Meeting & Competition Reports 2017-18 Season
6 March 2018 – Lecture: Black and White by Tom Lloyd
We had a most inspiring lecture from Tom Lloyd about transforming images into black and white. Tom spent the first half of his talk explaining what to look for when thinking of taking an image that will be translated into black and white, offer numerous hints and tips. He also suggested looking at the work of others, mentioning a number of past and present photographers.
After the break, Tom took a very hands-on approach, using a batch of members’ images and showing on-screen how he would transform them into black and white using PhotoShop. He also ran through a program called Silver Efex Pro, showing how an image could be manipulated with the various buttons and sliders.
Why black and white:
• Eliminates colour dominance
• Allows you to focus on the subject
• Helps you to step back from reality
• Adds drama or impact
What to look for:
• Simple compositions
• Lines, shapes, patterns, contrast, detail, texture
• Overcast, or cloudy skies
• Wide tonal range
Look at the work by:
• Carleton Watkins (1829-1916)
• Ansel Adams (1902-1984)
• Sebastian Salgado (1944-)
• Ady Kerry (1968-)
27 February 2018 – meeting cancelled
This was to have been our battle against the Faversham club but it was necessary to postpone the battle until April 3rd due to heavy snowfall.
20 February 2018 – Lecture: ‘A Slice of Life’ by Dave Mason
We had a most enjoyable lecture from Dave Mason entitled: A Slice of Life. Dave enjoys street photography and this was amply demonstrated in the images he brought along. It was quickly obvious that Dave had a talent for being in the right time at the right place and spotting the interesting shots.
Dave’s commentary was often hilarious, and frequently had his audience in stiches. But behind this frivolity, Dave provided an informative explanation of where, how, and why he had taken his images.
Dave’s Top 10 guide:
- Street photography should be as honest as possible: don’t remove anything – if it’s there, it should stay
- The less equipment you take the less obtrusive you’ll look
- Use one camera/one lens/one setting and stick to it
- Look for the backdrop and then wait for the ‘actors’ to enter the space
- Look for colour or pattern repetition
- Mono normally suits street; only use colour if it helps the image
- Be looking down the road, not only in front of you
- A good street image asks questions, not answers them
- Events are useful places to get good shots, especially at the beginning and the end
- If you’re going to an event it pays to learn a bit about it first
13 February 2018 – DPI League Competition: Primary Colours/Open
We had the third league competition for digital images. The subject was “Primary colours”; that is Red, Yellow and/or Blue as the predominant colour of the image. This was followed by an “Open” section. Our judge for the evening was Sue Chapman CPAGB.
Sue found this a most enjoyable challenge, with some very interesting images to critique. Becca Austin did the double taking first and second places with “Disengaged” and “Leaving St Pancras” respectively. Steve Roberts took third place with “Yellow Buoy”.
After the break we had the Open section. Once again, a single member swept the board – Joan Austin took both first and second places with “Clematis” and “Proud Mother” respectively. “Fire and Ice” by Neal Williams was third.
It was an outstanding evening for Becca and Joan – well done to them both.
6 February 2018 – Print League Competition: Abstract/Open
We had the third league competition for print images. The subject was “Abstract”, followed by an “Open” section. Our judge for the evening was Darren Woolway ARPS, BA (Hons). Darren started the evening with an explanation of the way he judged images; the technicalities, the paper, and of course, the title.
The first section was a little bit of a challenge, with some very interesting Abstract images. Darren gave first place to “Blues and Yellows” by Joan Austin. Eileen Wilkinson took second and third places with “Landscape in the Wood” and “Tide’s Out” respectively.
After the break we had the Open section. Darren found the judging quite hard, suggesting that all three placings would have won in their own particular genre. His final decision was first place to “The New Car (OO Scale)” by Aliy Fowler. Second place went to Denise Smith with “Lonely Boy”, and third was “Gerbera” by Eileen Wilkinson.
It was certainly a good evening for Eileen and an excellent result for the girls – well done to them all.
23/30 January 2018 – Scavenger Hunt
Over the last two weeks, members have been getting back in to the swing of competitions with our “Scavenger Hunt”. This “just-for-fun” competition has become a firm favourite in the Club calendar. Members were given a list of 10 subjects earlier in the season, set by Di Long, our judge for the evening, who also donating a piece of camera equipment to the member with the highest overall score at the end.
These were: Opposites; Egg(s); The letter K; Back Alley; Bicycle Part(s); Cold; Legs; Medical; The colour Gold; plus the compulsory technical challenge, Natural Daylight, Human Portrait of One Person. Members then had to choose seven of those subjects, including the compulsory subject.
The first week we went through the first five sections, and Di was impressed with the skill and ingenuity shown in some of the images. We saw the final five sections last week, when we toted up all the points to find a winner.
The scores were so tight, with two people tying on 129 points. To find a winner we had to count the number of top scoring 20s, and finding those the same too, we had to count the number of 19-point images. It was finally agreed that our winner was Aliy Fowler. In a well fought second place was Neal Williams, and third was Peter Riley. Congratulations to everyone who took part.
The winning set of 7 images (by Aliy Fowler)
16 January 2018 – Members’ evening: Girls vs Boys selection evening
In a change to the published programme, members split into two groups, with the boys and girls each spending the evening looking through their images in order to begin the selection process to choose which ones to use in the Girls vs Boys Battle. This will take place on 24 April and will be judged by Clive Tanner FRPS MPAGB APAGB.
9 January 2018 – Members’ evening
One our first evening back, members took the opportunity to discuss the results of a questionnaire they had taken part in before Christmas. After the break, members shared some of the photos they had taken recently.
12 December 2017 – Members’ evening: Christmas social
To celebrate the season, members of the club went out for a Christmas meal at The Rising Sun in Beltinge.
5 December 2017 – Members’ evening: Quiz night
In a wind down to Christmas, we had a most enjoyable social evening with a quiz organised by one of our members, Peter Riley. The club divided into two teams, Boys vs the Girls, and pitted their wits against each other. It was a close run thing, but the Boys just pipped the Girls by a few points.
28 November 2017 – DPI League Competition: Iphoneography/Open
We had the second league competition for digital images. The subject was “Iphoneography”, followed by an “Open” section. Our judge for the evening was Kirsty Ralfs LRPS, who had kindly stepped in at the last minute to replace Malcolm Hardie.
The first section was unusual in that all of the images had to have been captured on a mobile phone camera, rather than an ordinary camera, which made for some interesting images. Kirsty gave first place to “A Long Way Down” by Aliy Fowler. Aliy also took second place with “Autumn Doorway”, and third was “The River Thames” by Derrick Smith.
After the break we had the Open section. Neal Williams was first with “L.A in Motion”. Second place went to Aliy Fowler with “The Pink Hour”, and third was “Anno” by Derrick Smith. It was certainly a good evening for Derrick and an excellent result for Aliy – well done to them both.
21 November 2017 – Lecture: “Photomontage” by Clare Gill
Members were treated to something a bit different when Clare Gill came to give her lecture about “Photomontage”. Clare started by showing how the art started, amazingly back in the late 19th century. She then went on to explain how her life experience led her into the genre.
Clare showed an impressive slide show of her work, and followed that by explaining how she went about it. She then provided members with a guide to how a photomontage is created, tips on how to get started, and a short tutorial on the limited editing tools she uses in Photoshop.
- Use subjects that matter or have interest to you
- Use things that give structure
- Find linking elements
- Take images of surfaces
- Use full sun or top shade
- Silhouettes and clouds are useful
- Use the magnetic lasso for cutting out. Don’t forget: Select – Modify – Feather by 2
- To get rid of the background that’s mostly one colour: Magic Wand – Select – Similar – Tolerance 20, lower if the colours are subtle
- To take off the raggedy edges: Select the foreground layer of the image, then Layers – Matting – Defringe – 2px
- To warp: Select layer, Ctrl T to transform – Edit – Transform – Warp
- Rubber stamp: allows you to copy elements and recreate them elsewhere
- Click on the Lasso tool and hold the ALT/Option key down and click the mouse. This should anchor your starting point to draw around something then just click around the shape as if you were doing dot to dot. When you let go of the ALT/Option key the shape will close, so make sure you are back at the beginning before letting go
Steps for creating a montage:
- Group images together by colour or location
- Cut out the elements you want on the screen, and then print them
- Stick elements together roughly on paper until they are pleasing
- Go back to the screen and assemble your elements
- Keep reviewing and reassembling until you are happy with it
Clare’s top 10 tips:
- Trust what you’re attracted to
- Don’t use a shallow depth of field
- Build up a library of images
- Use colour as a starting point (remember opposites attract)
- Start by combining just 2 or 3 images
- Have a couple of projects on the go at once
- Give yourself permission to experiment
- Print off your progress images
- Go in close to clean images up
- Don’t worry about what other people think of your work
14 November 2017 – Inter-club Battle home leg: Herne Bay vs Deal & District Camera Club
This week we had our first inter-club battle of the season against Deal & District Camera Club. There was no set subject for the competition and each club had to provide 10 prints and 10 digital images.
Our judge for the evening was Tony Bentley ARPS CPAGB, quite a regular face at Herne Bay. As the evening was a battle, he made it clear that, whilst he know all the images would be the best each club would offer, he would spread the marks out to ensure there wasn’t a tie.
In the first part of the evening Tony critiqued the prints, and Herne Bay scored the highest mark: Joan Austin was awarded 20 points for “Companions”. Despite this, Deal club were the winners with 171 points to Herne Bay’s 166.
After the break Tony went through the digital images. This time Herne Bay shared the top score, Clare Edmonds gaining 20 points with “Milky Sea at Hampton”. This was such a close section, with Herne Bay winning with 170 points to Deal’s 169.
This was a really exciting evening; the overall scores were so close with Herne Bay missing out by just four points – Deal won 340 to 336. Well done to Deal, and we look forward to the away leg at Deal in April next year, where hopefully, Herne Bay can secure a win.
7 November 2017 – Print League Competition: Food/Drink and Open
We have now had the second round of our Print League. The subject was “Food and Drink”, followed by an “Open” round. Our judge for the evening was June Sharp LRPS.
June’s style of critique made for a very interesting and entertaining evening. She took her time with each image, mixing thoughtful, well-judged analysis with witty commentary.
June gave first place to Aliy Fowler for her image “Why do we Slate Fast Food”. Neal Williams was second with “Martini Splash”, and third was “A Shot of Jack Daniels on the Rocks” by Clare Edmonds.
After the break we had the Open section, where June cast her eye over another wide range of images. Derrick Smith was first with “The Doctor”. Second place went to Joan Austin with “Light and Shadow”, and third was “The Grind” by Derrick Smith.
31 October 2017 – DPI League Competition: Shadows/Reflections and Open
The new 2017/18 league has now for digital images. The subject for the first competition was “Shadows or Reflections”, followed by an “Open” round. Our judge for the evening was Andy Smith LRPS.
Andy’s style is very gentle and encouraging. He took his time studying each image, praising their best points and offering helpful suggestions of where things could be improved; leaving no-one feeling they had produced a bad shot.
Andy gave first place to Neal Williams for his image “Nightfall in Gothenburg”. Becca Austin’s “Underpass” was second, and third was “Clock Tower Reflection” by Clare Edmonds.
After the break we had the Open section, where once again, Andy had a wide range of images to comment on. Neal Williams was first with “Swirling Tides”. Second place went to Becca Austin with “Marylebone in the Morning”, and third was “Out to Sea” by Neal Williams.
24 October 2017 – Lecture: Flower photography by Cherry Larcombe ARPS EFIAP DPAGB BPE4*
This week we had a lecture from Cherry Larcombe ARPS EFIAP DPAGB BPE4*. Her talk featured her photographs of flowers. Before she started her presentation, Cherry began by explaining what she kept in her bag for photo shoots: black rubbish sack for lying on when outside and scissors to remove any intruding weeds or grass; flower press or microfleur (a microwave flower press); various bottles and vases; and of course, the camera.
Cherry’s first selection of images had been taken images in situ, some in the wild, others in various gardens she had visited. Her second selection was taken indoors in controlled surroundings. Some of the flowers Cherry used had been pressed and then arranged on her lightbox. She had a selection of images where she had overlaid textures to give added interest.
Cherry spoke about a new lens she was using, the Lensbaby Velvet 56, and ran a short promotional film showing its ability. She finished her talk with an AV show of some of her images, complete with music.
Cherry’s flower photo tips:
- Get down to their level
- Blur backgrounds to bring out the foreground detail
- Concentrate on one flower to get the detail
- Look at the flower from different viewpoints
- Don’t forget the back of the flower
- You don’t have to take the whole flower
- Flowers can be fresh or faded
17 October 2017 – Members’ evening: St Martin’s Church Calendar Competition
Last week we had something a bit different. The club held a competition to choose images to create a calendar for St Martin’s Church in Herne. The church had kindly been opened up on a number of occasions through the summer especially for members to take photos.
The evening was an opportunity for members to turn the tables and be the judges. Members of the congregation had also been invited along to share in the decision-making.
During the first half, people looked through the photos, which had been divided into five subject areas, and gave each one a mark out of five, providing an opportunity to whittle them down to a more manageable number.
After a break for refreshments, we laid all the remaining images on the table and through a process of elimination, reduced the then down to the final 12, plus one for the cover. It was an enjoyable and interesting evening for all who took part.
St Martin’s Calendar 2018 will be available to buy at the Christmas Fayre on Saturday 18th November, 10am-2pm, at the Institute Hall, Herne.
10 October 2017 – Lecture evening: “Printing to Distinction” by Paul Adams ARPS DPAGB FDPS
This week we had lecture by Paul Adams ARPS DPAGB FDPS. Paul has become a regular visitor to the club, not just as a speaker, but also as a judge. His talk this evening was entitled “Printing to Distinction – Part 2”, having already brought us Part 1 last season.
Paul is a member of the Disabled Photographers Society and he took us through the way he chose which images to use in his fellowship panel. He started showing collections of three, explaining their theme and how they worked together. He said it was important there wasn’t one image that dominated the others.
In the same way that the club expects images for its own panel competition to be presented, Paul said that it was important that images were printed on the same paper and had the same mounts. The outer images needed to point inwards and a symmetrical image needed to sit in the centre.
From the original three, Paul explained how to scale up the process to 10 or 15 images. Often he indicated where the theme was too simple and the images were then too similar. He had often changed direction with the theme, as one idea led into another. At the end of his talk he showed his final panel and invited members to look and comment on them.
3 October 2017 – Print League Competition: Portrait and Open
The new 2017/18 league has kicked off with the first of the print competitions. The subject was “Portrait”, followed by an “Open” round. Our judge for the evening was David Bish LRPS, for whom this is his first season in judging.
David was very impressed with the quality of the images, which ranged from staged, studio shots to off-the-cuff environmental situations. He took his time studying each image, pulling out their best points and offering constructive criticism where things could be improved.
David gave first place to Aliy Fowler for her image “Street Cart Operator”. Clare Edmonds’ “Mr Smith” was second, and third place went to Eileen Wilkinson with “The Sisters”.
After the break we had the Open section, where David had a very wide range of images to judge. Clare Edmonds was first with “Sunrise”. Second place went to Derrick Smith with “Stairway to Heaven”, and third was “Follow You, Follow Me” by Jane White.
26 September 2017 – Lecture evening: “Wildlife in the Garden” by Don Wilks
The Club enjoyed a very interesting talk by Don Wilks. Entitled “Wildlife in the Garden”, Don provided an evening filled with wonderful nature photos with an engaging narrative. He began at what he described as the obvious start – birds.
Don has a single-person hide at the bottom of his garden that faces a neighbour’s oak tree, which hangs over the fence. He hangs bird feeders with a variety of foods he knows will entice an array of different kinds into the range of his camera.
Don then moved on to mammals, which included hedgehogs, foxes and rats, and then to butterflies, caterpillars, frogs, and even a grass snake. With his easy, amusing style, Don steered members through a roll call of amazing “monsters” that he had got up close and personal to, including many species of beetles, grubs, weevils, crickets, spiders, and more.
Don’s talk and accompanying images were a real eye-opener to what could be found in an ordinary garden, and he urged members to go out into their own patch and see what they could find.
19 September 2017 – Competition: Summer Trophy, Print and DPI
After a gentle start to the new season with a members’ evening and then a practical session, Herne Bay Photographic Club has held its first competition of the season – the Summer Trophy – which is for photographs taken during the summer break. This year the theme was “Song Title”.
Our judge for the evening was Kirsty Ralfs ARPS, ex Herne Bay member, now with Whitstable club. The evening was a lot of fun, with some very interesting songs, well-known and unusual, being depicted.
First place in the print section went to went to Neal Williams, for his image “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For (by U2)”. “Eileen Wilkinson’s The Art of Dying (by George Harrison)” was second, and third place went to Derrick Smith with “Stairway to Heaven (by Led Zeppelin)”.
The digital section was after the break, and Aliy Fowler was first with “Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay (by Otis Reading)”. Second place went to Bernard Neal with “Ring my Bell (by Anita Ward)”, and third was “Smile (by Nat King Cole)” by Teresa Russell.
12 September 2017 – Practical Evening
Members had a really interesting practical evening learning focus stacking – a digital image processing technique that combines multiple images taken at different focus distances to give a resulting image with a greater depth of field (DOF).
Eileen Wilkinson LRPS CPAGB gave a demonstration of how to use this technique at a macro level using Photoshop, and Chair Steve Roberts illustrated its use in landscape photography using Affinity, a program very similar to Photoshop.
Having brought in their camera equipment and a variety of small objects, members then spent the rest of the evening shot a range of images they could take home and practice stacking them. It was a really great evening with everyone helping and encouraging one another.
5 September 2017 – Members’ Evening
The new season has begun, and we had a good number of members in attendance for our first meeting. The first business of the day was the Scavenger Hunt subjects, which were announced by ex-Chair Di Long LRPS, who has now moved on to the Ashford club.
Following this, Eileen Wilkinson LRPS CPAGB spoke about the club’s selection for Ross Cup and PAGB GB Small Print competition. She also briefly explained PAGB distinctions and the PAGB Masters of Photography.
The rest of the evening was given over to members, who were invited to show images they had taken during the summer break. There was a really wide variety of excellent photos to enjoy – a glimpse into the high standard of competition images that will undoubtedly be seen this season.