Friday 19th August 2011 – Clubnight


Well, it looks as though the call for a supply of biscuits was heard.  We now have a nice selection.

Trevor was an early arrival tonight together with his camera.  Apparently he has just come back from a cruise on the Island Escape in the Mediterranean.  I saw him unloading quite a few memory cards from his camera bag.

He gave me one for display.  These were straight out of the camera NEF raw files, mostly of his short day trip to Monte Carlo where he was sussing out a new apartment!  On the club computer we use Freestone Image Viewer which is a free download.  One of the nice features is that it can directly display RAW files.    Trevor had a good range of shots of the harbour, the Royal Palace and square, and of course the cathedral where Prince Rainier and Princess Grace are laid to rest.    Trevor fell into the trap that we all do irrespective of experience, that is, after shooting on a high ISO in a dark church at say 1600, we step outside and continue shooting without resetting the ISO.   Our advice to him was to keep the histogram displayed and regularly ‘chimp’ the viewfinder and look at the histogram.  This will tell immediately if the image is very overexposed.

Nigel suggested that some evening we should do an in-depth tutorial on Lightroom.  Some of Trevor’s shots would be useful to illustrate the power of the software.   Later on we saw some of his shots of the Vatican City.  At the best of times, this is a difficult subject to shoot well.

We were treated to another of Nigel’s Fotomagico based AVs.  Music by J S Bach accompanied a lovely presentation.

Velia gave us a view of the country house she was renovating including some of the surrounding countryside.  There was a very interesting photo of a post planter attachment for a tractor.  Very useful.  She also showed us her vintage rust laden JCB in the undergrowth, apparently bought as a plaything.  The ultimate Tonka Toy!!

During the evening Deborah and her mum, May crept in during the darkness.   We gave them both a great welcome and  very glad to see May back on her feet and looking so well, even though she has still continuing treatment.

Members were reminded that the opening evening of the new season begins with members holiday AVs (alternatively photos).

Wednesday 17th August 2011 – Clubnight


Eddie was first in tonight for help and advice.  His query was something that some people take for granted when using computers and others not so.  He was having a problem when attempting to delete photo files via Windows Explorer.  He found that clicking on the filename to select it for deletion resulted in the photograph opening in his editing software.   After a little bit of interrogation it seems that a shaky hand has resulted in a double click of the mouse button.   I suggested that he open Control Panel and go to the section on the mouse.  There will be  a tabbed dialog box open and he should select Buttons.  There he will see a slider which controls the speed of the double mouse clicks.  I showed him how to reduce it to a slow value.   This may well cure the problem.

As well a this he wanted to know the key combinations to select individual files.  This is ctrl+click.  To delete them normally press the delete key to move them to the recycle bin.  Holding the Shift Key while deleting will bypass the recycle bin and send the files to cyberspace.   I showed him also how to click on the first of a long list of files then go to the last the Shift+click to highlight all those in between.   He went away happy to try it.

Mark took the chair at the computer tonight while I sat at the back awaiting a visit from Sonia, our local photo print shop owner.

Tonight Mark returned to the original system where individuals were asked their opinions on photos displayed.  This is always a good way to get people to think out loud about what they see.   As usual we had a great contribution of memory sticks.   One of the most outstanding set were from Michael back from his trip to Kenya.  His photos of wildlife were amazing, especially the lions.   Also in his collection were some beautiful macro shots of flowers where he had enhanced them with a spray or two, or three, of water.  Some great magnifying drops though.

We debated Julies photo of an orange boat in harbour and its reflections.

Harry produced some photos of the eclipse of the sun taken in 2001 South Africa using Welders Glass as a filter.  The photos were scanned from prints.

Alli brought along her fathers Olympus film camera with split prism manual focus.   Noel kindly spent some time instructing her on its operation.

Before departing a request was put out for some to bring biscuits for our next night.  Our supply has dwindled.

If you are reading this blog, can I suggest that you click on the subscribe button on the right and be informed of new posts.

I have asked Mark to keep this blog going whilst I am on holiday.

See you all on FRIDAY.

New Season’s Programme for BANDCC just issued


The Committee has just released to me, the new season’s programme for Friday evenings starting on 2nd September 2011.

If you have not already done so, with our assistance during the summer club evenings, now is the time to prepare your Digital AV.  Remember the 3 minute rule.  Can’t have people dozing off during your show!

Please remember to create your show as a standalone file, e.g. in PTE, create an EXE file for PC.  Similarly in Proshow.

This programme has been compiled with the best knowledge of speaker’s availability at this time and due to unforeseen circumstances, may change or dates rearranged.

Bangor and North Down Camera Club
2011-2012 Programme

Date Event Notes
02-Sep-11 Members Digital AV Presentations
(no longer than 3 mins duration).
Normal AV format
09-Sep-11 Andrew Hipson – External Speaker
‘Photography Goes Pop’
16-Sep-11 Club Members
Mini Presentations – My Photography
4 Members – 2 new and 2 long standing.
23-Sep-11 David Foster – External Speaker
‘Other Horizons’ – Places to be seen.
30-Sep-11 Competition Night – CLUB & NIPA Round 1 “Open”
(NIPA prints max 12″ X 16″).
07-Oct-11 Billy Riley – External Speaker.
Title of presentation to be confirmed.
14-Oct-11 Internet Photo Image Competition with Spanish Camera Club
Selection of Images
21-Oct-11 Ladies Night
‘Girls In Charge’
28-Oct-11 Competition Night – CLUB & NIPA Round 2 “Open”
(NIPA prints this round only max 50cm X 40 cm).
04-Nov-11 Hugh Rooney & Trevor Craig
Nikon v Canon ‘Sleeping with the Enemy’
11-Nov-11 Patrica Pyne – External Speaker.
Date and presentation to be confirmed.
18-Nov-11 Audrey Argue ‘Natural History’ Club Competition.
25-Nov-11 Ernie Patterson – External Speaker
‘Harry Ferguson and a Century of Flight’.
02-Dec-11 Internet Photo Image Competition with Spanish Camera Club
Results of Competition & Judges Comments
09-Dec-11 Quiz Night. Alastair & Mildred Bell
16-Dec-11 Competition Night – CLUB & NIPA Round 3 “Reflections”
(NIPA prints max 12″ X 16″).
23-Dec-11 Christmas Eve
(No Meeting).
30-Dec-11 Christmas Holidays
(No Meeting).
06-Jan-12 Camera Club Christmas Dinner. Club Members only
13-Jan-12 Ray Magill
Basic photo judging & interaction exercise with members
20-Jan-12 Jim Maginn – External Speaker
‘My Type of Photography’
27-Jan-12 Ralph Bennett
‘My Photography’
03-Feb-12 Competition Night – CLUB & NIPA Round 4 “Open”
(NIPA prints max 12″ X 16″).
10-Feb-12 Susan Abraham -External Speaker
Presentation of photographic images.
17-Feb-12 Tuscan Travellers
Photo Tour of Tuscany
24-Feb-12 Ian Gazzard – External Speaker.
Landscape Photography.
02-Mar-12 Competition Night – CLUB & NIPA Round 5 “Shadows”
(NIPA prints max 12″ X 16″)
09-Mar-12 Paul McCarroll – External Speaker
Artist/Photographer.
16-Mar-12 Club Panels Competition – Combined Foundation & Advanced Images. B&W Prints, Colour Prints and Digital Images.
23-Mar-12 Ruth Kelly – External Speaker
“Travel Photography”
30-Mar-12 Club Annual Exhibition Entries.
06-Apr-12 Good Friday
(No Meeting).
13-Apr-12 Peter Hughes
ARPS Panel
20-Apr-12 Club Annual Dinner. Presentation of awards
27-Apr-12 Exhibition Post Mortem. Report by exhibition judge
04-May-12 Annual General Meeting. Reports from current officers and election of club officers 2011-2012.
Other Dates:-
1) Saturday 24 Sep 2011 – Celtic Challenge Competition at
Queens Hall Holywood hosted by NIPA.
2) Friday 18 November 2011 – Roy Finlay Memorial Natural History Competition
at Castle Espie hosted by NIPA.
3) Tuesday 19 Jan 2012 – NIPA Novice Competition at Bangor CC.

Friday 12th August 2011 – Clubnight


End of another miserable damp week.

Tonight Helen brought in her laptop computer for some direct help from me on getting the Picture to Exe licence key which she bought, into the trial version which only allows 10 photos to be added to an AV.

The immediate problem was that she didn’t have the key with her, rather it resided on an email from WNsoft.  Never mind, there’s always a solution.

Thanks to Chris Roberts, I was been shown how to set up a local hotspot on my Nokia mobile phone.  I used the phone app, JoikuSpot Light (a free app) to establish the WiFi hotspot wirelessly and logged onto it from Helen’s laptop.

From there she accessed her email and copied the registration Key from her email into the clipboard memory and within PTE, went into the Buy option>Load a key.   This was pasted in and hey presto, she has a fully legitimate registered fully functioning PTE.

I commented on how slow her  computer was and after emptying the recycle bin, showed her the process of defragmentation.  Analysis of the disk showed that she had precious little disk space left for saving files and insufficient space to proceed with defragmentation.

We deleted some old files and regained some more space, however, it is the collection of photographs which was hogging the disk space.  I suggested that these should be transferred on to an external drive to clear space and provide some security.  Only then could she defragment the drive and regain some performance.

Anthony also had a trial copy of PTE and showed us magnificent shots of Utah and Monument Valley.  I used this opportunity to explain some detail of how to stretch a photo within PTE to remove black borders.  Using Anthony’s photos I went through the steps of building a slide show, adding wholly inappropriate music and simplifying the transition and dissolve times.

At tea break I put a proposition to Anthony that with his great selection of worldwide travel photos he had the material for a whole evening presentation within the formalised Friday Evening Programme.  I will contact Gerry about this.

Christine produced her little AV in which raised some hilarity.  Somehow she homed in on me with candid shots.  I think this was in retaliation of us spoiling her pussy shot at Argory (see previous post).

Nigel had visited the Walled garden and wildflower garden adjacent to Bangor Castle and produced beautiful macro shots including raindrops.   Well done Nigel.

Finally, Harry produced some fine photos of guide dogs taken in a Gym with the handler working out.

We are going to need some person(s) to ‘lead’ the evenings in just over a weeks time when I go on holiday.   I’m pretty sure we have many quite capable people who could fulfil that role as well as make tea and coffee.

New Members: How to give Feedback


New members: The rules of feedback are really very simple.  It does not matter how experienced you are, BNDCC foundation or advanced member. It is all about what you like and don’t like. As a new member you may not know exactly why you like a photo.  You simply like it, it works for you and you like it. Similarly, as a new member you may not know what it is about the photo that you don’t like, but there is something that doesn’t work for you. As you listen to feedback offered by members on our Wednesday evenings you will learn from others feedback, I know that I did when I first joined.

Someone will explain why they like a photo and explain why. It may be a blinding flash of the obvious and you will say to yourself, yes, that’s it! Similarly; when someone explains why they think the photo doesn’t work, you will realise that you also thought the same way. Such explanations of “what works and what doesn’t”, on our Wednesday evenings, will help you work out the basic rules of composition, how they are applied and sometimes ignored to great effect.

In September will move into our formal agenda and club competitions.  Outside judges will deliberate over the entries and make their decisions. How do they do this?  Again, very simply, “what works and what doesn’t work”, they will explain in detail why they think a photo works for them and often offer suggestions on how it could perhaps be improved. They will also explain in detail why they discarded or rejected some photos and the reasoning behind it. Of course this will be the personal opinion of just one person.

But by participating in the feedback sessions, on Wednesdays, and on our many Internet forums, you can help yourself and others learn from the feedback or more than just one person!

Here are two simple rules on giving feedback:

1.  If you like the photo, say why.  Explain want it is that you like. If you have any suggestions on how the image could be improved, please do so.

2.  If you do not like a photo, and this is harder to do, please say why.  Explain want it is that you do not like. If you have any suggestions on how the image could be improved, again please do so.

Lastly; rules on receiving feedback!  Take it on the chin! You may not like it, but you asked for it and so accept all feedback as a gift.

BNDCC Social Networking, Photo Sharing, etc.


Hi folks,

If you are in to social networking, or  perhaps want some feedback on your photography, or want to sell your work – BNDCC have a number of sites that you might be interested in.

1.  Facebook, http://www.facebook.com/groups/119549138084027/

free to join and is a private group, open only to paid up members of BNDCC.

2.  Flickr, http://www.flickr.com/groups/bndcc/

free to join and is a private group, open only to paid up members of BNDCC.

3.  Redbubble, http://www.redbubble.com/groups/friends-of-bangor-and-north-down-camera-club

free to join and is open to anyone with a passion for good photography, with an emphasis on good composition. You can sell your work through Redbubble.

So, what is the difference between them? Our Facebook and Flickr groups are very similar. They are both private, only open to BNDCC members, and both offer you the ability to post your photos and seek and offer feedback on your work. The only way that these groups can be successful is if members participate in offering feedback. Human nature dictates that if someone offers you feedback on your work, then you are more likely to offer feedback on theirs. You should let folk know that you want feedback, simply say “Feedback Welcome!” (I will post later how this should be done, for the benefit of new members.)

Redbubble is slightly different, as members hope that their work might sell! Therefore, while positive feedback is most welcome, negative feedback is not. (Would you buy a photo were the comments include, maybe you should do this or that? No, of course you wouldn’t!) The other main difference of Redbubble is that we have over a hundred members, worldwide, and simply by viewing their work you can learn about what makes a really good photo, by reading the extensive feedback that such an open group allows.

And lastly, there is this BNDCC Blog. Again it will only be successful if members participate.  Tell us want you like about the club, tell us what you want us to cover on Wednesdays. David and I are just two blokes that are happy to share our knowledge, skills and experience. But clearly we are just two well meaning amateurs, we would like to involve as many members of the club as we can to share their thoughts, views and ideas.