Esther Beaton

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New South Wales

How to carry out a geographic magazine assignment – Part 3 – Approaching people

Even when I’m in that high vibrational state, where I feel at one with  the environment and where the art of photography seems like innate intuition, it’s not. It’s like driving a car: you can cruise on auto-pilot but that’s only because you’ve put in many miles of experience behind the wheel. Photography only comes …

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How to carry out an assignment for a geographic magazine – Part 2 – Being in the moment

I started shooting the story on pearl faming in New South Wales before I’d even signed the contract with the magazine. That was because a key event was happening immediately – an event that could not be rescheduled or wait for the convenience of a photographer — seeding the oysters.  On one beautiful warm morning, …

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How to carry out a geographic magazine assignment – Part 1 – Finding a great subject

Sometimes you’re lucky enough to get a call from an editor asking you to do a photo assignment. But sometimes you have to initiate the contact yourself. If your relationship has developed over the years to one of mutual trust, then chances are high that the magazine’s editors will listen to your idea and commission …

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What the Ranger Revealed

Revealing rock carvings

Talking about rocks (well, I was – in the last blog post), our Meetup group had a lucky encounter at one of our recent events. But it didn’t start out that way. Normally I do a reconnaissance before leading people to an obscure location. But this time I thought: oh, I’ve been there before, I’m …

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How to Turn Daylight into Night

looks like it was photographed by the light of the moon

There are several reasons to shoot at nighttime. Sometimes you want to create a gloomy, scary or heavy atmosphere. Sometimes the story or subject you want to illustrate occurred at night. But what to do if you are at your location in the middle of the day with no chance to return later?  That’s what …

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Making great people photos

mixed lighting opposite colours

There are so many factors that go into good “people” shots. People photos for geographic magazines are a bit different from standard portraits. Sometimes they are raw photojournalism, but usually they fall into a genre called “environmental portraiture”. I’ve done this for so long now that I’ve come to really love it. The essential elements …

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Ambient “lighting” is easy

Sometimes you don’t have to work at creating a background because you are blessed with the colours of nature. Or you’re just smart enough to go out at sunrise or sunset. Both of these pictures are pre-dawn. The colour in the sky at this time is called “afterglow” and I especially like this twilight time …

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Building up your lighting

While on the subject of lighting, here are a couple more examples of adding colour. Using coloured flashes is one way to overcome a drab scene – and when you’re indoors, in a clinical environment, it’s always a drab scene. I like to think of it as building my scene, a bit like adding layers …

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Take better photos with your smartphone

You can take great photos with your smartphone – as long as you remember two things: The smartphone is for internet use only. The quality is not adequate for print, unless it’s postcard size or smaller. This is due the the small format, i.e., the sensor in the iPhone is smaller than your little fingernail. …

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Behind the scenes on this month’s magazine feature

Wedge-tailed eagle Raptor rehab story

This week I’m taking you behind the scenes of my current published assignment for Australian Geographic. It’s only a short feature and you can see it in the November December 2016 issue called “Raptor rehab”. Here are some notes as to how and why I shot some of the pics. I was allowed very limited access …

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