28 April 2022 (AGM and Presentation of Trophies)

The 2020/22 Musselburgh Camera Club season ended on 28th April 2022 with the AGM and the presentation of trophies. This season we have been presenting our meetings in a hybrid format where they are hosted at the Fisherrow Centre but broadcast live by Zoom, which has given members a choice of how to attend. Zoom has again allowed us to reach out to judges, speakers and clubs who would normally have been too far away to visit us. For example, we had another live meeting with Mölnlycke Fotoclubb in Sweden. Zoom also gave us the added bonus of being able to share some speakers with Beeslack Pencuick Camera Club. The hybrid format and remote judging meant that most competitions were still in a digital format, although this year’s Human Portrait Print Competition gave members an opportunity to practice printing and mounting. We hope club meetings will return to a more normal meeting format next season, although we will be keeping the Zoom option because of the opportunities it brings.

Members had an opportunity during the evening to suggest and vote for the topics for next year’s set subject competitions. The top results were:

  1. Castles
  2. Wildlife
  3. Landscape
  4. Black & White

The AGM finished with a presentation of trophies and medals to those present in the room and with trophies delivered to those who attended by Zoom. The full list of winners can be found on the following page:

Trophy Winners – 2021/2022

Although the AGM brings the formal 2021/22 season to an end, there will be informal meetings by Zoom every Thursday evening throughout the summer. We have also restarted our summer print exhibition in local libraries, with a schedule on the following page:

2022 Library Exhibitions

Our first meeting of the 2022/23 season will be on Thursday, 1st September 2022. We have another programme packed with local and remote speakers to look forward to. I hope to see you then.

Steven Beard

The 158th Edinburgh International Exhibition of Photography 2022

Doug Berndt would like to let Musselburgh Camera Club members know that the Edinburgh International is open for entries. There’s a 10% discount for group entries of 10 or more. Doug says being local, to save postage, prints could either be dropped off at Mailboxes Etc at 96 Rose Street or contact him for a time when EPS is open. If prints are marked for collection, all could be retrieved after the exhibition from EPS. Entrants also get free entry to the exhibition and can collect a copy of the printed catalogue. Visiting the exhibition is all the sweeter when you have one or more of your own prints selected!

Click this link for more information: https://www.edinburghphotosalon.com/

24 March 2022 (Set Subject Competition – Street Photography)

The 3rd and final part of our 2021-22 set subject competition took place on 24th March 2022 on the subject of “Street Photography”.  Elaine Gilroy had won last year’s competition and gained the right to judge this year.  After the second competition, the leader board was being lead by Joe Fowler, Mike Clark, Steven Beard and Carol Edmond.

39 images had been entered by 13 members. Elaine had researched the definition of street photography before judging.  Wikipedia defines is at “Photography conducted for art or enquiry that features unmediated chance encounters and random incidents within public places”.  Elaine noted that the genre has quite a wide definition. It doesn’t have to feature people as long as there is evidence of a story, although it is normally made outdoors in an urban environment.  There were some really interesting stories told by the photographs entered. A couple chatting on a bench. Someone lying on the sea wall next to the beach. A skateboarder caught in mid air. A man taking his dog for a walk. One striking image submitted by Kevin Johnston showed a moving car only just missing a group of people! Elaine suggested some images could be improved by cropping them to home in on one part of the story (e.g. an image with two couples who were not interacting could be improved by concentrating on one of them). Some of the images needed straightening and others contained cloning faults or dust spots that could be removed. Coloured distractions could be avoided by converting to black and white. Elaine also suggested removing some distractions, such as a bollard in the foregound.  Elaine suggested giving some of the images a clarity boost to improve their overall sharpness.    The top scorers were (in reverse order):

  • 5th place (50 points)
    • Carol Edmond
    • Ross Robertson
  • 4th place (51 points)
    • Jennifer Davidson
    • Joe Fowler
    • Mike Clark
  • 3rd place (54 points)
    • Steven Beard
  • 2nd place (55 points)
    • Gavin Marshall
  • 1st place (57 points)
    • George Todd

The top images were:

  • Niqab Lady (George Todd) – 20 points
  • Guitar Man (Steven Beard) – 19 points
  • Home Delivery (George Todd) – 19 points
  • Stranger Danger (Mike Clark) – 19 points
  • Like My Outfit (Gavin Marshall) – 19 points
  • The Shore (Jennifer Davidson) – 18 points
  • Penny for your Thoughts (Joe Fowler) – 18 points
  • Castle Combe (Steven Beard) – 18 points
  • Business is Slow (George Todd) – 18 points
  • Look He’s Reading (Carol Edmund) – 18 points
  • Oops (Gavin Marshall) – 18 points
  • Saxaphonist (Gavin Marshall) – 18 points

Well done to George Todd, who wins the right to judge next year’s competition! Special congratulations should also go to Gavin Marshall for his best competition result so far, and to new member, Ross Robertson, for being well placed in his very first competition.    When combined with the scores from the previous two competitions, the final result is:

  • 1st place
    • Steven Beard (51 + 54 = 105)
  • 2nd place
    • George Todd (47 + 57 = 104)
  • 3rd place
    • Joe Fowler (52 + 51 = 103)
  • 4th place
    • Mike Clark (51 + 51 = 102)
  • 5th place
    • Malcolm Roberts (49 + 51 = 100)
  • 6th place
    • Carol Edmond (49 + 50 = 99)
    • Jennifer Davidson (48 + 51 = 99)
    • Elaine Gilroy (47 + 56 = 103)

I was astonished to win the trophy! Well done everyone else, and thank you Elaine for judging the competition. Some members missed the beginning of this competition because of the change of hours at Fisherrow, but Elaine was kind enough to give a replay of the first 15 minutes.

See you next Thursday when we have our joint meeting with Musselburgh Art Club. We are meeting in the larger room, G6, at 7:15pm

10 March 2022 (Swedish Interclub)

Another year has gone by very quickly, and this week we were delighted to be once again joined by members from Mölnlycke Fotoclubb, in Gothenburg, Sweden for our annual interclub meeting. This time Musselburgh Camera Club members met at the Fisherrow Centre, or by Zoom, and joined Mölnlycke Fotoclubb members by Zoom.

The evening began with Musselburgh members reviewing the 17 images submitted by Mölnlycke Fotoclubb. Members commented on the images and then voted for their top 3 favourites. The most popular images were:

  • 1st place (9 votes)
    • A beautiful long exposure image of a woodland stream. We really liked the contrast between the sharp display of leaves in the foreground and the milky water leading your eye to the background.
  • 2nd place (8 votes)
    • A beautiful, misty and artistic image of a group of reflected trees. We liked the minimalist nature of this well-composed image.
  • 3rd equal (7 votes)
    • A well captured image of a child on a swing surrounded by a deserted beach.
  • 3th equal (7 votes)
    • A street photography image of a musician playing in front of some window dummies. We liked the “footwear and accessories” theme and the almost perfect exposure.
  • 4th place (6 votes)
    • A striking image of frost patterns on a window which looked like the side view of a woman’s head and shoulders. The colours and textures on this image looked like abstract art.
  • 5th place (5 votes)
    • A colourful, misty panorama of trees blending into a glorious orange sky.

Mölnlycke Fotoclubb members then commented on our 19 images, classifying them into “winners” and “almost winners”.

  • Winners:
    • Stylish (Carol Edmund).
    • Misty Morning Loch Ard (Mike Clark).
    • Chaffinch Affection (Malcolm Roberts).
  • Almost winners:
    • Candlemakers (George Todd).
    • Trees (Kevin Johnson).
    • Flooded Park (Joe Fowler).

Well done to Carol, Mike, Malcolm, George, Kevin and Joe for impressing the Mölnlycke Fotoclubb members It was good to catch up everyone again. Roll on next year…

24 February 2022 (3 Way Inter-Club Competition)

The 3-way inter-club competition between Musselburgh Camera Club, Beeslack Penicuik Camera Club and Haddington Camera Club took place on Thursday, 24th February 2022. The meeting was hosted by Beeslack via Zoom, with images judged by Simon Allen from Dumfries Camera Club. Musselburgh had come 4th in the 4-way interclub competition earlier in the year, so we were eager to do better this time.

Each club has submitted 15 digital images, making a grand total of 45 images. There were landscape images, wildlife images, horticultural images and portraits ranging from characters at a battle re-enactment to a family beach holiday. The most unusual image was a stunning astrophotograph called “Cygnus Wall”, submitted by Haddington.

Simon mentioned there was a high standard of images overall. There were no bad images, and the marks represented the overall ranking of the images compared against each other. Simon commented on the composition and execution of each image. He described what he liked and didn’t like about each one. The best photographs had a clear distinction between subject and background, and images with bright distractions lost marks. But Simon pointed out that some background objects were necessary to show the whole story. For example, a portrait of a soldier would not have worked without the out of focus image of his musket. Some images had sharp edges in the background which might have been created by selections in Photoshop not being properly feathered.

Musselburgh members watched the competition either from home or from room G3 at Fisherrow. The post-competition chat had to be curtailed for those at Fisherrow because of a change to the Fisherrow opening hours (so apologies to Beeslack and Haddington that we had to leave so quickly at the end). The final scores were:

  • 1st place: Musselburgh Camera Club, 255 points.
  • 2nd place: Beeslack Penicuik Camera Club, 248 points.
  • 3rd place: Haddington Camera Club, 232 points.

So our revamped selection of images was a big success! Here are Simon’s best Musselburgh images:

  • Roe deer on guard (Jennifer Davidson) – 17 points.
  • Glenfinnan Viaduct (Steven Beard) – 17 points.
  • White Tailed Sea Eagle (Mike Clark) – 18 points.
  • Millarochy Bay Sunset (Gordon Davidson) – 18 points
  • Kalia – Green Activist (George Todd) – 19 points
  • Dreaming of days gone by (George Todd) – 19 points
  • Stylish (Carol Edmund) – 19 points
  • Mountain Gem Humming Bird (George Todd) – 20 points

Well done to Musselburgh, thank you to everyone who provided images for this competition, thank you to Simon Allen for judging it and thank you to Beeslack for hosting it.

03 February 2022 (Set Subject Competition – Travel in Scotland)

The second of our 3-part set subject competition took place this week.  The competition was judged by George Todd, who won last year’s competition.  13 members had entered 39 images altogether. The theme of “Travel in Scotland” had been interpreted fairly loosely. Some images showed beautiful Scottish landmarks or landscapes which could be reached by travelling in Scotland. A group of trees with a beautiful sky were assumed to be in Scotland. Other images showed Scottish transport, such as a road, ferry, bridge, railway station or viaduct.

George commented on the composition of each image. The landscape images were stronger when they contained three elements: an interesting foreground, a middle ground and a distant background. Some of the images were good in part but were spoiled by containing too much of a particularly uninteresting element, such as a car park or an expanse of water, grass or greenery. George suggested cropping these area to reduce their dominance and rebalance the image. Some of the images showing an empty scene would have been improved by a focal point, such as a person standing in the railway station or a boat on the water.  Images of landmarks were better if they could tell a story by including some characters, and there were some fun images of highlanders, tourists and highland cattle.

The top scorers were (in reverse order):

  • 5th place (47 points)
    • Lorraine Roberts
    • Kevin Johnston
  • 4th place (48 points)
    • George Smith
    • Jennifer Davidson
  • 3rd place (49 points)
    • Malcolm Roberts
    • Gordon Davidson
    • Carol Edmund
  • 2nd place (50 points)
    • Joe Fowler
  • 1st place (51 points)
    • Steven Beard
    • Mike Clark

The top images were:

  • Glenfinnan Viaduct (Steven Beard) – 20 points
  • Racing Along (George Smith) – 19 points
  • Bow Fiddle Rock (Mike Clark) – 18 points
  • Hebrides to Uig Ferry (Jennifer Davidson) – 17 points
  • Scotland for Ever (Joe Fowler) – 17 points
  • Scotland the Brave (Joe Fowler) – 17 points
  • Packhorse Bridge Carrbridge (Malcolm Roberts) – 17 points
  • Mystery Island Cruise (Mike Clark) – 17 points
  • Blue hour at the 3 Bridges (Gordon Davidson) – 17 points
  • Melrose Abbey (Carol Edmund) – 17 points

Steven Beard and Mike Clark have both won the right to judge next year’s competition! Well done to both. The league table after two competitions looks like this:

Joe Fowler (52 + 50 = 102)
Mike Clark (50 + 51 = 101)
Steven Beard (49 + 51 = 100)
Carol Edmund (49 + 49 = 98)
Malcolm Roberts (– + 49 = ??)
Gordon Davidson (45 + 49 = 94)
George Todd (47 + — = ??)
Lorraine Roberts (– + 47 = ??)
Kevin Johnston (– + 47 = ??)
Jennifer Davidson (45 + 48 = 93)

Joe Fowler is in the lead, but only 1 point separates the top 3 places. Entries for the final part of the competition on “Street Photography” are due on 3th March 2022.

27 January 2022 (Human Portrait Print Competition)

27th January was another milestone for Musselburgh Camera Club. We had our first true print competition for 2 years! The last time we reviewed prints at the Fisherrow Centre was for an earlier human portrait print competition on 30th January 2020. This week’s competition was judged by Gordon Scott of Mid Calder camera club. You can see some of Gordon’s work at the link below:


This competition was more complex than previous print competitions because we were broadcasting the event to members who preferred to connect by Zoom. We set up a narrow-angle webcam which captured a view of our print stand, and Gordon wore a radio microphone. A wide-angle microphone was used to speak to the members on Zoom. The complexity of the situation lead to some technical issues, and we learned it is important to make a careful note of which microphone is which in the list that Zoom gives you. Gordon was very patient with us.

8 members had entered 24 images altogether. Gordon noted that some of the images (which showed groups of people interacting) stretched the definition of a portrait, which he expected to be of a single person.  There were photographs of people at work, people taking part in a battle re-enactment, people on the street, and images captured from a photoshoot.  John West had entered a selfie, which amused some of the audience.  Gordon commented on the location of the subject within the frame. Some images were cropped a little too tightly, for example cropping off the top of the subject’s hat. Other images seemed to have too much space on one side, or could have been angled differently to show more of an elaborate costume and less background.  Gordon pointed to distractions which could have been removed, darkened or cropped out. He also explained how the depth of field is important. In most portraits it is important to blur out the background to keep attention on the subject; with the exception of subjects who are doing a job, where it is important to be able to see what they are doing.  Some of the images were spoiled by an unfortunate pose, for example a hand which was too dominant. The final thing which separated the best images from the rest was the lighting.  Harsh lighting caused distracting shadows or bright streaks on some portraits. The very best images were captured in soft lighting. Gordon’s top 6 images (which can be seen on our Facebook page) were:

  • Kalia – Green Activist  (George Todd) – 20 points
  • Lean and Mean (Joe Fowler) – 19 points
  • MacAulay Clansman (George Todd) – 19 points
  • Fabrication Welder (Joe Fowler) – 18 points
  • Nguyet (George Todd) – 18 points
  • My Magnificent Beard (Carol Edmund) – 18 points

The top scorers were (in reverse order):

  • 4th place (47 points)
    • Jennifer Davidson
    • Mike Clark
  • 3rd place (49 points)
    • Charlie Briggs
    • Carol Edmund
  • 2nd place (52 points)
    • Joe Fowler
  • 1st place (57 points)
    • George Todd

Congratulations to George Todd, whose 3 images all made the top 6. Thank you to everyone who dusted off their printers and made the effort to enter this competition, and thank you very much to Gordon Scott for judging and putting up with our technical issues.

Next week we have the second of our set subject competitions: “Travel in Scotland”.
See you on Thursday,


Two different image submissions this week

The next Musselburgh Camera Club meeting will be at 7:30 on Thursday, 13th January 2022. This meeting will be an informal “Christmas Members Evening”, where we will discuss our Christmas-themed images and vote on our favourites. George Todd will be presenting the evening, so please email George JPEGs of your 3 Christmas-themed images by this Thursday morning. (Note that images sent on Thursday afternoon might not make it before George travels to Fisherrow.)

We have two different image submissions this week. George is also collecting images for the second set subject competition on the theme of “Travel In Scotland”. Please also send George 3 JPEG copies of your “Travel In Scotland” images by this Thursday.

06 January 2022 (Set Subject Competition – Reflections)

Our first club meeting after Christmas was the first of our 3 set subject competitions: competition A on the subject of “Reflections”.  The competition was judged by Malcolm Roberts, who had won last year’s competition.

27 images had been entered by 9 members, with different techniques used to capture the reflection. There were images of reflections in lochs, harbours and rivers; and reflections in windows and shiny floors.  Jennifer Davidson had used a puddle to capture a unique reflected view of the Kelpies and Carol Edmond had captured flowers reflected in a mirror and glass table.  But perhaps the most intriguing image was John West’s photograph of a reflection in a spoon.  Malcolm awarded the highest points to the most atmospheric images taken in the best lighting and with the fewest distractions, and Mike Clark’s beautiful “Misty Morning Loch Ard” was admired by all.  Malcolm noted that some of the images had lost detail in the shadows or highlights. He also suggested cropping some images to home in on the detail, or using a different viewpoint to balance the composition (which isn’t always possible when standing on a balcony or next to water).

The top scorers were (in reverse order):

  • 5th place (47 points)
    • George Todd
  • 4th place (48 points)
    • John West
  • 3rd place (49 points)
    • Steven Beard
    • Carol Edmund
  • 2nd place (50 points)
    • Mike Clark
  • 1st place (52 points)
    • Joe Fowler

The top images were:

  • Misty Morning Loch Ard (Mike Clark) – 20 points
  • Island Reflection (Joe Fowler) – 19 points
  • Painterly Reflection (John West) – 18 points
  • Little Mandarin Duck (Joe Fowler) – 17 points
  • Disney Castle (Steven Beard) – 17 points
  • Granton Harbour (Steven Beard) – 17 points
  • Floral Reflection (Carol Edmund) – 17 points

Well done to Joe Fowler, who wins the right to judge next year’s competition.  This is the first of a 3-part competition, with the final result depending on the total score from the best 2 competitions. The observant will notice that only 1 point separates the 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th places, so at this stage everybody is still in with a chance.

Please note that the image hand-in date for part 2 of this competition (on the theme of “Travel In Scotland”) is this coming Thursday, 13th January 2022. Please send your 3 JPEG images to George Todd.  Images for the final part of the competition (on the theme of “Street Photography”) are due on 3rd March 2022.