Photographers needed for school prom on 5th June 2020

The club has been contacted by an S6 pupil from Preston Lodge High School in Prestonpans to find out if any club members would be willing to take some souvenir portraits of the class at their final year school prom at 7:30pm at the Strawberry Barn in Dunbar (near the Thistly Cross roundabout) on 5th June 2020. The pupils would like to be photographed on arrival. I think we will need more than one photographer to photograph them all in a short space of time while they are arriving (luckily it’s June so there should be daylight). The pupils are happy to reimburse expenses, although they can’t afford professional prices. To save time and costs they would be happy to accept digital copies of the photos and make and frame the prints themselves.

If you can help out on 5th June please let Joe or Steven know.

 

Astrophotography: How do you find out what’s up there?

I was asked if there are resources that will tell you what is coming up in the sky, so you can make plans for astrophotography. The answer is sufficiently useful that I thought I would post it to everyone. I think the very best web site for planning astrophotography is this one:

https://www.heavens-above.com/

Click on the link and you have a large number of options. I have programmed the above link to select “Musselburgh” as the default location. Click on “location” in the top right corner to see what the sky is doing where you live. The site is used by amateur astronomers, satellite and space enthusiasts, but the pages I think would be most useful for astrophotography are:

  • Interactive Sky Chart: This tells you what the sky looks like on any date. The zenith (looking straight up) is in the middle of the graph and the horizon is around the edge. Change the date to see how the sky will change in the future. You can, for example, see where the Milky Way crosses the horizon on each date. You can follow the planets and see if there are dates when they clump together and make a show at sunset or sunrise.
  • The Moon: This page lets you follow what happens to the Moon on future dates. You can check its phase and check when it might pass close to a planet and make a good show. For example, dial up 28th January 2020 and press “update” and you’ll see the crescent Moon passes close to Venus. If the sky is clear this would  be a good time to photograph the Moon as it sets.

Another very useful site is this one:

https://www.timeanddate.com/

The first thing you’ll need to do is click the “set home location” link under “Set time” and set your home location to Edinburgh, Scotland (it doesn’t know about Musselburgh). This site doesn’t have as many features as heavens-above, but it is is best site for predicting eclipses. Click here to bring up the eclipse planning page. The site is not as good at remembering your location, so make sure you type “Edinburgh, Scotland” in the “Place or country” box to get the correct information. You’ll find the next eclipse visible from here is a rather boring penumbral lunar eclipse on 5th June 2020. Keep tracking forwards and you’ll see there is a good solar eclipse on 10th June 2021. Put that date in your diary.

Finally, another site I find useful is this one:

https://spaceweather.com/

The site is dedicated to monitoring solar activity, so it is a good place to get sunspot and aurora predictions. The site doesn’t plan ahead but tells you what’s in the sky right now. It’s a good place to see alerts about aurorae or unusual clouds that could make interesting landscape images. Best of luck!

I hope all this will be useful to some members.

 

MAMA Revue 2020 Dress Rehearsal

The club has received the following message from Jane Renton, Musselburgh Amateur Musical Association president.


Happy New Year! I hope you are well.
The dress rehearsal for our upcoming Revue is next Wednesday (15th) in the Brunton theatre and once again I was wondering if any of the members of Musselburgh Camera Club would like to come along and take some photographs. The rehearsal will probably start about 7pm – 7:30 ish and we have to be out of the theatre by 10pm. If anyone is interested in coming along could they maybe drop me an email at jane.renton@btinternet.com, just so I know how many people to expect and so I can let them know if there are any changes in timing.
Many thanks
Best wishes
Jane

MCC Trip to the Trossachs – This Weekend

Jim Tod has provided more information about this weekend’s club trip to Loch Ard in the Trossachs. Jim is proposing to go on Saturday morning, as the weather forecast looks better that day, and there is a chance of some morning mist. If you would like to go on the trip please sign the list on club noticeboard this evening. (I will be passing Jim’s contact details to those who signed up, in case you need to get in touch on the day.) Jim recommends bringing warm clothing and wellies. (Some photographic equipment would also help! 🙂 )

On the subject of car sharing, Jim is happy to pick up 2 members from Eskbank railway station car park at 5:50-6:00am on Saturday. Please call him if you would like a lift.

Jim has provided some maps showing the meet-up points. The first map shows an overview of Loch Ard. The 7:30am meeting point is on the right, on the road from Aberfoyle, and the 10:30am meeting point is on the left, near Kinlochard village hall.

Here are some more detailed maps of the two meeting points.

I hope you all have a fabulous trip, get some good weather and come back with some great sunrise images to share with the club.

 

12 September 2019 (Recorded Lecture)

On our second club night of the 2019/2020 season we watched a CD of images accepted into last year’s Dingwall National Projected Image Competition. We watch these images to give us some inspiration and also see what kind of images are popular at the moment. In the “Landscape” section there were many photographs of reflections and aurorae, but images of a lone tree against a snowy background seemed to do particularly well in the competition this time. The “nature” category included a wide variety of images, ranging from a dangling slug to a group of lions.

Next week (Thursday, 19th September) I will be giving my “Introduction To Photography” presentation. Bring along a camera to join in some practical demonstrations.

Some club announcements:

  • Joe Fowler will be giving a photography and mounting class for new members and beginners. If you are interested please see Joe at the next club meeting.
  • Musselburgh Camera Club will be taking part in the Musselburgh Communities Day at the Brunton Hall from 11am-3pm on Saturday, 21st September 2019. We need some volunteers to help look after the display. If you can help please contact Steven Beard at StevenMBeard@aol.com.
  • Jim Tod is arranging two club outings in the near future.If you are interested in any of the four options below, contact Jim at jim@todfamily.me.uk or sign your name on the sheet hanging up on the noticeboard.  Ask Jim for detailed directions.
    • The first outing is a masterclass in seascapes and long exposure photography on Saturday, 21st September. There are two options: (1) Meeting at 06:30am at the old outdoor pool in North Berwick to photograph the sunrise; and (2) Meeting at 09:30am at Seacliff Beach (off the A198 near North Berwick).
    • The second outing is an autumn photoshoot in the Trossachs on Saturday 19th or Sunday 20th October (depending on Scotland’s rugby world cup fixtures).  Again there are two options: (1) Meeting at 7.30 am at boathouses south end Loch Ard to capture the early morning light; and (2) Meeting at 10:00am at Kinlochard Village Hall.

Some photographic opportunities coming up:

Garden Photography

While we are on the subject of this weekend’s Musselburgh Flower Show and garden photography, the National Garden Gift Voucher scheme have announced a photographic competition where you could win a trip to next year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show. Click the link below for details.

https://nationalgardengiftvoucher.co.uk/photography-competition


On the same subject, the club has received the following notification :

I wanted to let your members know about an exciting weekend workshop for keen amateurs wanting to improve their garden and landscape photography skills, led by Garden Photographer of the Year 2018, Andrea Jones . September 20th-22nd.

Andrea will explore her creative process and share her trade secrets over a weekend in one of East Lothian’s most beautiful gardens, Fairnielaw. Expect an inspiring taste of practical photography, theory and image processing. Learn how to deal with the most common challenges a photographer can face; coping with harsh light, making the most of the elements and shooting in cramped spaces. group will be limited to 12 people to allow space and time with Andrea for everyone.

Click here, for details and booking. https://www.eventbrite.com/e/garden-photography-workshop-with-andrea-jones-tickets-63559735881

Any queries, please let me know.

Best wishes

Susan Begg (susan@semplebegg.com)

Photographers Wanted for Blitz Dress Rehearsal

The club has received the following message from Jane Renton of Musselburgh Amateur Musical Association. about their new show “Blitz” at the Brunton Theatre.


Our show is rapidly approaching again, and as usual, if any club members would like to come along and take some photographs at our dress rehearsal that would be great. The dress rehearsal is at the Brunton Theatre as usual on Wednesday 10th April. We will probably be starting at about 7:00pm. As the show is set during the Blitz there will probably be some challenging lighting conditions for folks to contend with. In addition, please note that the aisles in the theatre will be being used for stage access so please keep these clear.
If anyone interested could email me at   so I have an idea of who is coming that would be great.
Many thanks,
Jane Renton

More info about the club trip to Harris & Lewis around October 2019

Back in January, Jim Tod circulated a suggestion for a possible club trip to the western isles later this year. Jim has been researching the possibilities and has sent us the following update. If you are interested in going please contact Jim ASAP so he can make the booking.


Harris & Lewis Trip Update

The proposed dates for the trip are Saturday 2nd November 2019 until Friday 8th November 2019, arriving on Harris from Skye on Saturday 2nd about 8pm and leaving from Harris on Friday 8th about 4pm. I am just firming up but these are the most likely dates currently.

The hotels will require a deposit of 50% of the accommodation cost 3 months prior to arrival (i.e. end of July 2019). Since this is well before the start of the new season in September, we will need a deposit before the end of the current season this April. The 50% deposit for hotel accommodation would be £180 per person. Jim will hold the deposit money (or we can ask Steve to hold the money in the club account) deposit has to be paid. If circumstances change, it is possible to cancel the accommodation any time before the deposit is paid by letting Jim know, and the deposit will be returned. Jim can arrange bank details with those interested.

If anyone is interested in these dates can they please email jim@todfamily.me.uk to confirm interest ASAP as Jim is looking to provisionally book the hotel this week.

Regards

Jim

Possible club trip to Harris & Lewis around October 2019

Here is the information from Jim Tod about the trip to the western isles he is suggesting for later this year and is happy to arrange on behalf of the club. If you are interested please email Jim at jim@todfamily.me.uk so he can keep you informed. Jim would like to meet with those interested early in February to talk about the arrangements and see if the trip would be feasible.


Club Visit to Lewis & Harris in Autumn 2019 – Jim Tod

The time-frame would be late October to early November 2019, but preferably late  October just before the clocks change: sunrise 8am, sunset 6pm-ish, dipping back to 7.30am to 5pm-ish when the clocks change.

For me it’s mainly a landscape trip but I’m not averse to a bit of wildlife photography. If there are clear skies (and perhaps aurora) then I’d be aiming for a bit of astrophotography also: dark skies galore if the weather’s good. There are lots of classic places: Luskentyre, Seilbost, Scarista, Hushinish, Northton salt marshes, Rodel Church, Gold Road, Mangersta, Callanish and anywhere else that works for us. There would be an opportunity to head over for a bit to North Uist.

I’d be planning to travel on the ferry from Uig in north Skye, not far from Quirang, Fairy Glen and Old Man of Storr. There would be an option for people to add some  time on Skye if they wished, as the journey is a good 5-6 hours’ drive and 2 hr ferry, and the hotel in Uig is a minute from the terminal. Another option would be to travel via the Ullapool to Stornoway ferry. Ullapool is a quicker drive by about 1-1.5 hours but the ferry trip is longer at 3.5 hours and there’s another hour’s drive from Stornoway to Tarbert.

For the accommodation plan I would aim for a B&B in Harris, or a hotel subject to availability. For meals, maybe packed lunches from the hotel and then it depends where we are at night for either dinner in the hotel or somewhere else. The planned duration would be 5 to 6 days. The duration really depends on ferry times which change on different days of the week.

Depending on numbers I’d be suggesting no more than 2 or 3 people in a car which is more about getting all the kit there (camera kit, wellies, wet weather gear) and allowing flexibility on the island for those who wish to do different things at different times.

Budget-wise I think £450-600 would be the order for a B&B for 5 to 6 nights plus a share of the ferry trip. Shared fuel, lunch, dinner and drinks would be on top of that.

Please email me at jim@todfamily.me.uk  if you are interested, and speak to me at a club meeting, and we can discuss the options in early February,

Jim Tod

Observing Comet 46P/Wirtanen

As I mentioned at yesterday’s club meeting, there is a comet moving across the sky this weekend. It is called “46P/Wirtanen” and is currently moving North through the constellation of Taurus, which is just to the right of the constellation of Orion. You should be able to see the comet by looking south around 10pm. The comet is supposed to be visible to the naked eye, but you need to look very carefully. It is larger than the size of the full Moon, and if you see it it will look like a faint, fuzzy blob. Any nearby street lights or thin cloud in the sky will spoil the view, so you will need to find somewhere dark. There are some dark spots along the coast at Longniddry Bents, or up Birsley Brae.

If it’s too faint for your eyes, a pair of binoculars will help (the larger the better). Better still, you could try photographing the comet! A long exposure on the digital camera will bring up more detail than you can see with your eyes. On a photograph you’ll notice the comet is green. There is a photograph of the comet displayed at http://www.spaceweather.com/, where they say:

This comet is an easy target for digital cameras with exposures as short as 10 to 30 seconds. Astrophotographer Juan Carlos Casado offers some advice to novices: “Use Raw file format, a fast lens (at least f/2.8) and ISO settings between 1600 and 3200. The exposure will depend on the focal length. I normally use the 500 rule–that is, exposure = 500 / focal length (mm). It also helps in areas with light pollution to use an antipollution filter. I am now using Optolong L-Pro clip filter which gives excellent color balance.

What the photographer doesn’t say is that you will need to set your camera to manual mode. Manually set the focus on infinity, mount the camera on a tripod, turn off vibration reduction (if your lens has it), set the camera to “M” mode and set the aperture and shutter speed manually. You can use a standard lens, rather than a telephoto, because the comet is quite large. Check out the Christmas tree photo at spaceweather.com.

You can find sky charts of the comet at http://www.cometwatch.co.uk/comet-46p-wirtanen/ and there is a live image of the sky showing where the comet is right now at https://theskylive.com/46p-tracker.

Best of luck!

Steven.