Friday 24th February 2012 – Clubnight – Hugh Rooney and John Miskelly

Unfortunately, our guest speaker booked earlier in the season was unable to make it tonight, so at very short notice our two stalwarts, Hugh and John stepped into the breech and provided us with a tutorial evening centred around Workflow and Lightroom and Photoshop.

Hugh explained his theoretical order of converting his RAW photographic image into a finished photograph which is ready to be printed.  He took the time to explain by demonstration, the basic steps used in converting a RAW image to a finished image using the Develop module within Adobe Lightroom.  There were demonstrations of colour balance adjustment, sharpening and noise reduction given on a specially selected group of his own images.

John transferred to his own Mac laptop and discussed with illustrations, how he saw a wonderful panorama vista whilst travelling back to the ferry after a holiday where the weather and light was poor.

He explained the process of taking the multiple of overlapping photos, whilst being aware of the changes of lighting as he turned towards the setting sun.

He then loaded the photos into PTgui software which he uses for stitching panoramas.   Using lower than normal resolution jpgs for speed of demonstration, the panorama was quickly produced and cropped.

A quick sortie into Photoshop was made to remove an errant bystander and several cars and a quick tweak of the bright corner resulted in a  perfect panorama.

Inspiration indeed for all present.  Thanks again to Hugh and John for a very interesting and informative evening which proved that there is really no difference in an image shot by a Nikon or Canon.  It’s all in the eye of the photographer.

Wednesday 22nd February 2012 – Clubnight

One of my objectives tonight was to show Angus and others how to clean the camera sensor.   Some of Angus’ photos displayed a large dust bunny in the frame.

Whilst doing the cleaning I explained the process with those present.

The extent of dust spotting can be determined by setting the camera to F16 or above and focus to manual.  Now take a photo of clear blue sky or a plain white surface.   Zooming in all the way on the finished image on the LCD screen and methodically inspecting the whole surface will reveal the extent of spotting.   Remember that dust spots at the top of the frame are actually at the bottom of the sensor.

Firstly, I explained that whilst most modern DSLRs have a special sensor vibration system built in which operates at either startup and/or shutdown, this doesn’t always remove persistent dust. Continue reading

Friday 17th February 2012 – Tuscany Travellers

Gerry, Peter, Trevor, Hugh and John

For a few hours on Friday night stormy rain-soaked County Down was transformed into the rolling hills and cypress-clad valleys of Tuscany as four members of the Bangor and North Down Camera Club relived their photographic odyssey to their favourite region of Italy. And whilst they travelled as part of a larger group and visited the same locations they each brought back a different recollection of the beauty of the countryside .

Hugh Rooney, who enjoys architectural challenges displayed some dramatic monochrome prints of the historic cities of Pisa, Sienna and Florence; his finely executed tonal variations complementing the angular beauty of centuries old cathedrals and towers. The hillside town of Montepulciano, set amid the encircling vineyards featured strongly in Hugh’s lens as did isolated Tuscan farmhouses nestling in halos of sunflowers and hay bales.

Gerry Coe adopted a completely different approach to his picture gathering; leaving aside his professional quality gear he opted instead for the comparatively simple hardware of the camera in his Iphone. Using various applications downloaded for the purpose he enhanced and manipulated the images of country lanes and lone trees and so successful was the enterprise he exhibited the end product in the recent Royal Ulster Academy of Art Exhibition – to much acclaim! Continue reading

Wednesday 15th February 2012 – Clubnight

We had a new virtual visitor at the clubroom tonight in the form of a (P)rofessional Photographer “Missy” all the way from USA.

Missy entertained us for a few minutes on a YouTube video explaining just how easy it was to become a professional photographer. With big dark eyes and cherry red lipstick and an American drawl, she was convinced that you only had to set the dial on your camera to P, the Professional Mode and let the camera look after everything for itself.  We also viewed another episode about entering print competitions.  Very educational!

Try this link to watch Missy.

Once again we view photos brought in on memory sticks.  Angus, Julie and Kevin showed us their work.  Kevin’s photos were quite unique.  They were taken from the top of the Goliath crane at Harland and Wolf shipyard.   From there we saw the building dock with partially assembled wind turbines ready for transport by barge.

Helen brought in her Canon EOS film camera to seek advice about types of film.   I was able to give her a little list of Fuji and Kodak Negative films to try.   Maybe we will see the results of her shots.



Friday 10th February – Clubnight – Susan Abraham

Amateur photographers spend a lot of time searching for suitable subjects for their lenses; whether it is a landscape, a portrait or a still life the subject matter  is usually the starting point and everything else follows from that. The guest speaker at Bangor and North Down Camera Club raised a few eyebrows when she suggested that from an artistic point of view the subject should be secondary in importance to the structure and composition of an image. Susan Abraham introduced a thought-provoking perspective to picture making when she displayed a range of artwork based on photography and offered her analysis of what photographers should be striving to encapsulate in their images. Continue reading

Wednesday 8th February 2012 – Clubnight – Studio

On the second Wednesday night of the month we try to hold a studio night to give club members experience of working in a studio environment and understanding the use of their camera  on Manual settings.

From the experience of the previous studio night when a crowd turned up expecting a ‘model’, expectations were moderated a bit for tonight.  However it was decided to split the room into two sessions.  One session using full studio lighting and backdrops and the other using a Light Tent (Light Cube) which can be purchased on eBay for around £12 or with lights for around £24.   I also set up a shoot through umbrella on a stand with a Canon 580EXII Speedlight with a wireless trigger.   Umbrellas, stands, brackets and triggers can also found on eBay at reasonable prices. Continue reading

Friday 3rd February 2012 – Competition Night Round 4 Club/NIPA

Only a minor club rule prevented May Carvill notching up a hat trick in the Bangor and North Down Camera Club’s Open competition on Friday. May’s images merited first, second and third places in the Foundation Projected Digital Image section but the rules prevent anyone from achieving a clean sweep so Julie Campbell’s picture was promoted to third spot. Nevertheless it was a remarkable achievement by May whose daughter Deborah took the runner-up honours in the Advanced section. This was won by Bill Cardwell with Alan McMorris providing both entries for joint third.

The guest judge, Stephen McWilliams (Christian Brothers Past Pupils Union Camera Club) stressed that he generally judged the Advanced and Foundation entries by differing standards. While the more experienced photographers warranted close and critical surveys of their work the Foundation members should be judged in a more constructive manner – affording them comments which could offer advice on how to improve their efforts.

Nevertheless he was impressed by the standard of many of the beginners’ images – Leanne Kerr’s “A girl who sees beauty” caught his eye for first place in the Colour section with Edward McCavana claiming second and third spots. Continue reading