D-Photo 64 out now

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The first issue of D-Photo for 2015 is available in stores this week, and it's packed with tons of inspiration and instruction to help you make the most of the beautiful summer days we find ourselves in the midst of.

Here's a peek at what you'll find beyond the cover:

Perfect moment: landscape legend Andris Apse talks about his latest work shooting the resplendent South Island and the way in which his exceptional upbringing has informed his visual style.

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Andris Apse

Nature's masterpiece: join travel and wildlife photographer Karim Sahai as he embarks on a voyage to shoot the icy landscapes of the Arctic and capture one of nature's most dazzling phenomena; the Northern Lights.

Tragic glamour: art photographer Yvonne Todd discusses the largest exhibition of her career and the influences that have shaped her distinctive, unnerving approach to studio portraiture.

The future of photography: we find ourselves in a time of undeniable upheaval and evolution for the art, production, consumption and business of photography – take a look at where today's trends may be leading us.

Stefan Simons

Stefan Simons

Rising stars shine bright: get a look at work from Aotearoa's top young photographers as judged by the latest edition of the Canon EYEcon awards.

Mama Africa: International travel photographer Chris McLennan shares stunning imagery created in one of his 'photographic happy places', Africa.

Landscapes on the go: local legend Jackie Ranken discusses techniques for creating landscape images from moving platforms, such as planes, trains, and automobiles.

Jackie Janken

Jackie Ranken

Reach for the sky: look at walking the fine line of HDR use to beat tricky lighting on location with Andy Belcher.

When you go pro – part one: If you've ever wanted to make money from your photography you're going to want to check out Paul Petch's tips to consider before making your move.

Anatomy of a portrait: decode a portrait set-up, light by light, with studio wizard Luke White.

Anton Maurer

Anton Maurer

Still waters: Mareea Vegas speaks with emerging photographer Anton Maurer about slowing down to shoot and putting real thought into landscape images.

Landscape quick fixes: Mead Norton gives handy answers to common landscape photography problems, as submitted by our readers.

DAM your photo collection: digital imaging guru looks at the unglamorous but very important arena of digital asset management.

Head to your local newsagent for all that and more, or pick up your copy online here.

D-Photo 63 out Monday

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Time to get in that summer state of mind; the final issue of D-Photo for the year hits shelves on Monday and it's packed with stunning imagery and helpful tips for shooting in the summertime, capturing candid holiday moments, perfecting your family photography, and all the best photo gifts for the Christmas stockings.

Here's a taste of what's on offer this issue:

D-Photo Christmas Gift Guide: the best photography gifts for all budgets, from cameras and accessories to Christmas card printing and workshop vouchers.

Richard wood

Richard Wood

Portrait of a champion: portrait artist Richard Wood tells us how keeping the creative wheels spinning helps overcome the daily grind and produce award-winning images.

Meet the scholars: take a look at fresh work from 11 of New Zealand’s most promising up-and-comers.

Craig Levers

Craig Levers

Summer photography: sun-loving photographers Craig Levers, Tessa Chrisp and Stephen Robinson share their unique approaches to capturing a Kiwi summer.

Authentic family photos: top family photographers Holly Spring, Karyn Worthington and Anna Munro teach us to get warm, creative shots of the whānau, be they formal portraits or casual family gatherings.

Karyn Worthington

Karyn Worthington

Arctic adventure: travel photographer Chris McLennan crosses another location off his to-do list as he turns his lens on the Arctic’s polar bears.

Shoot your Christmas cards: local legend Jackie Ranken busts out the family album to look at different approaches to holiday portraits.

Tropical traipsing: Andy Belcher cranks out one of Nikon’s latest goodies in beautiful Niue

Paul Petch

Paul Petch

Good with children: Paul Petch looks at eight simple tips to get your head in the zone when tackling the boundless energy of youth on a shoot.

Ring flash basics: Luke White explains the many and varied uses of a ring flash, from distinctive portraits to macro work.

Generation why: Mareea Vegas talks to emerging photographer Fraser Chatham about the new breed of 'hybrid photographers'.

Fraser Chatham

Fraser Chatham

Better group shots: Mead Norton solves readers’ common problems with the family portraits.

Sketchy: Hans Weichselbaum walks us through the digital editing process of transforming a photo to a pencil sketch

Head to your local newsagent come Monday for all that and much more in D-Photo 63, or pick up a copy online here.

Game-changing: HD DSLR film-making

Luke White looks at the origins of the rapidly growing HD DSLR film-making trend and explains why you should get on board in the first in his ongoing series of columns of film-making for The Photographer's Mail It all changed in September 2008. That was when photographer Vincent Laforet managed to get hold of a pre-production Canon 5D Mark II. The camera had been announced a week earlier, and Laforet was intrigued by the idea of a DSLR with video recording capabilities. It wasn’t easy to talk Canon into lending him an unreleased camera for a weekend but, fortunately for Canon, Laforet is a very persuasive man. Reverie was shot in less than 72 hours; the short film was watched more than two million times within a fortnight of its release, and the rest is history.

Reverie by Vincent Laforet, shot with Canon 5D Mark II

Suddenly here was a completely new tool in the hands of photographers across the world and it was free, built right into their camera.

Film-makers quickly found lots of uses for this small and affordable camera that, by Hollywood standards, was virtually disposable. Soon 5D Mark IIs found themselves wedged into crevices in 127 Hours, rigged onto cars in Drive, strapped to Iron Man’s chest and stuffed into cockpits in Red Tails. The 2012 action film Act of Valor was shot entirely on 5D Mark IIs and Canon 7Ds; it has car chases, explosions, sky diving, scuba and was shot for US$11 million. So that hardly puts it in the budget category but, when compared to Avatar’s $425 million production budget, it looks relatively affordable. Of course, it isn’t just action — this revolutionary camera really came into its own with dramas such as Like Crazy ($250,000) and documentaries like Bully ($1.1m), which would probably not have been possible before the 5D Mark II.

Trailer for Acts of Volor, shot on Canon 5D Mark IIs and 7Ds

But people didn’t start using this camera for video just because it was cheap and small. The picture quality was really something special, especially when used with pin-sharp Canon prime glass. HD footage can have a plasticky quality to it, but there is something about the DSLR video compression that gives footage a more filmic feel. The large sensor combined with fast lenses also gave the option of the shallow depth of field that is so popular for drama.

A lot has happened in a very short time and DSLR film-making is no longer in its infancy. The 5D Mark III has superseded the Mark II. The Canon C300 digital cinema camera quickly became a favourite for broadcast, having extra features such as C-Log mode, built-in vectorscope and wave-form monitor, great high-ISO sensitivity, and the ability to eliminate problems such as rolling shutter and moiré. The Black Magic cameras are on their second generation, and GoPros are outputting useable footage. We are just beginning to see what is possible with the first 4k resolution DSLR camera, the Canon 1D C and Magic Lantern announced new hacks for the 5D Mark III that bring 24p RAW CineDNG capabilities to the camera.

Sword by Félix Alcalá and Larry Carroll, shot for Canon's C300 launch

We really need to pause for a moment to look at why the magazine is choosing to run a regular article on film-making. ‘Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should’ is an old maxim but a valid one. For all the similarities between creating still and moving images, there are many more differences. The joy of looking at a photograph is that one can appreciate it for what it is — subject matter, composition, lighting. A moment frozen in time. With film, the experience is quite different; the viewer is constantly thinking about what will happen next. Even the most beautifully photographed films such as A Serious Man (director of photography, Roger Deakins) or There Will Be Blood (director of photography, Robert Elswit) would be hardly watchable were it not for a gripping story. The career transition from photographer to feature film-maker has been made by such esteemed visionaries as Stanley Kubrick, Larry Clarke, and Anton Corbijn, and is something that we will certainly see more of with the help of modern technology.

The invention of the printing press did not create poets, historians and novelists, it simply enabled those who were to more effectively share their stories. HD DSLR video is the same. It has never been easier to make a great-looking film and equally, it has never been easier to make an awful film. The medium is changing and developing constantly, but these technological advances are useless without people who have a knowledge of the craft of storytelling, who can create mood and atmosphere from nowhere with lighting and composition. For documentary photographers, these are very exciting times and we are seeing more fantastic multimedia presentations which utilize video, stills, sound, and more on websites such as Media Storm and Magnum in Motion.

Burma – Land of Shadows by Chien-Chi Chang for Magnum in Motion

Kingsize Studios launched as a photographic rental studio and equipment hire facility but quickly evolved to also service film-makers and, most significantly, the hybrid photography-motion work that has developed as a result of the new technology. It is now common for stills and video to be shot on the same job; this is driven mainly by clients who recognise the power of the combined mediums, and those photographers who are willing to take the risk and learn the new techniques.

These articles will mainly discuss Canon cameras. I have heard great things about the Nikon D800 for video and I’m sure Sony, Panasonic, Olympus, and other manufacturers produce DSLRs that shoot quality video. Canon simply stole the march on the other companies (being the first one to offer high-definition video on a full-frame chip camera) and hence became the ubiquitous, industry-standard choice for HD DSLR film-making. Of course, all the principles we will cover are relevant whichever brand of camera you use — it is just a tool, after all.

I look forward to bringing you a variety of articles on film-making: there will be tutorials and tips as well as interviews with photographers who are incorporating video into their commercial practice.

Kingsize Studio's instructional video on DSLR settings for video

In the meantime, take a look at the Kingsize YouTube channel on which you can see the first in a series of DSLR filmmaking tutorial videos we are making for photographers shooting video for the first time. The short videos on settings (above) and DSLR rigs will be enough to get you shooting video in no time.

D-Photo no. 58 out Monday

DP58Our clever subscribers can begin checking their mailboxes from tomorrow, but everyone else should run down to the local news agent because D-Photo no. 58 hits the shelves on Monday. This issue we talk to portrait artist extraordinaire, Esther Bunning, about her magical Tales of Whimsy images that turn childhood dreams into photographic reality.

We also feature work from American master William Eggleston alongside New Zealand great Lawrence Aberhart, looking at a new exhibition exploring their contributions to the poetry of everyday life.

Travel photographer Josh Donnelly takes us on a photo tour of Myanmar and we look at Swiss photographer Sebastian Magnani's arresting new project with a creative look at dogs and their owners.

You will also find an exclusive feature on the fresh, challenging work from New Zealand's best young photographers in the Canon EYEcon awards, and learn how not to bore your friends to death with dull GoPro footage in Mead Norton's action video tutorial.

Our beloved regulars also offer up some inspiring insights, including Chris McLennan's tour of New Zealand's best kept landscape secretes, Jackie Ranken's use of double exposure in travel photography, Andy Belcher's heart-pounding rafting photography.

Plus our resident experts are on hand to help you master light, with Paul Petch looking at the fundamentals of location portraiture and Luke White laying down the many studio options available with a single light.

And our tech-head reviewers put Sony's full-frame mirrorless A7, Panasonic's tiny Lumix GM1, Canon's impressive L-series 200-400mm zoom lens and Olympus's stylish OM-D E-M1 through their paces.

If you are keen to grab the new issue online you can do so here, or you can subscribe (or re-subscribe) and go in the draw to win one of two GoPro Hero3+ cameras – we've got a Black Edition worth $599 and a Silver Edition worth $479 to be won!