Max won joint third place at the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2018. His project Londoners reflects his interest in city life and admiration for studio and documentary photography. Visit www.maxbarstow.com MAX BARSTOW finds his DSLR (a Nikon D800) ‘bulky and in many respects badly designed’, but has to admit that the files it produces are fantastic. He often pairs this body with a 24-70mm lens as it is convenient for switching between styles (he shoots reflections and figures in the landscape as well as street portraits). Max shoots raw as he likes to retain maximum quality for printing. He composes through the viewfinder, but doesn’t mind using the LCD screen. ‘ There’s nothing wrong with using a screen to compose, but composition takes place more in the head than in the viewfinder or on a screen,’ he urges. He either shoots in manual or aperture priority mode. ‘I use manual if the light is likely to confuse the camera’s meter, if I want to deliberately over or underexpose an image, or if I want to use a specific shutter speed,’ he explains. He likes to use one-shot focus and select a single focusing point. For control, he prefers spot metering. ‘ The information is more objective,’ he says. ‘I don’t want the camera guessing about the kind of exposure I want to make.’ Max sets his ISO and never uses flash in the street.
This image shows Max’s fast reaction and power of observation Nikon D800, 24-70mm, 1/800sec at f/8, ISO 800
The wide aperture (f/5.6) plays down background distractions Nikon D800, 24-70mm, 1/400sec at f/5.6, ISO 400