Meeting & Competition Reports (2018-19 Season)
23 April 2019 – Competition/Critique: Textures in the Environment and Open
We had our last digital critique evening this week, with the subject “Textures in the Environment”. There was also an “Open” section. Our judge for the evening was Jack Taylor EFIAP DPAGB.
Jack is known for his creative photography and wasn’t disappointed with the range of interesting “Texture” images presented to him in the first half. He really enjoyed having the time to discuss each image quite thoroughly, offering tips on how they might be improved.
Jack gave first place to “Leaf” by Sean Knight. Second was “Elephant Hide” by Peter Riley, and Steve Roberts LRPS was third with “Lost in a Concrete Jungle. Jack also chose to give Highly Commended to “Corroded” by Colin Winch, “Leafy” by Volker Jottkandt, and “Scream in the Wood” by Eileen Wilkinson ARPS, CPAGB, AFIAP BPE1*.
After the break we had the “Open” section, providing Jack with a much more diverse range of images to talk through. He gave first place to Peter Riley’s “Staircase Liverpool Museum”. Eileen Wilkinson ARPS, CPAGB, AFIAP BPE1* was second with “Lift Off”, and “Contrasting” by Volker Jottkandt was third.
Jack also gave Honourable Mentions (Highly Commended) to “Grey Goose” by Sean Knight, “In Touch With her Hero” by Peter Riley, and “Promenade at Ventimiglia” by Bernard Neal.
16 April 2019 – Members’ Evening: Photo Walk to Hampton
This week we abandoned the comfort of the club house and members took part in our second annual “Photo Walk” in Herne Bay. Participants met at the pier and strolled from there to Hampton equipped with cameras and (in some cases) tripods. We were accompanied by Major the dog, a regular on HBPC outings.
Club committee member Eileen Wilkinson challenged us all to take six images during the walk, one from each of the categories we use for our portfolios: Pictorial, Nature, Landscape, Portrait, Record and Reportage/Street.
Meeting at 7.30pm at the entrance to Herne Bay pier we had hoped for a good sunset but the sky remained resolutely cloudy and darkness fell more quickly than it would have done if the sun had played ball. This lent some urgency to the walk for those of us without tripods and resulted in an earlier-than-anticipated arrival at the Hampton Inn where a very enjoyable rest of the evening was spent.
It is anticipated that members will bring the images they captured to the meeting on Tuesday 7th May. Many thanks to Eileen for organising the event.
9 April 2019 – Print Portfolio Competition
This week saw the outcome of our print critique evenings with the Print Portfolio Competition. Members have to provide four images, chosen from the categories: Landscape; Nature; Pictorial; Portrait; Record; Street or Reportage. Our judge for the evening was Kirsty Ralfs ARPS.
For the first part of the evening the images were split into their respective categories, and Kirsty spent time critiquing each one. She then went through them again, awarding marks out of 20 for each.
After the break, the images were rearranged into each individual’s portfolio. Kirsty then awarded a mark out of 20 for each portfolio, spending time explaining her view of each group of images and the reasons for her scores.
In first place was Steve Roberts LRPS, with: “Brief Break in the Clouds” (Landscape) – 20; “Wave Worn Groin (Nature) – 20; “Windows Triptych (Pictorial) – 19; “Doric Column Base, Chatsworth Hall” (Record) – 18; Portfolio – 20; Total 97.
In second place was Aliy Fowler, with: “If you go Down to the Woods Today” (Landscape) – 19; “Big Skies over Stonehenge” (Pictorial) – 18; “Indoor Market Stall Holder, Brick Lane” (Portrait) – 19; “Recharging” (Street) – 17; Portfolio – 19; Total 92.
In third place was Eileen Wilkinson ARPS, CPAGB, AFIAP BPE1*, with: “Waiting for Spring” (Landscape) – 16; “Heart of Nature” (Nature) – 17; “Fleeting Beauty” (Pictorial) – 20; “A Little Bit of Red” (Reportage) – 17; Portfolio – 17; Total 87.
2 April 2019 –Talk by Sue Chapman ARPS CPAGB: Before and After
This week saw Sue Chapman ARPS CPAGB visit us. She began by explaining that her topic “Before and After” would take the form of an interactive talk rather than a lecture. And she wasn’t wrong.
Sue showed her first projected image and asked the audience what they would change to improve it. She then showed the same image again, but with the changes she had made. And that’s how it went through the first half of the evening.
After the break, her style took on a more creative edge, with Sue showing many images that members would have disregarded, and showing the many ideas she’d used on them. As she said, they weren’t always a success, but the often gave her an opportunity to try something new.
There was much interaction between Sue and members, as she took them through a wide range of her images. It was really useful having the opportunity to discuss the various techniques or Plugins she had used.
27 March 2019 – Competition/Critique: Water and Open
This week we had our final critique evening of the season for prints. Our judge for the evening was Andy Smith LRPS, who brought trainee judge Pat Coudar CPAGB BPE3* along with him. As usual there were two sections; the subject was “Water”, and after the break we had an “Open” section.
Andy has a very gentle, encouraging manner, which works well for critique evenings. Andy and Pat took turns discussing the images, and enjoyed the relaxed environment of talking about each one without the pressure of marking.
It was Andy who provided the placings. In the “Water” section, he gave first place to “Wave Worn Groyne” by Steve Roberts LRPS. Second place went to Denise Smith with “Island in the Stream”, and third was “Ripple” by Aliy Fowler.
After the break we had the “Open” section. The judges had quite a diverse selection to talk through. Andy gave first place to “Elegance” by Eileen Wilkinson ARPS, CPAGB, AFIAP BPE1*. Steve Roberts LRPS was second with “Low Cloud over Easedale Tarn”, and third was “Sea Sunset” by Clare Edmonds.
12 March 2019 – Competition/Critique: Action and Open
This week we had a very enjoyable critique evening with judge Paul Parkinson LRPS. As usual there were two sections; the subject was “Action”, and after the break we had an “Open” section.
Paul enjoyed the opportunity to talk about each image without the pressure of having to provide marks at the end. His delivery was very useful, and at times quite amusing.
In the “Action” section, Paul gave first place to “We Three Kings” by Sean Knight. Second place went to Steve Roberts LRPS with “Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner”, and third was “Jumpin Jack” by Gill Best-Knight.
After the break we had the “Open” section. Paul had quite a diverse selection to talk through. He gave first place to “Fish and Chips in Sandwich” by Peter Riley. Aliy Fowler was second with “If You go Down to the Woods Today”, and third was “Timeless Rural Idyll” by Steve Roberts LRPS.
5 March 2019 –Talk by Pat Coudar CPAGB BPE3* and Ian Brash BPE1*: P.I.M.S.
We had a talk from Pat Coudar CPAGB BPE3* and Ian Brash BPE1*, which they called “P.I.M.S.” Not a drink as many had hoped! Instead it was an acronym for the “Pat, Ian and Mike Show” – with Mike turning out to be a “virtual” member of the team.
This was a very different format to the usual talk. Pat and Ian enjoyed photographic challenges, and had decided to compete with one another, choosing a different topic each time. At one point their friend Mike had also taken part.
The evening was spent looking at the images the pair had produced for each challenge. Members were then asked to choose their favourite from each challenge. Some of the subjects included: ice; raindrop patterns; technology; and board game.This was a really enjoyable and unusual evening.
4 March 2019 – Battle against Parkwood Camera Club
On Monday a group of members made the journey to Parkwood Camera Club in Rainham for our annual inter-club battle. This competition is a digital one, with each club providing 20 images each.
The subject for the competition, this year set by Herne Bay, was “Light and Shade”. Our judge for the evening was regular favourite Glyn Barham LRPS CPAGB.
Herne Bay did well, with three top-scoring (20) images: “Loch Duich” by Eileen Wilkinson ARPS, CPAGB, AFIAP, “Misty Morning” by Denise Smith, and “Stop Pulling” by Steve Roberts LRPS. We also had three scoring 19 points: “Footsteps in the Sand” by Denise Smith, “Old Street Lamp” by Peter Riley, and “White Rabbit” by Clare Edmonds.
However Parkwood were the eventual winners. Well done to them, and we look forward to welcoming them to Herne Bay next year.
26 February 2019 – Battle against Isle of Thanet Photographic Society
We welcomed Isle of Thanet Photographic Society to the Club this week for a friendly, inter-club battle. This is the first time we have met, and it was great to have so many of their members come along.
The competition was split into two sections, print and digital, with each club providing 10 images in each section, and there was no set subject. Our judge for the evening was Jack Taylor EFIAP DPAGB.
Starting with the prints, Jack began by complementing both clubs on the quality of their images, and acknowledging that it would be difficult to separate them when it came to the marking. Herne Bay’s two top-scoring images were “On a Breezy Day” by Clare Edmonds (which scored 20) and “Walk on By” by Steve Roberts (which scored 19). When the scores were added up, Isle of Thanet was just in the lead.
After the break, Jack was presented with the digital images to critique and score. Unfortunately Herne Bay couldn’t make up the difference and Isle of Thanet were the victors. Well done to them, and we look forward to meeting them again next year for a rematch.
12/19 February 2019 – Competition: Scavenger Hunt
This week we saw the completion of our Scavenger Hunt, a just-for-fun digital competition spread over two weeks, with a prize at the end, kindly provided by our judge Di Long LRPS CPAGB.
The competition consisted of ten subject categories: Window(s); Coffee; On the Pier; Red Post Office; Letter Box; Cat(s); Grass(es); Metal Kitchen Utensil(s); Blue and White; Gate(s); and Circles. Members had to provide one image for each of seven of those categories.
There was certainly a lot of variety across the images; Di certainly enjoyed the diversity within each category, often finding it quite hard to separate the marks from one image to the next.
When added up, all the scores were very close together. First place went to Sean Knight, with 122 points. There were two members tied on 121 points, so the second place was given to Gareth White, whose points included a score of 20 (the maximum) for one of his images. Third place went to Steve Roberts LRPS.
5 February 2019 – Talk: “Night and Day Panoramas” by David Jenner
Dramatic panoramas changing from day into night were the treat for the club this week. David Jenner was the guest speaker, who, during the first part of the evening, showed how he created these masterpieces.
A relative newcomer to photography, only starting in 2010, David quickly found that landscape was his favourite subject, but he had a desire to create something more original. He decided to capture one scene that told a whole story.
So, on a trip to Southwold, David set about taking hundreds of images throughout the day, and then undertook the laborious task of stitching them together and blending the colours to create a seamless journey from daytime to the night.
The files for David’s first attempt had 60 layers, with images taken at 1/2000th of a second through to 60 seconds. The final file size was a whopping 2.5GB! David has undertaken on one major project a year since then, and has since refined the process.
After the break David showed some of his images that had won competitions. He also talked about his many attempts to get a photo into the Countryfile calendar. By the end of the evening, David had the whole room in stitches through constant references to his “battle” with John Craven. It was an excellent evening; amazing photos, and a very entertaining narrative.
David runs sunrise workshops at Bedgebury Pinetum and can be contacted on:
29 January 2019 – Competition: Print Panels
June Sharp ARPS was the judge for our annual Print Panel Competition, held this week. A panel can be described as a set of images that hold together with a unifying theme. We chose to have sets of three images, and members were allowed to enter up to two sets.
It was an interesting and informative evening, with June offering a very full and in-depth critique of all of the images, and of each complete panel. She also suggested looking at the work of a variety of professional photographers; that members may find it interesting looking at their techniques.
At the end of the evening, June gave first place to Eileen Wilkinson ARPS, CPAGB, AFIAP, with her panel titled: “Street Life”. Second place went to Steve Roberts ARPS with “Curves, Colours and Automobiles”, and “Puddles” by Peter Riley was third.
22 January 2019 – Talk: Portraiture (AKA: An Idiot’s Guide to a Photoshoot)
Our meeting this week was a most enjoyable practical/instruction evening, dedicated to the art of portraiture. Our speakers were Tony Gosling and Ian Montague, both members of Faversham & District Camera Club.
During the first half, Ian and Tony gave a detailed presentation on how to go about organising a photo shoot to take portrait pictures. Much of their work is done in studios, and they provided a detailed checklist of how to go about this.
After the break they put words into action, and showed how they set up their equipment to take their portraits. A number of members volunteered, or were ‘encouraged’ to be models, and the resulting images were very interesting.
Hints and tips from Tony & Ian:
• Don’t use old ideas; try something different
• Make a list of ideas and prioritise them – if something doesn’t work, you can quickly move on to something else
• Take pictures for yourself not a judge
• Look around for ideas: Google, Pinterest, 500px, magazines such as Vogue – don’t copy them, you can use their technique to develop your own ideas
• Things to consider: props, make up, location, duration, tools, lighting
• Build a ‘mood board’ of images to convey your idea
• Check you’ve got everything you need before setting off, including spare batteries and SD cards
• Model release form needed for models
• Don’t forget to have fun, have breaks, and be prepared to change everything
• Pack everything away and clean up before leaving
15 January 2019 – Competition/Critique: Landscape and Open
This week we welcomed Tony Bentley ARPS CPAGB back to provide members with the critique for an evening of prints. The main subject was Landscape. Tony is a regular face at Herne Bay and his gentle, encouraging style is ideally suited to the club’s new, non-scoring format.
Tony enjoyed talking through the prints, using his experience and knowledge to offer praise and feedback in equal measure. When asked to name his top three images, he gave first place to “Cotswold Stream” by Aliy Fowler, second place to Steve Roberts with “Rapidly Changing Light over the Langdale Pikes”, and third was “Where the desert meets the Mountains” by Denise Smith.
After the break was the Open section, with a very varied selection of images for Tony to critique. When it came to choosing his top three, Tony made it clear the ones he’d chosen were equally good, and if he’d been scoring, they would each have received the top mark of 20.
After much consideration, he finally gave first place to Aliy Fowler’s “The North Door”. Second and third places went to Eileen Wilkinson ARPS, CPAGB, AFIAP, with “Tribute to Turner” and “Tulip Beauty”, respectively.
8 January 2019 – Talk by nature-photogrpher Robert Canis
For our first week back after the Christmas break, we enjoyed an excellent talk by award-winning photographer Robert Canis. Robert considers himself a stay-at-home nature photographer, but over the years he has had a growing fascination with northern and Eastern Europe, which has resulted in numerous trips to Poland, Finland, Norway, Iceland and to the Czech Republic.
In Robert’s talk, “Nature in Close Up”, he presented a range of images, most of which were taken close to where he lives in Sittingbourne, and thoughtfully explained how he had taken them, and what equipment he had used.
Points of interest
• Straight shots are simple records with an uncluttered background. They need as wide an aperture as possible and face straight-on to get the whole subject in focus and the background blurred.
• A creative shot might capture only part of a subject in focus, or be looking into the sun or the moon. Use a polarising filter.
• Using a long lens, say 200mm, will allow you to stand further away so as not to disturb the subject.
• Extension tubes, which fit between the lens and the camera (Kenko – around £100) can be a substitute for a macro lens.
• Go out at all times of the day, even at night – watch the light changing, and silhouettes are interesting.
• Always ensure there is separation between elements.
• Use a reflector to reduce shadows.
• Use a tripod with a cable release for sharper images. Live view can reduce movement as it locks the lens open. Use a beanbag made with rice for low, awkward places.
• When using beanbag, use a tilted screen live view, or a right-angled viewer (eBay £200-£250). Alternatively this can be made with an L bracket.
• True macro shots (1:1) need flash, even on a bright day. Off-camera flash is better that on-camera.
• Flash should be ahead of the camera. Using a flash bracket (Wimberley – up to £150, but other makes are cheaper) can be useful for this. Defusing the flash creates fewer shadows.
• Stacked lenses uses two lenses (one reversed) joined by a coupling ring. Any lens can be used but ensure the screw sizes are the same. The front facing lens (fixed to the camera) needs to ne manual focus and the reversed lens (screwed to the front) needs to be wide open.
4 December 2018 – Members’ evening
This was the last meeting before Christmas and members were treated to an excellent evening of fun and food. The evening took the form of a quiz, run by Peter Riley. Peter is well-known for his quizzes, which he also runs during the summer meet-ups.
There was no need to worry about individual ability as, like last year, we had two teams, girls vs. boys, although because of the unbalance in numbers, Bernard became an honorary lady for the evening.
We had special refreshments at the break, with Peter’s daughter (who helped with the quiz) bringing two of her delicious cakes, and a plate of home-made mince pies. There was also variety of sweet and savoury nibbles. And all of that, followed by a raffle.
Last year, the boys won the quiz, but this year it was the girls who were triumphant, winning by a comfortable margin.
27 November 2018 – Competition/Critique: Minimalism and Open
This week the club welcomed back Malcolm Hardie as judge for a critique/competition evening. The subject for the first half was “Minimalism”, a favourite theme for Malcolm. The club no longer has scored competitions, and he enjoyed the opportunity to provide an extended critique.
Malcolm held back five images that he felt were particularly good, suggesting there was barely a “fag paper” between them. He finally decided to give first and second places to Eileen Wilkinson ARPS, CPAGB, AFIAP, with “Lost in the Landscape” and “In the Deep Midwinter”, respectively.
Third place went to Clare Edmonds with “The Sun Shines through the Lamp”. Malcolm offered a highly commended to the other two images: “Misty Morning” by Denise Smith and “Sand Bag” by Gill Best-Knight.
After the break we had the “Open” section. Malcolm gave first place to Sean Knight for his image “Three In, Three Out”. Second place went to “Twisted” by Eileen Wilkinson ARPS, CPAGB, AFIAP, and third was Clare Edmonds with “All that’s left of the Lido Sands is the Reflection”.
20 November 2018 – Talk by Glyn Barham LRPS CPAGB: “Every Picture Tells a Story” and “Racing to Infinity”
Members welcomed Glyn Barham LRPS CPAGB to the club for an evening of excellent photos and amusing stories. A familiar visitor to Herne Bay club, Glyn spent the first half of the evening giving his talk “Every Picture Tells a Story”.
His images, whilst all different from one another, had a theme; they were taken when the situation had presented itself. From a sudden break in bad weather to unexpected behaviour, his photos covering a range of unanticipated opportunities, and were all accompanied by the interesting or amusing story that went with it.
Glyn made the point that if you see an opportunity for a photo you should take it, not wait. He suggested members always carry a camera of some sort with them. He said there’s no such thing as a bad camera, just that some are better than others; a compact is useful, and if not, most people’s phones have a camera.
After the break, Glyn gave his “Racing to Infinity” talk. This was completely different, with photos of aeroplanes, racing cars and motorbikes. Once again an excellent set of images showing Glyn’s ability to capture that split-second moment.
13 November 2018 – Demonstration by Emily Parris: Cyanotype
In a change to the published programme, Emily Parris gave a demonstration of the photographic processes called cyanotype. This is a very basic photographic printing process that produces a cyan-blue print.
This was a very hands-on evening, with Emily encouraging members to take part. First of all, she mixed ferric ammonium citrate and potassium ferricyanide together to create a substance to paint onto an ordinary art paper. It was then over to members to do the painting.
Once this was dry, members were presented with small negatives of some of their own images, together with a variety of little illustrations, words, and letters, also as negatives, with which they were able to put together A5 pictures.
These little compositions where laid onto a UV light box, covered with the impregnated paper and locked in for five minutes for the magic to work – producing a crude blue photo of their artwork on the paper. The paper was then washed to remove any excess chemicals and left to dry.
This was a real fun evening; full of friendly banter, laughter, and a finished item to take home and “stick on the fridge”!
- A brief history of Cyanotype:
How to create a cyanotype using the sun: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1asSIz6vZhHaID05HAM0JYr4hzxTz8FKsoQLwBBm_oE4/edit?fbclid=IwAR2JNVNi4g_wcD1i7Pxts9GbJilFKdXCCSxtzsf15IzLVAldrBHKMoUWfmw
A good recipe for mixing chemicals: http://www.alternativephotography.com/cyanotype-classic-process/
6 November 2018 – Competition/Critique: Record and Open
“Record” was the main subject for the Club’s competition/critique session. Our judges for the evening were husband and wife team Ian Stone DPAGB BPE3* and Marie-Laurie Stone DPAGB BPE5* EFIAP Platinum.
Ian and Marie-Laurie provided quite an in-depth critique of the images, not always in agreement with each other. First place went to “Old Mail Train” by Gill Best-Knight. Aliy Fowler was second with “The Great Hall, Hampton Court Palace”, and third was Denise Smith with “Susanna Without The Elders by Philip Jackson”.
After the break we held an Open section. Once again, Ian and Marie-Laurie provided an interesting commentary. They gave first place to “Please Can I Join” by Bernard Neal. Second was Frank Bowman with “Seal”, and third was “Lightning Orb” by Clare Edmonds.
31 October 2018 – Battle against Faversham and District Camera Club
Hot on the heels of their victory against Deal, members enjoyed another inter-club battle the very next day, this time away to Faversham. Once again the Club was tasked with providing their best 10 prints and 10 digital images, and to make selection easier, took the same images.
Helen Taylor ARPS DPAGB BPE3* was the judge for the evening. Helen delivered her critique in her unique and extremely entertaining way.
Top-scoring prints were: “Tulip Beauty” by Eileen Wilkinson and “Walk on By” by Steve Roberts
Herne Bay had three top scoring DPIs: “Memories of Mum” by Jane White; “Odette, Queen of The Swans” by Clare Edmonds; and “Tea Bag Fillers” by Sean Knight
Herne Bay won the print section 179 points to Faversham’s 177. We then won the DPI section 178 points to Faversham’s 175. So Herne Bay won overall by 357 points to Faversham’s 352. Well done to Herne Bay and thank you to Faversham for making us feel very welcome for what turned out to be an exciting, and very close competition.
30 October 2018 – Battle against Deal and District Camera Club
Members of Herne Bay Club enjoyed an inter-club battle against Deal, where the Club was tasked with providing their best 10 prints and 10 digital images. Judge for the evening was Kirsty Ralfs ARPS, who provided a thorough and often amusing critique of the images.
Herne Bay had three top-scoring prints: “Encounter” by Aliy Fowler; “Tribute to Turner” by Eileen Wilkinson; and “Tulip Beauty” by Eileen Wilkinson.
Top scoring DPIs were: “Leonardo Da Vinci’s Bicycle” by Becca Austin and “The Shooting Gallery” by Colin Winch.
Herne Bay won the print section 179 points to Deal’s 171. We then lost the DPI section 172 points to Deal’s 176. However, Herne Bay won overall by 351 points to Deal’s 347. Well done to Herne Bay and thank you to Deal for an exciting, and very close competition.
23 October 2018 – Talk by Shirley Hollis ARPS AFIAP: A Moment Captured
The Club enjoyed an excellent talk by award-winning photographer Shirley Hollis ARPS AFIAP. Titled ‘A Moment Captured’, it included her distinctions panel and many of her award-winning images.
Shirley explained her journey into photography – getting her first camera, joining her first camera club, entering her first competition. Shirley described how being mentored by the late Richard Walton had come about, and how fortunate that was.
Shirley offered many hints and tips while she showed her often-stunning photographs; some from Iceland, others much closer to home. Throughout her talk, she reminded members to have fun with their photography, to experiment, and most important of all, to take pictures for themselves, not for judges. She urged people to take photos of people, places and events that meant a lot to them, to provide memories for the future.
• When you go somewhere popular, take photos of the obvious first, and then look for something different.
• Be careful taking images of children. Whilst it is easier for women, always ask first.
• Be careful how you title images and words can have different meanings in different countries.
• Colour or go mono? Bright colours and fussy scenes can look better in mono.
• Keep playing and experimenting, but write it down so you can replicate it another time.
• It’s always worth listening to a judge’s criticism, because they might be right and it will change your image for the better – but not always!
• What you leave out of an image is as important as what you leave in.
• Photos should always be for you, not the judge.
16 October 2018 – Competition/Critique: Three and Open
The Club enjoyed its first critique night for prints. There were two sections; the first was for the subject of “Three”, and the second was just “Open”. Our judge for the evening was Sue Chapman ARPS CPAGB.
Sue provided a very informative evening. She spent a good amount of time discussing each image, praising the good points, and pulling out any areas she felt could be improved. She liked the idea of having part of the evening given over to a specific subject as she felt this encouraged members to test their creativity, or stretch to an area that was new to them.
For the first section, with the subject “Three”, Sue gave first place to “Touch Stones” by Eileen Wilkinson ARPS, CPAGB, AFIAP. “Fish Face and Chips” by Gill Best-Knight was second and Steve Roberts ARPS was third with “Walk on By”.
After the break, we had the Open section, where images of any subject could be entered. She gave first place to “Encounter” by Aliy Fowler. Second place went to Eileen Wilkinson ARPS, CPAGB, AFIAP with “Flaming Tulips”, and Steve Roberts ARPS was third with “Wind Blown Silver Birch”.
9 October 2018 – Talk by Melanie Chalk: Starting out with audio visual
Melanie Chalk came to speak to members about creating AV (audio visual). She made it very clear at the outset that it is a very time-consuming hobby. Melanie described the basic steps of building an AV piece.
The software she uses is PicturesToExe 9, with Audacity for the sound. There’s plenty of help and forums to ask questions, and Melanie said she was happy for people to contact her with issues, or even comment on what they had created.
Melanie said it was important to be organised, maintaining the paths to each element involved. Images should be reduced in size to just 1920px by 1080px as they would be viewed on a screen. This meant the final piece would not take up too much storage space. The format should be set to wide screen, as this is useful for showing on a TV. She always started and finished with a blank, black slide.
One thing that Melanie was particular about was the use of music, explaining that she downloaded pieces from YouTube or iTunes. Whilst this is okay if AVs are just for personal use, she cautioned that a licence would be required to show pieces in public, particularly if charging.
There was clearly an art to what Melanie did; choosing the right music to suit the images, the time each image was on the screen, and how one image moved to the other. And Melanie was obviously very skilled at it – after the break, members were treated to several of her AVs, including the one she will be submitting to a forthcoming KCPA competition.
Tips for creating an AV:
1. Collate your images first then bring into the software you are using
2. Create blank slides either end of the piece
3. Choose your music carefully to suit the mood you want to create
4. Listen carefully to the music to choose where to start each image
5. Ensure different timings between images to keep people alert
6. Use different transitions between images to keep the piece interesting
7. Reduce the level of music for a voice over
8. Ensure the music doesn’t finish the middle of a piece when you reach the end of the AV
9. Wear headphones so you don’t annoy the neighbours or long-suffering loved ones!
Links to software:
2 October 2018 – Competition/Critique: Chiaroscuro and Open
The format for Club competitions has changed: we no longer have scoring; thus no more leagues. Instead, judges have more time to critique images and to maintain a little bit of competition, there is still the placing of first, second and third.
Our first of these new-look competitions was for digital images. The subject was “Chiaroscuro” – an art form that uses strong contrasts between light and dark, and our judge for the evening was June Sharpe ARPS.
June provided a very informed and entertaining evening, including interesting asides that complemented her critique. Whilst she was quick to praise good images, she was quite firm about sticking to the subject.
In first place was “Squash” by Bernard Neal. “Brief Break in the Cloud” by Steve Roberts was second and Denise Smith was third with “War and Peace”.
After the break, was had an Open section, where any subject could be entered. Once again, June provided an in-depth critique of the images. She gave first place to “Focus Point” by Eileen Wilkinson ARPS, CPAGB, AFIAP. Second place went to Denise Smith with “Footsteps in the Sand”, and Sean Knight was third with “My Little Poolside Friend”.
25 September 2018 – Talk by Malcolm Hardie: “Drawn to the Land”
Members were treated to a talk by Malcolm Hardie, titled “Drawn to the Land”. Malcolm started taking photos at a very young age, encouraged by his parents; he even had the innovation of a dark room at his school. Once he had started work, a love of motor racing drew him to buy a better camera.
However, as a young man, he quickly got drawn into the wider field of photography, and particularly landscapes, spurred on by such greats as Ansel Adams. In fact, Malcolm made a “pilgrimage” to Yosemite National Park, and that’s where the prints he displayed to members began – wide visas, breath-taking waterfalls; mono images all in the style of Mr Adams. These gave way to dramatic images of Scotland.
Malcolm enjoys using a film camera, and had processed the majority of the prints he showed. He illustrated some of the different mounting styles he’d used over the years, including some unusual colours, which he admitted he wouldn’t use now.
After the break, Malcolm explained how he’d been through a “trees and fences” phase, showing a range of prints, mostly mono, but with some in colour. He mentioned a number of photographers he’d been influenced by, including, and encouraged members to look at their work.
Malcolm suggested looking up the work of the following photographers:
• Edward Weston
• Margaret Mather
• Paul Hill
• John Blakemore
• Raymond Moore
• Edgar Martin
18 September 2018 – Competition: The Summer Trophy
We enjoyed our first competition – The Summer Trophy. The subject this year was “Book Title” and all images had to be taken during the summer break. Our judge for the evening was Tony Bentley ARPS CPAGB.
During the first part of the evening, Tony was presented with a wide selection of prints. He was very quick to say that he felt they were all of a high standard, and that he had to “nit-pick” in order to separate and score them.
The Summer Trophy for prints went to Steve Roberts LRPS with “Clockwork Orange”. In second place was “All I See Are Stripes” by Eileen Wilkinson ARPS, CPAGB, AFIAP; and third was “The Heart of Nature” by Eileen Wilkinson ARPS, CPAGB, AFIAP.
After the break Tony offered his critique to a range of digitally projected images. The club purchased a new projector during the summer and it was interesting to see the new hardware in action.
The Summer Trophy for digital images went to Eileen Wilkinson ARPS, CPAGB, AFIAP with “Sister Golden Hair”. In second place was “To the Lighthouse” by Bernard Neal; and third was “Restless Warrior” by Colin Winch.
11 September 2018 – Instruction evening: High Key and Distinctions
The first event of the evening was a short instructional talk about High Key Photography from Eileen Wilkinson ARPS, CPAGB, AFIAP, one of our more experienced members. Eileen described what High Key means and displayed some examples of her own photos using the technique. She went on to explain how the effect is achieved using manual, in-camera settings. All agreed it would be useful to have an organised workshop later in the season to try the technique out.
After the break, Eileen and chair Steve Roberts LRPS spoke out the distinctions available to photographers from the Royal Photographic Society (RPS) and the Photographic Association of Great Britain (PAGB). They both displayed the panels of photos they had used to gain their own distinctions, and explained why they worked. The last part of the evening saw Steve display a selection of prints from which he intends choosing his CPAGB panel. Members were asked to score each of his photos, to contribute to his final choice.
Notes on High Key:
• High key: photography where there is a large amount of light tones and fewer mid-tones or shadows
• Know your camera
• Understand the ISO/Aperture/Speed triangle
• Know how to use the manual settings on your camera
• Always use a tripod
• There are no definitive settings – each image will be different depending on the amount of light available
• Use white card as a background
• Lighting should be LED white light
• Expose for the subject, not the light
• Sometimes shadows are important to ground the subject you are taking
• High key may not work on a phone camera
Equipment Eileen suggested:
• Light pad: £30-£35 on Amazon
• White card fold-out display stand: £8 in Hobbycraft, Westwood Cross
4 September 2018 – Members’ Evening
The new season has begun, and we had a great turn out of members for our first meeting. Chair Steve Roberts kicked the evening off by welcoming four visitors, and for their benefit, and to remind existing members, explained how the club runs, how the programme is made up, and where further information can be found.
Steve then put a major competition change to members; to drop the print and digital leagues and to do away with scoring for those competitions, which would allow more time for critique – the 1st, 2nd and 3rd placings would remain. There was some discussion about this, and when put to a vote, the membership unanimously approved the change. The Summer Trophy, Panel Competition, Scavenger Hunt and Portfolios will remain unchanged.
The first event of the evening was to show images taken in May when members had a trip down to Herne Bay. The idea was to walk from the pier to the end of Neptune’s Arm and create one digital image for each of the categories in the Portfolios: Landscape, Nature, Pictorial, Portrait, Record and Street.
Watching these images showed just how different people’s view of a place can be of some things, and how similar it is with others. Just for fun, a certificate was awarded to Teresa Russell for being the “Most Photographed Member” across the selection of images! We then had a break for refreshments, including some scrumptious cakes made by our Treasurer Peter Riley’s daughter,
Before the start of the second half, Steve presented certificates connected with the successful exhibition the club had in August: the “People’s Favourite Print” went to Denise Smith with “First Light”, and Clare Edmonds accumulated the most votes across her images, becoming the “People’s Favourite Photographer”. The rest of the evening was given over to members, who were invited to show images they had taken during the summer break.