14 February 2019 (Match That Image)

On 14th February 2019 we hosted North Berwick Photographic Society for a “Match-an-Image” evening. This is a competition format we have not tried before, and it turned out to be great fun. Each team brings along a bank of 40 images. Teams in turn display one image, and the other team tries to match it with a similar image. Points are scored when the other team can’t find a match, or when the judge declares that your team have the best matching image.

The competition was judged by Joe Fowler, who tried hard to be unbiased even though he came from Musselburgh and had to judge several of his own images! This was an informal competition where banter and comments are encouraged. At one point the audience were astonished that an image of a herd of elephants was judged to be a match to juggling man dressed as a monkey! Well, they both have an animal theme.

North Berwick are masters at this competition, and matching their images turned out to be a lot harder than anticipated. Musselburgh had a few lucky breaks, but North Berwick had a really devious collection of opening images, and in the end North Berwick won by 33 points to 24. We learned a lot about the competition tactics by watching North Berwick, and we should be able to give them a closer competition next year. Some obvious changes we need to make next year are:

  • Make sure our team sits in a place where they can actually see the screen.
  • Print out some thumbnails of your images so you can actually see them.

It’s little things like this that make all the difference.

24 January 2019 (Swedish Interclub)

This week club members had a chance to be judges themselves. We discussed 36 images sent to us by Mölnlycke Fotoklubb in Sweden. There were an impressive collection of images covering a wide range of subjects: portraits, street photography, woodland scenes, misty winter landscapes, some interesting night shots and some creative abstract shots. We were especially interested in the images this year, because some of our members are planning to visit Mölnlycke Fotoklubb and may be able to visit some of the places where those images were taken. The images generated a lot of discussion, with members commenting on each image while scribes write down the comments. At the end of the evening we selected the images we liked and then ordered them by popular voting.

The winning image was a stunning night shot taken at a water hole in a Kenyan wildlife reserve. It was a superb composition with a tree acting as a focal point and the waterside leading your eye to the animals in front of a starry background. The image was very dark on our projector but we still liked it a lot. For second place, members chose a portrait of a lovely group of ponies in Rörö wildlife park. Third place went to a long exposure night shot of a ride in an amusement park entitled “loop”, fourth place to a peaceful shot of a lakeside with an archway of trees and fifth place to a portrait of a potter holding his pipe.

Thank you Mölnlycke Fotoklubb for sending us the images. Congratulations to the winner, and some of us look forward to seeing you in a few months’ time.

 

Human Portrait Print Submission

I forgot to mention at the Swedish inter-club meeting, that this Thursday, 31st January is the submission date for the Human Portrait print competition. Please bring along up to 3 mounted prints (colour or black and white). If you haven’t entered this competition before, it is open to any print where the main subject is a person or group of people.

This Thursday, George will also be accepting entries for the 2019 SPF print championship. Since we are missing the 26 January drop-off deadline, George has offered to hand them in personally to the competition organisers (before the later 7th February deadline). Members can enter up to 6 mounted prints each: 3 monochrome and 3 colour at a cost of 70p per print. Any print which hasn’t been entered into that competition before is valid, not just prints from this year. If you are bringing portrait prints to enter into the SPF competition, make sure they are added to the correct folder.

Click here to see a PDF describing the competition.

 

13 December 2018 (Black and White Print Competition)

This week we had the privilege of entertaining Doug Berndt, president of the Edinburgh Photographic Society, who judged our black and white print competition. Doug said he judges photographs by considering their impact, story, quality, creativity and composition, and the best images need to score well in all 5 categories.

There were 45 prints entered altogether. This gave Doug time to appraise each image in detail, point out good features or mistakes and try out different crops. Some good quality images lost out because they didn’t have an impact, so it pays to think about the story you are telling at the time an image is captured. Would a different angle or different location help? Are there distracting things in the background? There were also some highly creative and promising images which lost out on quality, primarily because they had blown highlights or lost detail in the shadows. Some prints had colour casts, and Doug suggested members with Epson printers could try using “advanced black and white mode” to remove the casts. A special mention goes to Colin Dempster, whose image entitled “The Moment Of Truth – Italian Explorers Selection” had everyone, including Doug, guessing what it meant.

The top scorers in the black and white print competition were (in reverse order):

  • 5th place (48 points)
    • Malcolm Roberts
  • 4th place (49 points)
    • Sean Connor
  • 3rd place (51 points)
    • Joe Fowler
  • 2nd place (55 points)
    • Jim Tod
  • 1st place (57 points)
    • George Todd

Well done to George Todd, who retains his black and white title. George’s image “Swayambunath Temple Lady” was the top image of the competition.

The top images were:

  • Swayambunath Temple Lady (George Todd) – 20 points
  • Sunflower Mono (Jim Tod) – 20 points
  • Dirt and Dust  (Joe Fowler) – 19 points
  • Moscow Metro (George Todd) – 19 points
  • Low Tide (Joe Fowler) – 18 points
  • The Lost Pay Packet (Jim Tod) – 18 points
  • Chitwan Girl (George Todd) – 18 points
  • My Brother (Sean Connor) – 18 points

29 November 2018 (Digital Knockout Competition – Transparency)

The club’s annual digital knockout competition took place this week. Members had spent the summer collecting images on the challenging theme of “transparency” and had interpreted the theme in creative ways. Many of the subjects were still life arrangements of transparent glasses and bottles, although there was one ghost! Some images were taken through a rainy window, through water and even through wet rice paper, and some images used a veil or curtain to give a feeling of transparency.  About 36 images were entered altogether, and after 3 knockout rounds there were 5 images remaining in the final round. Members voted for their favourites, and the final result was:

  • In 5th place, “Liquid Gold”, a still life of a golden drink being poured into a glass, by Jennifer Davidson.
  • In 4th place, “Through The Window”, an intriguing image of a room viewed through a window, by Simon Wilkinson.
  • In 3rd place, “Bubbles In A Glass”, a still life of a glass with large bubbles at the top, by Jennifer Davidson.
  • In 2nd place, “Through The Curtain”, a portrait of a model looking through a net curtain, by Jennifer Davidson.
  • In 1st place, “Face At The Window”, a portrait of a monk looking through a rainy window, by Joe Fowler.

Well done to Jennifer Davidson, who got all 3 of her images into the top 5, and congratulations to the winner, Joe Fowler, who won a box of transparent fake diamonds!

19 November 2018 (4-Way Inter-club Competition at Kirkcaldy)

On Monday, 19th November 2018, half a dozen of us travelled to Kirkcaldy to see the second 4-way interclub competition of the season. The competition was host by Kirkcaldy Photographic Society and included  Edinburgh Photographic Society and Stirling and District Camera Club.  It was Kirkcaldy’s 120th anniversary. They entertained us with a spread of sandwiches, cakes and savouries, and had thoughtfully included some alcohol-free wine for those who needed to drive back across the Forth Bridge.

Clubs entered 15 digital projected images each, making a total of 60 images on the night. There was a mixture of wildlife images, landscapes, portraits and several images from kayaking events. The images were judged by Libby Smith of Carluke Camera Club.  Libby commented on the fact that several of the images looked like they had been prepared for print: the contrast was too high, and some were too light. This is something to remember the next time we prepare digital versions of print images: the lightening and contrast enhancements added to make a good print need to be removed before saving the images as DPIs.

By the halfway stage of the competition, things were not looking good for Musselburgh. We were trailing in last place, with Edinburgh and Kirkcaldy leading the field. Then the competition finished with an astonishing turn of events. Our last 3 images received 19, 19 and 20 points, jumping us into second place. Those images were:

  • Sunset over Newborough – 19 points
  • Licking My Wounds – 19 points
  • Hare Raiding Barley Field – 20 points

The final result was:

  • Kirkcaldy Photographic Society – 242 points
  • Musselburgh Camera Club – 238 points
  • Edinburgh Photographic Society – 236 points
  • Stirling and District Camera Club – 234 points

Congratulations to Kirkcaldy for winning on their 120th anniversary. In the end, it was the middle-ranking images that made the difference. Kirkcaldy had many more images scoring 17 and 16, whereas we had more images scoring 14 or 15.

Thank you to everyone who submitted images for the competition.

15 November 2018 (Colour Print Competition)

This week we had the pleasure of entertaining Dougie Allen from Beeslack Penicuik Camera Club, who judged our colour print competition. There were 56 prints altogether covering a wide variety of subjects, including photographs of wildlife, portraits of people, and landscapes. The general quality was high, and a lot of the images submitted scored 17-points or more, although none of the images received 20 points. The most frequent comment about an image was the need to crop out a distraction. Dougie commented on the bland-looking sky in some of the prints and recommended the use of a polarizing filter to enhance the contrast in the sky.

The top scorers were (in reverse order):

  • 5th place (49 points)
    • Malcolm Roberts
    • Lorraine Roberts
    • Simon Wilkinson
    • Steven Beard
    • George Davidson
  • 4th place (51 points)
    • Mike Clark
    • Steve Barber
  • 3rd place (52 points)
    • Charlie Briggs
    • Joe Fowler
    • George Todd
  • 2nd place (50 points)
    • Jennifer Davidson
  • 1st place (54 points)
    • Jim Tod

The top images were

  • Jay (Charlie Briggs) – 19 points
  • Low Tide (Joe Fowler) – 19 points
  • Lubber Hopper (Jim Tod) – 19 points
  • Hare Raiding Barley Field (Jennifer Davidson) – 18 points
  • Osprey Carrying Catch (Jennifer Davidson) – 18 points
  • Jacobite (Jim Tod) – 18 points.
  • Rapid Teamwork (George Todd) – 18 points
  • Licking My Wounds (Mike Clark) – 18 points
  • Concentration (Steve Barbour)– 18 points

Congratulations to Jim Tod, winning with a great set of prints.

  • This Thursday, 22nd November, I will give an introduction to audio visual presentations – a different way to present your work.
  • Don’t forget to bring along your Black and White prints this Thursday.

4-way, Christmas Dinner and Black and White Prints

There were so many announcements to make this evening that I forgot two important ones.

  • Steve WIlliams has booked a table at the Ravelston House Hotel in Musselburgh for our Christmas Social Evening on Thursday, 20th December 2018. We can add a few more places to the table. If you would like to come, and can pay a £10 deposit, please contact Steve at the email address shown on the front of the syllabus.
  • Next Thursday, 22nd November is the submission date for the Black and White print competition. It’s time to mount your prints and bring them along next week. Don’t forget to email 3 JPEG copies of your prints to George Todd as well.

The next 4-way competition takes place on Monday, 19th November 2018 at Kirkcaldy Photographic Society. The competition will take place at

Hayfield Community Centre,
Hayfield Road,
Kirkcaldy,
KY2 5DG

Click the address for a map. The centre can be reached by taking the A92 to Kirkcaldy and taking the A910 exit, following Chapel Level, turning right at Hendry Road and then left at Hayfield Road. The community centre can be hard to spot from this direction (the sign post is on the far side), so watch out for Poplar Crescent on your right hand side. You can park on Poplar Crescent. Best of luck to Musselburgh!

 

Directions to Beeslack Penicuik Camera Club

This coming Thursday, 1st November 2018, there will no meeting at Fisherrow. The club will instead be visiting Beeslack Penuick Camera club and competing with them, Midlothian Camera Club and Galashiels Camera Club in the first 4-way inter-club competition of the season. Come along a cheer on your club.

Beeslack Penicuik Camera Club meets at

Beeslack Community High School
Edinburgh Road
Penicuik
EH26 0QF

Click the above address for a map and directions to the school. The image below shows where we are meeting. If you are approaching from the Edinburgh direction on the A701, turn left when you see the small sign to Beeslack High School on the right hand side of the road. Follow the yellow route shown to the car park around the back of the school, then follow the dotted path to the school entrance. The competition will be taking place somewhere within the building marked with the “X”.

George Todd is willing to pick up members who would like a lift from Musselburgh. Please email George (address on the front of the syllabus) and give him your contact phone number if you would like a lift. George has limited space, so it will be first come first served.

I look forward to seeing you all in Penicuik. Best of luck to Musselburgh!

  • On 8th November, those of us with tickets will be travelling to Penicuik North Church for An Evening with Andy Rouse. The tickets have been on sale to the public for a while now, but if you don’t have a ticket and are interested in joining us contact Dougie Allen at the address shown in this poster. Click here for the poster. There might still be tickets available if you are lucky. Failing that, you could talk to Dougie in person at the 4-way competition this week.

Open Global Charity Photographic Competition – Invite to Photographers

The club has been made aware of the 2018 “Zero Footprints” charity competition, which is looking for entries on the theme of the environment, the climate and our impact on it. There is an entry fee of £5 to enter one image or £15 to enter up to 4 images in each of 3 categories. Click the following link for details:

https://www.zerofootprints.org/Competition/2018

The closing date is 15th August 2018, so there is hardly time to book a holiday to an exotic location to capture the kind of images they are looking for, but perhaps you already have something in your collection, or you can find something closer to home?

P.S. We successfully transferred the library exhibition from Prestonpans to Craigmillar this weekend. It’s looking good. Click here for the dates and locations if you would like to see it for yourself.