13 September 2018 (Recorded Lecture)

On our second club night of the season we watched a CD of images accepted into the 2017 Dingwall National Projected Image Competition. We use these images as a source of ideas and inspiration for the coming year.

I brought some printed copies of the new syllabus. If you didn’t manage to pick up a copy, or you would rather print yourself a copy on better paper, a PDF is still available on the web site at the following link. The correct version of the syllabus will have a 4-way competition on 1st November 2018.


There were a lot of announcements to make this week. Here they are again in case you missed any.

  • Please remember to add your name to the tea list. There are still a lot of blank slots. Thank you to Phil Petrie for volunteering for next week.
  • Joe Fowler is arranging a photography class for beginners and new members at Fisherrow on 26th September 2018. If you missed this week’s meeting and would like to join the class, please see Joe next week. Alternatively, if you reply to this post I’ll forward your message to Joe.
  • Next week (20th September) is the last submission date for the Digital Projected Images competition. Please send up to 3 JPEG images to George (our competition secretary) 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”. For details see the competition guide at the following link:  MCCCompetitionInformation.
  • Next week we will be welcoming our first speaker, Libby Smith of Carluke Camera Club. Libby has been a regular visitor to the club and has always impressed us with her stunning images and knowledge of the subject.

Some events and photographic opportunities coming up:

  • The Battle of Prestonpans takes place this weekend, 15-16th September 2018. The event begins at 10am on Saturday with a commemorative parade from Meadowmill Sports Centre. The parade proceeds to Greenhills (where Cockenzie Power Station used to be). On Saturday and Sunday there are regular events and demonstrations planned on the Greenhills site between 11am and 5pm, and the battle itself takes place both days at 3pm.
  • If the weekend isn’t exciting enough, the Edinburgh Riding of the Marches also takes place on Sunday, 16th September 2018.
  • The Scottish Half Marathon starts from Musselburgh on Sunday, 23rd September 2018.
  • The Edinburgh Doors Open Days take place on the weekend of 29-30th September 2018. The Royal Observatory, where I work, will be open both days, but there will be many more buildings open.

See you next Thursday.


Welcome to the 2018-2019 season!

I would like to welcome everyone to another season with Musselburgh Camera Club. Thank you to all who came along to this week’s opening night, especially to the potential new members who I hope we can make feel at home. If you signed up to follow the club on the web site and received this post as an email message, congratulations. It worked!

The season didn’t start without its teething troubles, and unfortunately the wrong version of the syllabus was printed. If you are wondering what the actual 2018-2019 syllabus looks like, click here for a copy.


You can print this out for yourself, and I’ll also bring some copies along next week. You will notice our first 4-way competition takes place on 1st November. This is happening early in the season, just like last year, so I would urge everyone to find your best images and email them to George to help the club. You don’t need to wait until the competition submission date. In fact, the submission date for the digital images competition is just 2 weeks away, so you’ll need to start looking for good images anyway.

Talking of competitions, here is a copy of the guide to club competitions I handed out to new members during the opening night.


Some announcements of photographic opportunities coming up soon (click for more details):

Finally, I would like to draw your attention to the club’s privacy policy, which explains how we use the contact information you provided when you signed up. It should be fairly straightforward, since we don’t pass on your information or use your details for any other reason than running club activities.


I look forward to seeing you next week, when we will be inspired by a CD of high quality competition images. Can you guess which one will win…?


Musselburgh Camera Club Success

Musselburgh Camera Club was successful on Sunday 12th March at the inter-club 9 way competition which was held at the mining museum,  Newtongrange and organised by Beeslack Camera Club.  The clubs from all over the Lothians,  Lanarkshire & the Borders all submitted 5 images in each category. 

The club held a six point lead after the first round which consisted of printed images and the lead was consolidated in the second round which was Digital Images, congratulations to all concerned.

Club News: Winter Scene Digital Knockout Competition

I have posted some comments about the black and white print competition on the web site.

This Thursday, 11th February 2016, we have the Winter Scene Digital Knockout Competition. This is a break from the usual competition format. There is no judge, and the winner will be decided by popular vote. A prize will be awarded to the winner on the night.

If you would like to enter, please bring along one digital image (sized to 1400 pixels on the longest side as usual) on a CD or data stick. Alternatively, if you email your image to George Todd, or to me, we will bring them with us on the night. If you are bringing your own image, please come a few minutes early so we can load them onto the laptop before we start.

See you on Thursday. Come along and join the fun.



Club News – Web Site Reconstruction

This week you will notice a difference in the way that the “Chairman’s Comments” are distributed. From this week onwards, my ramblings about each club meeting will now be added to a regular page on the web site. These pages are not emailed to everyone, but you can still find them on the web site. For example, my comments from our AV meeting at Beeslack can be found here.  Club news and announcements will be still be posted when needed. You should receive fewer and shorter emails, and important news won’t be lost underneath a long description. Apologies for the inconvenience while the club web site is reorganised. Comments and suggestions are welcome.

This Thursday, 4th February, is the submission deadline for the “Dereliction” set subject competition. Please send your digital entries to George Todd, or bring them along on Thursday on a CD or USB stick. Remember to resize your images to 1400 pixels on the longest side and rename your files to show member number and title.

See you on Thursday for our Black and White print competition.

Club Meeting 14 January 2016

This week we had the first of our three set subject competitions, judged by Jennifer Davidson. There were 60 images submitted altogether, showing members’ different interpretations of the theme of “coast”; including abstract images of sand patterns, seaweed or sea shells, coastal wildlife, portraits of people enjoying seaside activities, and landscape images of the rocky coastline, castles and lighthouses. All the images submitted were well captured and imaginative, and even the images which had distractions or Photoshop problems could be improved by cropping or reprocessing. The top images were:

  • Cockenzie Pier (Steven Beard)
  • Surge Gully (Mike Clark)
  • Saro Light Rocks (Martin Lunden)
  • Choppy Waters (Simon Wilkinson)

but the most talked about image was:

  • Blustery Winds (Helen Lunden)

because it included a coastal signpost with the word “Grunt”!

The top scorers were:

  • 4th place (49 points)
    • Steve Williams
  • 3rd = place (50 points)
    • Steven Beard
    • Martin Lunden
  • 2nd place (52 points)
    • Simon Wilkinson
  • 1st place (53 points)
    • Mike Clark

Mike wins an AO-sized print of an image of his choosing. The scores will be carried forward to the next set subject competition (themed “Dereliction”) on 25th February.

Next week there are two club meetings:

Some other announcements:

  • The club will be putting together an exhibition of members’ work for the 2016 Musselburgh Riding of the Marches. If you have up to 3 images of Musselburgh or Fisherrow you would like to contribute, please send a digital version of each image (sized to 1400 pixels) to George Todd. Later in the year, we will have a Musselburgh photoshoot as an opportunity to add more images
  • Mike,  Liz, Lesley and I will be getting together in a few days to discuss our future plans for the club website. Do you find the website useful? What aspects do you like or not like? How could it be improved? If you have feedback or ideas, please email Mike, Liz, Lesley or me.

Club Meeting 07 January 2016

Welcome back everyone to our first session in 2016. We started 2016 with a CD of competition images prepared by the Wigan 10 Foto Club. Wigan 10 are a small club who do well in external competitions, and we saw some captioned examples of their competition entries from 2006 onwards. There were common themes: sporting events, landscapes, portraits, and many images of Camargue horses. It was interesting to see how ordinary-looking portraits could be improved with a new background, or how landscapes could be dramatically improved by replacing the sky and adding a moody contrast. It was also interesting to see how the technical quality of digital images has improved over the last 10 years.

Next week (14th January) we have our first set subject competition, on the theme of “COAST”. Everybody should now have sent or given their digital entries to George Todd. Image files should be renamed so the member number and title are part of the filename: for example, 56_HereIsMyTitle.jpg. (Some members had a problem preserving the filename when emailed. That might be caused by having blanks in the file name. It is safer to use “_”.)

Next week is also the closing date for the black and white print competition. Please bring 3 mounted prints.

Diary Dates:

See you this Thursday.

Club Meeting 10 December 2015

This week we hosted the first 4-way inter-club competition of the 2015/2016 season. Members from Edinburgh Photographic Society, Haddington Camera Club and Stirling and District Camera Club visited us. 60 digital projected images (15 from each club) were judged by Dougie Allen of Beeslack Camera Club. Whether to crop was the most common comment: Do you need that extra piece of sky? Does that stick on the left hand side add or detract from the image? The artistic merits of each image were compared: Are those gravestones dark enough? Is the subject sufficiently distinguished from the background? Musselburgh’s entries held up well against the competition, but Stirling clinched it with some stunning, top-mark images. Joe’s action shot of the motorbikes was our highest marked image. Well done, Joe. The final result was:

  • First place: Stirling and District Camera Club.
  • Equal second place: Edinburgh Photographic Society and Musselburgh Camera Club.
  • Fourth place: Haddington Camera Club.

Thank you to Jennifer Davidson, George Todd and Liz Sowler for arranging the catering (and to my wife, Elizabeth for baking brownies for the occasion).

This was the last meeting at the Fisherrow Centre until the New Year. Next week, 17th December, we will be meeting at the Ravelston House Hotel in Musselburgh for the MCC Christmas social evening. Dinner is booked for 7:30pm, but we will meet in the hotel bar from 7pm onwards. Here is the location of the hotel on a Google map.

On Tuesday, 29th December, some members will be meeting at 3:30pm at the Scottish Cafe in Princes Street Gardens to photograph the Edinburgh Christmas lights. Details in Liz’s recent post.

Things to think about over the Christmas holidays:

  • Please send your digital images for the “COAST” set subject competition to George before 7th January. Jennifer will judge the competition on 14th January 2016.
  • The submission for the Black and White print competition is on 14th January 2016.
  • There is a WINTER SCENE digital knockout competition on 11th February 2016. A fall of snow, or a frosty morning over Christmas could be a good opportunity to collect some images.

For any members not coming to the social evening, I wish you a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, and I’ll see you at the next meeting at Fisherrow on 7th January 2016. (I am volunteering to make the tea that evening.)


Club Meeting 03 December 2015

Our meeting on 3rd December didn’t happen as planned. To start with, we learned of a mix-up with the intended venue for the meeting when it was too late to tell everyone in person. Thank you to Liz for sending out the change of venue notices. Apologies to any members who came to Fisherrow and discovered too late that the venue had been changed to Beeslack in Penicuik. You didn’t miss much, though, because the poor weather, and an accident on the A701, conspired to prevent most of us reaching Penicuik. I heard that some members were stuck in the traffic for several hours. I hope you all managed to get home safely. Thank you for trying. A big “thank you” to Anita for warning us of the traffic, and to Gavin for driving Liz, Iwona and me out of the traffic in his 4×4 through the snowy streets of Loanhead. I expect we will all have stories to tell the next time we meet up.

I heard from the Beeslack club secretary that only 8 members made it to Penicuik, but they were treated to an outstanding presentation by Ron McCombe and his wife (who made it from Hawick despite several of the roads through the Borders being closed). Beeslack wished all our members a safe journey home and said they would keep the pile of uneaten sandwiches and cakes for the Audio Visual night on 28th January!

I hope everyone who would like to go to the Christmas social evening on 17th December has signed up with Joe and paid their deposit.

I am assured that this Thursday’s 4-way competition will be at Fisherrow. We are hosting Edinburgh, Haddington and Stirling camera clubs. It starts at the usual time of 7:30pm and will be in the large room at the back of the Fisherrow Centre. Walk down the corridor past the room where we normally meet and turn left. Besides the competition, there will be a chance to share cakes and sandwiches with members of the other clubs. I look forward to seeing you all and exchanging our stories.


Club Meeting 26 November 2015 (Human Portrait Competition)

This week Steve McGonnell of the Edinburgh Photographic Society judged the MCC Human Portrait print competition. Steve had written a detailed set of notes for each image, and gave each one a comprehensive critique. Distracting backgrounds were a common theme (watch out for background lines which cut through the subject’s head). Plain backgrounds or backgrounds which compliment the subject were preferred. Steve felt that eyes were an important part of a portrait, and the position of the eyes in the frame, the direction of the gaze, the expression in the eyes or the brightness of the eyes were often mentioned. There were some otherwise good images which, unfortunately, suffered from printing faults or had distracting colours. The top image was a beautifully-presented, silky-textured portrait with a great contrasting background called “Jasmine”. The top three images were:

  • Jasmine (Charlie Briggs)
  • Cheeky Face (Jennifer Davidson)
  • Tuyet (“Snow White”) (George Todd)

When the scores were added up, the placings were:

  • 1st Place – Charlie Briggs
  • 2nd Place – Jennifer Davidson
  • 3rd Place – George Todd, Steve Williams, Alan Fitchie, Steven Beard

Thank you to everyone who entered, and well done to Charlie, Jennifer and the other winners.

Our next competition will be the “Coast” set subject competition, which will be judged by Jennifer Davidson on 14th January 2016. The syllabus says that images must be submitted by 10th December, but Jennifer is happy for members to submit their images by 7th January 2016. So we all have the Christmas holidays to capture some more images.

Next week we have a presentation on wildlife photography by Ron McCombe. Ron gave us a presentation last year that was so good that we decided to ask him back. This time his presentation is being held at Beeslack Camera Club in Penicuik. Meet at the Fisherrow Centre at 7pm if you would like a lift. If you have your own transport, go to Beeslack High School, Edinburgh Road, Penicuik, EH26 0QF and aim to be there for 7:30pm. Come along and be inspired.