Odyssey in Los Alpujarras

Meeting Report

Finding Your Ground

Tonight, we had another return visit from Ken Scott ARPS who has visited us about once a season for a great number of years either as a first class judge or to give us one of his inspirational lectures.

Once again he did not disappoint telling us about his favourite region in Southern Spain called Los Alpujarras. It lies South East of Granada and North East of Montril. It has a mountain range along its North edge and is a very fertile valley where Olive trees grow very well and some are several hundred years old and yield a very profitable crop. Vegetables are also grown and there are many citrus trees, particularly Orange, producing masses of fruit. A number of the houses have bags of fresh oranges outside which people can help themselves to, putting a Euro in a box.

Ken is a very keen walker and mountaineer, amongst several other things, and so he has found that this region really suits him from many diverse points of view, not least of which is his passion for photography. He has established a base from which he runs photographic holidays which both Janet and Liz from SCC have enjoyed.

Landscapes and Flowers – an Expert speaks

Meeting Report

It was good to see so many people at Sue Bishop’s presentation although the home supporters were almost outnumbered by visitors. We welcomed some new faces and friends from Steyning and Bognor Camera Clubs – and even Mrs Co-Chairman was there. Storrington members are clearly keen to miss the worst of the winter – I know of members in Costa Rica, South Africa and Florida at the moment and there may be more elsewhere – this is why we were a bit thin on the ground.

Anyway we were treated to a superb evening of photographs and photographic wisdom from this very experienced and widely travelled lecturer. The first half was devoted to landscape photography and Sue explained very clearly all those principles which should be second nature but which tend to drift away when the camera is raised to the eye. In fact Sue thinks even this is bad practice – she is an enthusiast for tripods even if they are deemed unnecessary by shutter speed.  Sue’s theory is that having gone to the trouble of carrying a tripod, erecting it and attaching the camera more care will then be taken with composition and exposure considerations. The proof of this was the quality of images shown – some really super shots.

We was robbed by Rob

Meeting Report

Rob de Ruiter returned yet again (he has been appearing so often recently that I am wondering if he wants to join SCC. However, after the marks he gave me in the last PI competition he has got no chance-only joking), to judge our round of the Southern Photographic Federation PI competition.

And very welcome he was as usual as he is one of the better judges that visit us.

There were some really good images for us to enjoy. Eight from seven clubs; so 56 in total, and in amongst quite a number of landscapes which varied from really good to over HDR’d. One really good portrait of an elderly lady which really stood out entitled ‘Proud’ and a variety of brilliant wildlife pictures; One of a Mouse in the beak of a Tawny Owl; a Heron fishing with a brilliant reflection of the bird in the water; a Snowy Owl hunting looking straight at the camera with its bright orange eyes, magnificent, and finally an Artic tern with a fish in its beak. Excuse me for going on about the wildlife pictures but they really were outstanding, including Anne Nagle’s Bee-eaters.

The marking was out of 10 points, which I have always preferred to out of 20 as we have in Sussex. 6 1/2 feels less brutal than 13 out of 20 don’t you agree?

Last meeting in 2016

Meeting Report

Last night was the last meeting in 2016 and time for a 'knees up', or so Diana Newnes thought when I offered to bring her.

Instead, she was quizzed, but well fed thanks to Daisy who came loaded with food and drink. Anne helped her put the food out and start heating the punch, whilst our Quiz Masters Liz and Janet set out tables, chairs and Quiz sheets and generally prepared us for our entertainment.

We started with Martin running through the entries for the last PI competition which had to be abandoned thanks to our old enemy Microsoft deciding that Windows 10 on the club laptop needed to be updated. (Our resident brilliant 'Tech-no Crat' Martin has told us how to stop this embarrassing event happening again at an unwanted time). (Martin is a very anti Apple, who make very reliable programmes which would never behave in such a manner [Ed: Martin doesn't dispute that but has issues with Apple's business practices].)

Windows Update Stops us Dead!

Meeting Report

Chairman for the evening Paul Hayward warmly welcomed Rob de Ruiter our judge with an open competition for prints and set subject of “Speed” for projected images. After saying how pleased he was to return to Storrington and some early banter, Bob described us as a “lively bunch”, who would want to argue with that I wonder?

Prints were first out with 28 in total, of which 6 reached the top range of marks earned by just 4 exhibitors, so quite an achievement, well done to Anne Nagle, Di Walker, Chris West and Ray Foxlee.

Anne’s “Kestrel Calling” was awarded 20 and nominated print of the night, amid stiff competition. Initially referring to this as ”a bird on a stick”, Rob went on to commend the photographer for choosing monochrome, which beautifully complimented the bird’s detailed feathering with the grain on a tree trunk where it had landed, set off well by the square format chosen. Close inspection showed the spectacular clarity of the picture.

Di’s “Worker honey bee” was given a well earned 20 and closely challenged for print of the night. Rob heaped much praise with regard to super sharpness, choice of depth of field, the diagonal setting and nicely blurred background, to quote “a wonderful capture”.

Many Brilliant Prints

Meeting Report

I am a creature of habit, not always good habits, and I awoke at 4am this morning and started thinking about reporting on last nights visit from Peter Bamforth.

It was no good; downstairs to get a pad (not an ipad) and start writing to get the stuff out of my head. Having done that, down again to make a mug of hot Horlicks, back up, read my book and then fall asleep with glasses on, book on the floor, until 6.30am.

I arrived a little late for our evening to find Peter unloading his car and dragging large loads of equipment and packages on a truck barrow up to our meeting room (via the lift). It took three trips to bring everything in. He brought his own big board which he mounted on a big frame, which showed off his prints, lit by lights (also brought with him), so everyone could see his magnificent work.  And then there were many large plastic bags full of prints, it transpired, in piles round the room.

Pete started by telling us how his journey to producing large prints evolved through several printers ever more capable of printing larger prints. He now uses an Epson 3880 which he has had for several years.

Not so good this time

Meeting Report

Only 3 of our members attended this event on Saturday afternoon at the Kings Centre in Burgess Hill, which was very disappointing. Last year at one of the Sussex Fed competitions about a third of our membership turned out and we did very well on that occasion. However, I do not think more members would have given us a better result this afternoon!

The first thing to report is that the whole event was extremely well organised by Ken Scott and the Sussex Fed committee members and Battle Camera Club who helped as well. They were rewarded for their trouble by winning two cups!

This smooth running was no doubt helped enormously by reducing the number of entries to 6 in each class instead of 8 as before; this had led in the past to us leaving without knowing our scores and being told afterwards that the wrong club had been declared the winners. It was just too big for its own good.

Roger Crocombe returns

Meeting Report

We welcomed back Roger Crocombe ARPS to give us another of his talks, this time on HDR (his notes for this topic will be available on our website for those who missed tonight).

Modern Digital cameras do not capture as much Dynamic range as Film did and so if you are photographing a scene where there are extremes of light and shade, you will only get detail in either the light areas or the dark areas, but not in both. This is where HDR will sort out this problem.

There are several ways of achieving this. On some modern SLR cameras you can set the camera to HDR and it will take three images and combine them to give a picture which may be acceptable. However, another way is to set the camera yourself to take three consecutive images with three different exposures using the rapid drive mode so that if something (for instance people) are moving in the picture, they do not move too far! You may then download these images in Photoshop CC, LightroomCC and Elements 11 where there are a programmes that combine the three images into one.

Excellent Critique by David Eastley LRPS

Meeting Report

Welcome once again to David Eastley – not to judge a competition but to give a critique of our efforts. No prints this time but all PDIs – and over 60 to view so a full evening.

David started by explaining his preference for not scoring pictures. For a competition he uses the short preview of PDIs or a “flick through” of prints to establish his frame of reference for the scores he will give. For a critique no such preview is necessary - David sees the images for the first time and at the same instant as the audience - and the audience seems to listen more closely to his comments rather than only hearing the score.

Of course there was our usual wide spread of subject matter and techniques – David reckoned few photographs would have been straight from the camera, not that there are any rights or wrongs implied with the amount (or lack) of processing involved.

First Competitions of 2016

Meeting Report

Wild Swan Anemone - Anne-NagleIt’s always a pleasure to welcome Bob Webzell to the club to run the rule over our images. His perceptive comments and sardonic humour always make for an enjoyable evening. Being the first competition of the season it was good to welcome new and returning members to the competition scene – well done to you for “diving into the deep end”.

Prints went first as usual with 28 entries of which 16 made 18 or above for a mention in dispatches – the opinions here are Bob’s as noted during the evening.

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