HeadshotHow did you get your start in photography?

I discovered photography late in my life by accident when I broke my wrist due to dancing. My Doctor is a serious photographer, when I asked him if he can recommend a small cam that I can bring to Turkey for our vacation, he recommended the Sony RX100 , I was so happy to see how beautiful my photos, that one week before I left , I bought the Nikon D7000 without any knowledge how to use it. So, for 21 days I was using just one settings, this was more than 4 years ago and the rest was history.


What type of photography are you shooting and what motivated you to focus on that genre?

I love to be with Nature so naturally I like to do landscape and sometimes if I don’t have time to travel far, I like to take portraits and capture those emotions. But lately, I like to do environmental portraits and shoot real people in their environment.



Did you experience any challenges as a woman entering into the photography market?

Anybody can do photography,  If you love what you are doing , you don’t feel the challenges , the only challenges maybe is the physical part , where a man can climb a mountain, face the strong waves etc. . Since there less women who are in this hobby, I just feel that the men take care of women more when we shoot.



What has been your biggest achievement or obstacle along the way?

The biggest achievement so far is being able to receive recognitions from the oldest camera club of Asia, the Camera Club of the Phils. and from Pinoy Photography Club Org. The obstacle is not being able to join my other friends to shoot out of the country.


Who and/or what inspires you most?

Aside from my family and friends who are my biggest supporter, I am inspired by the works of my fellow photographers locally and internationally who are good in their genre and most of all I am most inspired when I am with nature.



What is your approach? Is there anything in particular you try to achieve during a shoot (for example triggering certain feelings, etc.) or are there any specific techniques you use?

I usually want to shoot where the water and the sun is, I love to shoot people and include their environment, since I am more focus on my composition that one of the technique I use most of the time even if I shoot handheld is to attached the GND in my lens to make sure my sky is not over exposed.


Why is accurate color important within your workflow?

It is very important to me that colors in my screen is almost the same as how I saw it, it gives a different emotion and story just a little change of color.



Any tips or advice for photographers just beginning their career?

First you have to have that passion of your hobby, learn and see the works your fellow photographers, read on how to improve your skill and just shoot and shoot and never stop learning.


Instagram: anncchavez

Facebook: Annabelle Casino Chavez

W1CAPTEST1_14-08-01_054_FinalRGB-smallBorn in Tokyo to parents who traveled the world, Sarah Silver first fell in love with photography while working in her grandfather’s darkroom. Shortly after finishing her Master’s Degree in Photography at the School of Visual Arts in New York City, she was chosen to shoot for Surface Magazine’s prestigious Avant Guardian issue. Using dancers as models, the fashion shoot marked the beginning of Sarah’s love for combining movement and photography.
An established fashion, beauty and movement photographer, Sarah’s varied list of clients include Vogue, V, L’Officiel, W, Allure, Proenza Schouler, Pantene, L’Oreal, Nike, Sephora, Revlon, DKNY, AG Jeans, and Target. Sarah has also worked with Tresemmé in an award-winning collaboration for Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week.
Equally comfortable in front of the camera, Sarah made her small screen debut shooting live on Bravo Network’s reality series Make Me A Supermodel. She has continued her adventures in television, often appearing on America’s Next Top Model, Project Runway and LA Ink.


How did you get your start in photography?

I got my start in photography developing film in my grandfather’s basement darkroom (he was a portrait and baby photographer in Detroit). For as long as I can remember photography has been a part of my life and I have always had a camera in my hands.
What type of photography are you shooting and what motivated you to focus on that genre?

I love shooting movement, whether I am capturing fashion, beauty, or sports. When I was younger I dreamed of being a professional dancer, but ballet was not playing to my strengths (I can barely touch my toes). How could I, a failed dancer, keep movement in my life? By shooting it! There is nothing more rewarding than the unplanned and unexpected moment that comes from making things move.
What has been your biggest achievement or obstacle along the way?

I love collaborating with other creative people and I am extremely proud that I have been able to do so at the highest level. My favorite visuals are always the result of a collaborative exchange.
Who and/or what inspires you most?

The album covers for the bands I loved in the 90’s had amazing artwork (This Mortal Coil, for example), and were my earliest visual inspirations. I am a “recovering” goth punk from back then. I had my nose pierced, a million earrings, and a LOT of black in my closet.
What is your approach? Is there anything in particular you try to achieve during a shoot (for example triggering certain feelings, etc.) or are there any specific techniques you use?

My motto has always been not to make anybody do something on set that I would not first try myself. Jumping in heels? Let me show you! Flip on a trampoline? Let me show you! Roll around on the floor? Martial arts kick? Let me show you! Leading by example always opens my mind to new possibilities and inspires creativity on set.
Why is accurate color important within your workflow?

Every decision I make while shooting, from camera angle, lens choice, and composition is an intentional choice. I have so many creative tools at my disposal, but color ties every detail together. My monitors have to be calibrated correctly in order for my entire workflow to be successful.
Any tips or advice for photographers just beginning their career?

I always tell my students, interns, and all young artists not to rush into finding their voice, especially a voice that is too “perfect.” Personal style comes with time and experience, not from a formula. The mistakes along the way are the best opportunities to find what makes you tick. Enjoy the mess-ups and the happy accidents!



Website: www.sarahsilver.com
Instagram: @sarahsilverofficial
Twitter: @sarah_silver

nina mingioni headshotNina Mingioni’s work is inspired by dramatic light and shadows, people’s faces and stories, lines and small details. Photography gives her the chance to live in the moment. While taking Nina away from the daily grind, it opens her eyes with the gorgeous light, detail, emotion, and beauty of all that surrounds her.


How did you get your start in photography?

Like many other women, I first started in photography because I wanted to take better photos of my children. The vast majority of my learning was (and still is) online, within a large and very talented community of women photographers at Click & Co. After much learning and trying out different genre, lifestyle and children photography is my least favorite, ironically.


What type of photography are you shooting and what motivated you to focus on that genre?

I have several favorite genres of photography. Macro photography has always been a favorite of mine – it is much like mindfulness, forcing me to be present in the moment as I see small details and light. My second favorite genre is women’s portraiture. All women are beautiful in their own way, but frequently do not see themselves as such. With photography, I can let them see their beauty. Finally, I love to travel and enjoy capturing unique features of the places I visit.


Did you experience any challenges as a woman entering into the photography market?

Fortunately, I got my start in a very supportive community of women photographers. As I discovered my style, I was well supported and received rich feedback along the way, which helped my growth. However, outside this community many perceive women in photography as “mom with a camera.” Over the years, I learned to brush those sentiments aside.


What has been your biggest achievement or obstacle along the way?

My biggest achievement is learning to trust my eye and my skills in making images that match my vision. My biggest obstacle has been – and remains – lack of time to edit all the images I shoot.


Who and/or what inspires you most?

I am inspired by light, lines, and classic compositions found spontaneously.


What is your approach? Is there anything in particular you try to achieve during a shoot (for example triggering certain feelings, etc.) or are there any specific techniques you use?

Since photography helps me find inner peace amid the chaos of my life, my images are usually calm and peaceful. Depending on the genre, I achieve this using different techniques, such as color, light, and composition.


Why is accurate color important within your workflow?

When I became a student of photography, it became obvious that accurate color is an absolute key to a successful image. My work is almost exclusively in color. I adore nuisances of each color, and can never give that up for the austerity of black and white. When I visualize and capture a scene, a specific appearance of colors is frequently what makes that image. It is incredibly important to me that my viewers are able to see those colors as intended, whether in print or digitally.


Any tips or advice for photographers just beginning their career?

Find a supportive group that will give you honest feedback – it is the only way to grow. Take feedback to heart, try many different things, and trust yourself.


Website: www.ninamingioni.com

Instagram: ninazm

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NinaMingioniPhotography/

Twitter: nzmphoto

Brenda Pic_JDM6723fullsizeBrenda Tharp is a photographer, writer, speaker and teacher. Her photographs of nature and travel subjects are in private collections across the country and also decorate the walls of many homes and offices internationally.
A popular workshop instructor, international tour leader, Brenda also lectures regularly at photo conferences on the subjects of technique and creativity. She is the author & photographer of “Expressive Nature Photography” (due to be published July 2017), “Creative Nature and Outdoor Photography” and co-author of “Extraordinary Everyday Photography”.
Her stock photographs are used for commercial ads, and brochures, along with books, calendars and greeting cards, and she is regularly accepted in the Top 100 of NANPA’s Expressions photo competition and magazine.


How did you get your start in photography?

After many years in the corporate world, I took the ‘leap’. I had been dabbling in art shows and competitions for some time before that. I first worked as a commercial and editorial photographer, doing assignments for magazines, books, ad agencies and design firms, with a variety of subject matter. But soon I switched back to what I loved doing most– landscape, nature and travel photography, and began working for magazines and book publishers, and doing stock photography.


What type of photography are you shooting and what motivated you to focus on that genre?

I work primarily in landscape, nature and travel photography, both the reality of and artistic impressions of those genres, but I don’t limit myself to just those genres. Some of my photographs also represent the ‘joy of seeing’ in that they celebrate the light, form, gesture and textures of the world around me, natural or manmade. My target audience these days is the fine art market but I also offer stock licensing of select images.


Did you experience any challenges as a woman entering into the photography market?

For assignments, I didn’t really notice any challenge. But when it came to getting recognized as a landscape photographer, it was more challenging initially, and many of the outdoor/landscape magazines regularly featured the work of male photographers. Some of that was due to the smaller percentage of women doing outdoor photography, and the male-dominated network that publishers would reach out to, but that has changed a lot, I’m happy to say, and women continue to be more recognized in the outdoor photography genre. I think that social media has helped, because we’re not dependent on being published in the magazine(s), so everyone can have their work seen by so many people, online, whether male or female, and that has helped a lot of women become more recognized than ever before.


What has been your biggest achievement or obstacle along the way?

My biggest achievement was writing books on photography and having them sell so well in the marketplace. My biggest obstacle? Myself! I think the hardest part of the business is still self-promotion. It’s very hard to be busy doing the work and keeping consistent with promoting your work and yourself. With today’s competitive marketplace, it’s so important to keep getting the word out to as many as possible to be ‘seen’.


Who and/or what inspires you most?

Rather than naming people that inspire me, as there are many, both female and male, I will say that wilderness and nature inspire me – it’s where I feel connected to the world the most, when I’m surrounded by beauty. Also, I’m inspired by seeing new places, and the freshness they instill into my creativity.


What is your approach? Is there anything in particular you try to achieve during a shoot (for example triggering certain feelings, etc.) or are there any specific techniques you use?

I try to express what I experienced, what I felt, when being there. Whether it’s the dramatic beauty of a landscape, or some study of light/shadow in a village, my goal is the same – to translate that experience in a way that will hopefully have viewers resonating with the photograph.


Why is accurate color important within your workflow?

I want what I have created and see on my monitor to be accurately translated to the print. Whether it’s the true colors of nature or an artistic interpretation of something, what I see is what I want to get in the final print.


Any tips or advice for photographers just beginning their career?

Have persistence and patience, it’s a highly competitive world out there these days. Set a goal for your business, and show only your best work. Remember that people-to-people connections are still the core of your business, even while using social media to advance your career.


Website: http://www.brendatharp.com               

Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/brenda_tharp_photo    

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/brendatharpfineartphotography                

Twitter: http://twitter.com/brendatharp            

The Philippines consists of 7,641 tropical islands, with a diverse group of people. You can experience a celebration the whole year round in the many islands of the Philippines.


A festival or commonly known as a “Fiesta” is part of the Filipino culture. Each city or province has a local fiesta. Being a very religious centered country, a fiesta is commonly about the celebration of a city or province’s patron saint or of harvest. There is a fiesta going on at any time in the Philippines. A fiesta is a special time with a banquet for kin and friends. They are always colorful and unique. Like most Asian countries; the Philippines is rich in culture and tradition.


There are all sorts of activities such as games, contests, procession and a parade that serve as the highlight. It takes weeks or even months to prepare for a fiesta, surprisingly both the rich and poor make the same amount of effort in preparation; during a fiesta everyone is equal. The fiesta — always colorful, always accompanied by music, feasting, and camaraderie — is of importance on a town’s calendar.


Festivals are one of the reasons why local tourism is growing; tourists who experienced these festivals keep coming back to see more. Popular festivals attracts millions of tourists and have become a major source of income for some areas.



Notable festivals include the ATI-ATIHAN in Kalibo, AKlan during January. It commemorates the 13th century land deal between 10 migrating Bornean chieftains and the aboriginal Ati King Marikudo. It also honors the town patron, the infant Sto. Niño. The ceaseless, rhythmic pounding of drums get to you, and before you know it you are on the street, shuffling your feet, shaking your head, waving your hands – and joining thousands of soot-blacked, gaily-costumed revelers in an ancient ritual of mindless merriment.



Cebu City celebrates SINULOG in January. It is the most popular festival in the country bringing millions of tourists every year. Characterized by its peculiar two-steps-forward-and-one-step-backward shuffle, simulating the Holy Child of the shores, the Sinulog is a century-old tradition. The prayer-dance is synchronized to the beat of drums and shouts of Pit Senior! Viva Sto. Nino!



Iloilo’s DINAGYANG is also held during January. Merry mayhem breaks loose in Iloilo City during this celebration. All inhibitions are dropped: boring everyday clothes are exchanged for Ati warrior costumes and black body paint. Shields and weapons are held amidst the pounding rhythm of drums, the costumed Ilonggos put their best feet forward in celebration of….Dinagyang!



The Philippines’ flower festival, the PANAGBENGA is held in Baguio during February and March. Revel in the cool climate and the rich culture of this mountain city. Multi-hued costumes are worn, mimicking the various blooms of the highland region (or any of its 11 ethnic tribes). These are flowerbeds – disguised, of course, as the Panagbenga parade floats.



The island of Marinduque prides itself in being the Lenten Capital of the Philippines, and it is easy to understand why. Come the seven days of Holy Week, the people of the island take part in the age-old ritual of the MORIONES. Colorful warrior costumes are worn, topped with finely carved masks depicting the fierce Roman soldiers of Christ’s time. All these are done to depict the story of the conversion of Longinus, the centurion who pierced Jesus’ side – and the blood that spurted forth touched his blind eye and fully restored his sight. This miracle converted Longinus to Christianity and earned the ire of his fellow centurions. The re-enactment reaches its climax when Longinus is caught and beheaded.


Flowers come out in May, but these aren’t the only things flaunted during this merry month. Down south in the town of Lucban, Quezon, there’s also the kiping – a colorful, translucent rice tortilla that serves as an edible ornament of sorts. The houses all over the town are decorated with kiping, fruits, vegetables and flowers where everyone can eat these decorations. You will see lots of these at the PAHIYAS Festival, an annual celebration held to usher in a bountiful harvest, and have smashing good times.


The popular FLORES DE MAYO or SANTACRUZAN, parades the town’s beautiful ladies in colorful gowns. This parade depicts the search and discovery of Christ’s Cross by Queen Helena and Constantine. This is held in almost all parts of the country.


KADAYAWAN SA DABAW, Davao’s annual festival, promises another weekend of fanfare and fun – tribal style. Watch as the festivities reach a glorious climax on Saturday morning: that’s when the Kadayawan parade is held, featuring colorful, orchid-bedecked floats and more than a dozen ethnic groups dancing to the beat of wooden drums. This is a celebration of Nature.



October is the Negros Island’s MASSKARA FESTIVAL, a carnival parade in which people wear colorful and smiling masks. The carnival spirit fills the air as masked participants donning fabulous costumes dance their way around the city’s main thoroughfares. This annual event reflects Bacolenos’ love for fun and gaiety. Coinciding with the city’s character day celebration, the festival features carnivals, fairs, and madri-gras style street dancing.



How about the LANUZA SURFING FESTIVAL during November in Surigao del Norte for people who love to surf.


CUTUD LENTEN RITES in Pampanga; is a popular and extreme show of penance for participants – some people are literally nailed at the cross emulating the death of Jesus Christ.


The wickedly sinful PARADA NG LECHON; Succulent roasted pork form the highlight of the occasion, decked out in their platforms with all kinds of decor.


Tacloban PINTADOS FESTIVAL, join the town residents as they deck themselves out in body paint, mimicking the warriors of old, while dancing to the frenetic beat of drums.


The biggest fluvial parade, the PENAFRANCIA VIVA LA VIRGEN in Bicol, is a 9-day fiesta of biblical proportions. Stay until sundown for a stirring climax: the fluvial parade as it makes its way down the river, surrounded by a sea of glowing candles – a fitting end of this truly spiritual occasion.


The FEAST OF SAN CLEMENTE / HIGANTES in Riza is a fiesta of gigantic proportions. This one is highlighted by a grand procession featuring the higantes, ten-foot paper mache puppets, surrounded by a crowd of drenched, water-fighting revelers.


Festivals happen every month in the Philippines. Hopefully one day you will be lucky enough to try to celebrate one of our festivals and for sure, you will ask for more!



If you are familiar with printing, you know that all papers print differently. Papers are chosen for an image based on their unique characteristics. I really enjoy printing on matte papers for the feel and look they provide an image. However, matte papers are especially known for having a reduced contrast range compared to other papers. Generally, monitors have a contrast and color gamut that will exceed what can be represented in print.



Printing on matte papers can be particularly tricky. Having a custom ICC profile created by SpyderPRINT for a matte paper is important. Because of the reduced contrast range of matte paper, shadow areas of images often loose detail. A custom ICC profile will maximize your printer’s ability to print on the matte paper, or any paper for which it was created and provide you with the highest quality results.



SpyderPRINT is unique because it will allow you to adjust the contrast of the profile based for your needs. For instance, you can target and open the shadow tones to optimize their level of detail. Highlight tones can also be targeted to retail detail. You can even import a curve from Photoshop to adjust the ICC profile. The advantage of a workflow that incorporates custom tuned profiles means you won’t need to change your file unnaturally on your monitor to get the high-quality results you strive to achieve on paper.


Learn More about SpyderPRINT


Travel photography is sometimes a topic of controversy. On the one hand there is a growing interest in travel and street photography. However, images of people from poor developing countries are from time to time being discredited. Sometimes people even use the term “voyeurism” in this context. There is also a debate whether families of western industrialized countries would like being photographed in their own front yards by African or Asian people.


Typically, travel photography is a mixture of landscape photography, cultural photography, street photography and travel portraits. The group of tourists who capture cultural events or famous buildings mostly via the smartphone while shooting countless photos will certainly not count to the group of ambitious travel photographers. Travel photographers are usually more amateurs than professionals. The professionals in this field are often specialized as landscape photographers, wildlife photographers or photojournalists. Of course it might be a good idea that travel photographers sell their images via Getty Images or comparable online stock platforms. But nevertheless travel photographers who live exclusively from their photographic work are rather more the exception.


Street photography and travel portraits


The most sensitive areas of travel photography are street photography and travel portraits, especially when children are involved. But the question mentioned at the beginning, who likes to be photographed in his own front yard, is actually not correct. The better question would be why do travel photographers prefer to take pictures of people in foreign developing countries rather than in cities or villages of their own industrialized countries. There are basically two reasons for this. In many densely populated countries, such as India, Bangladesh, or in countries of South-East Asia, privacy is perceived completely differently compared to highly developed countries. In addition, it is much easier to photograph people in developing countries because the “right in one’s own image” has almost no relevance. In these countries, it is quite normal when locals publish “selfies” with tourists on Facebook without permission. Of course there are also more conservative countries, especially in Africa, who deal with travel portraits less openly. But this has either religious reasons (Arabic states) or they are afraid that the tourists might make a lot of money with the pictures of local children by selling them to glossy magazines.


Earning money with travel photos


The idea of making a lot of money with travel portraits in glossy magazines may be the dream of many travel photographers, but it has little to do with reality. Magazines only pay a lot of money when the photos are published in commercial context. For that, a written release, also called “Model Release”, of each person in the picture is needed. In order to prevent misuse, the requirements for these releases are very high. That is one major reason why many travel photographers would rather renounce the model releases and publish images with people only in editorial context. However, in this context only little money is paid. The problem of the model release doesn’t exist in landscape photography, but it is also very difficult to earn much money in this area. There are already too many excellent landscape photos on the market.



Fair handling of travel portraits


There is no simple answer to the question of whether people should always be asked for permission in advance to take photos of them. Street photographers will argue that people would artificially pose for the photo when they are asked in advance, and that would destroy the actual idea of natural street photography. Ambitious travel photographers should always be very sensitive about this topic, especially in connection with travel portraits. In more conservative countries such as Tanzania or Senegal, asking in advance for photo permission is mandatory. However, in countries like India or Bangladesh, it is certainly much more flexible. Very often the best travel portraits are a result of a personal connection to the photographed person, and for that time and patience is needed. Street photographers should show the pictures to the people after shooting to get at least a feeling if the people agree with the photos. A good idea is handing out small presents, children are always happy about bananas or mangoes, the elderly appreciate an invitation for a cup of tea. If the travel photographer intends to use portraits commercially, the written approval should always be obtained and the photographed person should also be paid a fair price for the shooting.



Let yourself drift…

Many travel photographers may not admit it, but the best photos are often more or less purely coincidental. For that you need a lot of time and you have to travel a lot. This is exactly what distinguishes the ambitious travel photographer from the normal tourist. The travel photographer prefers to reach the famous temple by many long detours and always accepts the risk of getting lost in the alleys. Of course it can happen that the photographer returns in the evening without any good shots despite the long walks. However, for a professional travel photographer this would be the worst case. This is one major reason why most professional photographers are specialized in their respective fields of activity. Professionals tend to prepare the photo trips very carefully. Of course, ambitious amateur travel photographers can also hire local guides if necessary, and a good travel preparation always pays off. In some areas, for example in the villages of tribal people in Africa, guides are even compulsory. However, the guide should be selected very carefully because he should be familiar with the special requirements of photographers. If not, there is a high risk that you might reach the temple using the shortcut, then the museum and finally the restaurant or the shop of the guide’s best friend.
Traveling with focus on photography can be a very intense and adventurous experience. When pictures are taken of people in developing countries, small gifts are ideal. A good preparation for the photo trip makes sense, but off the beaten tracks often leads to pleasant surprises and sometimes to the best photos. It is a good idea to sell the best images on online stock platforms, but travel portraits cannot be used commercially without written permission. If all these points are taken seriously, a controversial discussion on street photography and travel portraits in poor developing countries is no longer necessary.




DietmarAccomplished media designer and photographer Dietmar Temps lives in Cologne, Germany and has amassed almost 20 years in the media business. His first professional position as a photographic assistant took him through whole Europe and across the pond to America. After that he studied photo and media technology at the Cologne University of Applied Science. Currently he mainly realizes photo and internet projects with the focus on travel photography, social networking and video streaming.
On his travel blog he writes about beautiful spots around the world which he visited in recent years. He realized many photo trips to Africa, but also to South America and Asia. On his website a series of photo galleries are available where he presents his photographic work, which also is published in many books, magazines and travel blogs.



Dietmar Temps
Photography and media design
Cologne, Germany


What does my computer need in order to calibrate two or more displays?

Before answering this question, it is helpful to know a little about how calibration profiles function. Display calibration systems like Spyder5 create ICC profiles. An ICC profile for a display is made up of two parts: one part that works with color managed applications and the other works with the graphics card. The part of the profile that works with the application is a white point correction. The other part corrects the gamma and linearizes the values for red, green and blue by making an adjustment to the “Look Up Table” of the graphics card; otherwise known as the LUT. The adjustment to the LUT alters the signal to the display from the computer.


In order to calibrate multiple displays, your computer’s graphics card needs to have multiple LUT’s. Generally speaking, if your computer has a display connection then it has a LUT for the connection. Some entry level graphics cards may have connections for multiple displays, but don’t have a LUT for each connection. In this case, calibration is only possible for the displays that have corresponding LUT’s.

By Cynthia David
Filipino Street and Documentary photographer Xyza Cruz Bacani has been living and working in Hong Kong for over 10 years as a domestic worker when she was discovered through social media by US-based photo journalist Rick Rocamora, who has been her mentor ever since. Her incredible photos featuring dramatic composition, contrasts and light have been featured and shown in various media outlets such as The New York Times, CNN, South China Morning Post and were on exhibit at Christine Park Gallery UK, Bronx Documentary Centre New York, The Arrow Factory in Beijing, and Bangkok Art & Culture Centre to name a few. A Magnum Foundation Fellow since 2015, she has won several accolades and recognition for her work about human trafficking giving a voice to the marginalized migrant workers who are often abused and neglected. She is able to support herself through commissioned projects as well as through print sales, some of which hang in offices and galleries.

Xyza has come a long way from her humble beginnings working in Hong Kong. After buying a camera with money loaned to her by her boss, she spent her free time after work photographing the streets and migrant workers. She was actively posting her photos on social media when it caught her mentor’s (Mr. Rick Rocamora) eye. “Social Media has done a lot for me” says Xyza. Her images reflect her moods, and the stories she sees on the streets. “Images are stories, frozen in time. I try to shoot as often as possible to train myself, and I consider the camera a part of my body,” says Xyza. Her work is often compared to Vivian Maier; a strange coincidence is that they both worked as a nanny and took to photography in their spare time. Without any formal training, she went online to study the work of Henri Cartier-Bresson, Fan Ho and Pedro Luis Raota. She is always aware of her surroundings, often bringing out her camera just in time to catch a scene that catches her eye. When she was offered the opportunity that helped change her life; the Magnum Foundation Human Rights Fellow, it was a big leap of faith on her part as it meant being away from her family and not being able to work to support them. Her employer and family supported her and it has since opened a lot of opportunities for her.

She works full-time as a professional photographer with commissioned projects from publications that feature her stories. Her prints also command high value and hang in various offices and galleries around the world. These help her pursue her passion; which is the plight of migrant workers, to bring awareness about what they encounter on a daily basis as this is an issue she feels needs more awareness.



Xyza Bacani is a Filipina Street and Documentary Photographer who has been featured in New York Times Lens Blog, CNN and various international media publications not only for her excellence in photography, but also for her inspirational story. Working as a domestic worker in Hong Kong for almost a decade, she used photography to raise awareness about under-reported stories, focusing on migrants and human rights issues. She is one of the MAGNUM FOUNDATION HUMAN RIGHTS FELLOWS 2015, has exhibited worldwide, won awards in photography and is the recipient of a resolution passed by the Philippines House of Representatives in her honor, HR No. 1969. Xyza is one of the BBC’s 100 Women of the World 2015, 30 Under 30 Women Photographers 2016, and Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia 2016.Represented By: Redux Pictures New York City, USA
Christine Park Gallery London, United Kingdom

Website: www.xyzacruzbacani.com

Instagram account: www.instagram.com/xyzacruzbacani/

Facebook: www.facebook.com/XyzaCruzBacani/

500px: 500px.com/xyzabacani



Using multiple cameras is common practice for some photographers. For example, wedding and event photographers often use more than one camera at a time. In some cases, even more than one photographer using multiple cameras. To complicate things, these photographers might be using cameras or lenses from different manufacturers. No matter how many cameras are used on a shoot, color harmony is important to help tell a cohesive visual story. SpyderCHECKR and SpyderCHECKR 24 can help make this easy and precise.


Datacolor SpyderCHECKR


Every combination of lens, camera and sensor has a unique color signature that can change in different lighting conditions. These factors can lead to some variance in color from camera to camera and manufacturer to manufacturer. This can cause issues if you are mixing images from multiple cameras to tell the story of an important event like a wedding.
Color Management is a plan for consistency. Whether you are talking about display calibration, printer profiling or camera calibration, the output of a device can be measured and adjusted to return it to a standard for accuracy. When using multiple cameras, each one varies from the standard for accuracy so each camera must be evaluated independently. Once each camera is corrected, consistency is achieved. In doing so, you will not only have harmony between images but will also speed up the editing process.
SpyderCHECKR and SpyderCHECKR 24 are reference tools for the capture stage of a photo or video workflow. They create a color calibration that adjusts the Hue, Saturation and Luminance; commonly known as HSL.


SpyderCHECKR in Scene


Both SpyderCHECKR and SpyderCHECKR 24 reference targets can be used to adjust a camera on location or in post-production. They are composed of spectrally neutral patches that provide constant results under all kinds of lighting. The front sides are color patches and gray ramps that can be used for manual adjustments or with SpyderCHECKR software. The reverse sides include another gray ramp and a large neutral gray patch.


Image Capture

For an in camera adjustment, use the reverse side of SpyderCHECKR as a traditional gray card to create a custom white balance. Raw image formats do not include a specific white balance setting; the Raw editor takes the setting used at capture but there is full latitude for adjustment. White balance is baked into non-Raw image files and have some ability for adjustment.
The exact procedure varies by manufacturer but capture an image of the reverse side of the SpyderCHECKR and use this image to set an in camera white balance. For non-Raw capture, such as JPEG and many video formats, setting white balance in camera is essential for the best quality capture. Setting an in camera white balance is also important to achieving consistency between cameras. Directing the camera how to precisely record lighting information will go a long way for continuity.
As a side benefit, the image displayed on the LCD screen on the back of a camera is a JPEG rendering. By white balancing in camera, the quality of this preview will increase and the histogram rendering accuracy will improve as well.
To use for an automated color correction workflow, capture a raw image of either the SpyderCHECKR or SpyderCHECKR 24 in the same lighting as the subject of your image. Be sure all patches are visible and the target is parallel to the camera’s sensor with even exposure across the target face. Once captured, remove the SpyderCHECKR or SpyderCHECKR 24 from the scene and make the images you need. You will use this image as a reference to provide the SpyderCHECKR software with the information it needs.


SpyderCHECKR in Camera Raw


Creating a Calibration

SpyderCHECKR can make automated color corrections for Adobe Lightroom, Adobe Camera Raw and Hasselblad Phocus. In each compatible Raw converter, you will perform several basic adjustments to prepare the reference image of the SpyderCHECKR/SpyderCHECKR 24 for the SpyderCHECKR application. These include crop/straighten, white balance, exposure and black point adjustments. To learn the specifics of these adjustments, look at the User Guide linked at the bottom of this post.

The SpyderCHECKR application can create presets for times when color accuracy is absolute, a preset to boost saturation and a preset that helps make skin tones more pleasing. Once the preset is made, the SpyderCHECKR application sends it to the supported Raw converter mentioned above.



Using Your New Calibration

In Adobe Lightroom, calibrations are stored as a User Preset in the Presets panel of the Develop Module. In Adobe Camera Raw, calibrations are stored in the Presets Dialog below the Histogram and capture information. Calibrations are stored in Hasselblad Phocus within the Color Correction Panel. A calibration can be applied to a single image or a group of images. Filtering images by camera and lens combination or applying them at import are the fastest ways to use the profile.



By using the reference image or a SpyderCUBE to correct white balance, exposure and contrast while applying a color calibration; multiple cameras will have consistently accurate color output. This saves time when editing and helps tell a cohesive story with your images.


Final Thoughts

I don’t often photograph weddings but SpyderCHECKR played a big part in the last wedding I photographed. When I booked the wedding I needed a second shooter to help. The person I knew and felt confident in their abilities did not use the same brand of camera as I do. Both systems are very capable but provided a look that was noticeably different. By including SpyderCHECKR in reference shots with both of our cameras throughout the event, I quickly make calibrations for each of us and saved a lot of time during post production. The result was a portfolio of images that told the story of a beautiful day and a very happy couple!
The effects of these calibrations can be subtle; the amount of change depends on the color accuracy of your camera’s sensor and color neutrality of a lens. Subtly is important in photography though. Photographers and videographers using SpyderCHECKR or SpyderCHECKR 24 benefit from optimized color in any lighting. Variables like camera and lens manufacturer are minimized to make consist color workflow quick and accurate.


Useful Links:

SpyderCHECKR User Guide
SpyderCHECKR Demonstration
SpyderCHECKR Product Page
SpyderCHECKR 24 Product Page

The ability to accurately render color is important in photography. Product, Fashion and Art Reproduction photographers are several examples of people who require faithful color reproduction. Camera calibration is an important component to attain faithful results. However, there is another application for camera calibration that is just as important – consistency between cameras.

Grafik_without CMT_CI


Achieving color harmony manually can take a lot of time in post-production but the SpyderCHECKR or SpyderCHECKR 24 makes it easy and precise. Capture an image of either of these products in the same lighting as the subject of your image. You will use this image as a reference image that will provide consistent information the SpyderCHECKR software can use to adjust color. This software works as a plugin for Lightroom and Hasselblad Phocus but can be used as a stand-alone application if you are using Adobe Camera Raw. The SpyderCHECKR software analyses the reference image and creates an HSL (Hue, Saturation & Luminance) adjustment. Simply apply this adjustment in Lightroom, Adobe Camera Raw or Hasselblad Phocus to an image or group of images in the same light as the reference image for a quick and simple way to create consistent color between cameras in any lighting.



Using multiple cameras is common practice for wedding and event photographers. It is important that all their cameras render color the same way. However, not all applications of consistent color rendition are professionally focused. For example, SpyderCHECKR can be used by a group of friends using multiple cameras on vacation to create a photobook or slideshow. No matter the application, color harmony is important to help tell a cohesive story with your images. SpyderCHECKR or SpyderCHECKR 24 makes it easy and fast.


Spotlight-On-Marcus-Schwier-FullResFriend with Vision photographer Marcus Schwier will be participating in two photo exhibitions in Germany. Starting during Düsseldorf Photo Weekend from February 5 until March 12 at Benrath Castle, he’ll be presenting 5 works, each forming a series of photographs around the photographic genres of architecture, people and landscape photography. His works take up seven rooms and end up skilfully jelling the different aspects of the series together.

During his time leading up to his exhibitions, Marcus was kind enough to let us have a sneak peak behind the scenes of what is to come.

Ludwiggalerie, Castle Oberhausen: January 22 – May 14, 2017
Benrath Castle, Düsseldorf: February 05 – March 12, 2017


Marcus Schwier, born and bred in Düsseldorf, is one of the most famous German photographers, whose work is not only part of different exhibitions, but are also published in magazines and books on a regular basis.

First and foremost, he is known for his architecture photography, but his different exhibitions demonstrate that he masters more than just one photographic genre and keeps surprising his audience with each new series. At first glance, his series deals with everyday situations, but as it has turned out not just once, these commonplace situations end up being current and highly controversial throughout the course of time.

Photo Exhibition Benrath Castle, Düsseldorf


The five series cover the following topics:

  • NIGHTSHOTS – taken in different cities all around the globe, showing how light changes identity and visual perception
  • GREENHOUSE / AGRICULTURE – photographs covering the topic of agricultural industrialisation and mankind’s perception of order in nature
  • ROUNDABOUT & STRAIGHT AHEAD – photos, taken with a tall tripod to realize quite a surprising and funny bird’s eye view on people sunbathing in a park
  • CTLR-Space – photographs taken in Paris from the same height, but using a cavalier projection, thus changing the point of view when approaching the topic of surveillance
  • INTERIORS – photographs showing the dynamics of complex building structures in modern times


“I consider my photographic series long-term projects and I continuously add new aspects”, Marcus states. His subjects are often interlinked and almost seem like different chapters of the same book. A new chapter is based on another one, but may just as well be read on its own. Benrath Castle takes up this train of thought, as the location consists of different rooms, each of them right next to the other with no corridors in between, keeping them apart. Even the way the entire exhibition is presented was chosen on purpose and emphasizes this aspect of different topics adding to and jelling with each other.

The professional photographer showcases his series in various image sizes, different techniques and forms of presentations over time. “Variation helps us with a better perception. One experiences the different exhibits differently when there is variation.”

His avant-garde style series NIGHTSHOTS dates back to the celluloid days of time exposure. “Night photography already reduces a picture to the very basic aspects, as anything essential is being well-lit. I do however see the challenge in uncovering details in the little corners and nooks that seem pitch-black when just passing by.”This attention to and love for details, combined with a clear structure, making use of the opportunities presented by modern-day camera techniques, make his long exposures series a very special piece of art. Marcus began working on this series back in 2003 when he started capturing the mood and atmosphere of cities in Northern and Southern America, and he has travelled many continents in order to continue his NIGHTSHOTS project. “With the exception of Australia, I took photos in most countries of this world and I am still amazed by the different color temperatures and moods, varying from city to city. In South America, for example, there is a very warm yellowish kind of light caused by mercury vapour lamps, whereas many other countries use colder sources of light, providing the entire scene with a bluish kind of look.”


But how are pictures like these presented the best possible way? Back in 2000, Marcus realized very early on that his scans and the photos coming back from his photo laboratory didn’t match in terms of color. That was the moment he realized how important color management really is for his workflow. “I never work without a hardware-calibrated display as it’s the only way for me to ensure that the colors shown on screen and the printout match. I don’t like surprises when it comes to colors. When looking at my photo series NIGHTSHOTS, a calibration helps me to uncover details in the shadows and I can see exactly which details of my photo are going to be unprintable within the printing process”, Marcus Schwier explains. “Nowadays, my entire workflow is digital and thus, solid color management has become more and more important to me over the years. When I work on archived photographs, I use my Imacon scanner to help me achieve the best results.”

Exhibition Ludwiggalerie Oberhausen “Let’s buy it! Art and Purchasing Behavior

Marcus Schwier’s second exhibition, presenting 10 of his large format works, is taking place at Oberhausen Castle through mid-May. The exhibition showcases a large variety of different art forms, from copperplate engravings to video installations, and presents artists such as Albrecht Dürer, Andy Warhol and the most expensive living artist Gerhard Richter. This exhibition approaches the subject of art as the “most expensive luxury item in our culture” (Piroschka Dossi) and covers various centuries. It analyzes the question of originals, copies and fraud as well as peoples’ behavior during the purchasing process and breaking of traditions, such as Marcel Duchamp and Andy Warhol did in the 20th century.Marcus joins the exhibition with a selection of his night photographs taken in Hong Kong, capturing the view into street shops and uncovering details and colors in a surprising way only Alpa and digital medium format cameras can convey.He also presents some of his famous B&W photos of New York, taken with a 6×6 medium format camera. Once again, looking at his works makes one realize how abstract the medium of a photo actually is. It is capable of uncovering details the human eye would never be able to see when just passing by, as it leaves the opportunity to take the time to take a close look and start exploring the photo and thus uncovering new details over and over.In 2016, Marcus found a very spectacular and impressive way to show what detail is all about. He presented an installation that was more than 10 meters wide and certainly offered a lot to be discovered at the German Pavilion during the Janadriyah Festival in Saudi Arabia.

Please refer to http://original-photos.de to learn more about Marcus Schwier and his work. His website is available in both German and English.


Monitors work with an additive color palette while an inkjet printer works with a subtractive one. If all colors at the highest level of saturation are arranged at one point on your screen the resulting color is white. The same scenario with your printer results in black.
Another very important difference is that your monitor is a light source where the luminance can be changed. A print reflects the ambient or direct light it is illuminated with. This means that your monitor may not accurately represent your image file. If your monitor is too bright, your print will appear too dark. If you are working on a monitor that is too bright, the exposure of your image file is artificially increased. If it appears too bright to your eye, you darken the file. The result is a print that is too dark. Your monitor needs to represent your image file faithfully.




There is a proper setting for your monitor’s brightness. The suggested luminance (a measurement of brightness) is around 120cd/m2 (candela per square meter). To work on a monitor with this luminance, you should be working in an environment that is dimly lit. The general rule is your monitor is the brightest light source.




To help find the proper level of room light, turn on a feature called Room Light in Spyder5PRO or Spyder5ELITE. Room Light will use the ambient light sensor on your Spyder to measure the lighting in your room. Adjust the light in your room until the Spyder software suggests that 120cd/m2 is the proper luminance for your monitor. Your room light level should dim but still allow you to read a short article comfortably.
Continue into the calibration and you will be asked to adjust the luminance of your monitor. The luminance setting is normally the brightness setting in your monitors menu, sometimes it is labeled as backlight. Use the setting that controls the overall brightness of your display.
Now with a calibrated monitor set to a luminance of 120 cd/m2, you should have better agreement between your monitor and your prints.


Photography began as a means of solving the “no picture, no proof” argument when I used to do solo backcountry hiking in Alaska. I was stationed at Eielson AFB at the time. Since then it’s bloomed, wintered, and bloomed again. I now define my photography within two distinct veins: Comfortable Isolation and the Personification of Nature. In short, I search for scenes of quiet isolation where we can re-engage our ego and, in that discussion, enable personal growth. I am also in search of hints of Nature in her etherial form. Whether it be the shape of a woman in a wave as in the piece “Her;” trees that look alive as in the piece, “Dance;” or a great bird riding the waves as in the piece, “Pacing the Sun.” Feel free to ask me to define either of these at length.

Awards & Recognition

  • 2013 Hawaii Photographer of the Year
  • 2013 Every Hero of Humanity by the Everyday Hero Project
  • Published 3 times in National Geographic 2014, 2015
  • Finalist in Nat Geo Traveler Contest 2015
  • Finalist in Weather Channel’s Its Amazing Out There 2015, 2016
  • Named Top 100 Night Sky Photographers by Space.com 2014, 2015
  • Named Top Artists To Watch For 2015 by Art Business News



Jason’s Website: www.JasonMatias.com
Jason’s Facebook: facebook.com/jasonmatiasphotography
Jason’s Instagram: @fotofighter
Jason’s Google+: +JasonMatias


Have you ever made a print that doesn’t have the same dynamic feel you saw on your display? It is a very common problem and the cause of much disappointment. Making a print with a full tonal range and detail in the shadows & highlights might be a simple fix.
The term “screen to print match” is often mentioned when discussing Color Management. It, of course, refers to the ability to faithfully produce a print from what you see on screen. When discussing screen to print match, it is important to consider that a backlit display is very different than an image printed on a piece of paper. It might sound obvious, but once you consider that a display and print are different, you can learn how to perfectly create a printer profile for any paper. This process begins with display calibration.


Color Management’s Role

An accurate view into your digital world is imperative. Photographers live in a world where small, subtle adjustments make all the difference. Subtleties can be the difference between an image that works and one that simply does not. Your display must be a trusted ally to provide you with a faithful representation of your work allowing you to craft the image that you intend without a bias from your display.
Display calibration uses a sensor and dedicated software to evaluate a display for color accuracy, tonal range, contrast and brightness. After evaluation, a correction is made through an ICC profile. This profile remaps your display so color and tonal values render correctly at a specified brightness that is determined during calibration. For photographic purposes, a luminance (brightness) between 100 and 120 cd/m2 in a dimly lit room works best.
Datacolor’s current display accuracy solution is Spyder5. If you are printing, Spyder5PRO, Spyder5ELITE, Spyder5STUDIO and Spyder5CAPTURE PRO are the tools you should be using.




As stated before, tonal range on your display is different than a print. It can do a much better job of reproducing your image file than paper. Part of making an effective print is understanding how the image seen on your display will “map” or translate to paper through your printer with all its physical limits. The goal is to linearize the color primaries to ensure perfect color balance and for properly adjusted color gradations to maximize the color range for the paper.
Regarding printer profiles, they do similar things that display calibration does. They describe the native characteristics of a paper and printer combination. It is used to interpret an image file to the printed page.
Profiles come in two varieties: generic profiles and custom profiles. Generic profiles are made for the public to work with a paper and a model of printer. These can be found in the print driver or from the manufacturer of the paper. Custom profiles are made by evaluating your specific printer and making a profile tailored your printer’s output on a paper. Custom profiles are higher quality than generic profiles since they were made specifically for an individual printer and paper combination.




SpyderPRINT is Datacolor’s solution for creating a custom profile. A profile is generated by printing out a series of test patterns with color management turned off and measuring the color patches with a measurement tool (spectrophotometer). Turning off color management will allow your printer to render the test patterns without any software influence and show the native characteristics. SpyderPRINT’s test patterns range from 225 patches to 729 unique patches plus and additional 238 patches near the gray axis. Using a range this large will yield an extensive amount of measurements, nearly 1000, to create a very detailed correction profile.
Characteristics of your printer and paper such as black and white points, color temperature of the paper and color accuracy are evaluated. A printer profile has an important job.
A higher quality profile will yield a better separated tonal range and more faithful color agreement with a calibrated display. Not every printer in the same model line prints the same and a printer’s color output will change over time. A custom profile can be made multiple times to account for these changes to yield the best possible results over time. Having a profile made for your specific printer will also ensure that it’s unique ability will always produce optimal results.


Prepare the Profile




A unique feature of SpyderPRINT is the ability to create a flexible profile that can be edited. One use case is if you needed to produce a series of prints with a particular look like a sepia tone. You can take a custom profile and apply the sepia tone look as a profile. There are preloaded looks in Adjustment Presets but any number of custom presets can be made from the adjustments in the Basic and Advanced tabs and saved for future use.
A more common way to use the profile editor is to change the tonal range within its physical limits. In the top right corner the Lab values of the white and black point of the paper. One of the jobs of a printer profile is to map the darkest and lightest values to the black and white points of the paper. Deciding what to do with the values that fall outside the printable area of the paper is the Rendering Intent.
Perceptual and Relative Colorimetric are the Intents we commonly use in inkjet printing. Perceptual shifts the darkest and lightest value of the image to the black and white point of the paper. All other values are shifted in the image as well. Often this is preferred if the paper has a deep black and white point. If the paper does not have a deep black and white point, it can alter the look of the image and you will see a shift in color. This is often preferable since deep and light tones are preserved. An important thing to remember is the relationships between tones will stay true. A print is not viewed next to a display and since the relationships remain unharmed, we perceive the print as true to our intent.
Relative intent will lock the tones in the printable area and move the dark and light tones that fall outside the printable range of the paper to the darkest and lightest printable tone. Depending on the paper, you may see some clipping in the deepest and lightest areas but tonal values within the gamut will be preserved.
As you can see, without an accurate black or white point, tonal values could be altered improperly.




This image of Radio City Music Hall was printed on my favorite matte paper. The top print’s profile shadow tones were boosted in the SpyderPRINT profile editor to my taste. Having the flexibility to edit the profile in this way helps me more efficiently make prints that match my creative vision for any paper.
Since the printer profile does the work of converting information between your image and print; the profile should not only be accurate but best serve the print. Often a boost in the shadow and reduction in highlight tones benefits the final result. This adjustment can be applied through the profile by adjusting the sliders for Shadow and Highlight Detail in the Advanced tab. 




Perhaps the optimal way to edit the shadow and highlight tones is to import a custom curve. This is done through Photoshop in a Curves layer. The curve can be saved and imported into the SpyderPRINT profile editor. Instead of using sliders, a curve can more precisely edit the tonal range of a profile.




The effects of any edit can be viewed on the Soft Proof screen to determine the optimal amount. You can even print out the images used in the soft proof view to see the effects on paper.


Final Thoughts
Printing is an important part of photography. We have many ways to display an image digitally but the skill of making a print is still relevant today and an integral part of our heritage as photographers. I was fortunate to grow up with a black and white darkroom in our house so my photographic roots are in this process. Today, film and chemistry are not necessary parts of our craft. However, the process of creating a tangible representation of our creative thought is as satisfying and as important as ever. Being able to properly set up and fine tune your workflow will help you attain the best results more efficiently.

Learn More about SpyderPRINT

It’s summer, time for travelling and also peak season for nature and travel photography. Digital cameras are still getting better and better and easier to use. However, sometimes it is quite disappointing that a picture such as a historic city alley either is partly underexposed with huge dark shadow areas, or the roofs and the sky are extremely overexposed. Although it is possible to review the image immediately in the display on the camera, the problem can often only be addressed at home in the post-processing workflow, and then it might be too late to fix the image in order to get a beautiful photograph.


Experienced photographers can handle dynamic ranges of 10 to 11 EV


Many travel and landscape photography pictures have very high contrast. “Dynamic range” is the term for the range of light intensity from the darkest shadows to the brightest highlights and it is measured in “exposure values” (EV), also commonly called “stops”. Our eyes are able to adapt to see high contrast scenes but the dynamic range of the sensor of a digital camera is limited. Unfortunately the dynamic range of monitors, photographic paper or print is even more limited. A dynamic range of an image of about 8 to 9 EV is usually no problem. Experienced photographers can handle dynamic ranges of 10 to 11 EV quite well with exact exposure settings and with the help of calibrated monitors. But what about high contrast scenes with a dynamic range of 14 EV and higher? In particular landscape photography offers a wide range of high contrast scenes: idyllic sunsets by the seaside, backlit photography or scenes in high mountain regions.



An important rule in photography is to avoid high contrast in the first place. Many professional landscape photographers shoot only early in the morning or between late afternoon and evening because the light is much softer. Long shadows can be avoided when the sun is at the back of the photographer. Foreground subjects in backlit photography should be placed in front of a dark background because the high contrast can only be recognized as a small light fringe around the foreground subject. Long shadows might be wonderful for creative photography, but the final picture should offer enough details in dark shadow areas as well. The dynamic range of a scene can be simply reviewed with the help of the brightness histogram on the rear screen of the camera or manually calculated with contrast measurement. If the dynamic range of a scene or subject exceeds 10 or 11 EV the photographer should probably try out one of the following approaches.


Graduated Filters

A classical tool to handle high contrast scenes like alpine mountain ranges is the graduated filter. With the help of the graduated filter the sky can be exposed correctly, but at the same time the foreground gets enough light to avoid underexposure. There are ND gray filters, but also coloured versions of graduated filters with mostly orange or red shades of colors. Graduated filters were very important for analog film photography. Nowadays digital photography offers better technologies like bracketing, HDR or RAW-push and graduated filters are gradually become less important.




Bracketing and HDR are technologies to control high contrast scenes based on successive shots with different exposure settings. HDR images are automatically combined by the camera into one high dynamic range picture. Bracketing (or more precisely: “autobracketing”) is a feature where the camera stores several shots separately in order to combine the shots later in the post-processing workflow. HDR often creates pictures with an artificial look and feel, sometimes even with a relief-like result. The autobracketing method is much more time consuming, but on the other hand it delivers excellent results. Advanced cameras offer sophisticated autobracketing features. It is possible to adjust the exposure setting with an accuracy of 1/3 EV and the number of successive shots. A basic setting could be for example three shots with a difference of 1 EV. For the bracketing method a tripod is not necessarily required. The camera should be set to continuous shooting mode (or “burst mode”) and the camera automatically handles the settings of the autobracketing (in this example 3 shots with -1/0/+1 EV). In the post-processing workflow the different exposures can be automatically imported and accurately positioned for example in Photoshop as separate layers. The last step is to manually blend the different exposures with the help of appropriate selection tools of the image editing software. The advantage: the photographer has complete control over the high contrast scene and it delivers excellent results.  Sometimes if needed even up to 7 different shots with an exposure difference of 1/3 EV. The disadvantages: the method can be very time consuming, and it is not suitable for moving subjects like for example sea surf, trees and strong wind or people and animals in the scene.


Example photo, fishing boats at sunset, Lake Malawi: Autobracketing, 3 exposures -1/0/+1 EV, manually combined in Photoshop


RAW Dynamic Range Push processing

Advanced photo sensors of digital cameras offer an extremely wide dynamic range up to almost 15 EV. This incredible dynamic range is possible because these sensors provide a very low noise level and the shadow areas of a picture can be strongly pushed without losing too much image quality. However, this applies only to RAW files, photographers who are using JPEGs cannot benefit from the wide RAW dynamic range of an advanced sensor. The approach is quite simple: the exposure is adjusted to the highlights of the high contrast scene. As a result the shadows of the scenes are underexposed, sometimes even severely underexposed (nearly black). With the help of the RAW converter only the shadows are pushed by up to 4 or 5 EV. The result is a correctly exposed image with detail in the highlight and the shadow areas (comparable with bracketing …). The advantages: it is a very simple method, no tripod necessary, no bracketing necessary and also moving subjects can be shot based on this approach (which is important especially for wildlife photographers). But there are also disadvantages: the wide dynamic range of almost 15 EV is only available at ISO 100, higher ISO values gradually reduce the available dynamic range. Also the picture on your camera’s viewfinder screen is often very dark, which sometimes means you need to take a control shot with a normal exposure for color corrections later in post-processing. It is also important to know that the shadow areas of the image have a higher noise level than the highlight areas because of the push process (only visible in 100% view). Usually this shouldn’t be a huge problem, but in extreme cases it is possible that stock photo agencies (etc) will turn down pictures because the noise level of the images might be too high although the picture seems to be ok in normal view.



The technologies above are common approaches of every professional landscape photographer, but with some practice the tips and tricks are also easily suitable for amateur photographers. It is very important to develop a feeling for the dynamic range of a scene. Advanced cameras offer tools like histogram or warning instruments for under- and overexposure. As a result incorrect exposures on high contrast images should eventually come to an end and landscape photographers will hopefully be able to enjoy their travel time without any further disappointments.



DietmarAccomplished media designer and photographer Dietmar Temps lives in Cologne, Germany and has amassed almost 20 years in the media business. His first professional position as a photographic assistant took him through whole Europe and across the pond to America. After that he studied photo and media technology at the Cologne University of Applied Science. Currently he mainly realizes photo and internet projects with the focus on travel photography, social networking and video streaming.
On his travel blog he writes about beautiful spots around the world which he visited in recent years. He realized many photo trips to Africa, but also to South America and Asia. On his website a series of photo galleries are available where he presents his photographic work, which also is published in many books, magazines and travel blogs.



Dietmar Temps
Photography and media design
Cologne, Germany