20 September 2018 (Photography in Ireland)

This week we welcomed our first speaker of the season, Libby Smith of Carluke Camera Club. Libby entertained us with photographs taken during a recent holiday to the Dingle Peninsula in Ireland (click here for a map). She took us on a fascinating journey around this beautiful area, explaining how she planned and executed her photography and produced some stunning shots, including several seascapes (giving us ideas for the forthcoming “seascapes” competition) and some thought-provoking shots of the interior of abandoned cottages. Libby had good advice for beginners and experienced members alike:

  • When planning a photographic trip, allow plenty of time to get there.
  • Spend some time checking out the best spots. Ask the locals which places look good at different times of the day and plan to be in each place at the optimum time.
  • Try to stay the night close to your first location, so you can take your shots at sunrise and return to your lodging for breakfast.
  • Don’t be disappointed if the weather is bad. Wind, rain and fog can create some dramatic shots by the sea. Be prepared to get your feet wet.
  • Try to include some interesting foreground objects, such as rocks or driftwood, in your seascape shots. A low angle will increase the drama.
  • A long exposure will make any movement in the sea more dramatic. The best shots can be taken in the dim but colourful light around sunrise or sunset.
  • A graduated ND filter can help balance seascape shots by darkening a bright sky against a dark foreground.

Libby showed us a series of “before” and “after” images and explained how to give them more punch using Photoshop. The key thing is to start with a good, well-exposed image in the first place, as Photoshop will emphasis any faults.

  • Always adjust the brightness and contrast before making any colour adjustments, as increasing the contrast will also change the colour saturation.
  • An image has “depth” when the foreground and background objects appear separated. You can separate the foreground and background by increasing the contrast of the foreground and decreasing the contrast of the background.
  • Photoshop CC has a “camera raw filter” which can be used to make more adjustments to an image after processing in Photoshop. The “clarity” adjustment is particularly useful. Those without Photoshop CC can save the image as a TIFF and reopen it in Camera Raw.
  • The “luminosity mask” feature in Photoshop is a hidden gem, Look for the “load channels as selection” button within the “channels” tab (which looks like a little circle of dots.) Pressing this button will instantly select all the highlights in your image, allowing them to be adjusted separately (using a “levels” layer). Following the adjustment with a “select/inverse” allows you to adjust the shadows as well.

Some announcements:

  • Joe Fowler is holding a “Photography for Beginners” class at the Fisherrow Centre at 7pm on Wednesday 26th September 2018.
  • The closing date for the “seascapes” set subject competition is 4th October 2018. Please send up to 3 JPEG images to the George Todd using the email address shown on the front of the syllabus. Images must be sized to a maximum size of 1600 pixels and renamed to show your member number and the image title, for example “56_ThisIsMyTitle.jpg”.
  • This Thursday I will be attempting to present a live technical demonstration to club members and Joe will be giving his usual good advice on capturing good images. The evening will be a good opportunity to discuss photographic techniques. I hope to see you there.

 

 

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