This week we had the first Members Evening of the season, where club members present their work and talk about their interests. Allan Cameron began the evening by showing an audio-visual presentation he had made when he visited an arts and crafts fair at Cockenzie House and Gardens, in Cockenzie as part of the 3 Harbours Arts Festival. The fair included demonstrations of salt panning, bronze casting and other fascinating crafts.
Joe Fowler followed with a presentation of photographs taken during the club visit to Mölnlycke Fotoclub, Gothenburg in April 2019. Joe explained how the connection between Gothenburg and Prestonpans come from an old trade agreement where goods were exchanged at Morrisons Haven. Joe’s images showed that Gothenburg, like many modern cities, contains a mixture of old and modern features. There was a lot of building work going on, a new arts centre, a picturesque canal and chruch, an old sailing vessel and a floating car park. Joe also showed some of the street photography images he captured under the guidance of professional photographer Agneta Delleforres Dryden.
- There is an exhibition of photographs showing life in Scotland from 1840 at the National Portrait Gallery in Edinburgh. Click here for details.
- A reminder that the Scottish Landscape Photographer of the Year competition is open.
- Next week we will be competing with Edinburgh, Kirkcaldy and Stirling in the 4-way inter-club competition. We will be meeting in the large room in the far corner of the Fisherrow Centre. Instead of going into room G3, carry on along the corridor and use the left hand door before the stair well. Come along and support your club.
Some members may recall the 2018 black and white print competition, where Sue Hill CPAGB and Doug Hamilton CPAGB of Edinburgh Photographic Society judged our prints and gave us good advice. We enjoyed their double act so much we invited them back this week to judge our colour print competition.
There were 57 prints altogether. Several were landscapes taken in places around the world. Lots of shots from Scotland, but also some from Ireland, Yorkshire, Venice and New Zealand. There were several wildlife shots and some interesting still life and abstract compositions. Sue and Doug carefully described each print, explaining what they liked and giving feedback on what could be improved. There was a very high standard overall, leading to a record number of high marks. For the prints that didn’t achieve the high marks, unwanted distractions were a common theme: bright areas which drew attention away from the main subject, or tiny details (such as a polythene bag or intruding camera lens) which clashed with the main subject. Some images could have been improved by better lighting or a better depth of field. The black mounts used for some prints didn’t help the subject and Sue and Doug would have preferred to see a lighter mount. But kudos to Elaine Gilroy, for the entertainment brought by a print entitled “Your Left Luggage Is Secure”, featuring an armoured vehicle driving past a secure building looking like Fort Knox with a “left luggage” sign on it! Carol Edmund’s print “Feather Pillows” also raised a chuckle, since the feathers in question were still attached to the birds.
The top scorers were (in reverse order):
- 5th place (50 points)
- 4th place (53 points)
- Jennifer Davidson
- Mike Clark
- 3rd place (56 points)
- 2nd place (57 points)
- 1st place (59 points)
The top images were:
- Platinum Point (Joe Fowler) – 20 points
- Lesser Masked Weaver At Work (Jim Tod) – 20 points
- San Giorgio Maggiore (Jim Tod) – 20 points
- Lunar Landscape (George Todd) – 20 points
- Pelican Reflection (George Todd) – 20 points
- Magnificent Hummingbird (Anne Yeomans) – 20 points
- Iguana With Tracker (Anne Yeomans) – 20 points
- Cheetah Resting In The Shade (George Todd) – 19 points
- Laua Heron Fishing (Anne Yeomans) – 19 points
- Brown Hare At Sunset (Jennifer Davidson) – 18 points
- Jay In The Rain (Jennifer Davidson) – 18 points
- Bridge To Nowhere (Joe Fowler) – 18 points
- The Old Mill (Joe Fowler) – 18 points
- Loch Ard Jetty (Mike Clark) – 18 points
Well done everyone for achieving such a high standard of entries that we ended up with seven twenty point images! And a special congratulations to George Todd and newcomer Anne Yeomans for jointly winning the competition with an almost perfect 59 points.
This Thursday, 7th November 2019, is the closing date for the black and white print competition. Please bring along 3 mounted prints. The prints can be of any subject, as long as they are made from shades of black, white and grey. If you enter the competition please also send digital versions of your images as 3 JPEG files to George Todd (firstname.lastname@example.org). This is important, as we will not be able to enter the black and white prints to the 4-way competition on the 21st November, but we will be able to use the digital copies.
I will set up the club mount cutter in the back room at 7pm for members wishing to tidy up their mounts before submitting their prints..
Members with a collection of nature photographs may be interested to know that the RSPB have a competition to find images they can feature in their “Inspiring Nature” calendar, with winners receiving a pair of binoculars. The closing date is 17th November 2019. Click the link below for details.
RSPB Inspiring Nature Calendar Competition
A club night on the 31st October was the perfect opportunity to have a Halloween knockout competition. Members brought along images vaguely associated with the theme of Halloween. 31 images were entered altogether. The mages were paired up and members voted for their favourite in each pair. There were several portraits, including a green witch, a vampire, a skeleton, three variations of a girl in costume, and several groups in scary gothic make-up. There were some composition shots of a skull or a Frankenstein in front of a graveyard, shots of pumpkins and spiders, a crow. Members wondered if the shot of a swan staring at the camera was quite scary enough for Halloween, and a landscape shot showing a calm sunset had the audience baffled.
There were an off number of images in the second round, so the audience voted on which of the rejected images to bring back. An image of the grim reaper was a clear winner, and it joined the other 7 images to battle for a place in the final. In the end, 4 images remained, and members voted for their favourite. The final result was:
- In 4th place with 3 points, the grim reaper image which had won a place in the second round, by Joe Fowler.
- In 3rd place with 5 points, an image of a group of glowing skeletons crossing the road (looking very like a still from a Ray Harryhausen film), by Anne Yeomans.
- In 2nd place with 6 points, an image of a pumpkin carved into a skull in a window framed by 2 candles, by Steven Beard.
- In 1st place, with 10 points, an image of a scary tree (below), also by Steven Beard.
Scary Tree in Dalkeith Country Park
So in the end I won the box of chocolates I had brought in to present to the winner! There were some “trick or treat” chocolates for the runners up. Thank you to everyone who entered the competition. There were some good images on show and hope everyone enjoyed taking part. You might well see that box of chocolates again in the near future… The evening finished with a review of the “Match an Image” competition from the previous week.
On 17th October 2019 we reviewed the results of the Digital Projected Images competition, which had taken place 2 weeks earlier.
03 October 2019 (Digital Projected Images Competition)
The judge, Simon Wooton, had left us a very comprehensive set of feedback on the images. This gave us the opportunity to review the competition images and discuss how they might be improved next time. Most members noticed the judge had spotted distractions or faults in their images they hadn’t noticed. This is a common problem. Showing your images to someone else before submitting them can often help. Another technique is to prepare your images weeks in advance, set them aside and forget them, and then look at them again before the competition. Giving yourself more time helps you spot things you might not have noticed.
We discussed some of the common problems reported in the images, and methods of correcting the problems. I have compiled all the advice into a handy PDF document which you can obtain by clicking on the link below.
NOTE: On 31st October there will be a Halloween digital knockout competition. Please bring along 1, 2 or 3 JPEG images on the theme of Halloween/Gothic/Horror/Trick-or-Treat/Costumes/Ghosts/Graveyards… or anything else vaguely related to the Halloween season. The best image on the night wins a prize.
Members will recall that last February we competed with North Berwick Photographic Society in a new competition format called “Match An Image”, in which each team has 30 seconds to match an image displayed by the other team. We did rather badly in that competition because we weren’t used to the format. Click the link below to see what happened last time.
14 February 2019 (Match That Image)
On 24th October 2019 we had a rematch with North Berwick. This time they hosted the competition and entertained us with a delicious collection of cakes and biscuits. The competition was judged by Andy Bennetts. We were better prepared than last time, and this year the competition was a lot closer. By half time the competition was neck and neck at 16 points each. We opened the second half by attempting to repeat our trick of matching an image of a spider with a herd of elephants. This time it didn’t work, and North Berwick took the lead. They stayed ahead until we managed to catch up by matching their image of a group of mushrooms with our image of a cauliflower! Then we won three consecutive rounds with images of a canoeist, a showjumper and a light house, and we moved ahead. The rounds became more chaotic as we tried to match their images with fewer to choose from. At the end of the competition we played our last image – Jim Tod’s “Church Of The Santissimo Redentore”. Astonishingly, they managed to match it with their final image of a building the same shape. But their final match didn’t help much. In the end, Musselburgh won the competition by 32 points to 27.
Thank you to North Berwick for hosting us, and thank you to everyone who submitted images and helped us to win.
On 10th October 2019, Christine Murdie gave us a fascinating, illustrated story of her journey to the arctic to carry out a survey. Christine is a qualified conservationist who works for the marine charity Orca, which is committed to studying and protecting whales, dolphins and porpoises.
Click here to see about some of Christine’s recent surveys for Orca.
Christine described a cruise to the Barents Sea via Norway, where she was tasked with counting and photographing wildlife (especially cetaceans). She showed us the images taken en-route: some of the wildlife she was surveying and some of the spectacular scenery which distracted her from the wildlife. On the way she visited Stravanger, Lysefjord, Bergen, Andalsnes, Alesund, Rorvik (where she spotted a lion’s mane jellyfish), Torghaten (with views of the seven sisters mountain range), the Lofoten Islands, Trollfjord (place of trolls), Tromsø, Honningsvåg, and then arrived at the northern cape of Norway. After that, the ship travelled on to Bear Island and Svalbard. Amongst shots of the breathtaking scenery, Christine showed us some rarely-seen images of whales with babies and blue whales breaching.
The story, though spectacular, was tinged with some sadness. There was far less snow up above the arctic circle than there used to be just a few decades ago, and she has watched the glaciers are retreating over the years. The idyllic Norwegian fishing towns contrasted strongly with the ugly and polluting Russian mining operations in the Barents Sea. The wildlife count was smaller than it used to be, and some species (including the polar bear featured in the title of the talk) were not seen at all during the most recent trip. All in all, a fascinating talk with a conservation message for us all to take away.
This Thursday we will not be meeting in our usual room at Fisherrow. We will be travelling to North Berwick Photographic Society for an away match of the annual “Match An Image” competition. Thank you to everyone who sent in their weird and wonderful images.
The competition takes place at Abbey Church, High Street, North Berwick, EH39 4HE. You can find directions here on the North Berwick club web site. Karen Stout, the North Berwick club chair, has also provided the following map
Directions to North Berwick Photographic Society.
and says: “If you are looking at the church straight on from the High Street, the entrance to use is in Church Road on the left hand side of the church. It’s a modern glass walled porch. Once inside you walk straight ahead across the corridor that goes off to your left and into the little vestibule. The hall where we hold our meetings is through the glass doors on your left and down some stairs.”
The competition starts around 8pm and should finish around 9:45-10pm, with a break for tea at half time. I will be there early to set up the MCC laptop. I would be grateful for some volunteers to keep score or help us manage our images. See you there. This time I hope we’ll give them a run for their money…
Joe Fowler has agreed to take late entries for the colour print competition. If you didn’t manage to bring your prints in this evening you can deliver them directly to Joe at 11 Durham Road, Edinburgh, EH15 1NU before next Thursday. Please telephone 0131 669 7646 to check Joe is in before delivering, or email email@example.com.
Don’t forget also to mail JPEG copies of your 3 images to George Todd at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.