From the sand dunes of Death Valley through to the rolling green hills of Dartmoor, photographer David Clapp spends his days capturing stunning landscape and travel shots. Famed for pushing the boundaries of his technology, both in photography and post-production, his innovative work showcases the best of nature from all corners of the globe, experimenting with techniques from HDR through to infra-red.
Shooting for Getty Images, some of his best-known work is in the fields of night photography and light-painting, much of which he shot on the original EOS 6D. After five years with it, he has been one of the first photographers to try out the new Canon EOS 6D Mark II. So how did it compare?
“In terms of image quality, it’s very impressive, as you would expect,” he said. “It has more than enough dynamic range and exposure latitude and the camera responded beautifully when out in the real world.”
A professional photographer since 2009, David had been using the 6D since he fell in love with it on a trip to Patagonia in 2013, in which he’d only taken it along as a second body to work alongside his EOS-1D X. “Within a couple of days, I realised this was going to become my number one camera because it was smaller and lighter, which is perfect for the way I work,” he says. It’s been his staple body ever since, along with three EF L-series lenses – the 16-35mm f/4L IS, the 24-70mm f/2.8L and the 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 IS II.
To put the new 6D Mark II through its paces, David started out in Cornwall. “My first test with it was when I was shooting some night scenes at Land’s End,” he explains. “I also wanted to capture the Milky Way over St Michael’s Mount. I was shooting at between ISO 3200 and 6400 and the quality of the files when I came to process them in Adobe Lightroom was excellent. The noise structure is exceedingly close to an EOS 5D Mark IV and it retains good colour, even at a high ISO. It’s almost like it is the 5D’s smaller brother, and would make a very good companion if you were lucky enough to have both.
“This camera is a great jack-of-all-trades, and it is perfect for people who enjoy landscapes and travel. Plus, as with the old EOS 6D, it still has Wi-Fi and GPS. I love Wi-Fi because when I am painting a night scene with light, I am able to leave the camera on a tripod and monitor the scene on a tablet or smartphone. I can then transfer the files straight to my phone and check the results immediately. This always used to take a long time, but what once took two hours I can now do in ten minutes!
This camera is a great jack-of-all-trades and perfect for people who enjoy landscapes and travel
“I love the flip-out screen,” David adds. “It has a real compositional benefit and prevents soggy knees when I’m shooting from a low angle. Ergonomically it is pretty much the same, but that’s no bad thing because the original was perfect in the hand.
“I also love that the cable release socket is now on the front of the body. It’s nicely kept away from the USB port and all the other connections so I can keep all those panels shut, meaning in bad weather there is no risk of moisture getting in.”
David used the 6D Mark II to expertly capture the Milky Way over St Michael’s Mount, landscapes at Land’s End and panoramic views at Ditchling Beacon, East Sussex. “How would I sum up the EOS 6D Mark II?” he concludes. “Put simply, it’s twice the camera it was before, yet it’s still beautifully lightweight and ideal for travel. I’ve put my order in.”