Sparkling seascapes and creative photo books

As well as working as a production editor at Creative Bloq, where I get to write articles and edit other people’s articles, I work one day per week on Digital Camera magazine.

I’m filling in for a lovely colleague who is on maternity leave, and love working there for loads of reasons: the photography team are ace; I get to work on magazines and websites; I’m interacting with some of the lovely readers by sorting prizes and submissions; and I’m getting better at commissioning.

I’ve taken on organising the Projects section of the magazine every month, which involves looking around the internet for gorgeous photos and photography styles that readers might like to have a go at emulating. The projects are just short – one or two pages – but pack a lot of information in.

These are two projects that I commissioned for issue 193 of Digital Camera, the August 2017 issue. In them, two photographers share how to capture glistening water and how to present a photo series in a truly imaginative way.

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Shooting seascapes: Sparkling water

Fine-art photographer Lorna Yabsley reveals how she captured this shot of glistening water from a boat.

“Living on the south coast of Devon, coastal themes feature heavily in my work,” she writes. “This image was taken on a beautiful morning when the local fishermen were setting nets to catch sand eels – choice bait for bass fishing.

“I shot from my battered old dinghy with a 300mm lens. The long lens foreshortens the scene, accentuating the highlights on the broken surface of the water. To be honest, the highlights have lost detail and blown out a bit, but I didn’t get too hung up about this, as the overall effect of a sparkling sea is what I wanted.

“I positioned myself right in front of the boats with the sun directly behind and above them, for maximum effect. It wasn’t easy to balance in the boat with a heavy lens, but as it was a bright scene it was easy to select a fast shutter speed (1/500 sec). The shot is strongly backlit, a relatively easy exposure when the subjects are in silhouette, and the exposure is metered from the sky and sea.”

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Creative presentation: Show your photos as a book

Alexandra Lethbridge reveals how she put her own creative spin on presenting her space-themed photo series.

When you’ve worked hard on a photo series, you can present it in an online collection, as a traditional exhibition – or in a different way. Presenting images in book form adds a layer of creativity to the process that can help you to stand out. Unlike an amateur photo album-style of photo book, you can weave a narrative through the collection that draws viewers in.

“My book is based on meteorites and the places they come from. The project follows a fictional hunter’s search for these meteorites,” she writes.

“I completed my series The Meteorite Hunter as both an exhibition and a photo book. I make the distinction because for me, they function differently. I show the series as an exhibition, each time redesigning it to fit different spaces. While the hunter idea came later, I’d always thought the project would become a book. I love photo books, but I don’t believe all projects should be books just for the sake of it. There has to be a reason the work needs to exist as a book.

“You can change the pacing of the photographs through the book pages, slowing people down where you want them to spend longer. I used different kinds of paper – including tracing paper as well as a thicker stock – to create places where you could see through some pages and not others, often creating intriguing effects by layering photos.” (You can see this layering in this video flick-through of the book).

You can read more of these projects and see the others (and more great photography content) in issue 193 of Digital Camera magazine.

 

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