APRIL 2013. Member Simon Lutter led another Skills Workshop on camera sensors and white balance, discussing the effects of ISO speed, colour temperature, different lighting arrangements, and the use of flash and flash synchronisation. The last in his current series of Skills Workshops on camera controls and creativity, the evening brought the series to a very successful conclusion. This was followed by April's Club Night, when David Boag gave a presentation on 'International wildlife photography.'? A professional photographer, David reviewed the background to his interest in wildlife - which began at a young age. Using early film cameras, he developed a variety of different techniques for photographing birds in their natural habitat and, after publishing a book of his work, received a number of commissions which persuaded him to turn professional. Since that time, and with the introduction of digital SLR cameras, the taking of wildlife images has become a rather crowded area of photography. Nevertheless, David continues to remain at the forefront of his profession, as he demonstrated by showing a stunning collection of his own personal wildlife photographs. In so doing, he also revealed many of his 'tricks of the trade,' whereby wildlife is tempted to the camera by the adroit positioning of lures and hides, as opposed to relying on chance encounters. David then rounded off the evening with a discussion of software that he has developed to allow a better understanding of the potential of digital cameras. Overall, a most stimulating presentation by an articulate, highly amusing, and very experienced photographer, who is at the height of his profession.
MARCH 2013. Member Simon Lutter led a Skills Workshop on 'Painting with light' in which he demonstrated the techniques involved in this type of long-exposure photography, using simple torches to provide the required illumination. Members then formed themselves into several groups and experimented with the lighting effects that could be achieved, often with surprising results. Then, at last month's Club Night, member Cliff May stood in as a substitute for the scheduled presenter who was indisposed. Cliff specialises in photographing local wildlife in and around Oxfordshire and he gave members an entertaining insight into his various experiences over recent years. His favourite subject is the hare, followed by birds and deer, although he treats all wildlife equally and with respect, being careful not to disturb or stress his subjects while photographing them. Cliff showed a selection of photographs from his large library of wildlife images, during which he shared with members some of his personal anecdotes about the joys, vagaries and personal sacrifices experienced by a wildlife photographer. A major feature is the need for camouflage, and Cliff showed and demonstrated a selection of hides, personal clothing and disguises that allowed him and his camera to get into close proximity with his subjects. Finally, Cliff drew his presentation to a close by discussing the camera techniques required for wildlife photography, sharing with members some of his favourite photographic locations in the local area. Overall, an excellent and interesting presentation that was very much appreciated by his audience. Please visit www.imayges.com to see some of Cliff's wildlife photographs.
FEBRUARY 2013. There have been several recent events. In January, member Cliff May led a Workshop in which he demonstrated the use of a screen calibration device, known as the X-Rite i1 Display Pro, the purpose of which is to calibrate the monitor screens of computers. This device ensures the colour rendition of images, as shown on the computer screen, is a true record of the colours in the original photograph captured by the camera - essential for any post-production processing of images prior to printing. After calibrating the Society's own laptop computer, Cliff then used the device to calibrate members' own laptops.
A second event occurred later in the month, when members braved the snow and inclement weather to attend the Society's annual New Year dinner. The Society took over the Restaurant of the Cartwright Hotel, and a delicious three-course meal was served followed by coffee, mince pies, the customary general knowledge quiz and the inevitable raffle. All of which made for a most enjoyable evening.
Then, at last month's Club Night, Roger Tapp LRPS gave a presentation entitled 'My digital renaissance' in which he showed his personal collection of over 100 landscape photographs. Becoming weary of processing film negatives, Roger's interest in photography waned but was rekindled by the advent of digital photography, which offered greater scope than film. He travels extensively now around the UK, concentrating on landscape and seascape images - many of which have won awards. In reviewing his photographs, Roger stated his objective is always to find the right light to show the image to best effect. This usually means getting up very early in the morning, but the resulting images were both ethereal and stunning, capturing perfectly the combination of mist and early morning sun. A most interesting presentation, highlighting the techniques and difficulties involved in landscape photography that was much appreciated by his audience.
The evening then concluded with a review of the monthly photographic subject which, for January, was 'By candle light.' Members showed a wide range of different images that demonstrated their individual creativity and what is possible with low light photography.
JANUARY 2013. There was no Workshop in December and, to start the New Year off in good fashion, the Society held a Members' Evening in early January when members were invited to select and present one of their own photographs. Each member was encouraged to review his/her image, commenting on where and how it was taken, and what he/she had attempted to capture and convey in the photograph. The audience then offered their comments on the photograph, often with a great deal of humour, on how the image might be improved. All of which proved to be both illuminating and very interesting. The evening then concluded with the usual review of the monthly photographic subject which, for December, was either 'Birds' or ' End of the World.'
DECEMBER 2012. In November, member Simon Lutter led another Workshop on 'Camera controls and composing photographs' in which he discussed the features available on modern digital cameras and how these might be used to best effect in a variety of different of photographic situations. Simon also reviewed some of the basic principles of image composition, including the rule of thirds, diminishing subject lines to guide the viewer into a photograph, the use of live view, image cropping, etc. He brought the Workshop to a close by showing examples of his own work to illustrate these principles. Then last month, Keith Long ARPS attended a Club Night to give a 'Commentary on members' images,' where each member was invited to submit a photograph for his appraisal. Keith is a " listed judge with the Chilterns Association " and, with his inside knowledge, members were given a very interesting insight into what judges look for when considering the merits of a photograph. He then concluded by reviewing each of the twenty-six photographs that members had submitted. While acknowledging the photographs represented different levels of individual members’ photographic expertise, Keith gave a gentle and often humorous critique of each photograph, suggesting areas where the images might be improved - some of which were quite revealing.
NOVEMBER 2012. There has been a number of recent activities by the Society. In October, there were two photo-shoots: the first being a morning at Sulgrave Manor, where the Society were given exclusive use of the house and gardens; the second at the Cotswold Falconry Centre and Batsford Arboretum, where members spent the day photographing various birds of prey in flight or tethered and walking the gardens. Then member George Sainsbury led a Workshop on 'Being judgemental about you own photographs,' in which he discussed two methods that he used to achieve optimum results in his own images. Each method being based on appraising the photograph in terms of technical merit, subject matter, composition and impact.
Finally, last month Chris Palmer ARPS APAGB gave a presentation entitled 'Points of view - landscape photography.' Explaining that lighting was the single most important factor in this type of photography, Chris demonstrated the impact of early morning and evening sunlight on different landscapes, and discussed the simple use of graduated and polarising filters to highten the effect of clouds. He then looked at the composition of the image, the importance of the foreground, middle distance and far background, together with human interest items and the use of subject lead lines to draw the viewer into the photograph. Chris concluded by showing examples of his own work, an absorbing 'tour de force,' where he critically examined his images, suggesting areas where the images might be improved. A fascinating and, at times, very amusing presentation by a master of landscape photography that was much appreciated by his audience.