Broad­en­ing hori­zons

Stephen Wol­sten­holme is ready to take his pho­tog­ra­phy up a gear

NPhoto - - Over To You … -

I bought my first D-SLR, a Nikon D3200, when my son was born a cou­ple of years ago, and I started to take a lot of photos of him. I soon dis­cov­ered the joy of cre­ative pho­tog­ra­phy, and of post-pro­duc­tion edit­ing us­ing Light­room.

The main gen­res of pho­tog­ra­phy that I es­pe­cially en­joy are macro and land­scape pho­tog­ra­phy. I re­ally like low-light land­scape pho­tog­ra­phy, but I strug­gle liv­ing in an ur­ban en­vi­ron­ment to find pic­turesque lo­ca­tions within a short dis­tance of my home. I work long hours and have a young son, so spend­ing time with him is very im­por­tant to me. When I have a cou­ple of hours while my son has his nap I take a lot of macro shots, play­ing around with of­f­cam­era flash, light and re­flec­tions to try to make my im­ages unique.

I have re­cently bought a Nikon 50mm f/1.8 and a Tam­ron 90mm macro lens, and love dis­cov­er­ing what can be done with a lit­tle of­f­cam­era flash or a shal­low depth of field, or a long ex­po­sure. I am cur­rently look­ing to in­vest in an ul­tra wide-an­gle lens (pos­si­bly a Sigma 1020mm f/4-5.6) to take my land­scapes to the next level. I have also just sub­scribed to Pho­to­shop CC and have set my­self the chal­lenge to learn how to use this to add that ex­tra fin­ish and ‘wow’ fac­tor to my im­ages, and I am daunted as to where to start.

N-PHOTO SAYS…

Your land­scapes are nicely com­posed, and you’ve got the knack of wait­ing for the light. It might be worth get­ting a set of ND grads. In one of your sunset shots, the sil­hou­et­ting of Brighton’s derelict pier works be­cause the sea is re­flect­ing the bright­ness of the sky, but in sit­u­a­tions where the fore­ground is darker (if you’re shoot­ing a sunset over a land­scape, for ex­am­ple), a grad­u­ated neu­tral den­sity fil­ter would help bal­ance the ex­po­sure.

Be­ware of the back­ground in back­lit por­traits – the shot of your son has lovely edge light­ing, but the sil­hou­ette of a tree trunk be­hind him is too close in tone, and de­tracts from his shape. A cou­ple of steps left or right would have avoided this.

As you en­joy macros and live in an ur­ban en­vi­ron­ment, have you con­sid­ered try­ing a se­ries of out­door macros? Walls, ar­chi­tec­tural de­tails, wooden doors and fences and so on all make great sub­jects for macros, in colour or black and white. Also, the nar­row plane of fo­cus macro lenses pro­duce can take a lit­tle time to get used to, so static sub­jects are per­fect to start with.

Now you’re a sub­scriber to CC, don’t for­get to try our Pho­to­shop pro­ject each month! We sup­ply the im­ages you need, and fol­low­ing the in­struc­tions in the mag­a­zine or on the disc will re­ally help you get to grips with its pow­er­ful tools, so you’ll be ready to try new tech­niques out on your own photos.

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