Meeting & Competition Reports 2017-18 Season
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.