Sketching Landscapes

Hi guys, 

i've just returned from my recent travels over to the UK and realised that I haven't yet posted my most recent article from Light and Landscape Magazine. The article is called 'Sketching Landscapes' and can be seen below. The article discusses how you come to reach your desired composition and a little bit about learning from your mistakes. You can still see it in the magazine by checking out my previous blog post and following the links there. For now here's the article. 

 

image.jpg
image.jpg
image.jpg
image.jpg
image.jpg
image.jpg

Light and Landscape Magazine - Issue 11 (Sketching Landscapes)

image.jpg

The latest issue (issue 11) of Light and Landscape Magazine is now live! 

Click on the link below to take you through to the website where you can download the latest issue onto your iPad.

http://www.lightandlandscapemagazine.com

This issue contains an article that I wrote called "Sketching Landscapes", where I discuss the value of editing your images as you shoot and retaining and learning from the photographs that you might otherwise decide not to keep.

Please continue to support this excellent magazine. It's time to grab a coffee, sit down and enjoy the latest news and opinion in Landscape photography. 

 

Ethical Considerations - Light and Landscape Magazine

For those of you who didn't get a chance to read my latest article 'Ethical Considerations' for Light and Landscape magazine, issue 8, you can now read it here. You will find screenshots from the magazine below.  

take care and have a Happy Easter weekend!

James

 

image.jpg
image.jpg
image.jpg
image.jpg
image.jpg

Slow down, Light and Landscape (issue 6)

During the week I received a request from one of my readers to publish a copy of the article 'Slow Down' that I wrote for Light and Landscape magazine (issue 6). I realise not all of you have an iPad so for those of you who were unable to view the article, I've posted some screenshots of the article below for you all to read.

Best wishes,

James

 

image.jpg
image.jpg
image.jpg
image.jpg
image.jpg

Light and Landscape Magazine - Issue 6

I'd just like to point you in the direction of Light and Landscape magazine where an article of mine has just been published in the latest issue (issue 6). Light and landscape magazine is a free to download, iPad only magazine for all things related to landscape photography and more. 

I was recently invited to submit an article by Matt (the editor). The article is called 'Slow Down' and it discusses the topic of slowing down and shooting less frames. The idea being that you consider your subject or scene and produce more higher quality frames by taking the time to get it right first time.

The magazine is still in its infancy but the standard of work, both photography and written pieces is very good, so if you like photography and you like landscapes then I urge you to have a look at it. Here's a handy link.

Take care and enjoy the article, 

James

image.jpg

Creative constraints

As any photographer will know, planning what gear to take for a trip or holiday can be a bit of a headache. We like to travel but we also like to have all of our gear to hand. The problem with this is that we end up with too much gear, weighing us down to the point that it tires us and becomes a burden.

I'm very much that photographer. I like to have everything I could possibly need with me at all times. I'm also like this in my everyday life. This is why I can mostly be seen wearing cargo style shorts. Big pockets = more room for stuff that I might need!

I'm about to go away on holiday to New Zealand so choosing and packing my gear is very much on my mind. I've spent the last couple of weeks making a list of all my lenses and filters and other stuff that I will more than likely want and need for the work that I'm planning to produce. There's a lot there and even though I have a fairly small and light mirrorless system now, it's still going to be heavy by the time I carry everything on the list.

When I plan a trip or a shoot, I like to set myself a creative constraint in order to help me think differently about how to approach the work and also to flex my photographic creativity and skill. This trip is going to be no different. After a lot of thought and consideration I've decided to travel light this time, really light. I will be travelling with only my Fuji x100t and a couple of filters. The fuji x100t* is an extraordinary camera that every photographer should own. It's a small, fixed focal length (35mm equivalent) camera that you can fit in your pocket. It's perfect for travel, for portraits, for all different types of work. Many pro's swear by them, for example Zack Arias who recently said if all of his gear was to be taken from him then all he would want left would be his x100 cameras. It produces gorgeous photographs, aided by fuji's film simulation modes which were designed based on the film rolls that fuji used to make.

By using a single camera with a single focal length it will force me to be more aware of my composition, my proximity to my subject. It will force me to think outside the box and think creatively about how I photograph. Also it's such a lightweight kit that it won't be hard work or tiring to carry it around all day, thus allowing me to stay fresher and be more receptive to my surroundings. It's going to be quite different from my usual kit that I carry and a challenge for sure but I'm very excited about it. I think the results will be facinating and I'm looking forward to sharing them with you on my return. My kit list, for the nerds among you is as follows:

 

Think Tank Retrospective 7 Bag

Glanz 110cm 5 in 1 reflector

Fuji x100t camera

Fuji WCL-x100 wide angle lens converter

Binoculars

X-rite Color Checker Passport

Lens pen and blower

Gorillapod mini tripod

49mm Kenko circular polarising filter

A couple of spare batteries and charger

Lee Seven5 Soft Grad ND filters (0.3/0.6/0.9)

Lee Filter holder

Think Tank memory card holder with 6 16GB SDHC cards

 A couple of lens cloths

iPod

Notebook and pen

 

Finally it's time for me to wish you a very Merry Christmas and a fantastic New Year celebration. I may post the occaisional photograph from my trip as we go, depending on the wifi situation. Apart from that I've nothing more to say other than I'll see you in 2015!

Best wishes,

James

My travel kit, ready to pack.

My travel kit, ready to pack.

* There are actually now 3 cameras in the x100 series, the first generation x100, the x100s and the most recently released x100t.

REVIEW - Permajet Photo paper (PART II)

Hi,

I recently had the pleasure of testing and reviewing some fine art printing paper from Permajet. After my last review, which had a very positive response from a number of circles, I've been sent some more samples to test out from the wonderful people at Adeal/Permajet. I was very impressed with the first batch of samples that I saw, not only with the feel and quality of the paper in my hands but the all important print quality to. Given how happy I was with the first batch, I was pretty excited to receive the second, this time with different paper types and sizes. This has now allowed me to get a good idea of how each of the papers respond to printing in the larger format that I usually offer to my customers. 

 If you haven't read my original review then I urge you to check it out before continuing as this review picks up where I left off before. You can find it here: http://www.theotherjamespartridge.com/new-blog/review-permajet-photographic-inkjet-paper-20140914

UPDATES

As you may have previously read in the last review, or remembered, you will have noted that during printing I discovered an issue with regards to matching the Permajet paper with the Epson paper types in the print dialogue. I received an email from Permajet's MD Robin Whetton (via John at Adeal) shortly after publishing the post which cleared this issue up. 

“In every ICC profile the name shows, Printer Name, Paper Name Ink type and Media Setting, these media settings are set out in initials ie. Archival Matt Paper = AMP or Water Colour Radiant White = WCRW take a look at the profile attached, the last four letters are PGPP = Premium Glossy Photo Paper in the driver.”
— Robin Whetton, Permajet MD

I'm actually not sure how I didn't figure this out but thanks Robin for providing that info! I'm sure you'll agree that it's great that Permajet's MD took the time to read through the review and help clarify issues such as that. Little things like this make a huge difference in a companies image and perception so kudos to Permajet!

PRINTING

For this round of prints I used almost exactly the same setup as described in the last review. I like to print through Lightroom using my custom templates as it makes for a quick and painless workflow. This time all prints were made on A3 paper. Again I used the ICC profiles which I downloaded from the Permajet website. 

For the record, I actually created my own ICC profiles for each paper type with my X-Rite calibration device to see if there would be any difference in print quality as often every individual printer is slightly different and generic profiles can sometimes not provide the best results. However when I compared these with Permajet's official profiles, there was basically no difference at all. This is why I chose to continue using their profiles for this review.

Another slight deviation from last time around was the temperature and humidity. I chose to print on the hottest day of the spring so far in Brisbane! Great idea James... It topped 39oC with 90% humidity which, for those of you who don't know, can cause havoc with fine art paper and printing. I'm happy to say that I had no issues at all and both the prints and I survived with no damage at all. 

Again for my printing session I was ably assisted by Wolf, my dog!

Printing is hard work for Wolf

Printing is hard work for Wolf

RESULTS

SMOOTH PEARL - 'The Edge of Light'

The Edge of Light

Smooth Pearl is a paper that feels quite thin but a strong paper at the same time. I was impressed by the luxurious satin finish and the beautiful clear detail that could be seen on the print. The colour reproduction was stunning throughout the dynamic range of the print. I liked the nice bright, reflective surface. Sometimes reflective papers can be troublesome when mounted and framed but I put this one under some glass and it looked excellent. 

The reflective surface on the print

The reflective surface on the print

ULTRA PEARL - 'Under the Bay'

Under the Bay

Ultra Pearl is probably my least favourite of the Permajet range so far. The tone and dynamic range of the paper is great, no issues there. The photograph looks very sharp and handles the fine detail on the horizon perfectly. It’s a thin paper but feels really tough, tearing it would be difficult. I don’t like the finish though. It feels to me like vinyl and has a very slight texture that reminds me too much of vinyl floor coverings. That’s just me though, for the record my wife liked it!  

EDIT: 

The Ultra Pearl paper is actually designed with a specific coating that ensures it is scratch and scuff resistant but more importantly the coating surface is special in that it does not allow the printed image to copied by a scanner or phone , the image pixelates as you can see in the photograph below. The beauty of this paper is that it offers copyright protection to pro photographers handing their work around to customer(s) for review etc. With this in mind I think it's a very cleverly designed product from Permajet and certainly will be useful to many photographers out there. Thanks to John for the correction here!

The vinyl like surface of Ultra Pearl

The vinyl like surface of Ultra Pearl

FB GOLD SILK - 'The road to nowhere'

The road to nowhere

FB Gold Silk paper is a heavy, glossy stock with a slightly smooth texture and a beautiful shine across the page. It has excellent reproduction of detail with lovely sharp blacks in particular. FB Gold Silk also has a slightly warm white base which I feel really enhances the darker tones. Those blacks are so deep you could lose yourself in them! The smooth texture of this paper feels and looks lovely. It's exactly what you would expect in a high end paper type.

The lovely surface of this paper can be seen here

The lovely surface of this paper can be seen here

FB DISTINCTION - 'Fallen Skies'

Fallen Skies

One of my new favourite papers, FB Distinction has a very thick stock with a really nice sheen across the page. It feels like a high quality paper should. There is a slight texture, almost like a leather effect that I really love. The detail is excellent and tonal range is absolutely superb. It’s beautiful; it has a bright white base and makes a real statement when you hold the print in your hand. Simply beautiful! 'Fallen Skies' is one of my most recent photographs and one that I really love, especially with this combination of paper. I'll be framing this print and hanging it in my office for sure.

The gorgeous texture surface of FB Gold Distinction

The gorgeous texture surface of FB Gold Distinction

PORTRAIT WHITE - 'The last kiss of light'

The last kiss of light

Portrait White has a warm yellowish white base but provides excellent colour clarity and detail. I pushed the sharpening on this photograph purposely to see how the paper would respond and it looks really impressive. The colours are really bright without being offensive and the dynamic range displayed looks as good, if not better, than any paper that I’ve used in the past. This is exactly the type of paper that I would compare directly with "Pura Smooth" by Breathing Color and it doesn't disappoint! I've found yet another favourite to add to my growing collection of paper stock.

The beautiful crisp detail looks great on this print

The beautiful crisp detail looks great on this print

FINAL THOUGHTS

Again I've been truly impressed by what I've seen and experienced with Permajet paper. I'm not surprised though given the paper types that I saw in the first review. This round of printing was something I'd been looking forward to for a while. The first papers that I tested impressed me so much that I didn't think I would be feeling the same after reviewing this round of papers but yet again I've been blown away with what I've seen. So much so that I've added Permajet to my preferred paper stock and you can also see them recommended under the 'My Gear" section here on my website.

Permajet offers real quality, great customer service and feedback. If you print your own work then I urge you to give them a try. If you use external print labs then please get them to check out the Permajet range as I really don't think they will be disappointed with what they find.

It was excellent to see how my photographs looked in print on Permajet's paper, especially at sizes that I provide to my clients. In fact some of my most recent shipped prints have been made with Permajet paper so I look forward to hearing the thoughts of those of you that receive those prints in the post.

Thanks for your time and attention yet again. I hope you have enjoyed what you've read and as always, I’m very appreciative of any feedback that so many of you submit via my social media and website.

Take care,

James

The latest news in my world!

This is just a quick post to let you know a couple of exciting pieces of news.

News item 1:

I've recently applied to join the Australian Institute of Professional Photography (AIPP) as an Emerging Member. Well today I learnt that I've actually bypassed this stage and have been granted Full Acredited Member status on the basis of a portfolio of images that I was required to submit to the AIPP. This portfolio was judged by award standard judges within AIPP so I'm absolutely thrilled and humbled to be joining a highly skilled and elite collective of photographers in Australia. As soon as I've submitted the paperwork, I will be using the AIPP logos on this website and will be able to advertise this officially through my various media outlets and advertising material.

News item 2:

I've had a number of enquiries recently about the availability of prints of some of my photographs. Well I'm delighted to announce that my new e-store will be active fairly soon! I'm currently working away in the QLD bush but when I return I should be able to finalise and activate the store. You will then be able to purchase downloads of any of my images. You will also be able to purchase prints of selected photographs too. Most of which will be hand printed and signed by myself.  The larger prints will presently be handled by an outside source but I will soon be able to produce these myself. I'm proud to be able to supply you with a product that is created by my own hands, from start to finish. I'll be sure to let you know when this goes live.

Thanks for continuing to support me and stay tuned to my website and social media for the latest updates.

Thank you! 

James

 

 

 

Giving life to an image

First, let me wish you a happy New Year. I hope you had a great time over the festive and New Year period and let's together look forward to the New Year ahead. My celebrations were relatively low key this year. I spent New Year's Eve in the company of good friends and watched the midnight fireworks display in Brisbane City. New Year's Day I went to the cinema to see the excellent 'Secret Life Of Walter Mitty'.

'The Secret Life of Walter Mitty' follows Ben Stiller's character, Walter Mitty, who is a full time daydreamer and Negative Assets Manager at 'Life Magazine'. The magazine is due to cease print production and as such Mitty works in conjunction with Sean O'Connell (Sean Penn), a Photojournalist, to produce the final cover image for the last print edition. The negative, which O'Connell recommends to Mitty as the 'quintessential' Life magazine image, disappears and Mitty begins a journey to locate and retrieve the missing negative (negative 25). This movie is fun, easy going and well produced. Mitty travels to some absolutely amazing places in Greenland and Iceland, two places that are on my future travel to list. It has an excellent soundtrack too. If you haven't already seen it then I highly recommend it. It's brilliant!

Before I saw the movie, I read about a particular scene concerning one of Mitty's daydreams. Here, whilst looking at a photo of O'Connell, Mitty is beckoned into the image. I heard about this moment through the blog of one of my favourite photographers (David DuChemin - http://davidduchemin.com). DuChemin describes this moment as O'Connell inviting Mitty in, wanting him to stop watching other people's adventures and live his own. This is absolutely correct and Mitty does go on to have his adventure. I looked at it a little differently though: when I saw that photo come alive for the couple of seconds that it does, it made me consider, what if my images could come alive? What would they say? What would the reaction of the viewer be?

In the couple of days that have passed I've begun to revisit some of my favourite images, both my own and those of the photographer's that I greatly admire. I have looked at the images and imagined how they would feel, what they would tell the viewer. Whilst technology doesn't allow for our images to come to life (except the video camera!), there are ways in which we as photographers can use our craft to make an image invoke a feeling or a thought and sometimes even allow the viewer to imagine what it was like to be there and capture a scene before their own eyes. There are a variety of techniques that we can use, from the traditional photography skills of creative composition and lighting, creative aperture, shutter speed settings and metering techniques through to the processing of images with the different types of photo editing software and plugins available.

There's no right or wrong way of creating an image with depth or feeling and you can use any one or all of the above techniques in order to achieve your desired result. By taking a moment to consider how we can give life to our images either before, during, or after the in-camera stage, we can create a stronger photograph. A photograph that stands out from the crowd. A photograph that comes alive. 

This is my goal in 2014; to continue to make stronger photographs, to try and make them come alive. 

 

The moment where Sean O'Connell welcomes Walter on his journey. (The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty)    http://www.fubiz.net/en/2013/08/02/the-secret-life-of-walter-mitty-trailer/

The moment where Sean O'Connell welcomes Walter on his journey. (The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty) 

http://www.fubiz.net/en/2013/08/02/the-secret-life-of-walter-mitty-trailer/