Wednesday 9th & Friday 11th May 2012 – Clubnight

Now that the formal meetings season has ended with the AGM, we are continuing to meet on Wednesday and Friday evenings as usual except that Friday nights will take on the same format as Wednesdays throughout the summer period until the new season commences in September.

Wednesday, being the second one in the month was our usual Studio Night and the suggested theme was Still Life.  Members came equipped with various props ranging from carved wooden ornaments to a stainless steel sugar bowl, cream jug and a larger stainless steel jug.   Deborah brought a small crouching figurine. Darren brought along a low white table which served as a great base for the props.

Edwards stainless steel proved to be tricky to light properly without burned out highlights.  Gerry Coe kindly came round and assisted in guiding us in the use of reflectors and positioning the speedlight and umbrella.   We decided to use speedlight flash tonight to emulate the sort of setup which members can achieve at home with relatively inexpensive equipment.   New member, Olivia was give guidance on camera settings before she tackled the crouching figurine. Continue reading

Wednesday 18th April 2012 – Clubnight

Before most of the members arrived I took a couple of our foundation members outside the clubroom with their cameras and we did a short practical exercise in shooting manual and setting our meter to an average tone and also how to recognise average tones and other zones on the zone system.   The chilling breeze directly from the sea kept the session short as my hands nearly stopped working.  We continued later in discussion during and after the tea break.

This evening we had invited Kirsty and Kayleigh, our young models from last week’s studio night to view the photographs taken.

A number of those who took part last week, didn’t turn up this week therefore we had only a relatively few images for the girls.

Contributors were Angus Gardiner, Bill Cardwell, Edward McCavana.   As normal, we viewed the images with a critical eye, and in so doing identified issued relating to the poses which the participating photographers asked our models to adopt.  One of the issues was the short time spent by each person taking the photographs and all felt that we need to slow up the pace so that more thought can be put into the posing and lighting. Continue reading

Wednesday 11th April 2012 – Clubnight – Studio Session

It’s the second Wednesday evening in the month again and that’s designated as our Studio Night, intended to give members experience and confidence in both the use of their cameras and of the studio lighting system.

The experience of such evenings is that the enthusiasm of participants can easily create chaos with everyone wanting an opportunity to shoot.  Tonight, we had two lovely young ladies, one of whom was the niece of Michael Rice.  Kayleigh and Kirsty were with us for the first time and neither had modelled before, but were surprisingly calm at being is such an environment.

In order to keep some discipline and control, Julie created numbered slips of paper and distributed to shooters. Each person was allowed about 5 minutes and this included any last minute camera adjustments.  All in all, everyone was very cooperative and this helped to relieve the pressure down at the front of the studio.

With a large group such as we had this evening, detailed experimentation with single light illumination and other special effects was limited.  This is best done with only one or two photographers on another non-meeting night.  Continue reading

Wednesday 21st March 2012 – Clubnight

Nigel has circulated members requesting that we restrict the number of images for critique strictly to 6, thereby allowing adequate time for detailed critique.   He also suggested that we make use of our Lightroom and Photoshop software to not only view the images but also to demonstrate the correction techniques actually being used.  The plan as of today is to upgrade Lightroom to version 4.

The plan for tonight was for all those who took photographs of little Eva during our Studio Night, to bring them along and show them to her and her mother Luci.   Unfortunately due to domestic commitments, Luci and Eva couldn’t attend.

We did however copy all the photos from the memory sticks into one folder on the computer for critique.   Big mistake!  Identifying the author of the various shots resulted in poor Angus (who couldn’t be  here either) being associated with another member’s  Canon 1100D photos.

Still, we managed and it was noted that the quality of images supplied was excellent.  Eva made a super model with very clear skin and bright eyes and posed as a person being advanced for her tender years.  Some people thought that the red colour of the stool was not right compared with the bright red trousers.   I think they were right.  I wonder if it would sell on E**y. Continue reading

Wednesday 14th March 2012 – Clubnight – Studio Shoot.

The second Wednesday evening in the month is now becoming established as an opportunity to hone our skills in studio shooting and making use of the great facility we have at the clubroom.

Tonight we had a beautiful little 8 year old girl, Eva as our model.   She was accompanied by her mum Luci.  Originally I had arranged with Darren that we do an introductory shoot on Monday evening to avoid the inevitable large group of eager Togs from overwhelming her.  She had never posed before and was very excited about it.   However, having been down to the clubroom early and set up the studio equipment, suddenly the NIPA judging group arrived and the horrible truth of double booking was obvious.  I happened because I wasn’t at the Friday meeting when it was mentioned that judging of Round 5 NIPA would take place.  The shoot was posponed till Wednesday. Continue reading

Wednesday 28th September 2011 – Clubnight

As announced last week, members were asked to bring along their cameras for an opportunity to try their hand at studio shooting.

I took the opportunity of explaining how the backdrop was lowered, drawing special attention to the clutch mechanism and the need to pull down to release before unwinding or rewinding.

The explanation also covered the use and positioning of the lights.   Bill Nesbitt was once again ‘volunteered’ to be model.  Anne kindly brought along her imitation collie dog which also served as a model.

Mark kindly helped out with the shooting along with Bill whilst I sorted out a memory card problem for Helen  and configured a new Canon 7D brought along for Robert Greer.

A friend and neighbour of Deborah and Angus, Paul visited us tonight.   Apparently he came to the club many years ago when the club met in the Naval Club.  I  spent some time with him discussing the club activities now.

There was a tremendous buzz in a packed room tonight and most people just wanted to chat.

Earlier I showed my Audio Visual of the St. Petersburg Hermitage Museum.   Mark showed his Canada and Alaska AV which he had reworked using the technique of manually synchronising the dissolves withe the musical rhythm.  It was very well done.

After a chat with Angus and Deborah regarding print mounting, I suggested that he should get some prints done and buy a sheet of black mountboard.   If they bring it next Wednesday, I’ll teach them how to cut photo mounts.