Port­fo­lio re­view

Cameron Tubb makes a splash with his port­fo­lio of ex­tra­or­di­nary photos of or­di­nary things

NPhoto - - Nikon Skills -

One reader seeks ex­pert feed­back on his cre­ative close-ups N-Photo Mag­a­zine, Fu­ture Pub­lish­ing, Quay House, The Am­bury, Bath, UK, BA1 1UA With so many ex­cit­ing colours, shapes and tex­tures in na­ture, pho­tog­ra­phers of­ten need to keep things sim­ple, as this is­sue’s Ap­pren­tice dis­cov­ers. This clas­sic ‘less is more’ adage also shines through in our port­fo­lio re­view, which features some stun­ning – and very colour­ful – im­ages of wa­ter droplets. Plus we’ve got some won­der­fully evoca­tive Scot­tish land­scapes, and the very best black and white im­ages from this month’s photo con­test. En­joy!

When I started col­lege three years ago, I de­cided to take a pho­tog­ra­phy course. I chose the course be­cause I wanted to try some­thing new that still in­volved my in­ter­est in na­ture and wildlife. Dur­ing the course I found other ar­eas of pho­tog­ra­phy in­ter­est­ing, as I was able to con­trol my sur­round­ings, en­abling me to take de­tailed photos.

The Nikon D3100 was the first cam­era I bought, and I have re­cently de­cided to up­grade to the D7200. I feel that I shoot macro and wildlife best, but I tend to strug­gle with other gen­res of pho­tog­ra­phy. I’d re­ally like to have some con­struc­tive crit­i­cism on my photos from an ex­pert, to help me to im­prove my skills.

Th­ese wa­ter droplet photos were taken us­ing a very ba­sic set-up. I would use var­i­ous things from around the house, such as books as stands and pa­per for re­flec­tors. This was the hard­est part of the shoot as it was dif­fi­cult to find items around the house that were suit­able. The set-up var­ied de­pend­ing on the photo, and it was of­ten trial and er­ror that en­abled me to find the per­fect set-up for a par­tic­u­lar shoot.

How­ever, do­ing it this way gave me a greater sense of ac­com­plish­ment, as I was able to achieve good qual­ity im­ages with­out spend­ing loads on equip­ment. I’m happy with the qual­ity of the im­ages I man­aged to pro­duce, and I like the way th­ese photos make you stop and look for a while to try to work out how they were taken.

N-Photo says

Cameron, it’s great to see a pho­tog­ra­pher tak­ing stun­ning and in­ter­est­ing pho­to­graphs of the things around them. Being able to cre­ate an im­age like this is very sat­is­fy­ing, as you men­tioned, be­cause you can con­struct and shape the world how­ever you like – you’re re­spon­si­ble for the fi­nal im­age.

The most vi­brant shot [1] is full of shapes, colour and tex­ture. Not only is it visu­ally stim­u­lat­ing, it’s also in­trigu­ing – as you say, it leaves the viewer won­der­ing how it was taken, and where the colours come from. Com­po­si­tion­ally it’s well struc­tured and nicely bal­anced, and not too uni­form, which is a good thing. It’s al­most straight-on, but not quite, as is ap­par­ent from the fo­cus drop­ping off at the very top and bot­tom of the frame. Also the dark cir­cle at the top of the im­age is slightly dis­tract­ing, as it throws the weight of the photo to the left. We’d like to see what this im­age would look like with all the droplets in sharp fo­cus, though this would prob­a­bly in­volve cre­at­ing a photo stack, since you’re al­ready shoot­ing at an aper­ture of f/20.

The close-up im­age [2] is an in­ter­est­ing de­par­ture from the top-down ap­proach, and re­ally shows the wa­ter’s sur­face ten­sion hold­ing the three-di­men­sional shape of the droplets. Again the com­po­si­tion could use some work – for ex­am­ple it might be in­ter­est­ing to see the dark

I like the way th­ese photos make you stop and look for a while to try to work out how they were taken

1 Nikon D3100, Nikon AF-S DX 40mm f/2.8G, 1/10 sec, f/20, ISO100 2 Nikon D3100, Nikon AF-S DX 40mm f/2.8G, 1/10 sec, f/20, ISO100

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