Welcome to the June 2010 issue
DPTips Central newsletter!
This month’s issue is packed with lots of interesting stories, industry news and tips that caught our attention in the past month. So let’s get started…
Photographing in extreme conditions - insights from photographer Martin Hartley's 60-day trek across the Arctic
The damp and dingy North Pole - the Arctic is quite an inhospitable environment. In summer, even when it's bathed in sunlight 24/7, the Arctic doesn't have enough light to power a solar panel. In spring, the temperature hovers at around -40 degrees Celsius. And while most of us will hardly ever experience such harsh shooting conditions, there are still quite a few things to learn from the experiences of photographer Martin Hartley who just got back from a 60-day trek across the Arctic.
The Arctic tundra, shot on a Leica © Martin Hartley
He was helping two members of the Catlin Arctic Survey document the effect of increased carbon dioxide absorption in the Arctic Ocean.
"One of my tasks was photographing the state of the ocean itself, because some scientists say it will disappear in our lifetime," he says. "I felt a huge responsibility about that." Another of Hartley's aims was to document the team's work and to take press and PR pictures of the trip. He took two cameras on his trip to get all the work done - a Nikon D3X and a Leica MP. He used the Nikon mainly for press shots which needed to be sent back to the UK each day, but the Leica was a fail safe - at low temperatures and high humidity, a manual camera is often more reliable than a digital SLR.
"The cameras usually have to be left outside the tent, which means they have to be able to withstand temperatures down to -50˚C," says Hartley. "When things get that cold they contract. Electronic focus doesn't work because the lenses get too tight, leaf shutters seize up and the mirror can also freeze. When it [the frozen mirror] goes up it stays up, you have to wait for it to warm up to drop down."
"But worse than the cold is the humidity. If a DSLR comes into the tent at night it has to warm up very slowly in a bag of silica gel with a towel wrapped around it, so that any condensation gets absorbed rather than going into the electrics. If moisture gets into a lens - which can be unavoidable - you have to know how to get the water out otherwise it will turn to ice and you'll get little ice crystals forming. It's a juggling act to keep things working for 60 days."
Battery power is also an issue with digital cameras, as they drain 200% slower than usual in the cold. Hartley took 16 batteries with him, and had to carry them in plastic bags inside his clothes to keep them warm and dry. He then had to take the necessary batteries out each time he wanted to take a shot, replacing them inside his clothes once he'd got it. If they fell onto the ground they were finished - the Arctic is salty as well as icy.
The Leica MP, by contrast, was tested down to 35˚C by the manufacturer with very few problems and, with no batteries and no electrics to seize up, could be carried outside Hartley's clothing in a thin plastic bag. He still had to be careful with his film, however, as it becomes brittle and prone to snapping in sub zero conditions. He warmed the camera up each night over a stove to put the film in and take it out, gingerly winding it on by day.
All in all Hartley's kit weighed 38kg, and he also carried his tent, food and equipment. It made for a punishing 60 days...
Flickr extends deal with Getty Images
Two years after first announcing its deal with the social photo sharing site Flickr, Getty Images has now announced that it is now allowing any member to submit their images for potential use within Getty's collections. While this means more chances for Flickr members to see their images end up in Getty Images' collections, the deal at the same time could have severe repercussions on the professional market .
When the deal was first announced, in 2008, Getty said that it would only welcome to its Flickr Collection, images it deemed suitable. For months, Getty editors trawled the site looking for the best stock images, contacting their owners with an offer to see their images sold by Getty.
Now, any Flickr members can choose to include a "Request to License" link next to any of their images. If visitors like a Flickr member's images and want to buy them, by clicking the link they will be put in touch with a Getty representative, who will negotiate a license.
Nikon's cameras reach the final frontier
Nikon has announced that the Russian Federal Space Agency, following on NASA as reported in our Feb '10 issue, has sent into space one Nikon D3S and two Nikon D3X cameras, as well as a variety of lenses and accessories.
"No special improvements or modifications have been made to these products," says Nikon. "They are the same products available to consumers, confirming the reliability of the D3S, D3X and Nikkor lenses."
For more details, visit nikon.co.uk .
Autofocus defect forces Sigma recall
Sigma has released a list of zoom lenses that could be affected by an autofocus defect, offering owners a modification service, free of charge. The lenses affected are the APO 50-500mm F4.5-6.3 DG OS HSM (Serial Numbers between 10633051 and 10972000), APO 120-400mm F4.5-5.6 DG OS HSM (Serial Numbers between 10574001 and 10972000) and APO 150-500mm F5-6.3 DG OS HSM (Serial Numbers between 10674301 and 10972000).
If you are the owner of one of the above three focal lengths but your serial number is different to those specified above, then you do not need to do anything further. If however you are in possession of one of the lenses with a serial number mentioned above, you can contact the Sigma's customer service and they will arrange to collect your lens at no cost to yourself.
For more information, visit
sigma-imaging-uk.com/returns , or call Sigma's helpline in the UK on 01707 376 795, or email them at email@example.com.
Nikon D700 Free Battery Grip Offer
Looking for an upgrade ? Anyone purchasing a Nikon D700 DSLR will be able to get a free MB-D10 bettery grip for the camera that normally costs £343 RRP. This offer is available until June 30th, 2010 and all claims must be received by July 31st, 2010.
For more details, visit nikon.co.uk/d700grip.
Photography Competitions and Exhibitions
The contemporary photography Terry O'Neill Award is now accepting entries for its 2010 edition, which comes with a £3000 cash prize for the overall winner
Image © Salvatore Esposito, winner of the Terry O'Neill Award 2009
Photographers have until 22 October to submit between three and six images, in black-and-white or colour. Judges are looking for dynamic images which portray a compelling narrative in one of the following categories: reportage, fashion, documentary, landscape, wildlife, portraiture or fine art photography.
Each portfolio will be judged by a panel of well-established photographic names, including Terry O'Neill, as well as photographers Julia Fullerton-Batten and Tom Stoddart. The winner will receive a cash prize of £3000 and have their work printed in The Sunday Times Magazine. The runner-up will get £1000, and a third prize of £500 will also be awarded.
For more details, visit www.oneillaward.com .
BJP's International Photography Awards is calling for entries
The British Journal of Photography is currently championing three competitions - the International Photography Award, Shoot the Street and Unveiled. But hurry! The street photography prize closes on 30 June!
The International Photography Award rewards the best photography worldwide, in any genre or subject. Now in its sixth year, it boasts two categories - a body of work prize and the single image prize. Both winners see their work printed by Spectrum Photographic pro lab and exhibited for a week in London. In addition, the body of work prize-winner will also pick up a Nikon D700 plus a 50mm 1.4G lens, while the single image prize winner claims a Sigma DP2s.
Shoot the Street picks out the best in street photography, shot anywhere in the world. The best photographer will see his or her work printed by MX Display and exhibited in a solo show at Format, the UK's leading international contemporary photography biennale. The closing date for this prize is 30 June so enter now!
Unveiled is a brand new competition for wedding photographers. Open to UK wedding photographers, Unveiled offers one photographer the chance to publish his or her work in Wedding magazine - one of the UK's leading bridal titles, read by thousands of prospective customers. The winner will also get the chance to try out their dream piece of kit, courtesy of Hasselblad and the Pro Centre.
Photo-Festivals goes on the road, bringing photographers to Brazil
Photo-Festivals, a not-for-profit organisation that aims at promoting photo festivals around the world, has called for submissions for its first international expedition for photographers. Selected photographers will be able to join Photo-Festivals as they go "off the beaten track to the Paraty Em Foco International Photo Festival in Brazil.
The photographers, who will still have to pay for their trip, will be chosen by a panel of jurors that include Martin Parr, Tim Clark, the direcor and editor of 1000Words Photography Magazine, and Iatã Cannabrave, a photographer and curator of the festival. Yasmina Reggad, director and curator of Photo-Festivals, will complete the judging panel.
For more information and for details on how to enter the competition, visit
David Bailey shot to fame in the 1960s but he's never stopped working, and has an exhibition of new work opening in London on 10 June.
David Bailey, Untitled 40, NOW, Hamiltons Gallery © David Bailey 2010
One of the best-known British photographers, David Bailey has got two exhibitions coming up at Hamiltons Gallery- Now, an exhibition of recent work, such as the image shown above; and Then, an exhibition of classic portraits from the swinging 60s and beyond.
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