Competition: Perspective

Gerald Chamberlain EFIAP DPAGB of Morton Photographic Society was the judge for our Members’ Evening competition on Wednesday 1st December, which had the theme of ‘Perspective’. There were two ways of interpreting the brief: perspective can either represent a point of view, or be the art of representing a 3D object on a 2D surface and we had a mix of both definitions in the 80 images submitted to the competition.

Starting with Advanced mono, first place was shared between Gordon Mills with ‘Taj Mahal’ and Russell Millner with ‘Life and Death’. Congratulations to Gordon, whose stunning image was chosen by Gerald as overall winner. Second place and 19 points was also shared between Jeff Bagnall’s ‘Pyramid Du Louvre’, Maureen Smith’s ‘St Anne’s Piers’ and Dave Nelson’s ‘Hanger Cosford’.

Congratulations to Peter Kennedy, whose well seen photograph ‘Take a left’ won the Club mono section. Second place and 19 points was shared between Elaine Elrick with ‘Criss Cross’ and Derek Mackay with ‘The Cutter’, while third place went to Kim Rigg with ‘The Old Railway Tunnel Keswick’.

Well done to Jo Knight, whose creative image ‘Courage’ won the advanced colour section. Second place was awarded to Dave Nelson with ‘A Sideways View’, while third place and 18 points was shared between Jo Knight with ‘Not Waving But Drowning’ and Gordon Mills with ‘Hudson Boulevard Subway’.

And finally, congratulations to Kim Rigg who won the club colour section with her cleverly seen ‘I’ll take the red one’. Runner up was Derek Mackey with ‘Bird’s eye view’, while third place was shared between Martin Rower with ‘Amble Houses’ and Kim Rigg with ‘Kendal Castle through Batman Bridge’.

Our thanks to Gerald for the obvious time and attention taken to judge all our images and his helpful comments.

Next week members are putting on their judging hats and offering constructive critique on images sent to us by North Fylde Photographic Society. It’s easy to sit and slate judges but when you judge photographs yourself it does give you a new perspective on how difficult a task it is and how hard it can be to remain objective and put aside your own personal likes and dislikes. Guests and new members are always welcome – see our membership page for details of how to join in.

Speaker: Roger Hance

Club members were treated to some gorgeous images of ‘Wildlife in Your Garden’ by multi award winning photographer Roger Hance FRPS DPAGB AFIAP BPE5* at our meeting on Wednesday 24th November 2021.

All of the pictures were taken in his own, or his friends’, gardens during the pandemic and Roger generously showed us how to attract and photograph the wildlife which visit our homes, sharing his camera settings alongside tips and tricks for a successful shot.

A Canon user for over two decades, Roger switched to the micro 4/3rds Olympus system in 2018 and says he’s never looked back. As an Olympus user myself, it was a refreshing change to hear about the lenses, equipment and special features offered by Olympus as most photographers still use Nikon or Canon and one can feel a bit left out of the discussions when you use other kit.

Roger has a YouTube channel which contains videos of his techniques for photographing nature and wildlife and it’s to his credit that he is not precious about his skills and freely shares his knowledge with other photographers. A thoroughly enjoyable night which left me wondering which part of my teeny garden I can dig up to create a pond!

Next week is competition night, with Gerald Chamberlain of Morton Photographic Society judging our images on the theme of ‘Perspective’ via Zoom. It’s always a joy to see the pictures being produced by fellow club members and I’m sure it will be interesting to see how we’ve all interpreted the brief. Guests and new members are welcome – please see our Membership page for details of how to join in.

Competition: Knockout

Wednesday 17th November saw our annual Club knockout competition, where pairs of images are displayed against each other and members keep one in and knock out one, finally culminating in just one remaining image.

Under normal circumstances the knockout is one of the most fun nights of our calendar with lots of ribbing and banter, however Covid has scuppered the usual run of things so the competition was carried out via Zoom. To vote, members had to raise their hand for their chosen picture and banter was unfortunately missing as we all had to mute ourselves so that the titles etc. could be read out (some club members would say that muting me is one of the perks of Zoom and they wish they could do it in real life 😆).

Eventually, only 4 excellent images remained and it was incredibly difficult to choose between them. ‘Grey Seal Pup’ by Gordon Mills, ‘My Family’ by Russell Millner, ‘Sea Channel’ by Jeff Bagnall and ‘Shambles of York’ by Ann Dallaway. Our congratulations to Russell whose gorgeous image of a family of polar bears was chosen by the Club as their winner, while Gordon’s ‘Grey Seal Pup’ was runner up.

The evening was technically difficult event to run, with half our members attending from home via Zoom while half attended in person at the Community Centre watching Zoom on a big screen, and images having to be removed from the competition after each round and a track kept of the scores. So huge thanks goes to Jeff for managing to juggle everything and Gavin for helping with the scoring.

Next week we will be visited via Zoom by Roger Hance FRPS, DPAGB, AFIAP, BPE5*, a multi award winning photographer with a special interest in Natural History. The theme of Roger’s talk is ‘Photographing wildlife in your garden’ and most of the images in the talk were taken during the initial lockdown in the Spring of 2020.  In addition to showing some of his successful photographs, Roger will explain how to attract wildlife into your garden, including how to use hides, and how the shots were set up to obtain the best results. Guests and new members are welcome – please see our membership page for details of how to join in.

Speaker: Phil Drayton

On Wednesday 10th November, club member Phil Drayton gave a fascinating presentation on his passion of Astrophotography.

Starting with the types of equipment needed and the apps he uses to plan a night shoot, through to camera settings and how to edit the resulting images, Phil gave us a detailed and very useful guide to different aspects of Astrophotography including star trails, light painting and how to successfully capture images of the Milky Way.

Castle Star Trails by Phil Drayton

The best time to do astrophotography is on a crisp, clear, winter’s night when the stars are visible in all their glory. I’m usually tucked up in bed by 9pm, but Phil’s fabulous pictures made me want to make a renewed effort to put on my thermals and get out after dark with my camera! Our thanks to Phil for a great first half to our evening and his presentation is kindly available as a handout in the Members’ Section of our website.

After a short break, the Club listened to feedback from Settle Photographic Group on a selection of our images. It’s always fascinating to hear how other Clubs view your photographs and the critique on the whole was positive and constructive, though a recurring theme appeared to be that we over-process our pictures!

This Wednesday we’re in for a lively evening in our annual Club PDI knockout competition. As last year, this will be held via Zoom with voting for each picture taking place through a show of hands, though members are also welcome to attend Castle Street Community Centre in person to watch and take part in proceedings via a large screen. Guests and new members are always welcome – see our Membership Information page for details.

Competition: L&CPU Annual Knockout 2021

Each year, our Federation which is the Lancashire & Cheshire Photographic Union (L&CPU) hold a Knockout competition. Up to 8 images from each Club can be entered, though usually only 4 are used by the Federation due to the high numbers of images sent in, so as a Club we have to decide which of our 8 images should be shown as the first 4. These 4 images can be on any subject but must be by 4 different authors. The images are then either kept in or knocked out during several rounds of judging, culminating in the final round of highest scoring pictures.

On Saturday 13th November 2021, Kendal took part in the Knockout for only the second time and I am beyond thrilled to say that we came joint 2nd out of 42 Clubs 😮 and double 😮. Congratulations to Jo Knight, whose image ‘Queen Bee’ made it to the final judging round.

Below are the 4 images which were used by our Club. Seamus Bryans’ ‘Batman’, Jo Knight’s ‘Queen Bee’, Jeff Bagnall’s ‘Bir Hakeim Bridge’ and Russell Millner’s ‘Polar bear at sunset’.

We would also like to thank Dylan Reynolds, Maureen Smith and Gordon Mills whose excellent images were part of the Club selection but unfortunately not used by the Federation in the competition due to the volume of images received.

There are some superb and very successful Clubs within the L&CPU federation and it’s a huge achievement to have come 2nd out of 42 Clubs in this regional competition on only our second entry. Massive congratulations to the authors of the entered images! I’m off to celebrate with a brew and a Twix 😁.

Tutorial: Manipulating Colour in Photoshop

On Wednesday 3rd November, club member Jo Knight DPAGB QPSA BPE1* EFIAP gave a whistle-stop tutorial on how to edit our images using colour in Photoshop. Starting with a basic Hue/Saturation adjustment layer, Jo showed us how to change the overall colours in our photographs as well as make more selective hue and saturation changes.

She then went on to discuss various ways of adding tones to pictures, which can help convey mood and emotion, including the use of gradients to add both simple colour washes and more complex split tones.

Following a short break, Jo spent the second half of the evening showing members how to blend the component parts of composite images together using various techniques, including the powerful and awesome ‘Blend If’.

Big thanks to Jo for a thought provoking and useful, albeit mind boggling, evening! Colour in Photoshop is a vast topic and there was a lot of information to take in, so a handout is available in the members’ section of our website (scroll down to Helpful Tips) and a a video of the evening will be available shortly on our members only YouTube channel.

Next week we’re very much looking forward to club member Phil Dayton taking us through his speciality of Astrophotography. Members are also reminded that entries for our annual fun knock out PDI competition should be sent to Jeff Bagnall by Saturday 13th November at the latest. Look forward to seeing everyone next week 😊.

Competition: Song Titles

North Fylde Photographic Society returned for a second visit this season, with Paul King CPAGB judging our Members’ Evening PDI competition on Wednesday 27th October via Zoom. The set theme for the competition was ‘Song Titles’ and although we were expecting the winners to sing us a few bars, every cat in the neighbourhood was thankfully spared the ordeal 😁.

With over 90 varied and diverse pictures in both colour and monochrome Paul had a tough job which must have taken hours ahead of the competition to analyse, so our thanks go to him for all his dedicated hard work.

Starting this blog post in reverse order with the results of the Advanced League (colour), big congratulations go to Russell Millner for ‘You can’t catch me’, who shared the top spot with Dave Nelson’s image ‘Cold as Ice’. It was Russell’s night, though, as not only was he chosen as overall winner he also scooped joint second place for his images ‘Arctic Dreams’ and ‘Into the Light’. Well done Russell!

Russell’s success continued in the Advanced Mono section where he was awarded first place with his image ‘Under a big sky’, with Dave Nelson’s ‘Jet’ in second place with 19 points.

The Club Colour section was strong with some great conceptual ideas for Song Titles, and our congratulations go to Phil Drayton who was awarded first place with his creative picture ‘Stairway to Heaven’. Second place was shared between Gordon Bramwell with ‘Free as a bird’, Kim Rigg with ‘Ice Ice Baby’ and Liz Bagnall with ‘Please release me’.

Last but not least is our Club Mono section, where 20 points was shared between Kim Rigg with ‘The Boxer’ and Peter Kennedy with ‘Walking in the rain’. Peter was also awarded 19 points and second place with his image ‘Pedal your blues away’, which was jointly shared with Martin Rowe’s ‘Black Rose’. However, our congratulations go to Kim whose Boxer picture was declared by the judge as overall winner.

Next week club member Jo Knight is once again diving into the often bewildering world of Photoshop, this time focusing on colour. Her previous tutorials have been aimed at beginners, but as the Club is made up of a range of abilities this time she will be including slightly more complex techniques which she hopes will include useful editing tools for all members of the Club. Guests and new members are always welcome – please see our membership page for more information. See you all on 3rd November!

Members’ Achievements: IPA

Club member Jo Knight has been awarded in the 19th International Photography Awards which “conducts an annual photography competition for professional, non-professional, and student photographers on a global level, creating one of the most ambitious and comprehensive competitions in the photography world today. The IPA recognizes photography’s leading talents who are creating, shaping and defining the world of photography.”

There are many diverse categories within the IPA, ranging from Advertising through Editorial to Fine Art and Nature and sub categories within each section, eg. Nature/Macro, Fine Art/Portraits, Editorial/Press and Advertising/Beauty, so opportunities exist for photographers right across the spectrum, both amateur and professional.

When entering competitions Jo is usually classed as an amateur as she doesn’t make more than half her living from photography, however in the IPA the rules are slightly different and anyone who has been widely exhibited is classed as a pro, therefore Jo entered the professional category. Three of her images were awarded: ‘Gravity’ in the Fine Art/Still Life section, ‘Child Bride’ & ‘Lockdown’ in the Special/Digitally Enhanced section – click on each picture to see the image on the IPA website.

There were nearly 14,000 images from 120 countries entered in the 2021 IPA and the standard was world class. Pictures included a portrait of Barrack Obama and a creative photograph of Angelina Jolie, so for a Cumbrian photographer to receive recognition for not 1 but 3 photos is worthy of celebration. Our congratulations go to Jo on her achievement.

Speaker: Dave Mason

We had a real treat on Wednesday 20th October with a Zoom visit from Dave Mason. Dave is known for his surreal street photography, much of which captures life in London and the south east of England, and he has an enviable talent for finding the extraordinary in the ordinary.

Dave was modest about his ability to see the absurd in mundane life but he has a way of capturing moments in camera, often humorous, that would pass the rest of us by and we saw numerous examples of his unique and finely honed skill. Alongside a fast paced narrative and some tall tales the time flew by and our thanks go to Dave for a fun and interesting evening.

Our next club night, on 27th October, is our first themed competition of the Season with a set subject of ‘Song Titles’, the hand-in deadline for which has now passed. Competition nights are always popular with members and it’s a great chance to see each other’s work and to receive constructive critique which helps us learn as photographers. Guests and new members are welcome – please see our membership page for details on how to join in.

Tutorial: Low Key Portraits

We had a lovely evening on Wednesday 13th October at Underbarrow Village Hall, which played host to our second portraiture workshop led again by club member Seamus Bryans.

Seamus gave an excellent, knowledgeable talk supported by the use of a presentation which he’d prepared. The talk covered all aspects of Low Key Portraiture, which as Seamus explained is predominantly made up of dark tones although still covering the full range of tones. Lighting styles were discussed and practical examples given using the models Seamus had brought along. We used continuous lighting, rather than flash, so that we could all see the effect of different lighting placements in creating the different styles.

After a break we were given guidance on how to ask the models to pose and the do’s and don’ts and then we were invited to have a go ourselves. We had been asked to bring our cameras and Seamus had recommended which lenses might be best. Generally we were shooting with as wide an aperture as possible, in manual mode and exposing to the ambient about 2 or 3 stops down. This meant that when lit with the studio lights, the subject’s faces were correctly exposed while the background dropped away to black. Everyone had a turn, some a bit more confident than others and the hardest bit was probably directing the models and knowing what made a good pose. Below are some of the resulting images from Heather Mallinson, Jeff Bagnall and Kim Rigg.

Special thanks again to Seamus but also to his two models, George and Isobel, family members who willingly put up with our efforts to capture some worthy images of them. More pictures from the evening taken by members can be found in our Facebook Photoshoots group.

This Wednesday we look forward to an evening via Zoom with Dave Mason, who will be speaking about Street photography. Guests are welcome – please see our membership page for more information. Members are reminded that the hand in date for our next competition on the theme of ‘Song Titles’ has been brought forward to 20th October. See you all on Wednesday!