Wednesday 11th January 2012 – Clubnight

Tonight was the first of what we will call “Studio Nights” which we agreed to hold on the second Wednesday of the month.

I arrived early and set up the background and lights ready for the session.   Our “surprise” model, Freya arrived early as well with Mum and Dad and brother and sister.

I encountered s problem with the big softbox modelling bulb.  It appeared to have failed and after some rummaging around in the store area I retrieved a couple of Edison Screw type bulbs.  I fitted a new one, tried it.  It briefly lit and went out.   Tried the next one and the same thing happened.  This time the whole set of lights failed.  The trip switch had failed, so I took out the old bulb and reset the trip.   By this time the room had started to fill up at an alarming rate.

It was only 7.55pm and the room was nearly full.   What did these people think I had meant when I said the we would have a surprise model?  Miss Northern Ireland?.  Fraid not!

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Wednesday 4th January 2012 – Clubnight

Tonight we intended to do something a little bit different.  As a follow-on from previous discussions on mentoring, the plan was, for part of the evening, to gather together in individual mentoring groups and discuss some detailed aspects of camera operation.

There were initially two groups, one led by Mark and another by myself.   Mark’s group were Nikon users whilst mine were Canon users.

Before this however, I set up my camera on a tripod at the front of the room and attached an intervalometer.   The intention was to take one photo every 5 seconds for a total of 20 minutes giving 240 frames.   After focusing and setting the ISO to 640, I disabled autofocus, image stabiliser, and set the quality to JPG.

The shooting was initialised and left to run for 20 minutes.  I’ll have the results next week. Continue reading

Wednesday 21st December 2011 – Clubnight

Well, here we are at the shortest day of the year and the temperature soared to an amazing 12 degrees after a really cold spell.   No chance of a white Christmas.   Exactly 1 year ago we were at the opposite side of the zero line, -12 degrees!!

Tonight’s blog is dedicated to Christine who showed signs of “blog withdrawal syndrome”.

There was no blog for last Friday’s competition night and she was lost for information.  Unfortunately neither John nor I  were able to get there and so far there is no writeup or photos, but I am assured that winners information and photos will be forthcoming.

Checkout our Club Blog at

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Wednesday 20th July – Clubnight

Wow, what a rowdy night!!

Julie was first in followed closely by Mike.  Mike very kindly brought us a lovely lemon cake for our tea break.   We certainly aren’t used to this sort of fare of an evening.  Julies mission was to capture my attention regarding the installation of the Lame encoder file into the Audacity folder.   She brought along her laptop and we had it installed in a couple of minutes into the root folder of Audacity which resides in the Programs folder.

We also covered the method of transferring(ripping)  tracks from her CD into her music library as MP3 format files.    Her intention was to use them as musical accompaniment to her Pictures to Exe slide shows.   We look forward to seeing her results.

A couple of minutes were spent outside with Mike and Julie demonstrating the use of a grey card whilst in Manual mode and with the viewfinder filled with grey card view, adjusting either the speed or aperture till the metering pointer was zeroed.   Julie took several test shots and saw the benefits.

Back inside, it became apparent that we had problems displaying photos on our projector.   Somehow the lead had become disconnected from the graphics card.  Mark kindly set about restoring things.

Part way through the evening we thought that war had broken out when Cooperman announced that we would be having a guest speaker on Friday (Alan McMorris) who was going to demonstrate High Speed photography.   The aim was to capture a woman with her mouth shut.   Can you imagine the uproar that followed.  Of course it was all said in good fun and banter and not at all meant to be sexist.

Mark Allen kindly commented on this blog and recommended that members use the comments facility to give direct feedback on what they would like to be discussed or demonstrated in future sessions. He said that this blogging method is nearer to the objective of a little community than Facebook or Flickr.

The promised Freebies were revealed and were snapped up.   There were two quite substantial laptop carry bags and a Wacom Graphics Tablet on offer.

William Ireland’s son came along tonight and I demonstrated the Sony Nex 5 camera to him.   He in turn produced a unique little camera which can be used underwater or attached to a bike, skateboard or whatever.   It takes quite decent 5mp photos as demonstrated later in the evening.

Once again we had our usual photo critique and Michael’s zoo photos were outstanding.

Thanks again to Shirley and Julie and Helen for tea.

Don’t forget., feedback would be welcome.

Friday 8th July 2011 – Clubnight

Davy Cooper and Mike  Knott were the first arrivals.   I got an opportunity to explain ISO to Mike and demonstrated its effect using my Sony Nex 5.

I must say that navigation through the Nikon menus is difficult and I had to seek some help from Alan and Gerry.  We left Mikes D90 setup with centre focus point active and suggested that he try shooting with Aperture Priority mode and change the f-stop and observe the results.

Mark Allen kindly conducted the critique on members photos tonight.   Judging by the buzz during the tea break, a wide range of topics was discussed.   Thanks to Christine and Helen for tea tonight.

Outside, there was a nice sunset and I demonstrated spot metering in manual mode to Helen.  This gave nice saturated sunset colours and dark silhouettes.   Maybe next meeting we will revisit this topic.

Apologies to Christine for not getting a chance to do some tutorials on Pictures to Exe, however I lent her a copy of Barry Beckham’s Tutorial. to work through.