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General Blog

Printing At Middlehurst

Aerial, Middlehurst, New Zealand. June 2017 - Preliminary Edit
Phase One XF 100MP, 80mm Schneider, f4.5 @ 1/2500 second, ISO 200


"Plane or helicopter, sir?" Our Art Photography Workshop at the end of June was full of surprises. A fresh dusting of snow followed by a little warm weather, and then another dusting created amazing patterns and textures on the mountains that surround Middlehurst Station.


One of the most important aspects of aerial photography is to maintain a fast shutter speed to avoid blur (most of it vibration in the aircraft, but also the speed at which you're travelling). However, this has to be balanced with a reasonable aperture so you have edge-to-edge sharpness (sometimes the edges of the image aren't as sharp as the centre when shooting at the maximum aperture), and not too high an ISO setting (as noise can interfere with the fine detail of the landscape). Some photographers use shutter-priority exposure mode, locking in a fast shutter speed like 1/2000 second, and letting the aperture and ISO fall where they may. This is a good starting point, but personally I like to keep an eye on all my settings, adjusting them to suit the situation and maximise my image quality.


Tony Hewitt and I entertained just three photographers this year (we take up to six) in one of New Zealand's most remote and picturesque landscapes. Most of the stations in this part of the world are privately owned (access requires permission) and while Middlehurst itself is huge, our plane and helicopter flights took in an even wider flight path, including the coastal fringe and the interior ranges.

Epson SureColor P800 - on duty in Middlehurst


However, this is an art photography workshop and we allocate a lot of time to post-production and printing. Back on terra firma, our focus is on tranforming the raw captures into works of art, ably assisted by a high quality photo printer. Epson kindly lent us its A2-size SureColor P800, along with some Epson Hot Press Bright and Velvet Fine Art. We also had some Canson Platine, Rag Photographique and Aquarelle. And lots of ink!


Shooting from the air into mountainous terrain is always a little challenging because of the deep shadows and bright highlights. It's also a great opportunity to play with light and, using Lightroom, Capture One or Photoshop, remap the tones to create a stronger composition.



Two more aerials from Middlehurst - still a work in progress project!


If you haven't yet tried printing your photography, may I recommend it. In many ways, you don't fully appreciate the art of photography until you produce a print. And it's not that expensive. In Australia, the P800 is currently around $1700, the smaller P600 around $1250.


One of the choices you have when printing is in the type of paper. Personally, I like printing on matte stocks and I currently use Canson Rag Photographique on my Epson 9900 most of the time. On this trip, we were able to play with two of my favourite Epson matte papers, Hot Press Bright and Velvet Fine Art. They have slightly different 'colours' to the white paper and slightly different textures, so it's a matter of choosing a paper that best suits the photo and your style.


However, for more punch you can go for a glossy paper. High gloss prints certainly make an impact, but again personally, I find the gloss can interfere with viewing the photograph. However, Canson Platine has a 'semi gloss' surface which is just divine. And because you're using Photo Black, the colours have greater richness than the matte papers generally.


Thanks again to Epson and to Middlehurst Station. For more information on the Epson printer range, you can follow these links...




Peter Eastway Uses

Peter Uses

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