Sunday, 22 November 2015

Monochrome Madness!

This week ushered in Photocraft's first Monochrome Print competition of the membership year.  A great turnout and some excellent pictures for guest judge Ian Brash to enjoy!

As a "monochrome virgin" it was really interesting for me to learn what caught the eye of our judge Ian (and what some members might have wished hadn't caught his eye!).  My key takeaway was that monochrome is not just about all the usual things like good composition, it's also about drama, dynamism and depth of lighting .. contrast seems to be key!

Curious to see some aspects of what Ian was talking about in action, I provided Ian with a copy of one of my pictures from the competition (which scored a modest 7.5 points) to see what he could do with it .. in the process he would hopefully not only elevate the quality of my picture, but also my points-winning potential for future completions!

So after 20 mixtures of work in Photoshop (using the Nik plugin), Ian managed to turn this ..

Into this ..

Quite a difference I think you will agree!  Plenty more drama and atmosphere, and the relief of the mountains shows much more depth now .. definitely worth more than 7.5 points now!

So (as if I didn't already know it) it seems I still have much to learn! Note to self: get some lessons in Photoshop and look into this Nik plugin .. it could the key to that elusive 10!!!!

Thanks again to Ian for the impromptu demo, and see you all next week .. Mark

Sunday, 15 November 2015

Lights! Camera! Action!

October saw the first of this year's workshop evenings, with members being encouraged to bring their camera's in for some hands-on practice of portrait and still-life photography.

Under the expert guidance of Dave C and Lynne W, members learnt how much difference a flash can make, and had more fun with toy dinosaurs than they probably should have!

A fun and informative evening: bring on those competition-winning still life and portrait pictures!

Monday, 2 November 2015

Need any mounts for the next print competition?

This is just a reminder to get your order in for print mounts if you plan to enter the next competition - Monochrome Print Competition 1, 18th November. All details of how to order can be found by hitting the 'Mount Cutting Service' button in the Members' Area of the site.

If you can decide what you want, I can let you have them the week before at the 11th November meeting.

If they will be printed borderless (i.e. printed to the edge of the paper) let me know and I will cut the window slightly smaller to make it easier to tape the edges of the print to the back of the mount.

Sunday, 1 November 2015

Smartphone Photography

Sometimes, us members of the camera club world treat the humble smartphone camera as a second class device .. a gimmick not good for much more than those over-posed selfies, a poor relation to our real cameras, and something that is not capable of producing any real artistic content. 

Well done to Mark B for putting together last weeks talk on smartphone cameras to put the record straight. 

Mark brought us bang up to date showing a few examples of what can be achieved. There was a brief explanation of the technology, followed by examples of what can be achieved, as demonstrated by some stunning pictures from the 2014 Mobile Photography Awards.

Attention then turned to club member's photographs, with a Just-for-Fun competition which had some surprisingly good entries .. yes, it looks like there are some of us who already use our smartphone cameras for serious photography. Seven members contributed up to 6 photos each, with the competition being won by Dave C. 

It just goes to show that once the photographers skill and planning get engaged, the results can go beyond the apparent limitations of the device used to capture the image!

A £100 prize has been offered by Mark B to the first person that manages to score a 10 for a Smartphone picture (taken and processed on the phone) this membership year.  So get those phones out and start snapping :-)