Summary of 2020-21 club activitiesDue to Covid-19 restrictions all club meetings were held via the Zoom conferencing system.
15 April - An entertaining meeting for members to reveal their creative abilities when photographing the simple subject - paper. We saw a number of interesting and artistic takes using: books, magazines, crumpled paper, origami, playing cards, paper montages forming backdrops for portraits, writing with pen and paper and street photography of torn paper on dilapidated billboards. See some examples below:
8 April - Dr Niall Ferguson ARPS CPAGB EFIAP judged the 28 entries in our 5th PDI open colour competition. He gave a comprehensive critique of the images and at the same time explained his reasons for the marking, awarding a maximum score of 10 to two images and 9.5 to three others. The two winning images were:
25 March - A very interesting and informative evening where a number of members showed a 'Before' and 'After' image - the first as taken in camera and the second as processed afterwards in the software of the member's choice. We were told something of their method for achieving the final result and, by using the 'share screen' facility on Zoom, some members were able also to demonstrate the entire image manipulation process in the software used such as Photoshop.
18 March - The subject for this meeting was water in any of its many forms. Members brought along up to four images and spoke a little about them, eg where they were taken, their reasons for taking them and how they were produced. We saw pictures of water in traditional landscapes and seascapes with some clearly capturing its power and motion. Also puddles, rivers, waterfalls, water droplets, ice, steam, abstract forms using reflections and refraction, and depictions of water in minimalist form, all of which generated much discussion among members.
11 March - A presentation: Landscape Photography is Simple by freelance photographer Slawek Staszczuk. He demonstrated why landscape photography is essentially quite simple if you understand all about TLC - Timing, Light and its different qualities, Composition. He emphasised the use of early morning/late evening time to provide low angle light which, when combined with aerial perspective, ie mist, fog, smoke and blue distant haze, creates an illusion of depth by depicting distant objects as paler, less detailed, and usually more blue than near objects thereby giving depth to what is essentially a 2D image in the frame. He also explained how complementary colour harmony adds interest in architectural photography during the 'blue hour' period especially when the blue light is juxtaposed with artificial lighting from street lamps, windows, etc, which are predominantly at the red end of the spectrum. In general he favoured using longer focal length lenses to provide more abstract framings as well as showcasing the landscape better, but switches to wide angles when a chosen composition would better suit a shorter focal length.
The following images, copyright of Slawek Staszczuk and reproduced with permission, is a sample of the photography from his presentation.
4 March - Paul Graber LRPS judged the 35 entries in our 4th PDI mono competition which included open as well as set subject Looking up sections. He gave a comprehensive critique of the images and explained the reasons for his marking, awarding a maximum score of 10 to two images in the set subject section and two images in the open section as follows:
The judge also awarded a score of 9.5 to one image in the open section of the competition.
25 February - We had a very good turnout of members and guests for Celia Henderson's presentation: Photography and Photoshop with Flowers. An evening of two parts: during the first, she talked us through her workflow for creating an image - the “see/take/make” process - and discussed what makes the best subjects, why backgrounds are so important, and other considerations for capturing an image. We saw an array of wonderful artistic interpretations of fine art flower photography - blending with textures, painting with digital watercolour or oil brushes and using layers to emulate multi-exposure effects - all the product of her creative use of Photoshop.
In the second part, she took us in more detail through some of the processes involved. Using a step-by-step guide (previously circulated to attendees), she demonstrated how an image of an alstroemeria could be processed for creative effect.
See below a sample of images from her presentation (copyright Celia Henderson and reproduced with her permission).
11 February - The fjords of Patagonia. A very informative presentation by Julian Elliott, who took us on a professional photographic assignment to ‘the end of the world’. We saw the challenges a professional photographer faces often in inclement weather with no opportunity to wait for better lighting and frequently resorting to hand-holding his camera to get shots quickly in prevailing adverse conditions. His philosophy is to get as much right in-camera as quickly as possible thereby minimising post production in Lightroom/Photoshop. Despite such difficulties he produced some stunning imagery for his client, a cruise line company, and took us on his working journey from Ushuaia to Punta Arenas through the Fjords of Tierra del Fuego and Cape Horn. We saw wonderful pictures of the Pía and Águila glaciers and the massive ice fields along Glacier Alley. Also snow-capped mountains, lush sub-polar forests, the historic Wulaia Bay, secluded island beaches and Magellanic penguin colonies. He interspersed his presentation with many useful technical tips, including using luminosity masks and the RGB colour curves in Photoshop to restore natural colour by reducing any unwanted blue haze from landscape imagery.
The following images, copyright of Julian Elliott and reproduced with permission, is a sample of the type of photography we saw during his presentation.
4 February - David Smith LRPS judged our annual flora and fauna competiton. Congratulations to Chris Flood, the overall winner of the Reg Mullard trophy. with his wonderful image Camouflaged Desert Hare, Texas. Congratulations also to Mike Hall for his image in second place Francolin at waterhole and third place Chris Flood with Brown pelican meets river turtle. The table of results can be found in the "members area" using this link Reg Mullard Awards table 2020-21.
28 January - Keith Newton LRPS judged the 33 entries in our 3rd PDI open mono competition giving a comprehensive explaination for his marking. He awarded a maximum score of 10 to Pete Baldrey for his two images
Who jumps highest, and Ed Hull for his image Quads.
The judge also awarded 3 other images a score of 9.5.
21 January - Pete Baldrey gave a master class in using Nik collection software to process images in Adobe Photoshop and Photoshop Elements. Sharing his screen on Zoom, Pete showed in real time how he uses the various Nik “filters” for post processing his images. He took us through various techniques for each of the filters in the suite. Using the presets he went on to demonstrate the Nik controls available for further refining each individual image.
Whilst the Nik suite can be used as a stand alone programme, Pete used it as a Photoshop plug-in and showed how to call Nik from the Filters menu in Photoshop and seamlessly save the adjusted image back into Photoshop for later output.
During the second half of the meeting, several members volunteered to share their screens and with Pete’s help processed one of their own images. We watched as Elizabeth converted a colour image of a flower into an artistic black and white photo using Silver Efex Pro, Angela adjusted a colour landscape image in Colour Efex Pro and used the local controls to make selective adjustments, Phil used dFine2 and Sharpener pro on a macro image and Ed processed a colour image in Analog Efex pro to emulate a vintage style photo.
A good evening and I am sure it was one where everybody learned a little more in this amazing age of digital photography!
Above is an example of a before and after image for emulating a vintage look in Nik:
14 January - Our 3rd PDI open colour competition was judged by Steve Kingswell ARPS, AFIAP who gave an excellent critique of the 33 entries and fully explained his reasons for the marking. He awarded a maximum score to 3 images, namely: Swales Parry Doc Martin's surgery - Portwenn, Mike Hall Francolin at waterhole and Norman Price Pepper spray against a mugger.
7 January - The new year began with a workshop for members who brought along a wide selection of images for critique. We followed this with an informative demonstration by Norman Price on how to use the high-pass filter technique for sharpening images in Photoshop and Photoshop Elements. Using two of his photos he took us step by step through the process including adding a mask to selectively reduce any resultant noise in the image. The evening concluded with members giving their views on other Photoshop sharpening techniques.
10 December - This year, owing to Covid-19 restrictions, we held our 2020 Christmas party using Zoom. Sitting in the comfort of our armchairs with our party hats on, we began with a slide show of members' Christmas images. This was followed by our quiz master John Warbrick's annual quiz and he was obviously intent on testing our brain cells somewhat. Mike Harrison scored the highest thereby demonstrating he is not only a good photographer but a walking encyclopaedia as well!
In keeping with tradition, the Chairman announced the subject for the Chairman’s Challenge: Minimilism. Up to 3 images to be reviewed at our 29 April 2021 meeting.
For those unsure of this genre of photography there is a very good article on the web by Sarah Wilkerson - 9 tips for beautifully minimalist photos.
Photographer Michael Kenna's minimalist photographs are also well worth a look - Michael Kenna.
See below a selection of images from the Christmas party slideshow