Our programme covers various aspects of picture taking, presentations of high quality images, competitions and workshops. Our members are interested in making prints and projected images using digitial technology and film.
Tonight, we were treated to a visit by Roger Crocombe ARPS, who is the current Chairman of Bognor CC. He gave us a very in depth and very interesting talk on the basics of understanding the requirements for taking properly exposed and sharply focused images with a DSLR camera.
Roger started with getting sharp images. We all know about looking at the picture on the back of the camera and thinking ‘that’s fine’ only to find when downloaded to our computers that when ‘blown up’ the picture is far from sharp. That image on the back of course is a JPEG and not the same as the actual image if taken in RAW.
When we are about to take an image, we have three things to consider. Do we need to use Av to control the depth of field: do we need to freeze the subject if it is moving, in which case we probably need to use Tv to control the shutter speed; or do we need to alter the ISO (using 100 gives us the very best quality image, and all Professionals strive to use this as much as possible) to give us the optimum quality with the available light. The higher the ISO the more likely chance of ‘Noise’.
Thursday we welcomed Catherine Jolley LRPS LBIPP to our 3rd
PI competition. Hailing from Littlehampton Camera Club, Catherine is
a Wedding, Portrait and Fashion photographer. She described her role
on the evening not as judging us, but that she was there to help
coach us. She certainly provided some excellent and useful comments
throughout the evening, often about how the image could be brought to
life more with a slight crop, or a little work in the
post-production. On a couple of occasions however, she felt that the
author had perhaps taken things too far! She seemed to enjoy herself,
and I know that we all had a great evening.
66 PI's to look at, the marks ranged from 13 to 20, with the emphasis
being on how the images expressed themselves. A baker's dozen scored
18 or more. Many thanks go to Martin Tomes for gathering the
images, and John Gauvin and Alex Swyer for their work on the night to
ensure the competition ran smoothly.
It is 5am and I am awake from natural causes. I try to go to sleep again, but I start to mentally do my report on last night’s meeting; and so I decide to get up, arm myself with paper and pen, and start to write this!!
Last night it was our turn to hold our round of the Southern Fed. P.I. competition. We appointed the judge who was Carol Speight ARPS from Chichester CC, who lives in Billingshurst. Carol has been a judge for us in the past and was favoured by Chairman Chris as he got his first 20 from her.
The marks are out of 10 (with half marks) in this competition, which is a far better system than ours out of 20. Most of the marks given in our competitions are between 15 and 20, which means that 75% of the marks are rarely given. Only twice in my time at Storrington CC marks under 10 been given; and is it not better to be awarded 7 out of 10 rather than 14 out of 20??
Anyway, we are in Division Seven which has eight clubs competing, and each has entered eight images: so, 64 images to be judged.
I always like looking at other club’s images, and in fact any images from wherever, but it appears that not many club members share this concept as the event was very poorly attended.
To start 2015 we welcomed John Read, Managing Director of
Marrutt Ltd., to talk to us about all aspects of printing. John started the
evening as a session of “Photographers Anonymous”. He held an amusing (but alarming)
group therapy session which asked us to reveal how much we had invested in camera
equipment to feed our habit. On the basis of this he conjectured that a £500
investment in an ink jet printer of photographic quality was something of a
bargain. At the time I was persuaded that this was an entirely reasonable proposition
although I was quickly disabused of this when I got home!
John’s lectures are available on-line via the Marrutt
there is little point in repeating technical details here. In addition to being
highly knowledgeable John is a great enthusiast for high quality printing and
genuinely wants us all to produce prints of the high quality of those he was
showing round – especially if we use Marrutt products to do so.
To this end he invites his audience to confront received
wisdom of digital photography. For instance is it desirable, or necessary, to
manipulate accurate camera data to produce data to feed an accurate printer
when that manipulation is controlled on an inherently inaccurate monitor?
As I said as I started the report on our last year’s meeting, this last meeting before Christmas was always called 'The Chairman’s Evening’ until recently, and tonight was very definitely Chris’s evening. He had prepared a very good quiz, which was very informative to those of us who did not know some of the answers. It was about local ‘celebs’ and in addition to this, he made the most delicious fruit cake so far known to man. It was magnificent. Is there no end to our Chairman’s talents?
Praise must also go out to Daisy who arrived early to start preparing and heating the very tasty Mulled Wine. She was also responsible for getting a lot of the nibbles. And of course Audrey produced her usual delicious Mince Pies. Thanks to them and also to all the others who brought bits for us to eat.
We sat at tables of four, which had been set up by Dave Burton. I found myself sitting with my friends the MacWhirters and Janet.
Firstly, we all had our first try to solve the questions in the Quiz. I did know most of the answers, but the others made up for my ignorance. However, if Janet, our scribe, had agreed with two of my suggestions, we would have come out First equal; but instead we had to settle for Third,
fellow 365-er Malcolm Bull stepped into the breach when our booked
judge developed a sore throat and was concerned his voice might not
hold out, indeed he subsequently needed 2 days off work, so I guess
we have to let him off!
It was nice for SCC members to meet Malcolm without the moustache he was
growing for Movember when he last judged for us.
Throughout the evening, Malcolm had good control of what he felt was a Sussex
image, and he recommended we have a look at the work of Finn
Hopson for characteristic South Downs photography. He also
commented often that the photographer would have been better going
back at a different time of day or lighting conditions, to avoid the
flatter light of the middle of the day. After all, we live in Sussex,
so its not as if we have far to go!
Arriving early after
a couple of photo-a-day opportunities in the clear frosty dawn, I was
glad I had picked up a free coffee at Waitrose, as the tea and coffee
volunteers weren't ready to start selling, although to be fair it was
before “doors open time”. I stayed out of the way chatting to a
365 friend. Proceedings got under way fairly promptly with an
introduction from Ken Scott of what is the first exhibition style
inter-club competition in Sussex with the entries grouped into two
divisions, the Development and Open categories (probably the first in
the UK). It was apparently inspired by Ken's experience of judging
something similar in Ireland. The Development class was designed to
allow the entry of images from club members not normally in the
running for selection. The first running of the new format had caused
quite a bit of consternation in the SCC committee. Would we be able
to compete against the much larger clubs, such as Chichester? I
certainly feel we held our own, but more of that later.
We welcomed Tony Baverstock LRPS
last Thursday. His background is in landscape, still life and
infrared B&W photography. Having spent 25 years on the Surrey
judging circuit, this was his first in Sussex. He reminded us that
there was only one person we had to please, and that was not him, it
was ourself. Overall, he commented that we had so many gorgeous
prints, and he was impressed with the way they were mounted, saying
that this was the window through which you look at the images. He
often suggested a slight crop of parts of the image that weren't
adding to the overall effect.
The scores ranged from 15 to 20,
with 14 images being held back, and ultimately 25 gaining an 18 or
over, so I have a task and a half to write this one up! Tony was
aware that we have only one league of photographers, and was perhaps
being less harsh on us all as a result.
Peter Picthall scored an 18 for a
portrait of 'Blondie', which was beautifully sharp, and the model
seemed happy to pose for him as he was definitely looking at the
Would you like to know more? Take a look at our current programme to see what we get up to then either fill in our contact form, call our chairman Chris West on 01903 744571 or come along to our next camera club meeting.
5 Mar 2015: 3rd Print Competition - Set subject "Monochrome"