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 7th December 2011 – Clubnight

I came tonight equipped with a list of suggested topics gathered from the ad hoc survey last Wednesday evening with the intention of following up on at least one of the suggestions.

Just before we started Nigel reminded members that we should really turn our mobile phones off, particularly on Friday evenings particularly when we have a guest speaker.  Other news was that our new member Mike, had been in Castlewellan Park beside the lake  taking photos with his Nikon.  Heeding the advice often given “take two steps to the left/right to get a better composition”, he unfortunately slipped and fell in and drowned his Nikon . (Panasonic Lumix as it turned out) As if that wasn’t bad enough, he has broken his ankle.  We all wish him speedy recovery.  Mike, if you are reading this try putting your camera in a bag of dry rice for a couple of weeks.   This should go some way to drying it out, failing that enjoy a nice Nikon Panasonic rice pudding!

Continue reading

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