The Rationale behind the Revised Constitution – your approval needed

Apologies to all those members who find this stuff dry and boring. Please read on for just a little bit…

Your society is working towards creating a vibrant, creative and collaborative space for Canberra photographers of all shapes and sizes. Do do this we need some underpinnings – one of which is a constitution that reflects who we are and what we aspire to. Hence this post. You will be asked to vote on this proposed new constitution at the upcoming AGM.

 Explanatory Notes re Proposed New Constitution for the Canberra Photographic Society
History:
The existing constitution is based on the model rules provided by the ACT government under the Associations Incorporation Act 1991. The Canberra Photographic Society has to comply with this act and other relevant acts and regulations governing community groups in the ACT. Our compliance is overseen by our Public Officer, Ian Marshall.
In order to have our governance mechanisms aligned with the goals of the society, the committee is seeking to update the Constitution. This task has been undertaken by
the Strategic Planning Subcommittee with legal input provided by Tony Burslem.
Rationale for change:
The most important proposed changes are around the Objects of the Society. These have been clarified and simplified with the intent to reflect who we are and what our goals are as a society (See clause 2)
We have clarified the definition of members (see clause 3 and 7) to allow honorary members and honorary life members (clause 16) to vote at general meetings. Our definition of honorary member (clause 15) has been expanded so it no longer refers to particular affiliations (such as the Australian Photographic Society) but is more generally inclusive.
Changes have also been made to clarify and facilitate administration of the
society, such as moving the closing date for payment of membership dues from 1 July to 1 March (clause 11) and making provision for electronic meetings (clause 28). We have also updated language to reflect the current use of electronic communications for membership applications (clause 8 and removal of the old Appendix 1) and the serving of notices (clause 50).
Changes are proposed that clarify the roles and responsibilities of members (clause 9)
and the committee (clause 19). Clauses around conflicts of interest (clause 29) and the declaration and recording of potential conflicts of interest (clauses 30, 31 and 32) have been added.
We have improved the definition of quorums for the committee meetings (clause 27(5)), for annual general meetings (clause 35(3)) and general meetings (clause 38(2)) so that they are more flexible and allow the society to dissolve itself if the membership dwindles to almost nothing. The calling of general meetings at the request (not requisition) of members now requires notice in writing of ten (not five) percent of members (clause 36). Only members may vote at general meetings (clause 42).
We have improved the procedures for the election of committee members (clause
22). We have introduced a requirement for nomination of members for election to the committee to be made in writing at least 24 hours ahead of the meeting and the requirement for all nominees to indicate their consent to being nominated.
The proxy form that was previously Appendix 2 now becomes Appendix 1.
What happens now?
Before the Proposed New Constitution can be adopted it must be accepted at a general meeting of members. In order to change the constitution we have to lodge with Access Canberra either a list of proposed changes or the amended constitution in its entirety. Because of the extent and complexity of the changes, we propose using the latter method. Thus we are putting the proposed amended constitution in its entirety to members.
The committee proposes that members vote regarding their acceptance or otherwise of the
Proposed New Constitution at the upcoming AGM on March 14th 2017.
Prior to this date, all members are encouraged to read the proposed document and
are welcome to make suggestions and comments to the committee so that any concerns can be addressed before the AGM.
The Proposed New Constitution is available (with additions highlighted) for comparison with our Existing Constitution on our website http://canberraphotosoc.weebly.com/cps-constitution.html.
Comments should be sent to committee@cpsaus.org.
Advertisements

A Photoshop Workflow

In response to several requests for more technical information to be provided as part of Canberra Photographic Society activities, we have started a new technical session to be conducted at the start of each Workshop evening. Members will take it in turns to spend 15-20 minutes talking about a technical aspect of photography or image processing. I kicked off the series with a demonstration of a workflow (using Bridge and Photoshop) that I used to process one of my images from Bermagui.

I chose this image because it has some short-comings and I wanted to demonstrate how I could overcome some of these with processing. Obviously it is not possible, nor desirable, to “fix” bad images with processing, but I wanted to illustrate a couple of points. I find the image inherently amusing but the background is a bit distracting as it has a lot of color, structure and light areas. Also, there is a pelican in the foreground that could be seen as a distraction, so I am going to demonstrate how to “clone it out.” I want to draw attention to the main subject – namely the fish in the pelican’s beak.

Below is the original raw file that has been opened in Bridge. I have made some adjustments to the exposure and reduced the contrast. In Bridge I almost always go into the Lens Corrections tab (6th from left) and enable lens profile corrections (in the profile sub-tab) and tick remove chromatic aberration (in the color sub-tab). Most of the other adjustments (such as noise removal) I leave on the default values. 01_Pelican_Raw

Once I am happy with the raw processing in Bridge I click on the “Open Image” button at the bottom and this opens the image in Photoshop. 03_pelican_photoshop

Above you can see what the base layer looks like without all the adjustment layers (only the bottom layer has an eye symbol to its left). To illustrate my workflow I am going to step through turning on each layer so you can see the effect that it has on the image.

04_pelican_photoshop

The first layer (above) corrects the color balance. I used the color picker tool (a pencil with a plus sign) and select an area that should be white or neutral grey. I then use a curves layer and adjust each of the colors so that the values for red, green and blue are the same. If they are 255,255,255 then I have adjusted the spot (and the highlights) to white – if the value is less then the spot is grey and I have adjusted the high mid-tones. You can see that this adjustment has removed a magenta cast from the image.

05_pelican_photoshop

In this layer (above) I have removed the pelican on the left. I used the lasso tool to draw a rough outline around it and then went to the Edit tab at the top of the page and select Fill then Content-Aware to give a rough fill. I then used the clone tool to tidy up the fill, making sure that there are no repeated structures evident. I also built up the tip of the remaining pelican’s wing.

 

07_pelican_photoshop

I then have several curves layers where I have progressively darkened the background and lightened the birds. I do this in steps so it gives a more subtle result and I use a different mask for each layer. I use a soft brush to make my masks and usually feather each mask also.

08_pelican_photoshop

You can see here (above) the mask that I used to darken the background while not changing the birds. You can visualise the mask by going to the channels tab and clicking on the bottom channel, which is usually the mask. Don’t forget to turn the mask channel off before returning to the layers menu (unless you want to see the mask to make fine adjustments to it).

11_pelican_photoshop

In this layer (above) I am working to give more emphasis to the pelican beaks. I start by changing the color balance and shifting it slightly to the magenta and red (from cyan and green respectively). The rest of the image is masked out so the changes only apply to the beaks. I then apply a hue-saturation layer where I gently increase the saturation in the reds and magentas. I almost always make saturation adjustments selectively and usually avoid increasing the global saturation. I have a second saturation adjustment layer where I have reduced the saturation in the blue and cyan. This often corrects a consequence of darkening (particularly for skies) as Photoshop has the unfortunate tendency to make darkened skies too saturated. Here I am removing color from the water to bring emphasis back to the pelican beaks. Often removing saturation in some colors is a more effective way of emphasising the remaining colors than just increasing those colors’ saturation.

14_pelican_photoshop

In the next few layers I have lightened the black feathers in the wings to bring some structure back there. I also have a few more layers to reduce the contrast in the water even further. I now want to add more contrast and emphasis to the plumage of the birds. Here I am using a technique for adding structure called HiRaLoam. This is basically a sharpening tool, so I need to work on committed pixels. Most of my layers so far (except for the cloning layer) have been adjustment layers that are basically a set of instructions that tell photoshop what to do with the information from the layers below. A useful shortcut that I use when I need a committed layer (a requirement for sharpening) is to hold down the Control-Shift-Alt-E keys simultaneously. You will see a lot of other ways of doing this, but I have found this to be the quickest and simplest.

To perform the HiRaLoam adjustment I go to the Filter tab at the top of the page, select Sharpen, then Unsharp Mask. Then I use a high radius and a low amount (Amount 30, radius 30, threshold 2). There is nothing magical about these numbers and it sometimes takes a bit of trial and error to get the desired effect. Be sparing with this as it can produce halos (as can all sharpening techniques). I usually start with a black mask, and only add the effect sparingly where I want it, taking care to avoid any obvious edges.

Finally I have a couple more curves layers to get the overall brightness and contrast correct – sometimes it is useful just to use the Auto setting on the curves layer to see where photoshop thinks you should be. You can accept or reject or modify this at your discretion.

Obviously you want to be saving your photoshop file frequently as you go along. If you need to produce a small jpg version of your file my last step is to resize the image. Because photoshop doesn’t retain the detail in the masks at high resolution when it resizes, it is desirable to flatten your image before resizing. Note that this will compress all your workings and discard any layers that aren’t visible. You need to be very careful NOT to save this version of the photoshop file as you will then lose all your working. To resize the flattened image go to the Image tab at the top of the page and then Image Size. Enter the desired values and then save your file AS A JPG. When closing the file photoshop will ask if you want to save it – now say NO to avoid ending up with a low resolution, layerless .psd file. Below if the final version of the image (top). It isn’t markedly different from the original (below) as I like to keep a fairly light touch with photoshop work, but I leave you to judge if it is an improvement.

Pelican_W2A8829

ORIGINAL_W2A8829

 

 

 

Thoughts on judging a photograph

At the Ted’s Hedda Morrison Print Portfolio Trophy night our guest judge David Paterson spoke about what he looks for as a judge in photography competitions. David is experienced as a judge with the Australian Institute of Professional Photographers. He also regularly enters work in State and National AIPP competitions. Here is a summary of David’s thoughts.

Judging a Photograph: What do I look for?

Composition and Image design – is the photo well composed and has thought been applied to the design of the image?

Exposure – is there detail in both the highlights and shadows? Does it have a good tonal range?

Focus – has the focus been placed in the areas and how well has this worked?

Colour/Tones – is the colour and/or tones correct?

Lighting – how well has the photographer used the light?

Posing and Styling – does the posing suit the photo?

Attention to detail – is there anything within the photo that should have been removed or not photographed in the first place?

Post Production – how well has the post production been handled? Sharpening?

Printing – is the print of a professional standard? Right choice of paper?

Presentation – how well has the photo been presented, matting?

Images that are more highly awarded may include…

Communication and Narrative – does the photo tell me a story and/or communicate the authour’s intent?

Imagination – thinking outside the square

Innovation – is this something new that gets me excited?

Visual and emotional impact – does this photo affect me emotionally?

Timing, anticipation – the decisive moment!

President’s Annual Report to 2016 AGM

CPS President, Helen McFadden, has asked me to publish this report to publicly record it in an accessible place. The first part illustrates the process, achievements and continuing work of our strategic direction. It may help to inform our discussions this year.

This report summarises and reflects upon the activities of the Canberra Photographic Society during 2015.

The CPS continues to develop its program based upon the direction set in our Strategic Plan which was adopted by the 2014 AGM. This plan was developed with a high level of consultation with and input by members during 2013. It helps to be able to sift through ideas and opportunities with a cohesive framework, focusing on the important things which contribute to progress in our objective to be a:

“mutually supportive and excellent photographic society through
(a)        helping the Society members achieve their photographic potential and
(b)        encouraging the Society and its members to interact with their community”

An example of the benefit of this approach is how the communications survey in 2014 resulted in the changes implemented in 2015 to: our email and membership list; regular eNews; website updating is user friendly; Facebook page, blog, and instagram all well viewed and well used. So much so, that now it all seems normal.

Following from this in 2015 we looked at how to more seamlessly handle our images for display and sharing and competitions. After investigations led by Matt James we successfully tested upload and display on a SmugMug gallery during the annual photochallenge. Ready for the start of 2016 we moved our competition upload to galleries on SmugMug. Many members have commented at how easily this works. There are other benefits in ease of administration which are becoming more obvious. This change has allowed us to change the method of competition display to using a tablet device, put in the hands of the judge. This uses the SmugMug app on the device and wireless communication with the projector.

All of these technology based methods will most likely change every five years or so as new products and services become available. This is not a problem or an obstacle. Photography is mostly very closely linked to these technologies.

The next two strategic objectives which we are working on are developing the structure for members to systematically improve their photographic skills and the long term integration of new members. The weekend workshops which have been held at Merimbula, thanks to Phil and Helen McFadden, have helped people to improve their photographic skills and to gain a sense of belonging to the CPS. Both of these areas need attention. Our Open Studio initiative may help with some of this.

As a part of our community engagement we will have a stall at the Connect and Participate Expo in Saturday 19th March at the Old Bus Depot, Kingston from 11am to 4pm. If you could talk to people about the CPS please volunteer for a couple of hours. There are 150 organisations and 8000 visitors expected, based on numbers from last year.

70th Anniversary Celebrations

2015 saw the CPS celebrate 70 years since its foundation in 1945. We enjoyed a well attended dinner at the Hellenic Club. Jim Mason was inducted as an Honorary Life Member. We were pleased that our other Honorary Life Member, Ian McGuiness, was present at the dinner and he was presented with a Life Member Medallion (which hadn’t been presented at his induction). Brian Rope spoke about the history of the CPS and Chris Holly spoke about the future of photography. Thanks to Alan Charlton and team for organising the event. Bruce Clark contributed with some large prints made by his father after a CPS photography night with models at the old Griffin centre. These provoked many comments!

Exhibitions

In March 2015 we packed up the Different Views Exhibition at Telstra Tower and sent it To Bendigo for Easter with a Bendigo Camera Club exhibition. Different Views 2 is framed and ready to be hung on Thursday. It will incorporate images which present our views of Canberra and district and its Heritage listed sites (as a part of the Canberra and Region Heritage Festival) David Flannery will open the exhibition on Friday 11th March at 6pm.

Out There 2015, our members’ exhibition at the Watson Arts Centre, was an excellent showcase of our photographic interests. Congratulations to exhibitors and organisers for a great show.

Program

Our integrated themes method of organising our annual program proved valuable in the second year of organising in this manner. Thanks to everyone who contributed to these each month. Each year our program includes a meeting for where we ask members to review how the program has gone during the year and to ask for suggestions and ideas for the next year. This has proved to be valuable for the committee to gauge how things are going in an organised discussion environment, as well as the consult about new ideas which we are planning to implement.

 

Major Awards 2016

Ted’s Hedda Morrison Print Portfolio –  Matt James

Highly Commended – Helen McFadden

Highly Commended – Dave Bassett

Bica Projected Image Portfolio – Judy Parker

Highly Commended – Brian Jones

Highly Commended – Jenny Varela

 

 

Annual Photochallenge

Best Portfolio – Leisa Condie

Best Image – Peter Powell

Print of the Year (colour) – Leo Sbirakos

Highly Commended    Brian Jones

Highly Commended –  Steven Shaw

Print of the Year (monochrome) – Brian Jones

Highly Commended    Murray Foote

Highly Commended    Murray Foote

Projected Image of the Year- Graeme Watson

Highly Commended – Jenny Varela

Highly Commended  – Sheila Lunter

2015 Photographer of the Year

Jointly awarded to:

Graeme Watson and Dave Bassett

2015 Russell Hunt Award

Ian Marshall

 

Committee Members, Office holders, and many other volunteers.

On behalf of the Canberra Photographic Society members I say THANK YOU to committee members, office holders and volunteers for your hard work during 2015. Your contribution is much appreciated !

Our monthly themes have been coordinated by different members according to their interest and availability. This method of organising the program has enabled a broader number of members to share their knowledge, to assist the society, and to spread the load beyond Program Director Helen McFadden. Thanks also to volunteers from outside the CPS who have volunteered their time to present information at our activity nights. I also record my thanks to all who make the competition night run smoothly.

Ten times each year local (and interstate) photographers volunteer their time to judge our competitions. It is a valuable gift to the CPS and its members. We appreciate the different insights and perspectives each judge has brought to our competitions in 2015. The CPS records its thanks to each of you. We note the passing of long time judge Bob Cooper last year, a number of CPS members attended his funeral.

Also CPS member and serving Auditor, Alan Pendergast died last year. We offered our condolences to his widow Gabi and their family. A number of CPS members attended his funeral.

It is always the case that members come and go for a variety of reasons, and members serve on the committee for a time then move on. So, a couple of movements to note:

Jim Mason has informed the me that he will not stand for the CPS committee in 2016. Thanks for your 30 years on continuous contribution to the CPS through the committee. Jim’s contribution was detailed in his Honorary Life member citation last year. Thank you Jim.

Brian Jones will also conclude his membership of the CPS committee. His contribution has included three years as President. He has also served as Vice President. He was involved in our strategic planning from its inception. He has also managed our relationships with our competition judges. Thanks Brian.

 

Ian Marshall

Canberra Photographic Society President

8th March 2016

Homework for Photography Projects

This list was given as “homework” to be done in preparation for the CPS Annual Weekend Workshop. It is also a useful “to do” list when embarking on any photographic excursion – things that it is useful to know or do beforehand.

Things to look up in your manual

Diopter setting
Image quality: RAW/RAW+Jpeg
Exposure: Evaluative/Matrix
Histogram: RGB not just tonality
Exposure compensation
Highlight alert (blinkies)
Color space: Adobe RGB.
Aperture priority and aperture adjustment; know what your shutter speed is.
Manual; know how to adjust shutter speed and aperture.
ISO setting
Single point focus
Back-button focussing (turn off focus on shutter button).
Red-light headlights

Topics for discussion next week (as part of the Workshop preparation)

Some ideas on composition and cropping
Choice of lens for story telling
Hyperfocal distance
Mirror lock-up, timer delay
Use of Live view for composition (particularly in low light)
Group etiquette
Tripod setup and discussion
Bring your manual
Bring your camera and tripod

Things to bring with you to Bermagui

Bring your manual
Bring your camera, spare battery and charger, spare cards
Bring your tripod
Computer for downloading
Red headlight or torch
Alarm clock to wake you well before dawn
Warm gear and perhaps swimming costume
Sturdy shoes (perhaps wellies)
Hat/sunscreen/sunglasses
2-3 prints for discussion
Sense of humour

 

A brief history of landscape photography

This post is based on a short talk given to the Canberra Photographic Society as part of the introduction to the Landscape Photography workshop being held in Bermagui. It presents a brief overview of some of the key developments in landscape photography.

It is often useful to have a look at how people have approached something in the past to see if their ideas still have relevance today. It is also interesting to have a look at how technical advances have influenced photography practice, and what is considered “normal”.

Firstly a brief time line to give a framework for some of the observations that follow:

Slide2

Early photographers photographed landscape because that was where the light was – exposures of hours were sometimes required, but gradually light-sensitive chemistry and the physics of camera and lens design improved. Early photographers had to work to get their images, so there was some consternation when Kodak releases its first “consumer” camera that brought image-making to the masses. Does this sound familiar? It only took 100 or so years for history to repeat itself with the cell phone.

Slide3Before photography, landscape painting was a popular genre (the word “landscape” is derived from the dutch “landschap” – landscape painting was important in the dutch painting traditions). Above, a famous painting by an English artist shows some of the characteristics of painted landscapes that had an important influence on early landscape photography, namely the soft and dreamy mood and the carefully constructed composition that sometimes included reference to the antiquities.

Slide4 The Pictorialist style was practiced world-wide. Some of the best-known Australian pictorialists were Frank Hurley (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frank_Hurley) and Olive Cotton (By Olive Cotton – Tea cup ballet at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=14783395)

Slide7Slide6

In response to this use of photography to emulate something else (painting), some photographers sought to practice photography as an art in its own rightSlide8

The group’s name, f/64, was a reference to the small apertures used to create images of the landscape that were sharp throughout. Famous members of the group were Ansel Adams and Edward Weston. Sonya Noskowiak was one of the now lesser-known members of the group.

Slide9Slide10

The F/64 group was successful and highly influential. Alfred Stieglitz also worked hard in the early stages in the development and recognition of photography as an art form.

Slide11

Widely regarded as the father of colour landscape photography, Eliot Porter was friend of Stieglitz and his wife Georgia O’Keefe. His colour work is characterised by soft and muted colours. He published a significant body of work including several books over his lifetime.

Slide12

The photobooks published by the Sierra club were highly influential and succeeded in halting the construction of two dams that would have flooded the Grand Canyon. They were not able to stop the construction of Glen Canyon dam, so today Glen Canyon is flooded by Lake Powell.

Slide13Philip Hyde was a student of Ansell Adams and a major photographer for the Sierra Club. His images are characterised by strong and vivid colours. However, note that his images are also strong compositions. It is easy to be seduced by colour in the landscape, but usually colour alone does not make a strong image.

While learning the techniques for creating images that please you I suggest that you also ask yourself why you are photographing. If you consider what you are aiming for, your images will probably be better for it. Approaches that inspired earlier photographers may also be relevant today.

Slide14

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Words and images

I love to read and so when it comes to learning more about photography, I will often turn to books for more information. Recently I had friends staying with me and they, avid photographers themselves, commented on my range of books on photography, some of which they hadn’t seen before. They ended up ordering a few of the titles themselves. So I thought this might be of interest to more people and that I would share a few of my favourite photography books here. Most of these books you can order from internet book stores like Amazon and Book Depository and a few you might even find in old-fashioned book stores.

For technical advice

1510_Misc-2426

Ansel Adams – The Negative
The Master. Adams wrote a three part series – The Camera, The Negative, The Print – putting all his learning and discoveries in these books. The Negative goes in depth into various technical matters such as exposure, the zone system and darkroom processes. Although written for analog cameras, the concepts are still relevant, even in this digital age. It’s not a light read, so I don’t recommend it for beginning photographers who want to read up on exposure. There are other, more easily digestible books for that (see below). But at some point it is good to turn to the masters and I plan on getting the other parts of the series as well.

Galen Rowell – The Inner Game of Outdoor Photography
The other master of the outdoors. A series of essays in which the late Rowell writes on how to express vision, technique, journeys and communicating through photography. Again a book written when analog cameras were still around, but his knowledge doesn’t age. Rowell was a master of outdoor photography and this is a book I regularly dip into or consult. When I had booked a helicopter flight over Iguassu, this is the book I consulted to find answers to what type of lens and settings to use. I followed his advice to the letter and got great pictures. (And now you all know where the inspiration for my wordpress moniker comes from…)

Freeman Patterson – Photography and the Art of Seeing
Another classic for photographers. Patterson challenges you to look at your environment and to see beyond the obvious. He writes about observing, imagining a vision and learning to express that vision. It’s a quick read if you want that, but it’s worthwhile spending time on his exercises.

Syl Arena – The Speedliter’s Handbook
Arena is one of my new favourite authors. This man has a knack of breaking down difficult concepts. Although I had two flashes (one for the Fuji systems and one for the Canon), I wasn’t too sure how to use them and had mixed results even with automatic settings. Just a few chapters into this veritable bible on Canon speedlites, I’m much clearer on what I can do with my speedlite and even my Fuji flash has unveiled its mysteries to me. It’s a brick, but everything you ever wanted to know about Canon speedlites and using flash is in there.

Alexandre Buisse – Remote Exposure
For all of us outdoorsy types, this is a fun book filled with tips on hiking and climbing photography. A lot of common sense advice and some inspirational photos. Probably not for everyone, but for those of us who try to combine photography with the remote outdoors and are looking for tips on how to make our load lighter, this is a nice book to dip into.

David Gibson – The Street Photographer’s Manual
While most of the previous books are about landscape / nature  photography, the fact is that I’m living in a (very) large city at the moment. I’ve been trying to study some books on street photography in an effort to make the most of photography opportunities here. It’s not easy, but Gibson’s book is an interesting expose on different styles in street photography, tips on how to make the most of opportunities.

Syl Arena – Lighting for Digital Photography
This is the book for those who need to understand light and exposure fundamentals in photography. A great book for beginners, Arena explains concepts easily and well. If you read this book you will be well versed on all these concepts. I bought it on Kindle, but also available in hard copy.

David DuChemin – Within the Frame
This was the third photography book I bought, but the most important and most useful one out of those. DuChemin covers similar fundamentals on exposure as Arena, but also adds in how zoom lenses work differently from wide-angle lenses and how to use them to optimal effect. A great book for beginners and an inspirational book.

David DuChemin – The Visual Toolbox
This comes filled with not only theory and explanation, but exercises too for those disciplined enough. It’s a “curriculum for learning not just how to use a camera – but how to make stronger photographs”. Need I say more?

Art Wolfe – The New Art of Photographing Nature
An easy read that dives into composition, perspective, lighting, colour and much more. Often giving various pictures of the same subject it explains why some shots work better than others.

For inspiration

1510_Misc-2424

Sebastião Salgado – Gênesis
The contemporary master. For me there are few people who get close to Salgado and it’s not because I’m currently living in Brazil that I feel this way. His monochrome pictures are so good you don’t even want to see them in colour. His sharpness, his composition, it’s all there. And his ethics. If you’ve never heard of him, check him out. Gênesis is his latest work, but he has been a prolific photographer for many decades, mostly on social justice issues (Workers, Migrations, Africa). Wim Wenders’ recent documentary on Salgado – Salt of the Earth (Salgado means salty in English) – is a great movie about the photographer and the man. I’ve got ten more months to try and meet him in person…

Magnum Contacts
A lot of famous photographs are featured in this book and the stories of how they got chosen for publication. What works so well in this book is that you get to see the contact sheet and the final selection by the photographer. You can follow the process of why they selected one exposure over the other. A book to return to time after time for inspiration.

Steve McCurry – South Southeast
Beautiful photographs taken in South Asia and South East Asia, including ‘that’ famous image of the Afghan refugee girl in Pakistan. McCurry’s use of colour jumps out at you (such a difference from Salgado).

Vivian Maier – A street photographer
There has been a lot of publicity around Vivian Maier in the last few years and rightfully so. Some magical photos in this book to get inspired by. After seeing the documentary about her, I’m not sure that I like her methods all that much, but I can’t deny the power of her photographs.

Galen Rowell – Poles Apart
A very interesting book which features in one section juxtaposed photos taken in the Arctic and the Antarctic. Some combinations work better than others, but they are always interesting. Inspirational viewing for anyone who plans to travel to either of these regions.

Helen Ennis – Frank Hurley’s Antarctica
A compilation of Hurley’s photographs to accompany an exhibition of his work that showed a few years ago in Canberra. I think his work is incredible, particularly when you consider the conditions he was working in and the equipment he was using. Powerful images.

I would love to hear what other people’s favourite and inspirational books are!