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Amateur Photographer

Amateur Photographer


Published by TI Media Limited Amateur Photographer is the world's oldest weekly magazine for photography enthusiasts. With its unique weekly format, it is the first for news and events, plus features on techniques, equipment tests and darkroom advice. It appeals to those interested in buying and learning about digital and film photographic equipment, wanting advice on improving their technique, and learning about the greats in photography. Regular features on reader portfolios, darkroom, digital, black & white and photographer profiles ensure all areas of photography are covered. With an audience of dedicated photography enthusiasts.

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United Kingdom
Kelsey Publishing Group
51 Issues

in this issue

18 min
portrait lenses

In principle, you can take perfectly acceptable pictures of people with any lens. But if you want to make your portraits stand out from the plethora of everyday smartphone snaps, then picking a lens capable of rendering a very different look will pay off. Conventionally, this often means choosing a short telephoto with a focal length in the 85mm to 135mm equivalent range and a large maximum aperture. Indeed the term ‘portrait lens’ is often used to describe such optics, which deliver head-and-shoulders shots with both a flattering perspective and a nicely blurred background. However, there’s more to photographing people than this. With couples, for example, the wider view of a 50mm prime may be a better option, while for environmental portraits that show people in the context of their surroundings,…

3 min
face facts

This year’s EISA Maestro Photo Contest required entrants to enter five to eight photographs on the theme of ‘faces’. The UK winner, Kim Ayres, receives a one-year digital subscription to AP and goes forward to the International round of the contest. The winning entries from each of the 16 participating EISA countries are judged together at the Association’s Awards Meeting in June 2021. The final results of the International Maestro contest will be revealed at the EISA Awards Gala, due to take place on 3 September 2021 (circumstances permitting). The overall winner will take home a €1,500 prize and an EISA Maestro Trophy. All of the National Maestro winners will also be eligible for the Public Choice competition, the winner of which will receive €1,000. Kim Ayres The UK’s overall winner is Kim Ayres,…

6 min
uniting force

Now in its third volume, the annual Portrait of Humanity collection is perhaps the most poignant set yet. With Covid obviously being a huge influencing factor on the themes found within, there’s also been plenty of massive social events and shifts in ways of thinking during the past year or so. Featuring over 200 images that were captured in more than 50 countries, the portraits remind us that even though we have faced over 12 months of difficult isolation and separation, through it all, humanity’s desire to connect, rebuild and keep going still survives. Portrait of Humanity is a collaboration between 1854 (publisher of the British Journal of Photography) together with Magnum Photos. It evolved from the already popular and impressive Portrait of Britain. One of the founders of the Portrait of…

1 min
kit list

Canon EF 85mm f/1.4L IS USM lens This is Daniel’s go-to lens. The wide maximum aperture of f/1.4 is useful for those extra stops of light but also creates the magical bokeh background blur. Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art Although Daniel rarely uses this lens, he says it’s useful when he wants to capture more of the sitters’ environment in their portrait shot. Reflector Daniel has a reflector to hand to bounce light back into the shadows when he needs that extra lift. It also works well as a catch light in the model’s eyes. Prism Lens FX filters This is a recent purchase for Daniel and the photographer is still in the experimental stages with these filters. From what he sees so far, he likes the results!…

1 min
preparing for printing

1 Assess image I started by having a good look around the image, checking the sharpness, noise, and identifying what needs doing and in what order. I like to have a plan. I then used the auto button on the Transform Tab to sort out the angles. It’s a one-click wonder. 2 Noise and sharpening I used the ‘Enhance’ facility to create a DNG with extra resolution. This is an impressive feature that took just 5 seconds using my M1 Mac Mini. I applied global noise reduction, then sharpening. I finished off with the radial tool for some localised sharpening too. 3 Colour and exposure I switched through to my preferred Pro Neg S film simulation and I used the temp and tint sliders in the Basic palette to get the colour spot on. I…

1 min
round five architecture

With so many of us living in towns and cities, architecture is a genre that’s open to the vast majority of photographers. It demands a precise approach, but it’s important to retain creativity and imagination, too. The top ten images here are all well seen, and often home in on the details of the scene, potentially creating something entirely new from the architect’s vision. But, as is so often the case, it’s something fresh and original that has caught the judges’ attention, as can be seen from the winning image opposite.…