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 email@example.com to confirm interest ASAP as Jim is looking to provisionally book the hotel this week.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com if you are interested, and speak to me at a club meeting, and we can discuss the options in early February,
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!
The club has received the following message from Jane Renton, president of the Musselburgh Amateur Musical Association.
It is nearing that time of year again when MAMA stage their annual Revue in the Brunton theatre. Over the past few years we have been delighted to welcome members of Musselburgh Camera Club to take photos of our dress rehearsals and we would like to offer this opportunity again. We would hope this would provide members with an opportunity to practice their skills in a theatre setting where changing light levels may prove an interesting challenge. In return, we would be grateful if you could provide us with some images which we could use for publicity and to put on our website ,which is currently being developed. We would also acknowledge the camera club in our programme.
This years Revue dress rehearsal is on Wednesday, 16th of January 2019 usually starting around 7 -7:30pm.
If anyone is interested could they please drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I can confirm details nearer the time.
Members might be interested in a Scotland The Big Picture lecture called “Scotland: A Rewilding Journey”, which is coming to the Royal College of Physicians, Queen Street, Edinburgh at 7:30pm on Saturday, 24th November. Tickets cost £12.
I am told the STBP photographers give good workshops, so the website is worth monitoring. Click here to see their image gallery.
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:
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.
Members may be interested in two photography competitions which are open for entries at the moment. Click on the links below for more information:
Go Wild Scotland photo competition : Send in photographs captured on the “Sustrans” national cycle network. Closing date Monday, 18th June 2018.
Scottish Portrait Awards : The Scottish Portrait Awards are open to anyone born, living or studying in Scotland, and 16 years old by 1 October 2018. Entries close on 30 June 2018.
The following competition is not yet open, but watch this space:
Scottish Photography Awards : Scotland Photography Competition and Regional Photo Awards. To qualify for entry in this regional competition, any photos you wish to enter, must have been taken in Scotland.
The club has received a message from Doug Berndt of Edinburgh Photographic Society:
Edinburgh Photographic Society has arranged A Day With Fotospeed – the Photographic Paper and Ink specialists. This will be held on Sunday April 15th 2018 at Edinburgh Photographic Society, 68 Great King St, Edinburgh. (Parking is free all day on a Sunday in the streets around EPS, including in the marked Permit Zones).
The day will include talks from Vince Cater and Mark Littlejohn. Vince’s talks include discussion of Colour management and printer/paper profiling.
If any MCC members are interested in joining the event, please email Doug at email@example.com. Places are limited and will be allocated strictly in the order requested.
To cover costs there is a charge of £20 per person. You can pay this directly to Doug, to Doug via another EPS member, or by Paypal (please ask Doug for details).
Tea and Coffee will be provided on a self-help basis in the kitchen. You should bring a packed-lunch for the day.
The club has just received the following message from Kit Millar of the Musselburgh Amateur Musical Association. Please contact Kit directly if you are interested.
I think I contacted you last year to ask if any members of the Musselburgh Camera Club would like to come along and take photographs of our Calamity Jane dress rehearsal on Wednesday 11th April from 7pm? MAMA have always loved the photos which the camera club have taken for us – and we always make sure and send them in to our press contacts so they can put them with their reviews!