The final round.

Meeting Report

I am afraiDog in a bag by Daisy Kaned 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.

Lots to think about

Meeting Report

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!!

Down and down - then up a bit

Meeting Report

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.

Familiar landmark takes on a different feel at night

Meeting Report

Brighton BandstandThe 3rd 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 do this.

When 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!).

Taking the very best pictures.

Meeting Report

Roger CrocombeTonight, 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’.

Replicating an Old Master

Meeting Report

The Afternoon MealLast 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.

With 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.

Not a good night for Storrington CC

Meeting Report

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.

An evening on the far side of the workflow - Printing.

Meeting Report

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 website so 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?

A great final meeting in 2014

Meeting Report

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,

Very much about the sky

Meeting Report

Big Sky by Martin TomesMy 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!

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