Wednesday 9th November 2011.

On Wednesdays, we do whatever takes our fancy. The agenda is what we make it. This is your club, so please feel free to ask and make suggestions!
David Roberts cannot attend this session, so I will be in ‘the chair’. What do you want me to cover? Here are some suggested areas:

1. Nigel has asked me to do ‘something’ on Lightroom, as there seems to be much interest in this software package. I know my way around Lightroom, but I must admit I don’t actually use it. However; I will bring along a 2.3GB Video Tutorial that will answer any questions!

2. Anthony has asked me to explain how to use the Nik Software plug-ins, with Photoshop. (They work with Lightroom, Photoshop, Elements, Aperture and Capture NX.) I really know my way around these plug-ins, they are suburb! But these are not installed on our camera club computer, so I will have to bring my laptop in order to demonstrate…

BUT I fully realise that many members do not have Photoshop or Lightroom or Elements. Never mind the Nik Software plug-ins that cost almost as much as Elements! (BTW Elements, IMHO does almost everything that Photoshop and Lightroom do!)

And I am reminded that many months ago a member asked if the Wednesday Club was becoming a computer club! It was a wake up call that made us concentrate on asking for photos on USB sticks, and giving feedback. Which brings me to the third suggestion-

3. A number of members have asked me to fully explain what I meant by saying “crop for composition, with the zoom lens” from Friday’s talk. Others have asked me to give the talk about basic composition as either they, missed it or, simply wanted to hear it again.

Up to you! It is your club, all you have to do is ask.

(BTW, look at the top right to the cartoon balloon.  It will let you know if there are any comments or replies to any post.)


Friday 4th November 2011 – Clubnight – Mark Allen’s Travel Photography

From Normandy to Norway and from New Zealand to Alaska – during the course of a couple of hours Mark Allen indulged in a spectacular spell of globetrotting to entertain the members and guests of Bangor and North Down Camera Club last weekend. And although the subject of his presentation was travel photography, Mark nevertheless indulged himself and delighted his audience by nipping off on quite a few interesting little tangents along the way. He began by recalling his early experiences behind the lens – including the time his father bought him his first camera. Mark promptly took it to Tollymore Forest Park for a picnic – and left it there!

Recovering from minor hiccups like this, as a teenager he went on to secure some close-up images of the Queen- at the same time securing a terse comment from Prince Philip about his uninvited proximity to the royal personages. The Belfast Telegraph filled a page with the pictures Mark took that day.

Later the exigencies of being a husband and a father meant that his hobby took a back seat for a time- for quite a few years in fact until he joined Bangor Camera Club five years ago. Since then he has won the coveted Photographer of the Year competition on two occasions and has served a spell as Chairman of the club.

Angela Shannon enjoying one of Catherine Allen’s Cupcakes

Always a lover of travelling Mark has been able to combine this with his interest in photography and most of his trips have provided some memorable images. In fact so impressed has he been with some of the venues that his wife and he have returned to the same locations on more than one occasion to add even more dramatic captures to his bulging portfolio. A few years ago he became interested in producing audio-visual displays of his work and he approached the new medium with enthusiasm and insight. In fact one of his first efforts, a record of a cruise into the Arctic Circle won first prize in the Northern Ireland Audio-Visual Festival. He has since gone on to offer advice and comments on audio-visual presentation to interested members of the club. In fact,given his knowledge and expertise with computers mark is generally in demand for all sorts of digitally based help and assistance.

Visual records of some of his holidays then brightened the gloom of the encroaching winter evening as he took us, through his lens to the snow-bound majesty of Yellowstone National Park in the grip of winter and then to the stunning fissures of the Antelope Slot Canyon where the walls of the gorges had been blasted clean and smooth by a natural sandstorm. A trip across northern Canada by train was followed by a cruise through the Alaskan glaciers and from there, via digital projection a high speed flight to Normandy before forsaking the Northern Hemisphere for the mountains of New Zealand in an invigorating Google Earth odyssey viewed through the polished glass of one man’s camera lens.

John Bennett

Wednesday 2nd November 2011 – Clubnight

As normal, there was no specific subject for discussion tonight, but this was quickly established when Darren asked for some advice on conversion of RAW files to JPG or TIFF format.

I took this opportunity to demonstrate the whole raw conversion process using Adobe Lightroom.  A few days ago Deborah had a post on Facebook about a one-day offer from Adobe.   This allowed the purchase of Adobe Lightroom 3 at 50% of normal purchase price, £118 instead of £237.   I recirculated this immediately and I know that a number of people immediately took up on the offer before the midnight deadline.   It was a magnificent offer.   Some sceptics said that this was a forerunner of the release of Lightroom 4.  Maybe it is but the facilities in the current version 3 are more than adequate for most people.

After a preamble explaining the benefits of shooting in Raw, supported by David Best, eight of Darren’s photos of Ballyholme Bay were imported into Lightroom.  I explained to those present that the interface in Lightroom is almost identical to Adobe Camera Raw which is invoked when loading a Raw file into Photoshop Elements.

Darren’s RAW files really didn’t need much adjustment, however I used some of them to demonstrate how to control the clipping caused by overexposure typically found in skies and clouds.   The use of the Graduate and Brush tools, which I believe to be some of the most useful in Lightroom, was shown where overexposed skies, underexposed foregrounds can be corrected.

Helen submitted a memory stick with some raw files taken on the day out at Glenariff, earlier in the year.   She had some lovely waterfall shots, which I used to demonstrate the Lightroom tools.

One thing which confused the evening was the fact that the two large clocks at either end of the clubroom were still on BST.

Angus and Peter also submitted photos.  Angus had a selection of fireworks shots taken in Eniskillen.   Some unusual  and interesting effects with handheld long exposures.   I suggested that he might try resting the camera on a wall or use a cheap tripod.    Peter had some good shots taken at Portaferry.  We had some debate about sharpness and whether it was because of the sea conditions or that it was taken at the long end range of a 70-300 lens.

I brought in a photobook of my Baltic trip, produced by Albelli.  It was an opportunity to prepay £50 and get up to 120 pages, gloss, lay-flat and with a photo cover which would have otherwise cost £135.  I was pleased with the quality of the book production and would recommend it to others.  Albelli are regularly offering good discounts.