Max Barstow

Amateur Photographer - - Technique -

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 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

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