QCCP May 2015 Newsletter- Otago Report, Photo Ideas & Links
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Queenstown Centre for Creative Photography

New Zealand

May 2015
In this newsletter:

Otago Photography Workshop
Competitions and Workshop Calendar

To all the Mum's out there, "Happy Mother's Day"

I hope you have some time to go and play with your camera today.
QCCP Otago Landscape photography workshop

This workshop is designed for advanced photographers wanting to pursue their dream of finding their personal style and developing their aesthetics. In order to find the best landscape photography opportunities Mike and Jackie will get you to the best places at the right time. They then help you to explore the most appropriate photographic techniques to communicate how you felt about being there.
Otago Landscape 2015  Book  HERE

Cover by Jackie Ranken
f1.8, 1/5000 sec, 85 mm 100  IS0  Canon 5DMKIII

This became the cover because I just love the blur of the foreground grass. The softness of this area  contrasts nicely with the weather worn hardness of the school house and trees. It somehow makes me think about the passage of time and this suits the subject, perhaps the emotion is a sense of isolation  or maybe it feels like the viewer is spying on the subject.

The most important thing is that it has emotion, it's not just a record of what a place looks like.

This out of focus grass was also a great space for the title of the book. Mike would say that it is 'always a good idea to think about the end use of your images and make shots to suit your layouts'. 

Technique: I was laying with the elbows on the ground and the camera cradled in my hands. My focus was narrowed down to a spot, other wise the camera may have focused on the grass and my picture style was on the 'Natural' setting with +2 contrast.
Otago Landscape Workshop March 2015

Mike has made the comments on the images below, one for each photographer.  Check out the book for their other images.

Lucie Loane

f/11 1/125 seconds ISO 200  EF 24 -105mm f4L IS USM

Great use of shapes and textures in the landscape. Converting it to Monochrome makes them all just so much more powerful and graphic.
The inclusion of the wispy clouds in the sky are a great counter to the strong graphic of the firing range in the foreground. What also makes this work, (especially in Monochrome), are all the different horizontal shapes made from the changing tones in the landscape – from light to dark then light again and then again darker. Nicely seen shot!


Glyn Patrick

f/8 1/80 seconds ISO 100  EF 24 -105mm f4L IS USM

A great posed shot with a retro feel to it. I love the way you have placed the two girls and then given it a timeless quality by slightly desaturation the colour – it really works and unites all the elements beautifully.


Alison Denyer

f/4.2 1/12 sec ISO 1000  28-300 mm f/3.5 -5.6

Beautifully seen and realized. The soft sepier tone adds to its timeless quality. The light falling on the chair is perfect and separates the chair out from the wall wonderfully as well as giving the wall texture. Top shot Alison!


Andrea Richie

f/11 1/30sec ISO 100 EF 24-70 f/4L IS USM

A strong and dynamic image Andrea. I love the use of the rocks on either side of the image, forcing the eye further in towards the third rock. Leaving the figure in the landscape gives everything scale, which adds to its enduring quality. The added detail in the sky also creates a balance to the very strong foreground Nice one!


Andy Holt

f/11 1/30sec ISO 100 EF 24-70 f/4L IS USM

A wonderful use of positive and negative space Andy. By leaving such a large empty area at the top, we are allowed to feel the solitude and isolation of the buildings below. Any other crop would have made them feel cramped and busy.


Mike Langford

F8  1/125 sec, 50mm lens 100 ISO

This is Mike's 'Henry Moore'. He has carefully composed the image to separate the subject away from other shapes. I certainly know what to look at and yes it does remind me of a Henry Moore sculpture. Referencing art history with your images helps to give them relevance and meaning.

"Sculpture is an art of the open air... I would rather have a piece of my sculpture put in a landscape, almost any landscape, than in, or on, the most beautiful building I know."

Mike Langford

We have a new toy it's called a Profoto B2. It is a powerful TTL battery powered monolight flash that we plan to use in the landscape and on portrait shoots. It can make a day light, look like dusk and can shape and model 'light' in ways that previously were very difficult to manage. We plan to make some surreal looking landscapes in our personal work as well as share this knowledge on our Workshops. I am imagining my thrown kitchen utensils series shot in this way!

In this image above Mike has used the light from the B2 flash to separate the tussock from the landscape and the effect of the fast shutter speed was to freeze the motion of the tussock and darken the landscape. This has made the sky dark and menacing.

Technique: The shutter speed is what controls the ambient light: the faster the shutter speed the darker the background and visa versa.  This B2 flash can actually sync with the camera at up to 1/8,000 th of a second.  The usual flash sync speed in your camera is 1/250th of a second. A speedlight can have faster shutter speeds but the control of this unit so far seems really easy.  (I am looking forward to using it for macro shots in the Kinloch Workshop coming up and perhaps we will 'light' the Kinloch Tree).

The setting of the aperture will effect the strength of the flash and the depth of field: f16 will require more power from the flash and the result will have a deeper depth of focus and visa versa for say f4).
To change the exposure of the flash simply change the flash compensation button in the camera or power the flash down on the unit itself.

(TTL - through the lens)
For video demonstrations see this link.

Jackie Ranken

f2.8  200 mm lens
In-camera Double Exposure
-mode 'dark'

It's a great felling to make an image at the time of capture that makes one really excited at the time.
That is what happened to me on our last Autumn Colours workshop in Queenstown.
I was experimenting with the idea of image stacking: where the technique is to take consecutive images focusing through a subject. Then later in the computer you have the control to select the areas of sharpness by using software like http://www.heliconsoft.com/heliconsoft-products/helicon-focus/
I found this software easy to use and it runs without having to open Photoshop.

Anyway, playing with this idea led me to another idea... and that's the way creative ideas evolve. Ultimately it's all about doing and being out there making images.

Technique: I had the idea to merge just two separate frames together focusing on different branches of leaves. I was using a tripod so the frames would line up and simply moved the narrow focus zone from one frame to another.  With the Canon 5DMKIII and 7DMKII you can use a multiple exposure setting called 'Dark', this makes the dark tones sit on top of the lighter tones.

I like the way the out of focus areas look like drop shadows. It's certainly a different look.
Here are the two images that the camera merged together.
Otago's Magic moments
Where is there a shot within the shot? Mike and Jackie
What is the trig in this shot? Glyn, Lucie, Andrea and Alison.
What's that ? .. it's time to go already? Glyn and Andy.

Learn & Grow

Each month a Canon Master will set the creative challenge. They'll judge your entries and provide feedback on the winning images to help you become a better storyteller.


This is one of Australia's biggest photo competitions, with a total prize pool worth over $150,000, including monthly winners and the ultimate prize of a luxury photo safari in Africa.

Mike and myself are Canon Masters so join in  "Learn and Grow' and watch out for our challenges to come.

P.S. Don't let us know your entries.  Join HERE
This years INFOCUS conference is in Queenstown. 9-10 August 2015
The Main speakers are: Alexia Sinclair, Paul Alsop, Kristen Cook, Lucy Spartalis, Robert Piccoli, Nick Tresidden, Corwin Hiebert, Jason Naylor, Tony Carer, Leoo Rose and Jackie Ranken
Registration HERE
Entries close for this on May 15.

The judges are David Burnett, Jim Goldstein, Tony Hewitt, Christian Fletcher, Peter Eastway and Jackie Ranken

The five judges will give you a score out of 500.
Enter HERE
The AIPP Online Magazine.

The Working Pro - Edited by our friend Peter Eastway

If you are Australia and wanting to be a professional photographer, then our advice is to join this professional organization.

New Zealand Professional Photographers

This is a great documentary about the life of Tove Jansson.

Moominland Tales.


To be creative we sometimes need to go out onto a limb.
If the limb breaks while I am out over a river then I will be caught in the current and taken somewhere new. If the branch holds my weight then I get a unique view of life, I can return to the tree trunk if I wish and try another branch.
Neither outcome is better just different. What matters is having a go. I feel that expressing your creativity and connecting and sharing this vision with others is the way to go. JR

On our QCCP workshops we ask you to go out onto this literal limb, we ask you to push your boundaries and be vulnerable. Mike and myself promise to be there to support your efforts and celebrate your successes.

The first step is to learn the craft of photograph, to be exposed to the history of art,  art photography and the Masters. Then be out there doing it.

All our images are available to purchase. Printed on Moab 290gm  fine art paper, Special prices for QCCP Workshopers.  POA

QCCP Community links

We have a Private  Google + community where you can post your images and receive feedback.  I want it to be a new place to catch up  and see what you are photographing as well as a place to meet and chat with one another.

You will need to set up a free a Google Plus  account
Please send me a message and I will add you to our Community.

Link to our  QCCP Google + page.
Search for communities  Google plus community
Please LIKE our QCCP Facebook page
Please add myself and Mike as a FB friend s

QCCP Photographic Workshops – 2015


May 14 - 18         Landscape Kinloch Queenstown FULL

June 7 - 14        

July 16-20        Mount Cook Winter Landscape (2 places left)

August 20-24        Mount Cook Winter Landscape  (1 place left)

September 17-21      Landscape West Coast
(4 place left)

October 8-12             Landscape Fiordland (2 place left)

December  3-10     Luminouse Landscape -Queenstown

Just send me an email - info@qccp.co.nz to reserve your place.

You are receiving this email because you have attended or inspire to attend one of our Landscape Photography workshops  or afternoon Photo Safaris  Thank you for your interest!

Our aim is to teach, inspire and inform. Subscription HERE
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