Travel perks

Last year D-Photo ran our first Travel Photography competition with a chance to win a trip to participate in a weekend workshop with the Queenstown Centre for Creative Photography, flights and accommodation provided by Canon New Zealand.

Chris Fawcett’s quirky shot of ornate Versailles, France earned top spot in the competition (see D-Photo 44), securing a place for the photographer at Mike Langford and Jackie Ranken’s Otago-based Autumn Colours workshop.

This four-day experience involves roaming through the ruggedly beautiful Skippers Canyon and Macetown areas in four-wheel drive vehicles, chasing down some of New Zealand’s most sublime landscape opportunities.

Fawcett says the event was a mix of different types of sessions that all helped him try out new techniques and gain valuable insights from two of the country’s best.

“We had some straight camera technique instructions, we had time to critique our own and other photographs and we had time to discuss design and see some of Mike and Jackie’s work. However most of the time was out and around at Macetown and Skippers Canyon taking photos.

“It was great to take photos then be able to critique them and discuss technical aspects with two very knowledgeable professionals.”

In the master photographers’ own words, the workshop has been designed to encourage photographers to ‘take risks, to be inspired and energised, to be more open and expressive in your photography’.

“We consider the process of making images to be more important than in some cases than the product. You should leave this course knowing yourself a little better; and your camera and tripod will be your best friend.”

It’s an education that Fawcett certainly found rewarding, counting lessons in filters, contrast settings and white balance as well as beginning understand the elements of design as his most valuable.

“I learnt a way of looking at making photos – I did not expect to have to re-think how I was taking the photo, but this will be a great thing to take in to the future,” explains Fawcett.

“[Jackie and Mike are a] combination of being extremely talented and yet good teachers. In my experience this is a rare combination.”

Below are a few images Fawcett created while on the workshop, which he says he would highly recommend to any photographer.

AggriCalendar seeks submissions

Capture a piece of iconic New Zealand agricultural lifestyle and you could not only see it published in a calendar but win Canon gear and D-Photo subscriptions for your trouble.

Agricultural supply firm PGG Wrightson is currently seeking submissions for its annual calendar competition, with a cash prize of $1000 and Canon 60D single lens kit worth over $2100 going to the overall winner.

There are also 11 further prize packs of a one-year subscription to D-Photo and a $500 PGG Wrightson voucher, plus a Peoples Choice winner will score a Canon 600D twin lens kit and have their image featured on the calendar’s cover.

At a later date entrants and the public will be able to vote online from a selection of finalists to decide the Peoples Choice winner.

The contest is divided into the following categories – images, which must reflect a rural setting, can be entered into one or more categories: Read the rest of this entry »

Print right

Getting your favourite images from screen to print can be a trickier prospect than it might initially seem, especially if your looking to produce something that’s up to scratch for photography competitions. Award-winning photographer Jackie Ranken is here to share a few points to consider when creating your own, hopefully award-winning prints.  

This article is an extension of Jackie’s look at the new Canon Pixma Pro-1 A3+ photo printer, published in D-Photo 48 on sale May 28.

Printing my own images is important to me, because it allows me to be spontaneous and responsive with my photography from the beginning to end. I believe that images become photographs only once they are printed and the benefits are that once printed it will last between 100-200 years. It is only in this final state that its visual impact is final and complete.

That is why we have ‘print awards’. It’s an integral part of our visual communication. Having my own printer allows me to celebrate my photography in the best possible way, there is nothing like getting back after a days shoot, printing a favourite image, pinning it up on the wall and having a glass of Chardonnay with Mike as we debrief. This is what being a photographer is all about, showing your work.

I will outline the results and the procedure I use to print my images for competitions and limited editions. I am going to suggest to you a printing technique I use to find the most appropriate paper and profile for the image (without using too much paper or ink). This article is not about colour management but you do need to understand about colour spaces and colour profiles to get the best out of your printing.

Start with a colour balanced and profiled monitor. I make a colour chart by making a collage of a range of my own images. I try and include a wide range of colours and tonal ranges that I like.

Before I print a full A3 or A4 image I will make a test print by selecting a strip of the print and dropping it onto a blank sheet (in Photoshop). If needed I then make consecutive test strips below that first strip. If the first test is not suitable I can make changes to the way the print is rendered, (Perceptual vs. Relative Colormetric) and/or allowing the printer to control the colour vs. Photoshop and/or create a custom ICC profile from the software supplied.

I own my own Xrite i1 Profiler and am able to create custom profiles that created a slightly more accurate print. If you buy your printer and paper (from a New Zealand company) they may create a custom profile for your favourite papers at no charge.

When printing full prints it’s important to write notes on the edge of each print, identifying what paper it is and what setting was used. When you have a series of the same image printed on various papers you can make valued judgments and see what papers work best with various types of images.

For instance, glossy papers tend to make the colours and the image jump off the page, where as, when you view a matt printed image you tend to sink into it. It’s an aesthetic that needs to be considered because it has an emotive effect. Choose the best paper to suit the communication.

For more of Jackie’s work head to her website

Getty searches for iconic New Zealand

Getty Images is on the hunt for images capturing iconic instances of life in New Zealand and, with help from Canon New Zealand, have a stack of gear to giveaway for the effort.

The competition, entitled Grab NZ, invites ‘anyone with a camera’ to submit up to ten images that show an authentic vision of life in New Zealand.

The three top images will win a share in $5,500 worth of Canon equipment, with a grand prize of a Canon 7D single lens kit, as well as the opportunity of being invited to be a Getty contributor via the agency’s Flickr page.

First place and runner-up, who will score a Canon 600D twin lens kit, will be selected by a panel of industry veterans, including photographers Norrie Montgomery and Hannah Johnston, creative director Tony Bradbourne and Canon’s imaging brand manger, Rochelle Mora.

A third prize will be awarded to the most popular image as votes by fans on the Getty Images Facebook page, winning a Canon PowerShot G12.

Images should be submitted online by June 1, with winners announced on June 21.

Canon signs up for 48-hour filmmaking

Canon has certainly had digital filmmaking on the mind recently and, following a series of new cinema-related announcements, the New Zealand branch has now made some furious filmmaking friends.

Canon New Zealand has today announced it has signed on as the official technology partner to the 2012 V48Hours Film Festival, brining along an impressive array of Canon gear for prizes.

Those entering this year’s event, which tasks filmmakers to put together a short film in a 48-hour timeframe, will be competing for over $15000 worth of Canon products, including new 5D Mark III and 60D DSLR cameras.

The event, now in its tenth year, kicks off next month – entrants will need to have assembled a team, registered and paid the $195 registration fee by May 1 to compete. Read the rest of this entry »

Competitions galore

With many of you due for a day off tomorrow, thanks to ANZAC Day, it’s the perfect chance to get out and sort some entries to the many competitions D-Photo currently has running.

D-Photo Nikon Amateur Photographer of the Year

This is the big one, with over $7000 worth of prizes to be won and the chance to have your work published in the pages of D-Photo.

The competition is divided into six categories – Landscape, People, Travel, Monochrome, Creative and the special themed category ‘Nikon Motion’ – and each photographer may enter one submission into each.

Each category has a wonderful prize attached to it and the section winners will go into the running for the grand prize of a Nikon D7000 kit with AF-S Nikkor 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6 ED VR lens, new Nikon SB-910 Speedlight, Manfrotto 190XB aluminium tripod, Manfrotto 496RC2 ball head and new Lowepro Urban Photo Sling, with a combined value of over $3700.

Click to the competition and check out the terms and conditions. Read the rest of this entry »

NZ Natural History photo comp opens

An annual nature photography competition seeking to document New Zealand’s diverse natural world is now accepting entries.

Each year the Natural History Trenna Packer Salver competition, run by the Nature Photography Society of New Zealand, asks the country’s photography clubs to submit their best examples of nature photography.

“As the natural environment comes under increasing threats from human activity it is vital that we have a comprehensive collection of high quality images,” says the organizer.

“We hope that by running an annual New Zealand Nature inter-club competition we can promote an increasing interest in photographing the natural world as well as encourage best practice in photographing natural history subjects.”

Each club may enter a set of six projected images of natural history subjects taken in New Zealand or its offshore islands before the June 15 deadline.

Visit the Nature Photography Society’s website or contact the competition co-coordinator, Pam Cumming, at or 03 348 4577 for more information.

The competition’s results will be announced on July 16 in a showing at the Nature Photography Society’s clubrooms in Christchurch.

The Trenna Packer Salver competition was established in 1972 by the Hagley Camera Club of Christchurch, the Nature Photography Society took on its operation in 2007.

Last year’s winning set came from the Christchurch Photographic Society and can be viewed here; the following are a selection of images that gained special recognition from judge Geoff Beals.

Craig Chalmers, Mosaic moray eel (Enchelycore ramose)

Stuart Clook, Leotia Lubrica (Jelly Babies)

Bevan Tulett FPSNZ, Australasian Harrier (Circus approximans)

Peter Robertson LPSNZ, Juvenile Kea (Nestor notabilis)