Wednesday 25th January 2012 – Clubnight


Mark kindly opened the evening by reviewing some photographs from memory sticks.  As well as some of my own, we had an excellent selection from Angus.

Last Wednesday eveningTrevor Reid asked me to show him how to cut mounts for his photos, so I set up the mount cutting table early in the evening.  Somehow the steel ruler which is hung on the side of the table was missing.  Noel kindly went home and brought in a tape rul and plastic school type ruler.  Bill Nesbitt also suggested that mounts can be ordered from a company pre-cut at reasonable prices.  I heard some debate in the background as to whether these prices quoted included postage.   From my observations of the company website, postage was extra.

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Friday 29th July 2011 – Clubnight


It was Velia’s turn tonight to be first in the line for assistance. She brought along her lovely shiny new Samsung laptop on which she has a folder of photos. Her initial hope was to transmit them by email to England to her son, however this was not possible as we don’t have access internet here in our clubroom. On examination of the folder of photos, it turned out that there was a total of 417mb of files, an impossible sized attachment for Hotmail.
I transferred the files via a memory stick to the main club computer and on Mark and John’s advice, used Freestone Image resizer to reduce the batch size to about 8mb.
A little bit of guidance from John on attaching the files to Hotmail and Velia was happy.

Standing on the sidelines patiently was Anthony, fresh from his recent graduation, with a zoom lens. His problem was that his lens didn’t autofocus on his camera. I tried it on my Canon 40D and confirmed that it wouldn’t autofocus, although I didn’t get an error message as he had. The conclusion was that the lens/camera contacts needed cleaning using a cotton bud and some Eclipse cleaning fluid. Most likely there was an electrical contact problem.

Mike once again treated us to cherry cake at tea break. Thanks Mike, and of course Julie and Shirley for tea and coffee.
Julie put forward her Pictures to Exe slideshow. We had a minor glitch with only the PTE project file being available. However we showed her, on he laptop, how to create the Exe file, and having done that, ran it. She had beautiful photos of a cello, interspersed with images of sheet music. Altogether it was an excellent effort. Well done. An interesting fact emerged that the replacement cost of a cello bow was £3000. The cello itself cost £6000. Wow. You could buy a couple of top of the range Canons and Lenses for that sum!

Julie said that she didn’t have enough photos to fill the music time thus the repeat of some of the sheet music images. We suggested that she could lengthen the slide interval as well as introduce dissolves from a partially desaturated image to a full colour version of the same image. Inserting a semi-opaque small image of the sheet music then dissolving back to the full cello image would add extra images and make it flow a bit smoother.

After tea, I demonstrated ,in Photoshop 7, how to create overlaid images using multiple layers and snap-to guides and by selectively switching layers on and off, you could save each for the web and create a sequence, always remembering to save the whole file as a Photoshop PSD file.

We critiqued members photos from memory sticks and I ran part of an AV showing the Alhambra Palace at Grenada, Spain. I explained that this was done several years ago before I cottoned on to producing short AVs.

Gerry Coe brought in hardback and soft back copies of his Blurb Photobook with photos taken on his iPhone. Finally, I had to admit that I had jumped ship from PC to iMac today, but for you Nikoners, I’m staying with Canon.

In conclusion, a great night was had by all.

Friday 22nd July 2011 – Clubnight


Slightly smaller turnout tonight.

Mike was early as usual and I took the opportunity to go outside with him and explain the use if his 70-300mm Zoom lens, particularly the fact that when fully zoomed, it becomes difficult to handhold if the shutter speed is too low. I explained that it is recommended that the minimum shutter speed needs to be in the range of the inverse of the max zoom, in his case 1/450 (i.e. 300mm x 1.5 crop factor of the Nikon). He took a shot of a distant wind turbine rig out in Belfast Lough at a relatively slow shutter speed, then we set up on Aperture Priority mode at F9 and shutter speed of 1/500. The resultant photo was much sharper. I also explained the sometimes he may have to compromise on his ISO setting if the light was poor. In the present scene there was plenty of bright light.

Back inside, the usual hubbub of folks chatting, could be heard. Helen and Julie closed in on the computer and I attempted to solve Julies problem with attaching music files to Pictures to Exe slideshows. Hopefully she now understands. (Breaking News. She’s just notified me that she’s solved it.) Helen has still the limited trial version.

Peter has produced an excellent Audio Visual of his recent travels in Tuscany, Italy. It contained stunning shots and all were captivated by his photos of poppy fields. Following the showing, we gave good feedback on some minor points picked up by more experienced PTE’rs. Detailed discussion took place on the issue of correct registration of portrait formatted photos to ensure that there is no slide to slide mis-alignments.
Mark suggested that they should all be in one multi-layered psd, using lowered opacity to re-position and by switching on the appropriate layers and “Saving for Web”, good registration could be achieved.
On the other hand, one could take the scattered photo approach by adding a photo and fading the underlying photos.
I had a re-run of an AV made several years ago. It was of a trip to Barcelona. This AV showed the scatter effect for portrait format and also the synchronisation of the beginning of each bar in the music, particularly with music which has a strong beat pattern.

Mark and others offered complete PTE projects for new users to examine and pick up the tricks and techniques.

As a roundup, Cooperman had us wringing out our hankies at his AV showing tears. Can’t remember the title, but I’m sure someone will comment and remind me.

I spoke to Mark at the end and suggested that he could become a contributor to my (our) Blog. Depending on how it works out, I may well open it to others.

Next Wednesday, we’ll have a full session on PTE as so many have now purchased the program.