Wednesday 3rd August 2011 – Clubnight

I thought we were going to have only a few members attending this evening.  Eddie arrived as one of the early ones and came down to the front with his laptop for some help.

His problem was that somehow he had managed to shift the Windows 7 taskbar from the bottom of the screen to vertically  on the left edge and he had tried everything to move it.   Thankfully, I have seen this before.  By placing the cursor on the taskbar in its vertical position, right click showed that there was no tick against the “Lock the Taskbar’ choice, therefore this was part of the problem.  By selecting ‘Properties, a dialog box showed the option to reposition it at the top, right, left or bottom.  Selecting bottom solved the problem.  I finished it off by putting a tick against ‘Lock the Taskbar’ and this should prevent it happening again.  Now Eddie knows.

He also showed me some photos of his in Picassa and we played for a few minutes with them.

When I looked up suddenly there was a really good turnout.  Apparently, there was a gathering just outside the door chatting in the evening sunlight.

Ann gave me the SD card out of her EOS 400D camera to show her photos.   Several others tabled their memory sticks including Alli, who came to us last week.

Ann had 1700 photos on her card so we sampled just a small number, some of which were out of focus.  By looking at the EXIF data via Faststone Image Viewer (free download) we could see that her shutter speed was too slow in many cases.  David Best offered a good suggestion that we set it up at Shutter Priority and ISO 400 and this could help with her problem of handholding.    She had some great shots of a little boy with a hat.

Nigel offered a great PTE slideshow which included photos of wildlife, his specialism.

Alli’s photos taken on her Vivitar camera were very good, though several were slightly overexposed.  At the tea break I talked to her and showed her the Exposure Compensation setting on her camera and how it worked.

I brought along my iPad to show Mark the feature of setting up a local hotspot on my mobile phone and connecting a non-3G iPad to the internet almost anywhere.  The application on the phone was Joikuspot Light.  Anyone interested should Google for it.   As it turned out,. Mark didn’t make it, but Nigel was about to buy an iPad, so we retired to the kitchen to show how this was set up whilst David Best took over and explained some features of Lightroom including its very powerful database management facility.

As usual the evening had flown and we finished at nearly 10.30.  Thanks once again to Julie and Helen for tea.    I think we need some different volunteers to give them a break.

Wednesday 13th July 2011 – Clubnight

Tonight as promised, the subject for discussion and help was Spot Metering and applying the Zone System concept to getting improved exposures, particularly under extreme lighting conditions.

Before the main body of members assembled, I had a chat with Harry Watson and agreed that re-showing the 45 minute video was too heavy on a night such as this.  When we had enough gathered I took the group outside the clubroom to the other pavement of Ward avenue and looked back at our clubroom.   Here were all the tonal elements I needed to give a practical demonstration.

With the group assembled, all were asked to set their camera on to manual mode and spot metering, if not available, then centre weighted metering.

An explanation was given about the five zones from Zone 3 to  Zone 7 and Zone 5 representing average tone.  In the view was a red car, green grass to the side if the clubhouse, near white walls of the building and light blue of a cloudless sky.   The car and grass represented the zone 5 elements, sky as zone 6 and walls, zone 7.  A dark blue car represented zone 4.

The group was asked to zoom right in to the panel of the red car and adjust either the shutter speed or aperture until the needle was positioned on the zero point of the scale.   Then zooming to the white part of the wall, confirmed that the needle was sitting STEADY on +2 position.   Zero was confirmed again by pointing at the green grass and finally, +1 while pointing at the lower level of the sky.   Only then did they take the shot.    I examined the histograms of each and none had spikes at either the white of black end.   They all looked as good exposures.

Back inside I briefly showed the zone colour chart on a pdf (see link below).  Without reading through the 32 page document I pointed out how skin colour was evaluated under the system.   Mark Allen ably assisted in the explanations, especially their relevance to exposure compensation.

After tea, we viewed the contents of several memory sticks and replayed Kevin’s fireworks photos especially for Shirley.

We let our session extend on until 10.30.

Understanding & Using Ansel Adam’s Zone System