by Marko Dutka Published 01/06/2011
We threatened to reveal what was really going on across the Med earlier in the year and now we expose the full story from a variety of anonymous sources, along with some images from Paparazzi Paul himself. Big images by Marko Dutka.
The old adage is that travel broadens the mind. Certainly that's what the Georgian aristocracy believed as they visited the Mediterranean countries in their droves in the 18th and 19th centuries. So to the 21st century and the grandly titled 'Marko Dutka Mediterranean tour'. Only this time we are flying the educational flag for The Societies and the UK, hoping to pass on our ways of doing things photographically to the Cypriots, Greeks and Maltese. Of course, those of you who read Professional Imagemaker and attend the Societies' Convention know that they all already know a thing or two about photography. Not since those infamous mad dogs and Englishmen ventured into the noonday sun have three more unlikely heroes turned up at Heathrow intent on enlightenment.
First hero of choice is Paul Taylor armed with tickets, passport, itineraries, three jokes and an unswerving devotion to all things Societies. Second is Marko Dutka, armed with camera, Elinchrom Quadra pack and a steely determination to generate passion for this noblest of arts. Last, but not least is Marko's partner, Nikki. Not actually teaching but her role as Marko's mental health nurse can only benefit all involved. This is especially important to Paul. Well, otherwise he would have to put up with Marko for 10 solid days all on his own, a fate that he hardly deserves (seems reasonable to me. Ed.).
Our first stop is in Cyprus where we meet Sakis from PhotoMetron. He has very kindly agreed to sponsor the tour by providing a Hassleblad D40, a range of lenses and Broncolour lighting equipment. Marko's first task is to stop drooling over the equipment and instead think about how he can use it for the benefit of all. The next day dawns brightly and delegates arrive. After an informal introduction the seminar starts with Marko demonstrating various lighting techniques. These are designed to illustrate how simple but effective techniques can be used to create strong, punchy imagery whether it is Marko's speciality fashion, or weddings and portraits. Then it's outside and around the hotel, shooting in various locations.
Fortunately Paul has booked us into a fabulous hotel with jetties running into the sea, plush swimming pools and an assortment of interesting views and angles to photograph from. This is also where Marko begins to fall in love. Don't worry Nikki's position as the love of his life will never be challenged but she would admit that when it comes to image quality and resolution even she couldn't compete with the HD40.
Wonderfully ergonomic to handle, simple and logical operation, and absolutely knockout picture quality Marko is finding it difficult to remember that he's actually there as a tutor and should be stepping aside to let the delegates have a go as well. What's also apparent is that Cypriot photographers have a very different lighting problem from those of us in the UK. They have lots of that rarely seen object, the Sun. So much so that when Marko is demonstrating how to darken backgrounds and shape lighting the Broncolour Packs are working at full power in order to achieve this.
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