strong>NZPhotographer</strong>


FROZEN MACKENZIE<br />

F8, 1/25s, ISO1600<br />

<strong>September</strong> <strong>2019</strong><br />

41


Encouraging Our Children To Become<br />

Photographers From a Young Age<br />

by Ana Lyubich<br />

“Children see magic because they look for it.”<br />

Christopher Moore<br />

42 <strong>NZPhotographer</strong>


<strong>September</strong> <strong>2019</strong> 43


How young should you be when you pick up your<br />

first camera and become a photographer?<br />

Although old dogs can most definitely learn new<br />

tricks, the answer is, the younger the better!<br />

In this article, I’m going to talk about involving young<br />

kids in photography. I believe that children need to<br />

start taking photos as early as possible, as soon as they<br />

are able to hold a phone or a small camera without<br />

dropping it repeatedly. Here’s why…<br />

DEVELOPING THE ART OF SEEING<br />

One of the most important parts of a child’s<br />

development is their imagination. Reading and<br />

playing helps them to develop their creative<br />

thinking and broadens their horizons immensely<br />

but photography goes further, teaching “the art of<br />

seeing” which can often be overlooked.<br />

It is not so much about developing creativity, it is about<br />

‘seeing beyond seeing’. Everything around us can be<br />

seen from a different angle if we try hard enough but<br />

believe me, the angle that children see the world at is<br />

completely different from how we see it as adults.<br />

Since kids are much closer to the ground (both in<br />

height but also because they tend to spend more<br />

time on the ground playing), they see a lot of things<br />

that we, as adults, just don’t tend to notice.<br />

It’s vitally important to support this ‘special sight’ in<br />

children, motivating them to find and capture the<br />

moments or things that are important to them. If ignored<br />

or dismissed, the natural way of paying attention to<br />

different things will very soon disappear in the big<br />

grownup world of noise, busyness, and daily routines.<br />

Supporting the ability to see things that other people<br />

don’t notice will go a long way in helping your kids<br />

grow up to be confident and creative individuals in<br />

the future. From stopping to appreciate the bright<br />

Taken on a Samsung Galaxy A10<br />

by a 12 year old photographer<br />

blue sky to noticing the contrasts, colours, shapes, patterns, interesting views, places, and tiny details –<br />

all of these seemingly small things are actually a huge<br />

gift.<br />

Taken on a Canon Powershot<br />

by a 9 year old photographer.<br />

44 <strong>NZPhotographer</strong><br />

IMPROVING FOCUS AND CONCENTRATION<br />

Giving a camera to your kids is not only great for<br />

improving their concentration and focus but also<br />

boosts their mental well being. It is no secret that<br />

photography is associated with meditation and<br />

mindfulness as are many other art forms.<br />

As an adult, you yourself know that photography<br />

motivates you to go outside and explore the real<br />

world beyond tablets and computers. While taking a<br />

photograph, be it on your phone or with a DSLR, you<br />

might find yourself in a state of meditation even if it<br />

wasn’t intentional and lasted a few minutes. Being<br />

able to focus and concentrate on something with<br />

the end goal in mind of achieving (or capturing)<br />

something interesting, meaningful, and beautiful<br />

can help our kids perform better throughout school,<br />

college, university, and throughout their adult life.


<strong>September</strong> <strong>2019</strong> 45


Aside from focus and concentration, photography<br />

non-intrusively allows children to learn a lot about<br />

other disciplines. Photographing flowers? They will<br />

inevitably learn about the different plants, their<br />

blooming and growing behavior and the insects and<br />

wildlife that surround those flowers. Photographing<br />

animals and pets? They will soon become a pro in<br />

knowing how they behave and how to take the best<br />

shot.<br />

DEVELOPING SELF-EXPRESSION<br />

Last but not least, photography help kids express<br />

themselves in ways they can’t do otherwise. Notice<br />

how the camera becomes the window into their<br />

minds and souls and consequently helps you connect<br />

more closely with them throughout their life.<br />

If I were involved in developing the modules for<br />

schools and educational institutions I would make<br />

photography mandatory from the very first year<br />

because no matter what language your kids speak,<br />

how many friends they have, whether they’re part<br />

of a large or small family, or if they have any health<br />

or developmental issues, capturing objects and<br />

moments around them will help showcase their inner<br />

world. It can connect them with others, kick start<br />

a passion for creative writing (if they are asked to<br />

write a short paragraph to go with their photo) and<br />

most importantly it helps them share their journey so<br />

they know they are not alone; being seen, heard,<br />

understood, and appreciated.<br />

HOW TO INTRODUCE PHOTOGRAPHY TO<br />

YOUR KIDS<br />

Make it Enjoyable and Exciting<br />

First of all, your child must find photography to be an<br />

enjoyable and exciting exercise – Don’t push them<br />

into taking photos! The best way to start is to let them<br />

use your camera or your phone (with one swipe most<br />

smartphones now allow the use of the camera without<br />

unlocking the phone itself) and just see what they do.<br />

It doesn’t matter what they photograph, what matters<br />

at the very first stage is the process itself. At the very<br />

early stage they will probably start with self-exploration<br />

and will take photos of themselves, hands, feet, smiles,<br />

cheeky eyes, then they will switch to taking photos<br />

of family members and friends. From there they are<br />

likely to progress to capturing their bedroom, toys, and<br />

other surroundings. From the inner world to the outer<br />

world this process is very important, there’s no need to<br />

guide it.<br />

SET CHALLENGES<br />

Once your child’s interest in photography has gone<br />

beyond the initial capturing process, give them some<br />

easy but exciting challenges in the way of a game<br />

e. g. “Let’s find 10 red/orange/blue etc things in the<br />

back yard and photograph them!” Grab your phone<br />

or camera and join in the game yourself!<br />

When they show you what they have captured,<br />

you will gradually get an idea of what it is they like<br />

to photograph – small details? the bigger picture?<br />

flowers? nature? pets? people? This is the point where<br />

you can start helping them develop their own style.<br />

When they are not in the mood to pick up a camera<br />

on their own, ask them to take a photo of something<br />

to help you out. Find an excuse and say “Sweetie,<br />

I can’t come and look right now as I’m very busy, can<br />

you please take a photo of it and show me? We can<br />

also show it to Daddy/Nana etc when he/she comes<br />

home too as they’d like to see it I’m sure.”<br />

Reward Them<br />

Of course, all efforts must also be rewarded and all<br />

achievements made to feel important to help them<br />

keep their motivation and excitement alive – Don’t<br />

allow disappointments to get in the way.<br />

Depending on how excited your kid is about running<br />

around with a camera, find some of their best shots<br />

and print them even if it is a batch of small 5’x7’<br />

photos (many online services offer these for free if you<br />

are subscribed to their mailing list). You can then hang<br />

these photos on the fridge just as you do with their<br />

precious masterpieces created in art class.<br />

A few things to keep in mind…<br />

Having your kids running around with a camera (and<br />

we don’t necessarily mean literally running!) doesn’t<br />

mean the only career path they can look forward to<br />

is becoming a professional photographer. Not at all.<br />

However, photography allows them to keep an open<br />

mind and sooner rather than later they (and you too)<br />

will realise that what they see is so much more than<br />

what other people around them see! So don’t be<br />

afraid that your plan of seeing your child become<br />

a lawyer, doctor, or accountant in the future will be<br />

ruined if you introduce them to photography – it will<br />

only make them more creative in their career.<br />

You don’t need to start your kids off with a big or<br />

expensive camera, a small point and shoot can cost<br />

about $100-$150 nowadays and is a great starting<br />

point. However, if a point and shoot is “not enough”<br />

and stopping your kids from taking full creative control<br />

in capturing the world as they see it, don’t put off<br />

getting them a second hand DSLR just because you<br />

think that DSLR’s aren’t play things meant for children –<br />

You might be in the process of nurturing the next Ansel<br />

Adams!<br />

46 <strong>NZPhotographer</strong>


<strong>September</strong> <strong>2019</strong> 47


y Richar<br />

Shooting Shar<br />

The importance of proper shooting techniq<br />

MT NGAURUHOE<br />

F11, 1/20s, ISO 100<br />

48 <strong>NZPhotographer</strong>


p Landscapes<br />

ues to capture sharp landscapes images.<br />

d Young<br />

<strong>September</strong> <strong>2019</strong><br />

49


SUMMIT OF MT NGAURUHOE<br />

F8, 1/30s, ISO 100<br />

How important is sharpness? Well, that<br />

depends on the end-use of your image.<br />

If you are only ever going to display your<br />

image at a maximum size of 1200 pixels on<br />

Instagram, Facebook or a website, I would say not<br />

very. If however, you intend to make large scale<br />

prints of an image, sharpness can make or break<br />

the end quality of that print.<br />

As a landscape photographer that often<br />

produces prints as large as 1.2 meters wide,<br />

sharpness in my original files is paramount for<br />

me. I would not consider myself a “pixel peeper”<br />

though and I am not interested in spending all my<br />

time testing the latest sharpness lens at a different<br />

setting (there are websites to use for that!).<br />

Where having the right equipment for the job and<br />

some knowledge of its limitations are important,<br />

I feel that equipment is not the main reason<br />

that people don’t get sharp shots. The one thing<br />

I consistently see when teaching on workshops is<br />

bad shooting techniques, and I would say this is<br />

the biggest reason for ending up with soft images.<br />

Let’s consider some of the things that can lead to<br />

a soft image and how to minimise these.<br />

EQUIPMENT QUALITY & KNOWLEDGE<br />

I see people blaming the quality of their shots on<br />

the quality of their equipment all the time. Though<br />

gear can make a difference, I feel that this is not<br />

the main reason people don’t get sharp images.<br />

If used correctly any camera setup can capture a<br />

reasonably sharp image.<br />

Camera – I think we have all been sold on the<br />

“megapixel dream” by camera (& phone)<br />

manufacturers. My current phone even has a 40MP<br />

sensor in it! In reality, this whole megapixel race has<br />

become a joke, as the files from my 40MP phone<br />

would never withstand the enlargement needed to<br />

print to the size that I do from my “real” camera due<br />

to other factors like the quality of these pixels and the<br />

optics in front of them.<br />

For my landscape photography, I shoot with a<br />

Nikon D850. One of the reasons I use this camera<br />

is its resolution of 45MP which helps me to make<br />

large scale prints of my images. However, most<br />

photographers do not print to this scale, if they even<br />

print their work at all, so do not require this sort of<br />

file size. Anything over 14MP produces an image of<br />

about the quality of traditional 35mm film. So for most<br />

photographers, if left uncropped this would be more<br />

50 <strong>NZPhotographer</strong>


SUNSET OVER MT NGAURUHOE<br />

F11, 1/6s, ISO 64<br />

than enough for everything they would ever use it for,<br />

including A3+ prints. The number of megapixels your<br />

camera has, only impacts sharpness if you intend to<br />

make huge prints of your photographs.<br />

Lens – I think lens quality is a more important factor<br />

to consider when it comes to image sharpness. A<br />

camera body only records light; it is the lens that<br />

controls the quality (sharpness) of this light and<br />

focuses it onto the sensor. There is no point owning<br />

a camera with a 45MP sensor and using a cheap<br />

lens that is only capable of 12MP sharpness, and<br />

some low-quality lenses would not even be capable<br />

of rendering this sharpness. Even the very best fullframe<br />

lenses available today are still not capable of<br />

resolving 45MP in terms of sharpness, but some do a<br />

much better job than others.<br />

The DXOMARK website is an excellent resource for<br />

lens tests and saves the work of testing them yourself.<br />

Coming back to my earlier point about the 40MP<br />

phone and why this is a bit of a joke, I doubt the tiny<br />

optics on its lens would be able to resolve much of this<br />

resolution sharply.<br />

Sharpest Aperture / Diffraction – All lenses have a<br />

sweet spot, and you need to test your lens or use a<br />

website like DXOMARK to find out this information.<br />

This will differ from lens to lens. As a go to for most<br />

full-frame camera lenses, your sharpest aperture<br />

will be around f8, with f11 only having very minimal<br />

diffraction. With each aperture narrower than this<br />

(e. g. f16, f22) you will lose noticeable sharpness in your<br />

image due to diffraction.<br />

CORRECT FOCUSING TECHNIQUES<br />

Focusing in the right place and obtaining enough<br />

depth of field to get both your foreground and<br />

background in sharp focus is critical for most<br />

landscape images. A slightly out of focus image<br />

on your camera will be extremely noticeable when<br />

viewed at 1:1 zoom later on your computer and even<br />

more in a large scale print.<br />

AF Point – People tend to rely on their camera’s Auto<br />

AF point selection mode. While using AF is not a<br />

problem we need to take control of the AF system<br />

and where it focuses; by using the Auto AF point<br />

selection, the camera would focus on the closest<br />

subject it can find, and this would likely leave the<br />

background out of focus. By manually selecting our<br />

AF point, we can still utilise the AF system but decide<br />

where we wish the camera to focus within the image<br />

to obtain the best depth of field.<br />

<strong>September</strong> <strong>2019</strong><br />

51


EVENING LIGHT ON MT RUAPEHU<br />

F11, 30s, ISO 64<br />

Hyperfocal Distance – If we were to focus on the<br />

closest subject in the landscape (e. g. the rock at our<br />

feet), then the background (e. g. the distant mountain<br />

peaks) would be out of focus. Likewise, if we were to<br />

focus on the distant mountain peaks, the rocks in the<br />

foreground would be out of focus. Therefore we need<br />

to focus on a midpoint within the landscape to obtain<br />

focus throughout; this point is called the hyperfocal<br />

distance. Hyperfocal distance is a complicated<br />

subject, as it depends on many factors. A good rule<br />

of thumb is to focus at a third of the way through the<br />

landscape.<br />

Depth of Field – Depth of field extends in both<br />

directions from our focus point, but not in equal<br />

amounts. It is also dependent on lots of factors such<br />

as our choice of lens focal length and distance to our<br />

closest subject, but we also need to select the correct<br />

aperture to obtain enough depth of field. When<br />

shooting landscape photographs, this will generally<br />

lead us to use a narrow aperture (e. g. from f11 to f22)<br />

to get everything in sharp focus, but we also need<br />

to be mindful of diffraction when using these narrow<br />

apertures.<br />

CAMERA MOVEMENT<br />

Tripod – When shooting landscapes, you often end<br />

up using longer shutter speeds, which require the use<br />

of a tripod. Tripods also have the added benefit of<br />

allowing us to slow down to master the composition,<br />

along with your focus and depth of field. A sturdy<br />

tripod is a must for landscape photography, all too<br />

often I see people with a lightweight flimsy tripod<br />

which cannot hold the weight of the camera on a fine<br />

day, let alone when shooting outside in the elements<br />

like a strong wind!<br />

Cable Release – There is little point using a tripod then<br />

wobbling the camera by pressing the shutter button,<br />

which happens on even the sturdiest of tripods. So<br />

make sure you use a cable release to allow you to<br />

take your hands away from the camera, preventing<br />

you from shaking it when you press the shutter button.<br />

Mirror Lock-Up – On high-end full-frame DSLRs the<br />

vibrations caused by the mirror slap can be enough<br />

to cause a slight blur to your image. To prevent<br />

this, shoot with the “mirror up” feature. Likewise, the<br />

movement of the mechanical shutter curtain on DSLR<br />

and Mirrorless cameras can also cause vibration.<br />

Some cameras now feature an “electronic first curtain<br />

shutter” to also eliminate this.<br />

Vibration Reduction – A lot of lenses or camera bodies<br />

feature a “Vibration Reduction” system (also called<br />

Image Stabilisation, Optical Stabilizer, Vibration<br />

Compensation), which is designed to reduce vibration<br />

for handheld shooting. Vibration Reduction should<br />

be turned off when on a tripod as it leads to softer<br />

images due to the movement of the lens elements or<br />

the camera sensor.<br />

RICHARD YOUNG IS A FULL-TIME LANDSCAPE PHOTOGRAPHER BASED IN WELLINGTON AND<br />

TEACHES ON WORKSHOPS THROUGHOUT NEW ZEALAND WITH NEW ZEALAND PHOTOGRAPHY<br />

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How To Critique Your Own Photos<br />

by Samuel Ogunlaja


I’m a Conceptual Portrait and Commercial<br />

Photographer with a passion for art and<br />

everything beautiful. I started photography<br />

in 2011 and experimented in various genres of<br />

photography before finding my niche.<br />

Alongside some other reviewers, you’ll have<br />

seen my name on the Expert Critique columns<br />

here in the magazine as well as on the Excio<br />

blog photo critiques – Perhaps I’ve critiqued<br />

one of your photos?<br />

I want to take the time to give you some<br />

guidance and remind you of the importance of<br />

being able to critique your own photos. All of<br />

the tips below are based on my own personal<br />

experience and are what I use when critiquing<br />

my own work, as well as photos from the Excio<br />

and NZP community, I hope you will find it<br />

useful.<br />

THE FIRST PERSON TO CRITIQUE YOUR<br />

WORK AS A PHOTOGRAPHER SHOULD BE<br />

YOU.<br />

Always remember this. It is vitally important<br />

that you have reviewed and know the exact<br />

narrative of your work before allowing another<br />

person to step in and offer their thoughts<br />

because when you allow another artist to<br />

critique your work first, you run the risk of<br />

devaluing it.<br />

To properly critique your own work, you must<br />

first cultivate the right attitude.<br />

BE UNFORGIVING<br />

Remove every trace of emotion you have<br />

about your photograph. Remember that the<br />

people who will be seeing your work will not see<br />

the stress, effort, time, and trouble it cost you to<br />

create the photo and will not be judging you<br />

from an emotional standpoint. Thus, you have<br />

to be firm and unforgiving about this process<br />

to ensure your judgment is based on deductive<br />

points and not on emotions.<br />

BE OBJECTIVE<br />

You must stick to the exact reason of why you<br />

took the photo in the first place. It is highly<br />

possible that despite the effort you put into<br />

the process of taking the photo, the end result<br />

is not how you envisioned it. You have to be<br />

able to admit to yourself when the result didn’t<br />

work out quite right or fit your objective so that<br />

you can try to plan better for the next time;<br />

highlight errors and learn from them. Don’t try<br />

to console yourself by saying you have a great<br />

photo, ‘a second best’ or a ‘happy accident’ if<br />

it does not fit your original objective.<br />

DELETE THE PHOTOS THAT DIDN’T WORK<br />

Delete the photos that didn’t turn out great no<br />

matter how much time and effort you invested<br />

in getting them. Keeping poor quality shots is<br />

a phase you must outgrow. It is probable that<br />

while trying to get that perfect photo, you took<br />

several photos in the process; this leaves you to<br />

choose the best from a large number of similar<br />

photos. You have to be bold enough to delete<br />

all the photos that didn’t work out. The reason<br />

is so that you don’t become bias and lose<br />

the objective by considering too many similar<br />

options.<br />

Now that you have cultivated the right attitude,<br />

let us dive into the things to look out for when<br />

doing a personal photo critique.<br />

THE REASON FOR THE PHOTO<br />

You can also call this “The Why of the Photo”.<br />

Ask yourself Why did I take this photo? Am I<br />

expressing the things conceived before<br />

creating the photo? Is there any major element<br />

driving the message?<br />

I realize there are some photographers who<br />

capture random moments and tend not to see<br />

themselves as story teller but in opposition to<br />

that, I say “every photographer is a narrator”.<br />

There is always something that interests<br />

the photographer in a scene that spurs the<br />

shutter release; a memory you want to keep<br />

or a fascinating story you want others to<br />

see. The message of the photo determines<br />

every other thing you see in and about the<br />

photo and answers the questions of What is<br />

the best angle? What artistic element should<br />

be prominent in the photo? How much post<br />

production work should be done? and more.<br />

The message, the ‘why’ should be the driving<br />

force for decision making in the whole process<br />

of capturing and showcasing an image and<br />

should take most of the photographer’s<br />

attention.<br />

TECHNICAL JUDGMENT<br />

This term encompasses everything that has to<br />

do with the technicality of creating an image<br />

and includes exposure (lightning), composition,<br />

visual weight, depth of field, distance (focal<br />

length), the angle, stability, and so on. Let’s talk<br />

about a few of these things in more detail…<br />

<strong>September</strong> <strong>2019</strong><br />

55


EXPOSURE<br />

This has to be in accordance with the message of the<br />

photo; it should compliment your imagination and<br />

intention for the shoot. Ask yourself Did I adopt the best<br />

exposure or lighting for this photo? Does the lighting or<br />

exposure compliment the context of this photo?<br />

For example, in the image below, the idea of the photo<br />

shoot was to lay emphasis on the model’s skin and<br />

body structure so I needed to use a moderately harsh<br />

light to create specular highlights on the model’s dark<br />

skin.<br />

apportioning enough space to the main elements in<br />

the picture, it is about allowing the viewer to capture<br />

the most important element in the picture at a glance.<br />

This can be done through the use of colour, (using a<br />

particular colour for that element to ensure it catches<br />

attention), focusing, lightning etc. It can also be<br />

achieved by intensifying the artistic element that drives<br />

the message for example, the texture.<br />

An example of visual weight misappropriation is an<br />

image that has the subject in front while putting the<br />

complementary element at the back but adjusting<br />

the focus so that that the element in the background<br />

is sharper than the main subject. The element that<br />

catches the most attention in the picture has the most<br />

visual weight so make sure you know where the visual<br />

weight is, and should be, if there’s a difference.<br />

COMPOSITION<br />

This has to do with how the elements in the photo are<br />

arranged in order of importance or in sequence. There<br />

could be as many as 5 elements or more. Ask yourself<br />

the questions; Did I properly arrange the elements?<br />

Did I make the most important element conspicuous?<br />

For example, in a photo that has elements that look<br />

similar on both sides, using a symmetry composition<br />

(so that when split into two halves the elements on<br />

both sides are similar) can be very accurate like in the<br />

picture below.<br />

VISUAL WEIGHT<br />

Another thing that falls under technical judgment is the<br />

visual weight of the photo which is often overlooked<br />

and underrated. Visual weight is about more than<br />

SHARPNESS AND DEPTH OF FIELD<br />

It is important to review if you have used the right depth<br />

of field for the image. For instance, in a landscape<br />

photo where there are mountains and several other<br />

natural elements, if the photo is taken so that just a few<br />

elements are sharp versus having every element sharp<br />

by using a wide depth of field, it would defeat the<br />

purpose of that particular photo. On the other hand,<br />

newborn photography essentially requires shallow<br />

depth of field to be used so as to express the tender<br />

nature of the subject.<br />

56 <strong>NZPhotographer</strong>


<strong>September</strong> <strong>2019</strong> 57


ARTISTIC JUDGMENT<br />

What element of art is used to drive the message<br />

in the picture? There are basically 7 elements: line,<br />

shape, form, colour, space, texture and value. To stick<br />

to the objective of this article, I will not go too deep<br />

discussing these elements since art is so subjective but<br />

we can discuss a little.<br />

Each of the elements is unique in its own way and is<br />

used to drive different kinds of messages. The more<br />

of these elements you are able to incorporate, the<br />

better your photo will be. However, not every good<br />

picture has all of these elements in it, sometimes you<br />

just need one dominant element.<br />

LINES<br />

The use of lines (leading lines) is important when you<br />

take a picture with your subject in the far distance. An<br />

example of using lines is a trail or road leading towards<br />

your subject. You could take the picture from where you<br />

are standing tracing the line until its end point to help<br />

the viewer follow the line towards the main subject whilst<br />

helping them see everything around that same subject.<br />

SHAPES<br />

Shapes work well with a two-dimensional and/or<br />

enclosed area. If the picture you are taking is more shape<br />

oriented you might want to incorporate a number of<br />

shapes into the picture to portray the message well. Or<br />

you may even introduce shapes into the picture just to<br />

make your work more artistic. For example, in the picture<br />

on the previous page, the model was asked to pose<br />

in a certain way that expresses various shapes just to<br />

incorporate that element in the work.<br />

FORM<br />

This has to do with the shape of a particular object<br />

along its volume or perceived volume. It’s about<br />

creating an image from a perspective where you can<br />

give the viewer a sense of size. For instance, a picture<br />

of a building taken from the front allows people to<br />

see the rectangular shape but it can also be taken<br />

from a 45% side angle to give a 3D overview with the<br />

viewer able to see the front and side to get a sense of<br />

volume to show it isn’t just a flat building.<br />

COLOUR<br />

Another popular element is the use of striking colours<br />

to drive home your message. However, in instances<br />

where the scene is overflowing with many colours,<br />

such as at a carnival, you have to concentrate on<br />

a particular colour scheme to get the right result.<br />

For example, at a carnival, you can effectively use<br />

complementary colours from a scheme to single out<br />

your focus.<br />

SPACE<br />

This deals with how you are able to incorporate<br />

space so that the elements are not choked up. More<br />

often than not, a picture may not incorporate this<br />

element as it depends on the subject and the scene<br />

being shot. For instance, thinking of a carnival, space<br />

might not be that evident owing to the nature of<br />

the activities. However, the more you are able to<br />

incorporate space, the better your picture looks,<br />

especially when you need to single out a particular<br />

activity in the midst of all that is going on.<br />

TEXTURE<br />

This helps in creating a perception of how something<br />

feels or looks. For instance, a picture of a table with a<br />

rough surface and one with a smooth surface will give<br />

you different feelings. One might give the sense of<br />

luxury and the other of durability.<br />

VALUE<br />

This is the degree of lightness or darkness in a<br />

particular image. It deals with the relationship<br />

between highlights and shadows. Value helps to<br />

express a form or create an illusion of it in a picture.<br />

For example, if you take a photo of a white ball<br />

against a white background; if the picture is overly<br />

exposed, we may not be able to differentiate the ball<br />

and the background but if the photo is moderately<br />

exposed, there will be some level of shadow<br />

(darkness) in the picture which will help to differentiate<br />

between the ball and the background.<br />

NARRATIVE JUDGMENT<br />

After considering all the points above so that you are<br />

able to interpret your photo well yourself, you need to<br />

consider if the layman (the person viewing your work)<br />

will be able to recognise and see the same things.<br />

This determines how much post production work is<br />

necessary.<br />

Consider how much post production work the<br />

photo needs. Ask yourself if the exposure should<br />

be increased or reduced? Are there distractions to<br />

remove? Does it need to cropping?<br />

It is important to note that post production is usually<br />

one of the last things to consider and saying “I will<br />

fix things in Photoshop” is the statement of a poor<br />

photographer. Know that you are a photographer<br />

before you are an editor and post production is used<br />

to enhance a photo, not recreate it.<br />

CONCLUSION<br />

After you have considered all of these points<br />

individually you can put your picture out into the<br />

world for others to critique and give feedback on.<br />

Remember that no one can narrate your work as best<br />

as you can and you need to gain the confidence<br />

and ability to defend your work regardless of people’s<br />

opinion. Their feedback should only strive to make you<br />

a better photographer because at the end of it the<br />

day, everything is art.


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<strong>September</strong> <strong>2019</strong><br />

59


DEVOTION<br />

F6.3, 1/500s, ISO320<br />

ASSAM, INDIA<br />

The devotion of Indian Sadhus at<br />

Kamkya Temple in Gwahati.<br />

Amol Nakve<br />

60 <strong>NZPhotographer</strong>


<strong>September</strong> <strong>2019</strong> 61


62 <strong>NZPhotographer</strong>


LIGHTHOUSE<br />

F22, 1/60s, ISO64, 29mm<br />

I went exploring from the Wairarapa, visiting Castlepoint and<br />

Riversdale Beach for the first time. The walk up to the lighthouse was<br />

comfortable and easy and the view from the top was worth it.<br />

Ann Kilpatrick<br />

<strong>September</strong> <strong>2019</strong><br />

63


64 <strong>NZPhotographer</strong>


CASTLEPOINT VIEW<br />

F8, 1/250s, ISO64<br />

A nice long weekend in the Wairarapa provided<br />

the opportunity to visit some new places and I got this<br />

Castlepoint pano landscape - a few photos stitched together.<br />

Ann Kilpatrick<br />

<strong>September</strong> <strong>2019</strong><br />

65


FREE-WHEELIN'<br />

F8, 1/3s, ISO100<br />

I had an idea for a photo that showed these toys in action, but I had to figure out how to<br />

capture it. After trying many different ways which weren't successful, I tried taking two<br />

photos, one sharp and one panning the camera while the photo was being taken. I then<br />

merged parts of both of these photos to create the image that I was imagining. This was<br />

definitely the result of experimenting and learning!<br />

Tanya Rowe<br />

66 <strong>NZPhotographer</strong>


<strong>September</strong> <strong>2019</strong> 67


68 <strong>NZPhotographer</strong>


CAMELS AT CABLE BAY<br />

F8, 1/200s, ISO400, 32mm<br />

BROOME, AUSTRALIA<br />

We had been 4 wheel driving in the outback around the Broome area. On our return back<br />

to Broome we drove down on to the beach to watch the sunset over the sea along with<br />

100's of other vehicles and two trains of camels. I had to run alongside and catch up in<br />

order to capture the sun behind the train with the long shadows.<br />

Carole Garside<br />

<strong>September</strong> <strong>2019</strong><br />

69


70 <strong>NZPhotographer</strong>


PAPAMOA DAWN<br />

F13, 1/6s, ISO800<br />

Papamoa in the Bay of Plenty is my local beach.<br />

Forever changing, it's always a lucky dip as to what<br />

one will find. This shot was a learning in how far I could<br />

push the ISO instead of the go to graduated filter.<br />

Graham Jones<br />

<strong>September</strong> <strong>2019</strong><br />

71


72 <strong>NZPhotographer</strong>


SYDNEY VIVID LIGHT FESTIVAL<br />

F5, 0.6s, ISO1250<br />

The Vivid Light Festival in Sydney was way out of my comfort<br />

zone due to shooting at night. This was a learning on ISO settings<br />

and how far I could push my Nikon D750.<br />

Graham Jones<br />

<strong>September</strong> <strong>2019</strong><br />

73


74 <strong>NZPhotographer</strong>


WHIRITOA DAWN<br />

A mid-winter journey to Whiritoa on the Coromandel. The thoughts<br />

behind the composition were to capture the feeling of desolation<br />

and tranquillity which were with me just prior to the sunrise.<br />

Graham Jones<br />

<strong>September</strong> <strong>2019</strong><br />

75


76 <strong>NZPhotographer</strong>


FOREST OF TREES<br />

I had seen a few double exposure images but I had not tried this technique myself, until<br />

now. My previous camera didn't have a double exposure setting but my current one<br />

does, so I played around for a day or two and here is the result!<br />

Jan Abernethy<br />

<strong>September</strong> <strong>2019</strong> 77


78 <strong>NZPhotographer</strong>


MAGIC AT THE LAKE<br />

I took my crystal ball to the lake to see if I<br />

could create a double exposure with it. I<br />

could, this is one of my favourites!<br />

Jan Abernethy<br />

<strong>September</strong> <strong>2019</strong> 79


80 <strong>NZPhotographer</strong>


WINTER TREES<br />

This is one of my first double exposures of<br />

a silver birch tree against a corrugated<br />

fence. I like the abstract form and colours.<br />

Jan Abernethy<br />

<strong>September</strong> <strong>2019</strong> 81


82 <strong>NZPhotographer</strong>


THE TOPAZ RING<br />

F25, 1/500s, ISO51200<br />

I was experimenting for my digital photography course<br />

for the subject of product photography, and chose this<br />

piece of jewellery as my subject. I placed it in a black<br />

box on top of a mirror board and lit it with a small study<br />

lamp. In Photoshop, I upped the contrast and the black<br />

in the image and was left with this.<br />

Kelly Vivian<br />

<strong>September</strong> <strong>2019</strong><br />

83


84 <strong>NZPhotographer</strong>


THE DOGS SILHOUETTE<br />

F14, 1/1600s, ISO200, 30mm<br />

I was out on Auckland's Karekare Beach with my little Maltese dog,<br />

Pebbles taking photos of the beach. Late on in the shoot, I was lying<br />

on the sand to get the sunset when Pebbles kept getting in my shot so<br />

I took some images of her back-lit by the sunset. I didn't realise what I<br />

had captured until I was downloading the images when I got home.<br />

Kelly Vivian<br />

<strong>September</strong> <strong>2019</strong> 85


DAWN OVER THE BAY<br />

F8, 6s, ISO 200<br />

ORIENTAL BAY, WELLINGTON<br />

I've been trying to build my skill of long exposure photography since a workshop I did last year.<br />

On this occasion I wanted to try and combine the sunrise with the city lights, the light trails from<br />

the cars were a bonus! There were showers as I was setting up my tripod and I had to shield the<br />

camera to protect it from the strong wind, but the fast moving clouds and choppy seas were<br />

perfect for a long exposure shot and I was rewarded for the early start.<br />

Laura Pascall<br />

86 <strong>NZPhotographer</strong>


<strong>September</strong> <strong>2019</strong> 87


88 <strong>NZPhotographer</strong>


SOUTHERLY STORM<br />

F16, 25s, ISO100<br />

ISLAND BAY, WELLINGTON<br />

I've been trying to build my skills with long exposures. A strong southerly<br />

wind had got up while I was out for a walk with my camera but it created<br />

good movement in the clouds and sea for me to practice. I set up the<br />

tripod and took some shots with my ND filter on, the wind whipping the<br />

sand up around me. This was the last shot I got before I had to abandon<br />

the beach due to the rain setting in.<br />

Laura Pascall<br />

<strong>September</strong> <strong>2019</strong><br />

89


90 <strong>NZPhotographer</strong>


HANDBAG HEAVEN<br />

F8, 1/200s, ISO400, 32mm<br />

A stall at St Georges Market in Belfast. The<br />

choice was huge, the colors and designs<br />

oustanding, and I can't resist a photo.<br />

Mark Davey<br />

<strong>September</strong> <strong>2019</strong><br />

91


BENMORE SUNSET<br />

F11, 1/125s, ISO200<br />

After spending several weeks closely watching weather websites, I finally saw my chance<br />

to capture a sunset at Lake Benmore. I haven't seen so many photos of this lake and despite<br />

only living an hour away I had never tried to photograph it myself. I arrived a couple of hours<br />

before sunset to figure out a composition from the lookout point, I was set up for a wide angle<br />

shot overlooking the lake but as the sun started to set I noticed a more intimate shot further in<br />

the distance.<br />

Matthew Davey<br />

92 <strong>NZPhotographer</strong>


ONE LIGHT<br />

F5.6, 1/6s, ISO3200, 55mm<br />

I generally focus on landscape photos<br />

but I've been wanting to develop<br />

my skills with urban/architecture<br />

photography too. I was out for sunrise<br />

on a cold winter morning and as I was<br />

walking to location I noticed this building<br />

and the one light that was different - It<br />

seemed a good opportunity to try some<br />

different shots out.<br />

Laura Pascall<br />

<strong>September</strong> <strong>2019</strong><br />

93


94 <strong>NZPhotographer</strong>


FINAL PITCH<br />

F8, 1/800s, ISO125<br />

A view from my belay stance 30 metres away from the top of Mount<br />

Brewster (2,515m) in Mt Aspiring National Park. My climbing buddy Piotr,<br />

now safe on top, savoured his achievement before building an anchor<br />

to belay me up to join him. With this perspective I wanted to convey the<br />

feeling of being up high. The image is actually 3 stitched. Being very<br />

limited to my seated spot I used 3 portrait shots to catch myself as well<br />

as the scene ahead. My camera was a Lumix TZ220 - very compact -<br />

far better for mountaineering than a DSLR if you want to actually take<br />

any pictures in exposed situations like this.<br />

Peter Laurenson<br />

<strong>September</strong> <strong>2019</strong><br />

95


96 <strong>NZPhotographer</strong>


TROUBLED WATERS<br />

F8, 1/40s, ISO100<br />

Dawn view south east to Mt Taranaki, across the icy wind churned surface of the Pouakai Track tarn, New<br />

Zealand. This tarn is normally shot when the weather is very calm and the mountain is a mirror image<br />

reflected in it. But the tarn itself has something to offer as well I think. These days it has become difficult to<br />

enjoy the seclusion I did on this morning. International tourism has well and truly found this place, changing it<br />

from what those visiting are looking for. This image is a stitch of 3 landscape shots, taken on my Nikon D750,<br />

Camera Raw, spot meter, manual settings.<br />

Peter Laurenson<br />

<strong>September</strong> <strong>2019</strong><br />

97


98 <strong>NZPhotographer</strong>


SHADOWS AND LIGHT<br />

F8, 1/160s, ISO125<br />

A dawn view of the top 600 metres of Mt Taranaki, taken from the southern rim of Fantham's<br />

Peak. Syme Hut sits to the left of the summit cone, which has projected a shadow out to the<br />

far left. Mounts Tongariro, Ngauruhoe and Ruapehu are silhouetted on the right skyline. It<br />

was my fifth trip up this route and the best light so far. This image is a stitch of 8 portrait shots<br />

taken on my Lumix TZ 220, shot in Camera Raw, spot meter, manual settings.<br />

Peter Laurensony<br />

<strong>September</strong> <strong>2019</strong><br />

99


100 <strong>NZPhotographer</strong>


MOODY SUNSET<br />

F7, 1/30s, ISO450<br />

BUFFALO BEACH, WHITIANGA<br />

The clouds out East often look quite moody as the sun sets in<br />

the West so I experimented with zooming in on the 'moodier'<br />

clouds. The resulting image accentuated the mood of the<br />

clouds with the last of the days sun shining on the houses<br />

on the ridge top adding another dimension.<br />

Peter Maiden<br />

<strong>September</strong> <strong>2019</strong>101


102 <strong>NZPhotographer</strong>


CAPE GOOSEBERRIES<br />

F7, 3.1s, ISO200<br />

Experimenting with high key and over exposure, I<br />

photographed this inside on white paper with window light<br />

using a macro lens with 2.33/100 exposure bias. I further<br />

increased the exposure in Lightroom using +1.10 with<br />

blacks increased to 100 and subtle texture added.<br />

Shona Jaray<br />

<strong>September</strong> <strong>2019</strong>103


“KNOW THE RULES<br />

WELL, SO YOU<br />

CAN BREAK THEM<br />

EFFECTIVELY.”<br />

DALAI LAMA XIV<br />

104 <strong>NZPhotographer</strong>

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