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Club News

19th January 2014

Moving forward in 2014
Firstly congratulations to all the winners in the Patterns in Nature competition. It is interesting to observe that the club members' selection had some similarities with Ken Crossan's selection but was by no means on all fours with it. That, of course, is in the nature of judging photographic competitions. It is essentially a subjective matter: there are no absolutes. But there are elements that go to make up a winning image. Immediacy of impact is important as are the correctly applied technical attributes of exposure, focus, colour harmony (or justified disharmony), adequate tonal range and composition, whether according to the rules of composition or deliberately breaking them for visual effect. In commenting on his selection and in his presentations Ken gave us a number of pointers which if applied can do nothing but lift the quality of the images we produce.

One thing in particular struck me and that was the quality of the light in his images. Photography, of course, is the art of capturing light and Ken certainly achieves that. Too often we see a scene and quickly capture it when spending more time to wait until the light is just right would lift the same scene from the mundane to the excellent. Of course it is not for everyone to lie on a cold damp beach until a seal locates itself in the perfect spot but the concept of taking more time in our photography is important. Important too, are the ideas Ken demonstrated of experimenting with different shutter speeds and angles of view. All told a thoroughly stimulating evening. An account of the evening should be appearing in the Raggie, thanks to Bruce.

As a footnote to the evening it is worth remembering that Ken is NOT a big user of Photoshop and other post processing software. Get it right in camera has always been sound advice!

Our next meeting is on 28 January. It will be the usual three part session. The first session will be to show Part 1 of the national Dingwall Photographic Competition 2013. This time it attracted an entry of some 3,500 images from over 400 photographers nationwide. Of these entries some 500 images were judged to be of a sufficiently high standard to be accepted into the final listings and the best of these are included in the slide show. It will be interesting to see what has qualified for the final selection. Having had a preview I can assure you there is much to be admired and to inspire, but equally there are many that may lead you to question whether they represent photography as you know it or rampant stage management! Come along and judge for yourself.

Then we will have our usual coffee and photo surgery. So do bring your issues and equipment along to tax the brains of the club. The brains are of course pretty evenly distributed among club members so you all have a role to play in sharing knowledge and experience and helping solve people's photography problems. If it is brand specific do bring your instruction manual along as well.

The final session is entitled, creative photo software. Despite the get it right in camera advice above it will provide a quick insight into two bits of software: one is a free alternative to Adobe Lightroom called Lightzone and the second is a plug in to Photoshop (Elements or CS) sold by Google providing a range of effects that can be easily applied to enhance images cutting out hours of work in Photoshop: Nik Collection.

We look forward to seeing you all at the next meeting.