We had three and a half presentations from club members Ray, David, Martin and Chris.
First up was Ray Foxlee talking to us about different methods for producing Black and White images.
His prefered method, bless him, is using film which he uses in his very high class camera to very good effect. Us more up to date digital guys, need software on our computers to produce decent B&W pictures and Ray showed us how to do this. Firstly he showed us in Lightroom, which, with a show of hands, many of us use, and afterwards using a different software package called Silver Efex Pro.
Ray showed us a pretty flat and uninteresting image in colour which he then converted to B&W and it suddenly came alive. Since Ray joined us and we have seen his excellent B&W work, several of us have started to try producing B&W images, some quite successfully. So after Ray’s demonstration, perhaps a few more will try. One does need the right kind of image. Most wildlife pictures are better in colour of course.
Today turned out to be another beautiful sunny day after a chilly start.
A dozen of us assembled at about 11.30am and set off into the gardens at Highdown. We were met almost immediately by some very colourful tulips in all their glory, and the few of us with tripods!, set them up and the shoot began.
It always takes me a while to get into photographic swing, and I found myself trying to capture images of some lovely blossom against a suitable background, which took forever, particularly as the wind was blowing. So, I had not really achieved a great deal by 12.30 when we had agreed to meet for lunch.
This took place in the hotel restaurant in the adjoining hotel where Chairman Chris had booked a table. We had met our friends Cliff Carter and his wife Virginia (of Henfield CC) in the gardens and as we could not all fit round the table booked, they joined us on an adjacent table. The Carvery Lunch was excellent and very reasonably priced and enjoyed by all.
Our final print competition of the season was judged by Roger Bathard
LRPS. He held back a dozen images, and several scored 18 or 19
straight away as well. With just five of the held backs left to
score, Roger decided he wanted to go home, but did manage to make his
final deliberations. He did say he preferred to just choose the top
three, but managed to give us a good spread of marks from 14 to 20.
Common themes were the size of the subject in the frame, and subjects
placed centrally, but there was nothing really bad!
Derek Grieve was the unlucky one with an image held back which
ultimately only scored 17, but he redeemed himself with an 18 for his
'Male Bearded Tit' straddled between two reed stems, with the judge
commenting that it was very nice indeed. Liz Barber also gained an 18
for her well presented, well printed 'Starlight Harbour' which was
taken at Shoreham on a dark, cold night for the Night View topic on
the Flickr 52 Challenge. Ray Foxlee also scored an 18 for 'The
Unhappy Bandmaster', a very well done monochrome with the blacks,
greys and white all there.
We were shell shocked by the huge number of images and prints that we had seen, and confused because we had no idea what scores we had been given or what place we were in the two categories. This was still the case three days later as we had been told that the results would be published on Saturday evening. The scores had not obviously arrived three days later as I write this. The suspense is killing!!? Update: I now find that they had been revealed to other members of the club, but they have kept them from me, and then they expect me to write a report!!? [Ed. I did send them to you]
I am afraid that you have me again reporting on this competition because Janet is away, no doubt paddling frantically to avoid being swept away by strong currents in some far off very wet place. I used to do the print reports when I was Print Secretary and it was a lot easier because I had already seen all the entries.
Bob Webzell ARPS EFAIP was our judge tonight. He has visited our club on several previous occasions both as a judge and giving us talks. Jean and Ian MacWhirter and I met Bob probably over 20 years ago when he judged a Natural History slide competition called 'The Fauna and Flora Competition' which used to be run by a couple from the old Worthing CC.
There were 59 entries including portraits, landscapes, wild life and lots of other varied subjects for Bob to make comments on, and he went through them all, holding back just 13 images.
I will report on these with the marks given in the order they were held.
Tony Worobiec FRPS was our guest speaker this evening. Some of us saw him when Steyning CC had Tony as their guest speaker before Christmas when he gave a talk on B&W photography, the one he was originally booked to give to us! So we knew we were in for a great evening, and so it was.
Tony’s talk was entitled ‘The Art of Composition’ and he started by making a few funnies about his surname and other stories to get our attention.
Tony taught Art for many years and as his interest in photography developed, so did the connection between the two forms of picture making.
Tony started with some basic conceptions which of course almost immediately brought up the rule of thirds which a lot of camera club judges are obsessed with, and which rubs off onto club members as the only thing they should remember. Wrong!
Time and again throughout the evening, whilst demonstrating all the different composition ideas and rules, he emphasised that the most important thing is to go along with your own instincts to satisfy yourself first and foremost, and not to worry about what some CC judge is going to say in criticism. However, when entering competitions, you do have to second guess the judge to win!!
Tonight it was SCC’s turn to host the Crouch Shield P.I. Competition at the Steyning Centre. Daisy and Janet did the meeting, greeting and relieving attendees of their cash. Jean and Ian further removed money, by selling raffle tickets for the fine array of prizes. In the Kitchen, Anne was in charge of half time refreshments, ably assisted by Liz, Steve and Paul. Martin worked his usual magic with the sound and projection with the dulcet tones of Ray doing the announcing, (with an unusually deep voice due to a very recent cold ). What would our club do without Martin, I ask? 'Lang may his lum reek’ or whatever Burns said.
We were sponsored by Marrutt and Permajet who provided some generous prizes of vouchers and boxes of photographic papers.
Print competition was judged last Thursday by Rob de Ruiter ARPS from
Bognor Regis Camera Club. Working to the set subject of Monochrome it
was not a huge entry, but the standard was exceedingly high, and it
was a tough one for Rob to assess. He started out by saying that he
was interested in the attitude to B&W photography, and
recommended a couple of books on the subject (perhaps
someone could tell me what they were?).
Throughout the evening he gave tips on which images lend themselves
to monochrome. Because we see in colour, the image needs to grab you
and say “look at me”, relying entirely on the range of tones to
down to the last five images Rob commented that each had some very
strong elements, and there was a sheet of Bronco between them, it was
that close! (I had to google
a sheet of Bronco to understand this, being slightly too young!).
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.
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.