AV Presentation

Last night we had an AV Presentation by Sandra (CPAGB) & David (CPAGB) Johnson of the Lutterworth CO-OP Photographic Society and East Midlands AV group.

What’s an AV ?

Essentially it is the presentation of a sequence of photographs with an accompanying soundtrack. Audio Visual presentations, or “sequences”, can range from interpreting music, poetry or song, to stories and documentaries on subjects as varied as nature, travel and tourism, topical issues or historical events. They can be humorous, educational, campaigning, inspiring or eccentric. AV is much more than “pictures to music”! AV at its best has the power to touch people’s hearts, communicate feelings and emotions, and to change people’s lives.

Sandra and David termed their evening as a “Cocktail” of Av’s because it included a quite varied selection of their work and demonstrated what an AV can be.

Photographic Exhibition 2015

Photographic Exhibition 2015

The Earl Shilton Camera Club is holding its annual photographic exhibition at the Atkins Building in Hinckley starting on Monday 24th August 2015 through to Tuesday 1st September 2015.

The Atkins Building – Location

Opening Times:
Monday 24th August 2015 – Set up the exhibition and open until 3.00 pm
Tuesday 25th August 2015 – 10.00 am until 3.00 pm  and 6.30 pm until 9.00 pm
Wednesday 26th August 2015 – 10.00 am until 3.00 pm  and 6.30 pm with our club night starting at 7:30pm
Thursday 27th August 2015 – 10.00 am until 3.00 pm  and 6.30 pm until 9.00 pm
Friday 28th August 2015 – 10.00 am until 3.00 pm  and 6.30 pm until 9.00 pm
Saturday 29th August 2015 – 10.00 am until 3.00 pm  and 6.30 pm until 9.00 pm
Sunday 30th/Monday 31st August 2015  – Both days closed
Tuesday 1st September 2015 – We will be taking down the exhibition by 3.00 pm (start time to be arranged)

Admission – Free

Parking – Car parking can be found next to the Hinckley museum, charges may apply.

Refreshments – They are provided by Café Español and are situated in the building.  Here’s a link to their opening hours.

Photographer of the Year 2014/15 Review

Photographer of the Year 2014/15 Review

Earl Shilton Camera Club’s Photographer of the Year 2014/15 Competition – A Review by Martin Godfrey

As a non-participant in this season’s photographer of the year competition, I thought I would do a review of the images and results.

Note: The views and opinion of the article is purely the author’s and not the club’s views. The article is designed to assist, as well as praise members, in achieving their goals.

First of all, I commend all those authors who entered the competition.

Looking at the overall table it struck me that there are clear divides within the group. The Top 3 for example stood above the rest in terms of results and images. It was the quality of their work, especially the winner, Steve Bexon, who incidentally has made tremendous strides over the last few seasons, that was the key.

Round 1 – Landscapes

There are a nice set of images by the members. There was some atmospheric images that were underscored. Mountain Mist (Richard Carter) and Reflections (Susan Carter) were 2 such images that deserved a better score. Nothing really much to criticise about, just generally tips around cropping, exposure, etc. One thing to note is that rarely unless you are able to create mood and atmosphere, the best time to take landscapes are at the beginning and the ends of the day. Anything in between and you have to do something different such as Long exposures, infrared, etc. You have to stand out from the crowd. Virtually all the landscapes were vistas in some way. Sometimes you have to immerse yourself in the landscape and find something different. Look at composition particular to find some different, detail, close-up, shapes. Steve Bexon’s winning image is particularly classic landscape photography. Good interest throughout the scene, atmosphere and a killer sky. A good ingredients and something to strive for in all your landscape work. Do your homework, visit a scene many times, understand the best composition, visit the same area at different times in different light. You are striving the stand out from the crowd.

Round 2 – Action

An interesting set of images based on the theme of action. Here we are looking for particularly dynamic images that you give you a sense of speed or movement. The top 6 images were particular impressive and fitted the theme perfectly.   I feel this particular round brought the best out of the members where they had to think differently about their images. Some very good techniques and imagination was used. To this extent images from Hayley Marlow for Underground Fire Spin, Dave Carter (Jump for Joy), Robin Astle (Time Passing) and Patricia Rudin (Running) showed what can be achieved where some thought and imagination to deliver something dynamic.

Round 3 – Monochrome Architecture

A round which was the complete opposite to the last round. Again a nice set of images but nothing stood out for me in terms of using a different technique to stand out. Again Steve Bexon lead the way finishing first and second with a couple of images from the capital which showed what can be done if you go out with a specific task in mind. The difficulty with architecture is that what do I include or exclude. These can be vast structures and difficult to fit all in which then causes convergence in the image. It can be corrected in Photoshop/Elements/Lightroom or a 3rd party piece of software called DxO Viewpoint, which is very good. This straightens your building lines in the way a Tilt Shift lens would. I think overall the members did struggle with this round as it not the easiest genre to get great results from and therefore I do sympathise.

Round 4 – Candid Portrait

A difficult genre to capture well. Trying to spot and capture a candid portrait is like trying to capture the decisive movement. The candid or spontaneous image you are trying to capture is part of story telling. The image, for me, needs to try to convey a story within, never an easy exercise at the best of times. Looking closely at the images, there are some that are not particularly sharp. The second place image, Ready for the off by Kevin Poynor, appears to be not as sharp on the main driver as the rest of the scene, however despite this it does tell a lovely story. So trying to capture that moment in a split second with the right settings is never easy. Nevertheless this round, I think is difficult to judge. For example, I found the winning image not particularly candid or story telling without the title. The image though is nicely captured with a warmth to it. I think here you need to take a number of images over time to try and get an image that fits the bill.

Round 5 – Water

After 2 tricky POTY rounds, back to something where the members can use their imagination. Looking back at some of the images, these could have been used in other rounds such as Landscapes or Action. In fact the winner, Niagara by Jules Holbeche-Maund, is a lovely landscape image also. The panoramic shape to the image captures a dynamic scene with plenty of drama. Images by Gary Wood (Water Drop) and Phil Malin (Morning Dew) saw the authors use their imagination to create an image around a single drop of water which requires a good eye and patience. I particularly liked Fun at the Ford by Mike Trigg, for me the girls reaction to the scene tells a great story and was underscored in my opinion. As befits the theme, there were many waterfall images, but I felt whilst they were nice images, compositionally they lacked for me and need further elements as to the story of the waterfall rather than a generic picture of the waterfall. So a bit a work needed to create a more dynamic image. Overall a better set of images from the last 2 rounds I felt.

Round 6 – Animal Kingdom

A familiar picture at the top of the leader board, with Jules and Steve fighting it out for top spot. On this occasion, Jules bagged first and second, there very good images. Overall a good set of images from the members who seem to enjoy capturing animals in all their forms. Capturing animals is always tricky, but time and patience is always needed to capture the image. Quite a number of the images have messy backgrounds, which can distract from the subject matter. There is a balance needed between what aperture to use and what to remain sharp. Hence why the more expensive lenses are able to capture the subject matter and blur the background. Therefore depth of field is extremely important to create separation. An example of the difficult involved is especially relevant in the image by Gary Wood called The Gate Keeper. A lovely blurred background but the butterfly is not quite sharp throughout which means aperture was comprised.

Round 7 – Chairmans Trophy

For the first time the inclusion of the Chairman’s Trophy competition into POTY with one themed panel to be entered. One thing that struck me that the effort that some members had put in to make the panel stand out. I felt some of the panels had too many images, remember less is more. Unfortunately there was quite a gulf in terms of score between the top 3 and the remainder. Again, due to the non-restriction of the competition, judging can be tricky. What you are looking for is not the quality of individual images but does it work harmoniously as a panel. The top 3 did that. But there were others who warrant note. I liked the idea of Seasons (Ian Waite) but I think better lighting would have improved the panel (beginning/end of day). Also Tour de Yorkshire (Robin Astle) was a panel that also worked nicely.

All in all Steve was a worthy winner. He looked at the themes and went out trying to make images for the competition rather than seeing what he got. That was very noticeable by his work and this stood out from everyone else.

The themes for POTY 2015/16 are:

R1 Leicestershire

R2 Sea / Water Scape (PDI)

R3 Seen Better Days   (Mono)

R4 Portrait

R5 Nature – Insects (PDI)

R6 Sport

R7 Springtime

So remember, do your homework, find something emotional or a story, make it different and stand out from the crowd.   I hope you have found this article interesting. If anyone wants to talk to me about this article, please feel free to do so.  Remember photography is an art form, it is personal, it is subjective and so this article represents my thoughts and not necessarily anyone else’s.

Landscape Photography

Landscape Photography

The opening competition of Photographer of the Year saw the theme of Landscapes.  On the whole they were fairly standard landscape images and, with the exemption of a few, will get lost in the myriad of millions of landscape images ever produced.  Whilst we are not expecting members to produced work more akin to the professional standard by icons such as Joe Cornish, Charlie Waite and David Noton, we do expect the members to produce something different from the norm whilst adhering to the storytelling nature of landscape photography.  I find that images within the camera club world tend to do better if they are “people” orientated as, I believe, it is easier to tell a story.  With landscapes we see so many nice but ordinary images.  Even I started on this avenue and got constantly frustrated about why my image wasn’t doing better.  Therefore it is imperative that when you enter you Landscape images, you are trying to tell a story and immerse yourself within nature, no matter how long you have to take the image.  As usual, there are thousands of examples/resources on the Internet to help you in the future.  You only need to take a couple pieces of advice and use this next time you take a landscape image.

So, from what I have learnt to date:

  • Tell a story
  • Use the golden light (sunrise/sunset)
  • Use filters, including the “Big Stopper” for long exposures at the coast
  • In woodland scenes, take images on a cloudy day when the light is diffused
  • Composition is as important as the light
  • Think portrait
  • Be intimate with the landscape
  • It is more important what you exclude rather than include
  • Use a tripod for ultimate sharpness with apertures of F/11 and above with ISO of 100/200
  • Be creative
  • Use the mist and fog for separation
  • Create depth
  • Change your position
  • Don’t be afraid to use a telephoto lens to compress the scene
  • Take notice of the seasons
  • View the masters – look at other landscape photographers for ideas and inspiration

From the Internet:

Good landscape photography is a difficult skill, but as with any photography genre, with some thought and application, your results will improve.


Rule Changes for our Flickr Group

Rule Changes for our Flickr Group

We have decided that you must be a current member of the Earl Shilton Camera Club to have images accepted on our Flickr group.  We apologise to those Flickr users who are not members who have taken the trouble to post in this group, and as a consequence, we have removed non members images from the group.  We hope this will encourage all members to post and ask for comments from our members.  We will have a few moderators to accept images.  We are trying to create a group where the whole membership can participate and enjoy without any pressure but also try and help their photography along the way.