Photographer Profile: Adam Gibbs

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For this month’s profile we leave New Zealand shores and head to North America with  Adam Gibbs.

Name Adam Gibbs
Photography Awards/Honours 2nd 2017 International Landscape Photographer of the Year
Current camera Nikon D850
Favourite camera you have ever used/had ShimoToho FC45x 4×5 camera
Which do you prefer? Either – no preference
And why? Digital for its ease of use, film is what photography is all about, skill behind a camera not a computer.
Which medium do you prefer? Both – no preference
And why? Prints are more tactile, have a lasting presence and are second to none when a fantastic print is viewed in optimum light. Projected, instant, a great way to show the world or larger audience without a lot of effort.
How did you get into photography and when? I got into photography in the 80’s after reading a book about nature photography written by John Shaw. I was captivated by the quality of images and wanted my photography to have the same appeal.
What keeps you inspired with your photography? Canada has a wealth of wilderness areas and living on the west coast I am constantly inspired by my surroundings. Photography is somewhat of an excuse to get me out and explore.
Do you have a particular theme that would summarise your photographs? Wilderness landscapes, nature, intimate scenes of nature especially woodland, ancient old growth forest.
Where is the best place that you have been to take photos? Very hard question to answer as there are so many. The Enchantments in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness, Washingon always comes to mind. Tonquin Valley in Jasper National Park, Port Renfrew on Vancouver Island, Lake O’Hara in Yoho National Park. Carmanah Provincial Park on Vancouver Island.
What piece of equipment could you not do without in your camera bag? Extra batteries for the camera, bit tongue and cheek but true, I have been known to leave home without batteries.
Do you have any advice for your fellow photographers? Photograph the things that you love to shoot. Above all else concentrate on light and its effect on your subject or just photograph the light itself.
Do you have any favourite photography related websites or web resources that you’d like to share with us ? (this includes your own) Youtube Channels

Adam’s full bio here

Learn more about your camera


This resource from Northrup’s website has tutorials on many modern cameras, covering the basics through to more advanced features. So if you can’t find a feature on a camera you’ve owned for a few years or you’ve just bought a new camera, have a look and see if there is a tutorial for you.

Find the tutorial library here

The nifty thing about each tutorial is that there is a Table of Contents, enabling you to find the feature you’re after and to fast forward.

Click on the SHOW MORE link to open the Table of Contents



What’s on in August


Sunday 12th of August: DPS field trip to Catlins

Monday 13th of August: Club Meeting
Speaker: Jenny Longstaff artists and DPS member
Print of the Month theme: ‘Open’ Selector Kate Burton

Tuesday 21st of August: Midweek Photo Group

Monday 27th of August: Club Meeting
Justin Spiers the Resident Artist at Caselberg House
Projected Image of the Month theme: ‘Shadows’ Selector Kate Burton


Photographer Profile: Dave Curtis

This month’s photographer profile brings you images from another world, in more than one way.

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Name Dave Curtis
Photography Awards/Honours Lake Wanaka Postage Stamp 2009; 2017 Harry Williams Astrophotography Competition – highly commended; Otago Wildlife Competition – 3 highly commended over the years
Current Camera Canon 5D4,  Sony A7R2 and QSI683 (astro)
Favourite Camera you have ever used/had I was most excited about my first digital, the Canon 1D Mrk2.

Canon A1 back in the film days.

Which do you prefer? Digital
And why? I prefer digital. The sensitivity of the monochrome astro cameras have really opened up astrophotography in recent years. Something that the professionals back in the film days could only dream about.

With other types of photography the instant feed back loop is important. You can check exposure, focus and composition immediately. Especially important on a paid job and for the learning experience. And of course the ability to change ISO on the fly, something we now take for granted.

Which medium do you prefer? Print
And why? I enjoy making the print. There is something about holding your own creation in your hand. And of course we have the choice of so many different papers now.

I make my own prints and print profiles. I enjoy the printing process from soft proofing to print. I’m a strong believer in profiling your work flow from monitor to print.

How did you get into photography and when? My mother was interested in photography and owned a Kodak Retinette which she bought back in the 50s.

My first adventure with a camera was at school when we went to Mt Aspring National Park for a week. I took mum’s camera set at sunny f16. The film wasn’t loaded correctly and wouldn’t advance as it should which mum discovered when I arrived back home from the trip.

However this didn’t stop me sneaking out of camp, and climbing up a nearby waterfall to get what I thought would be “the shot”.

What keeps you inspired with your photography? Recently I have restarted my passion for astrophotography which started back in the 80s with film and a 20cm reflector telescope.

I have been enjoying commissioning a telescope system, and associated equipment for narrow band  deep sky imaging in my observatory.

The cooled monochrome QSI683 camera runs at -20C to reduce the noise from the cameras electronics during the long exposures. Data for a single image is collected over many nights, sometimes weeks (depending on the Dunedin weather). The data, consisting of many 10 minute exposures from many different filters, which are finally stacked and averaged to increase detail or “signal” as it is known in astrophotography.

Of course there are challenges. The telescope is the equivalent of a 1200mm lens and the sky is moving. We need to track the moving target for a total of perhaps 10 hrs with near single pixel accuracy. Any poor data that doesn’t make the grade is thrown away.

Several narrow band filters are used to collect data from different ionised gases when we image gaseous nebula . eg oxygen, hydrogen and sulfur. All other wavelengths are filtered out.

I tend to use what’s known as the Hubble palette which was made famous by the Hubble Space Telescope to render the image. Kind of part science and part art.  In the red channel we put the sulfur data, blue channel for oxygen, and green for hydrogen.

I have attached an image of the “Statue of Liberty” nebula taken earlier this year using the process.

Do you have a particular theme that would summarise your photographs? My photography is always evolving and changing therefore it would be different to nail down and describe a particular theme.
Where is the best place that you have been to take photos? Recently I traveled to Africa on a photographic wildlife adventure. Camping in the Okavango Delta of Botswana was an amazing opportunity for wildlife,  and just a great life experience, even when the Hyenas ate my soap on the washbowl outside my tent.

Then we headed over the border to Namibia, which is renowned for its desert landscapes and wildlife.

I enjoy street photography. Istanbul is an exciting colourful place with plenty always happening on the streets.

What piece of equipment could you not do without in your camera bag? When out with my camera bag there is always a Zeiss manual focus lens, or two, thrown in before I leave the house.

Sometimes trying to keeping things simple can be rather pleasurable, especially when using some of the modern camera’s cluttered interfaces. Also I’m rather partial to the way some of the Zeiss lenses draw.

Do you have any favourite photography related websites or web resources that you’d like to share with us ? (this includes your own) The Luminous Landscape website has always interested me rather than some of the pure technical gear sites. The interviews and videos of well known photographers can offer good learning opportunities.

I have my own site which is essentially a display site of some of my images.

Photoshop Tutorials: Multiplicity by Mark Galer

Mark Glaler, Adobe Ambassador and Photoshop Guru has put together a tutorial on an effect he calls Multiplicity.

You can find the tutorial here

The trick is to find the correct image to try the effect on, just as Nicola has on the image below. Thanks also to Nicola for suggesting the tutorial as a blog post.

Rush hour in Bangkok by Nicola Pye


NIKON / NZIPP Iris Professional Photography Awards 2018


Simone Jackson
Delicate hatching time for Royal Albatross and DOC by Simone Jackson (Silver Award)

The Nikon/NZIPP Iris Professional Photography Awards 2018 were judged a few weekends ago in Wellington. The judging of each category has been recorded and uploaded to YouTube at the link below. This is a fantastic opportunity to learn from professional work and judging.  All categories require a physical print submission, there are no projected image categories.

Congratulations to DPS member Simone Jackson who was a finalist in the Nature category and received awards in others sections, including the image above from the Documentary category.

YouTube Recordings

Note: The judging may not start until some time into the recording so fast forward to find the beginning.

Print Scoring Table:

Score Award Merit
95 – 100 Gold with Distinction 3 ● Exceptional vision, creativity & innovation
● Exceptional visual communication & interpretation of
● High level of originality of thought/concept
● Invokes a superior emotional response
● Has an enduring quality
● Exceptional mastery in all areas of creative &
technical execution
90 – 94 Gold 3 ● Outstanding level of imagination & creativity
● Outstanding visual communication, interpretation of
subject &/or emotion
● Originality of thought/concept
● Outstanding mastery across all areas of technique, craft,
production & print quality
85 – 89 Silver with Distinction 2 ● Excellent level of imagination & creativity
● Excellent visual communication, interpretation of subject
&/or emotion
● Excellent level of technique, craft, production &
print quality
80 – 84 Silver 2 ● High level of imagination &/or creativity
● High level of visual communication, interpretation of
subject &/or emotion
● Very high level of craft, skill and technique
70 – 79 Bronze 1 ● Very high standard of professional practice, craft, skill &
● Exceeds the normal level expected of professional
60 – 69 Professional Standard 0 ● Approaching award level
● Well executed, appropriate professional level of craft
& technique
● Good standard of professional practice – what a
professional is expected to produce day to day
50 – 59 Below Professional
0 ● Does not yet exhibit the standards required of
professional practice
● May show proficiency in some areas


Britain in Focus: A Photographic History


Links below to a BBC documentary you should find interesting. The content is from Youtube so may be removed at some point in the future. If you search for ‘Eamonn McCabe’ it should be hosted somewhere else on YouTube.

‘…Eamonn McCabe celebrates Britain’s greatest photographers, sees how science allowed their art to develop, and explores how they have captured our changing lives and country.’

Episode 1

Episode 2

Episode 3 (footage starts at 30 seconds)