07 October 2021 (Digital Projected Images Competition)

The first major competition of the club calendar took place on 7th October 2021. Neil McGoldrick, from Hatton, Aberdeenshire, joined us via Zoom to judge our Digital Projected Images competition.  You can check out some of Neil’s work on his Flikr site: https://www.flickr.com/people/45770642@N04/

The competition almost didn’t take place as expected. We arrived at the Fisherrow Centre to discover the Wi-Fi was not working!  This is not a good thing for a hybrid meeting connected through Zoom.  After we had spent 20 minutes struggling to connect, George Todd eventually saved the day by turning his mobile phone into a Wi-Fi hot spot.

17 members had entered 54 images altogether. There were shots of wildlife, landscapes, urban architecture, portraits, men at work, flowers, and some interesting abstract and still life shots. One of these, John West’s “For Khandles”, was praised for it’s amusing and imaginative title.  Neil commented on the composition of each shot and did not like shots with too much empty space or strong background colours. There were some beautiful compositions he really liked but needed their highlight areas darkened. Some shots were not quite sharp enough where it mattered. Neil was pleased that so many members had decorated their images with a border, which helped delineate them when projected onto a screen, but he suggested that pure white is not necessarily the best colour to use. A very bright colour can draw the eye away from the centre. He suggested using a more neutral colour.  The top scorers were (in reverse order):

  • 5th place (48 points)
    • Lorraine Roberts
    • Gordon Davidson
  • 4th place (49 points)
    • Charlie Briggs
    • Gavin Marshall
    • Mike Clark
  • 3rd place (50 points)
    • Jennifer Davidson
    • Joe Fowler
  • 2nd place (51 points)
    • Malcolm Roberts
  • 1st place (55 points)
    • GeorgeTodd

The top images were:

  • Candlemakers (George Todd) – 20 points
  • Not on Speaking Terms (Charlie Briggs) – 19 points
  • Kelpies at Night (George Todd) – 18 points
  • White Tailed Sea Eagle – Catch of the Day (Mike Clark) – 18 points

Well done to George Todd for winning the competition and getting the 1st and 3rd placed images. Commiserations to Charlie Briggs and Mike Clark, who had images placed 2nd and 4th but just missed out on a medal. But your great images will still help the club in our inter-club competitions. The total scores included a lot of shots scoring 17 points.

Next week we will go through the competition images a second time, with more opportunity for feedback, comments and questions. I am away on holiday, so next week’s meeting will be hosted by George and Joe.

See you in two weeks.
Steven

Digital Projected Images Competition – Submission date coming up

A reminder that the submission date for the Digital Projected Images competition is this coming Thursday, 16th September 2021. This is an open competition, so you can send colour images of any subject. If you would like to enter, please send 3 JPEG images to George Todd (georgetodd1957@me.com) by this Thursday.

Please resize your images to no larger than 1600 pixels wide and 1200 pixels tall.

ROSL Photography Competition

The club has been contacted with information about the Royal Overseas League photography competition, which is free to enter and open to everyone over the age of 18. The competition is open until 6th September 2021 and is accepting digital images on the theme of “International Friendship”. Not many of us have travelled overseas recently, but perhaps you have some images which fit the subject?

Visit this link for more information: https://www.rosl.org.uk/photography

Set Subjects for Next Season

A reminder that the subjects chosen at the club AGM for next season’s set subject competition are:

  • A: Reflections
  • B: Travel in Scotland
  • C: Street Photography

The subject chosen for the digital knockout competition is:

  • Three Colours

Anne Yeomans, who suggested the “Three Colours” subject, says the idea is to select three images each with a single, dominant colour. For example, you could choose a red pillar box image, a white snowman image and a blue sky image for a red/white/blue theme. Whether you choose to make your images monochrome, colour pop them or leave the non-dominant colours as they are is up to you. Your fellow members will be the judges in this competition.

Best of luck!

15 April 2021 (Digital Knockout Competition)

Our last competition of the season was an informal one: our annual digital knockout competition, where all the members get a chance to be judges.  Members submitted up to 3 JPEG images on the theme of “abstract”. 46 images were submitted in total. The images turned out to be a masterclass in photographic innovation. Members had used a variety of clever techniques to create their images; making use of reflections, intentional camera movement, close-ups of textured surfaces; unusual views of architectural features, household objects or artworks; or composites cunningly constructed from objects photographed in a light box. The simplest, and yet most innovative, example was Anne Yeoman’s photograph of the back of the lid from a jar of curry sauce. Now we will all see our used jar lids in a new light!  There were also some great humorous entries, such as Joe Fowler’s  “Crush Me If You Can” and Mike Clark’s “Release The Kraken”.

Members judged the quality and impact of each image, together with its relevance to the “abstract” subject. Most of the images were of high quality, making it difficult to pick the winners. Members felt that the best abstract images were ones that used the texture, shapes and colours of an object to create an effect where the identify of the original object was not obvious.  There were debates whether a textured surface was made of wood, rock, ice (or coffee!); or whether the unusual shapes seen were natural or create by an art filter effect.  There were some excellent still life and landscape compositions which lost out due to their subject matter not being sufficiently abstract, but those images could do very well in a more general competition.  The images were paired together in a series of head-to-head rounds until only 7 remained. Members then voted for their favourite to determine the final placings, and the result was:

  • 4rd place
    • Seascape (Stephen Williams)
    • Orange Light (Sandra Crowhurst)
    • Frosty Feathers (Anne Yeomans)
  • 3rd Place
    • Abstract 03 (Gordon Davidson)
    • Cool Abstract (Lorraine Roberts)
  • 2nd Place 
    • Looking Up (Stephen Williams)
  • 1st Place
    • The Vortex (John West)

The evening ended with a lengthy discussion about exactly how each image had been created, making it the longest club meeting of the season!

Well done to John West, whose winning image was created by taking some beautiful coloured reflections and warping them into a dramatic vortex pattern. Stephen Williams’ second placed image converted an unusual view of an electricity pylon into something looking like an artwork. In third place, Gordon Davidson’s image showed an unusual view of a stack of metal chairs, and Lorraine Roberts’ image showed the surface of a glacier.

25 March 2021 (Set Subject Competition – Flowers and Horticulture)

The third and final part of our set subject competition took place on 25th March 2021 on the subject of “Flowers and Horticulture”.  The competition was judged by George Todd, one of last year’s winners. Besides judging this competition, George Todd began the competition top of the leader board with 108 points. This was the score everyone needed to beat.

45 images had been entered by 15 members. George remarked that flower photography was a difficult subject. It was tricky capturing a good image of flowers in a garden without including distractions in the background. Depth of field was critical. It needed to be large enough to capture the interesting parts of your flower but narrow enough to blur the background. Some of the flower images entered had been made in a garden, while others had been taken indoors under more controlled conditions.  George commented on the composition of each image. The flower images worked better when you could see the stem leading to the flower. Clusters of flowers worked just as well as single flowers, even if not all the flowers were in focus, but very blurred flowers in the background made coloured distractions. Some images worked better when cropped tighter on their subject and some needed their colours enhanced. George also commented on the lighting an exposure of the images. The UV light in strong sunlight can very easily overexpose a flower image and wash out the colours. It is better to take the images in soft light and expose for the highlights. The images overall were to a high standard, which resulted in lot of high scores.

The top scorers were (in reverse order):

  • 5th place (52 points)
    • John West
  • 4th place (53 points)
    • Malcolm Roberts
    • Steve Williams
    • Gordon Davidson
  • 3rd place (54 points)
    • Steven Beard
    • Anne Yeomans
  • 2nd place (55 points)
    • Joe Fowler
  • 1st place (56 points)
    • Elaine Gilroy

The top images were:

  • Lilly in the Rain (Joe Fowler) – 20 points
  • Sunflower (Elaine Gilroy) – 20 points
  • Reflected Beauty (Steven Beard) – 19 points
  • African Violet (John West) – 19 points
  • Frosty Leaves (Anne Yeomans) – 19 points
  • There were also 14 images with 18 points; belonging to Jennifer Davidson, Joe Fowler, Malcolm Roberts, Steven Beard, Steve Williams, Elaine Gilroy, Catriona McKay, Gordon Davidson, Ian Marr and Anne Yeomans.

Well done to Elaine Gilroy, who wins the right to judge next year’s competition! The final result of the competition after this close and high scoring round is:

  • 1st place
    • Malcolm Roberts (56 + 53 = 109)
  • 2nd place
    • George Todd (53 + 55 = 108)
  • 3rd place
    • Joe Fowler (52 + 55 = 107)
    • Steve Williams (54 + 53 = 107)
    • Gordon Davidson (53 + 54 = 107)
    • Anne Yeomans (53 + 54 = 107)
  • 4th place
    • Steven Beard (49 + 54 = 103)
    • Elaine Gilroy (47 + 56 = 103)

Well done to Malcolm Roberts, who wins the trophy! Thank you also to George Todd for judging the competition.

11 March 2021 (Swedish Interclub)

Our very last face to face meeting of 2020 was the Swedish Interclub meeting, where we reviewed images submitted to us by Mölnlycke Fotoclubb, in Gothenburg, Sweden.

19 March 2020 (Swedish Inter-club Competition)

Almost one year later, on 11th March 2021 were were once again reviewing their images. This time however, thanks to our newly discovered method of holding virtual meetings by Zoom, we were joined by Mölnlycke Fotoclubb members. Both clubs had submitted 21 images each, which were reviewed in turn. Musselburgh members submitted votes for their top 5 favourite Mölnlycke images, which were:

  • 1st (36 votes)
    • A beautiful and mysterious image of a woodland stream. This was by far the most popular image, which most members who voted declared as their favourite.
  • 2nd place (23 votes)
    • A striking image of trees covered in snow contrasting with the soft water of a stream, lit by a golden light.
  • 3rd place (19 votes)
    • A beautiful New Zealand landscape with fantastic mountains and lovely reflections, with a duck captured in just the right place.
  • 4th equal (16 votes)
    • An innovative and beautiful, minimalist image of a small tree, created using a double exposure.
  • 5th place (12 votes)
    • A well posed, backlit image of a robin.

Mölnlycke members’ favourite Musselburgh image was a striking black and white picture of a rose created by Elaine Gilroy.

 

 

 

11 February 2021 (Set Subject Competition – Landscapes)

The second of our 3-part set subject competition took place this week. The subject was “Landscapes”, and the competition was judged by Jennifer Davidson, one of last year’s winners. There were 48 images altogether, entered by 16 members. There are fewer opportunities for capturing good landscape images during current restrictions. Some members had submitted views from their local environment, but most images came from trips members had made in the past. There were many Scottish landscapes, ranging from East Lothian to Skye, along with scenes captured overseas as far away as the USA, Iceland, Southern Africa and New Zealand.

Jennifer commented on the composition of each image, with some compositions becoming stronger when cropped to make their main subject off-centre. In some cases, a sloping horizon, or the presence of dust spots, caused a distraction. Some images contained distracting features, such as dead trees, foreground weeds, or too many people, which could have been removed by cloning or by waiting for a better opportunity. There were also some examples of poor cloning, and Jennifer recommended always going over a cloned area a second time to look for duplicate features or areas which stand out because they are sharper or softer than their surroundings. She also recommended checking the direction of light and shadows within a composite image. The most frequent comment was about the sharpness of the images. Most landscape images need to be sharp from foreground to horizon. While some images (such as of crashing waves or fleeting mist) could be hand-held grab shots, landscape images are best taken using a tripod and a narrow aperture to give a good depth of field.

The top scorers were (in reverse order):

  • 5th place (50 points)
    • Steve Williams
  • 4th place (51 points)
    • Malcolm Roberts
  • 3rd place (52 points)
    • Joe Fowler
  • 2nd place (54 points)
    • Gordon Davidson
  • 1st place (55 points)
    • George Todd

The top images were:

  • View from the Crags (Joe Fowler) – 20 points
  • Alftavatn Lake Boat House (George Todd) – 20 points
  • Pentlands Weather (Malcolm Roberts) – 19 points
  • Milarochy Sunset (Gordon Davidson) – 19 points
  • Kincardine Sunset (Gordon Davidson) – 19 points
  • Kalahari Desert and Lone Oryx (George Todd) – 18 points
  • View from Traprain Law (Carol Edmund) – 18 points

Well done to George Todd, who wins the right to judge next year’s competition! The league table after two competitions looks like this:

George Todd (53 + 55 = 108)
Malcolm Roberts (56 + 51 = 107)
Gordon Davidson (53 + 54 = 107)
Steve Williams (54 + 50 = 104)
Joe Fowler (– + 52 = ??)
Anne Yeomans (53 + 48 = 101)
Mike Clark (50 + 49 = 99)
Carol Edmund (49 + 49 = 98)

Only 1 point separates George Todd from the rest of the field. Entries for the final part of the competition (“Flowers and Horticulture”) are due on 4th March 2021.

 

14 January 2021 (Human Portrait Print Competition)

This week we had the digital replacement for our human portrait print competition. The competition was judged by Simon Wooton of Midlothian Camera Club. Click on the link below to see Simon’s gallery of landscape, sport and wildlife images.

Simon Wooton’s image gallery.

13 members had entered 38 digital images of people. There were portraits of individuals and group portraits. The group portraits worked better when they told a story of people interacting together, rather than just people who happened to be standing near to each other.  A group of people taking a selfie in the botanical gardens while their baby looks away bored out of shot told a story, as did the shot of two tired young girls in stained and crumpled party dresses sitting on the doorstep.  Simon particularly liked the shots of happy people enjoying life, as an antidote to the current situation. He expected shots taken in a studio to have a higher technical quality than spontaneous shots made in the street. Some portraits had distracting accessories, and Simon recommended hiding shoulder straps from bags that were not visible and removing objects that poked out from behind someone’s head. In some shots harsh lighting had lost detail in the highlights, or had cast a shadow onto the eyes, while other dull shots could be improved with a levels adjustment. Focussing and sharpness were an issue for some shots. It was important to focus on the subject and avoid camera shake, but also important not to oversharpen facial features. The framing of each image was important, and Simon suggested a tighter crop or a different placement of the background in some shots. Despite his enjoyment of the group shots, it was the individual portraits that won the day.

The top scorers were (in reverse order):

  • 5th place (47 points)
    • Gordon Davidson
    • Gavin Marshall
  • 4th place (49 points)
    • Steven Beard
  • 3rd place (50 points)
    • Joe Fowler
    • Steve Williams
  • 2nd place (52 points)
    • Mike Clark
  • 1st place (54 points)
    • George Todd
    • Carol Edmund

The top images were:

  • An Old Gentleman (Carol Edmund) – 20 points
  • Temple Boy (George Todd) – 19 points
  • I’m in Trouble (Mike Clark) – 19 points
  • Prabhu – Temple Warden (George Todd) – 18 points
  • The Joker (Mike Clark) – 18 points
  • The Basket Weaver (Steve Williams) – 18 points
  • Black Lives Matter (Carol Edmund) – 18 points

Well done to George Todd and an especially warm well done to Carol Edmund, who wins a trophy in only her second year at the club.

RHS Photographic Competition 2021

Sandra Crowhurst has pointed out that the Royal Horticultural Society’s 2021 photography competition is now open for entries. Click below for details.

https://www.rhs.org.uk/promotions/rhs-photo-competition/

Entry is free, so if you have already collected photographs for our “flowers and horticulture” competition you could send them to this competition as well.  You could also browse their galleries for ideas how to improve your images before submitting them. Best of luck!