2018-19 Comp 2

We welcomed back Tony Oliver (ARPS, CPAGB,BPE3) as our Judge for the second open competition of the year. Tony, a retired Fireman, says that his main photographic passion is landscapes and in particular images of Wiltshire and his home town of Salisbury. Also favours monochrome. Oh dear some of us (well me anyway) thought! We needn’t have worried as a look at Tony’s web site (www.aropics.com) would show that his interests are pretty varied. Well worth taking a look at his Salisbury images.
Tony had a decent entry of 18 DPI’s and 28 Prints covering a wide variety of subjects to judge. From the outset he gave a thoughtful review of each image providing us with feedback on what he enjoyed, what he thought could be improved and where the artist had not made the most of their image. After the meeting it was felt that he had got it just about right.
Scores in the DPI section ranged from 13 to 20. Tony liked the Exmoor Stag (Angus) and awarded 18 points but the stand out images were Richards Nash Point, a monochrome which had that Ansel Adams look about it. This gained 19 points. Carole found another surfer which Tony really enjoyed and duly rewarded with 20 points. Overall it was felt that the standard of images in this competition showed an improvement.
Turning to the large entry of Prints, Tony did remark that he thought that the standard was good and this was reflected in the number (nine) of prints earning 18 and above . Tony liked Gary’s well captured “Beak Cleaning” (19) and Anjalika’s stunning monochrome of “James” which also earned 19 points. Gary’s amusing and very well presented “Taking a drink” was rewarded with 18 as was Anjalika’s “Beauty of the Beast from the East” (top award for longest title!) again a very effective monochrome. Brian’s “On the move” gained praise for it’s detail and atmospheric feel and resulted in 18 Points. Peter’s “The Meeting” scored likewise. Tony awarded three 20 points to Gary’s stunning Macro a highly detailed head of a “Greenbottle”. It’s still in his fridge if anyone wants to have a go! Peter’s “Green Violetear” and “Keel-billed Toucan” also gained 20’s but I’ll leave the readers to make their own judgement.
Overall a good standard of images. Well done to everyone and thank you Tony.

Images: Geoff Sims & Members
Report: Peter Clarke

Members’ Evening 20th November 2018

Tuesday was an interesting evening where we reviewed the images taken at a variety of recent club meetings, so included both indoor and outdoor photography from a range of members.
As images were displayed the author was invited to talk about their work if they wished to. Peter explained how he had used the HDR (High Dynamic Range) technique on a night shot in the town. This involves taking at least 3 images, one exposed for the shadows (so largely over exposed), one exposed for the highlights (so largely under exposed) and one taken for the mid-tones (average metering). The images are then combined to create a result that has detail both in the highlight and shadow areas.
Mil talked about her images that used the Focus Stacking technique whereby a series of images are taken moving the point of focus each time, then combining the images in Photoshop© to create a result with sharp focus across all the desired subject but keeping the background out of focus.
We saw a variety of close up images taken indoors with lighting from above or underneath from a light box. Autumnal detritus of leaves and fungi had been popular subjects along with a glass filled with coloured water and using s stripy background.
Emma’s selfie (a request from our chairman/woman to all members, to be taken on one of our practical evenings) was original and interesting too, taken outdoors by streetlight. She also showed us her “only images with a light trail” which was great to see that, even though she has only been a member for a matter of weeks, she is stretching her photographic boundaries and accepting the advice so readily available by more experienced photographers.
We saw images taken when Warminster Camera Club were invited to be the official photographers at Sutton Veny Flower Show in the summer. There were some beautiful candid images of children, the hawks flown during the afternoon, and other characters dressed up for the event.
Finally we saw a few images taken by club members who had attended the London Camera Exchange event promoting the ability of Panasonic cameras to take images in black and white.
All in all it proved to be a very interesting evening viewing the images club members had taken when challenged to try a particular genre or technique, and our thanks go to all those who submitted images and talked about their work.

Iamges: Club members
Report: Mil Chimley LRPS

Calne Multiclub DPI Competition

Just for a change – we came third (after joint win Swindon Camera Club and Stratton Photographic Society). We got 134 points and the winners were only 3 ahead, with 137.
There were three images that scored 20 – one was Peter’s ‘Magnificent Hummingbirds’ – congratulations Peter. The judge (Sandy Cox) gave a range of marks, with many images only gaining 12-14. She liked natural history though – Gary got 18 for the Bee-Eater and 19 for ‘Spoonbill Feeding’ – well deserved and well done.
Mil had softened her ‘Immature Parasol Mushrooms’ and printed on textured paper, (which we all liked) – Sandy decided it needed more contrast (13). She couldn’t figure out Anjalika’s abstract ‘Into the Light’ so that also got 13.
Carole’s ‘Browsing on the Company Vehicle’ – she would have liked to have seen his face (so how does he browse?) but got 18 points anyway.  The colour and saturation were not in favour on ‘Taking the Tube’, getting 17.
Marny’s ‘Cascades’ needed more water and gained 16 points. The individual ‘favourite’ was ‘Red Shank’, taken at Slimbridge, by the judge of our last competition, Clive Greenland.
Frome came tenth (from eleven clubs) Devizes only just in front – most unusual.
So, an interesting evening.

Images: Club members
Report: Marny Thompson LRPS

Photoshop with Ray Grace

We were very pleased to welcome back Ray Grace, who had agreed to talk to us about Photoshop, as we still all need to learn more. Ray has an excellent way of describing difficult subjects in a clear and precis manner, enabling us all to understand more.
Members had requested some subjects, which we passed to Ray, so that he could address these. Layers and layer masks (this is a standard subject it seems), focus stacking, whether or not to use the RAW editor, resizing and saving images.
Ray uses Photoshop CC, so he has the latest version (the Adobe package also includes Lightroom). Some members use Photoshop Elements, but of course the principals are the same.
I’m not going to detail everything that was covered (I couldn’t write that fast!) but he has kindly offered a set of his notes which will be available to all in the members area soon.
We learnt about layers and masks, blending modes, short cuts (much quicker once you have learnt them), adjustment layers (and remember, an adjustment layer affects everything in the layer stack below it, unless it is clipped). Demonstration about how to change a background (sky for example) and talked about lots of tips and tricks (I just wish I could remember them all – ‘how did Ray say to do that’).
I think we were all fascinated by a demonstration of just how many changes are possible in the RAW editor, starting with fixing the biggest problem; use of sliders and gradients showed us that it wasn’t always necessary to hang around 3 hours waiting for a sunset that doesn’t happen. A couple of new functions in RAW editor – ‘range mask’ and ‘dehaze’, both useful.
And a final word on image size. An image entered for completion should be a maximum of 1400 pixels wide by a maximum of 1050 high. These are not interchangeable – if you have a portrait image, its maximum height is still 1050. Change the height to 1050 and the width will change automatically so long as you have the “constrain proportions” option ticked.
Thank you Ray for a very useful evening – I know we will see you again.

Images: Geoff Sims & Mil Chimley LRPS
Report: Marny Thompson LRPS