17 September 2020 (Opening Night and Trophy Presentation)

We started the 2020-21 season with a very different kind of opening night. We normally meet up at the Fisherrow Centre for a social gathering, a look back at the previous year’s photographs and a look forward to the coming events on the syllabus. It is an opportunity for potential new members to come and meet our members, try out the club and see if it is the kind of club they would like to join. None of that happened this year. The Fisherrow Centre remains closed to clubs, and due to Covid-19 restrictions we can’t meet face to face as a group. But we have a new Zoom Pro account to try out, we can meet virtually from our own homes and find creative ways to make this season work.

I was pleased to be able to announce two new events on the syllabus. There will be a joint meeting with Mölnlycke Fotoclubb on 22nd October and a presentation of images from two photographers from The Netherlands on 3rd December. Being able to meet via Zoom gives us the opportunity to meet other photographers around the world.

Our first creative event of the season was a simulation of the trophy presentation that would have taken place at the end of the last season. Normally, we would have the trophies neatly arranged in order on a table, with the bronze, silver and gold medals lined up. The winners would be called up one by one to accept their prize. Instead of this face-to-face ceremony, George Todd (our competition secretary) put together a presentation to run us through the competition results. The winner of each trophy was announced by an impressive curtain-open transition, while members responded with cheers and Zoom reaction buttons; and some winners responded with surprise because they had forgotten they had won! Here are the full results. Congratulations to all the winners:

The next creative event will be a socially-distanced photoshoot at the Royal Botanical Gardens in Edinburgh. Some members had already visited, and others were intending to visit this weekend. We will all visit separately but join up at the next club meeting (on 24th September) to discuss our visit and share our pictures. I look forward to seeing you all again next week.

Socially Distanced Photoshoot – Royal Botanical Gardens Edinburgh

This is to let you know I have booked a time slot to visit the Royal Botanical Gardens in Edinburgh at 15:00-17:00 on Saturday, 19th September 2020. I am planning to enter by the West gate at Arboretum Place, as there is more parking there.

The current rules will not let us all meet up at the gardens, but I suggest members make their own arrangements to visit the gardens and take photos. You don’t have to choose the same time slot as me (especially if the weather forecast changes between now and when you book!). If you arrange to visit the gardens between now and 24th September we can meet by Zoom, share our experience and offer each other advice. After that there’s nothing to stop anyone going back to the gardens a second time to take that advice into account. I hope everyone will eventually get the same out of it as a normal photoshoot, even if it takes longer.

As a reminder, the “nature and wildlife” images are due on 3rd December 2020 and the “flowers and horticulture” images on 4th March 2021, so there’s still plenty of time.

See you at the virtual trophy presentation this Thursday.

Steven

 

10 September 2020 (Extra Club Meeting)

We are starting the 2020-21 season two weeks later than usual. There has been a lot of uncertainty over the summer about whether or not the Fisherrow Centre would reopen, and exactly how many of our meetings we would need to hold by Zoom videoconference. This extra club meeting was arranged by Zoom to inform members about the latest news. Here is a summary:

  • The club needs to follow guidance for keeping members safe during the covid-19 pandemic. The situation is changing constantly and members are advised to monitor the web site and watch out for club emails to be informed of last minute changes. You can find some guidance at the following links:
  • Existing members can join the club by emailing the treasurer, returning an application form and paying their membership fee by bank transfer or cheque. New members can contact the club secretary (as stated on the home page) and will be referred to the treasurer.
  • The Fisherrow Centre is closed until further notice, so all our meetings will be held by Zoom unless otherwise stated. I have created two sets of recurring meetings for members:
    • A meeting at 19:30 every Thursday for our regular club meetings.
    • A meeting at 19:30 every Tuesday for extra meetings such as training sessions.
    • When members join the club they will be given the information needed to join these two meetings. However, we can create as many meetings as we like, and the club is not limited just to these two occasions.
    • Haddington camera club have kindly provided a link to this article describing how to use Zoom:
      https://www.businessinsider.com/how-to-use-zoom
  • There has been a change to the club rules for Digital Projected Images. All images must now be no wider than 1600 pixels and no taller than 1200 pixels. The matches the club rules to Scottish Photographic Federation (SPF) rules.
    • The deadline for submitting images to the DPI competition is Thursday 17th September. Please email them to georgetodd1957@me.com.
  • Print competitions will take place digitally until further notice. Judges will accept images digitally, but they must be sized to the same limits as DPIs.
    • Members can add a small border to indicate how they would have mounted their image, but this is entirely optional.
    • Because of the image size limit, use a thin border, not the thick border demonstrated in my previous club message.
  • We would like to arrange regular photoshoots so that members have an opportunity to meet face to face outdoors. The following venues were suggested:
  • The maximum limit of 6 people from 2 households meeting up will make photoshoots more difficult but not impossible. We can follow this procedure:
    • The club advertises a venue and a 2 hour time slot.
    • Members make their own arrangements and visit the venue during that time slot.
    • Up to 6 members from 2 households can arrange to meet up.
    • After the visit we meet together by Zoom, show our pictures and compare our experience.
  • The recent change in the rules on meeting people in Scotland means that next week’s opening night and trophy presentation cannot take place face to face. Instead, George will present the trophies virtually and will arrange to have them delivered to winners.

The real start of the club season begins next week with our opening night and long overdue presentation of the trophies from last year. I look forward to seeing you again (albeit through a computer screen).

How to Make a Digital Print

Our new season is fast approaching. This season, because of covid-19 restrictions, it is likely that many of our print competitions will need to be held digitally. Our judges have agreed to accept digital versions of images and judge them as if they were prints.

So how do you distinguish a print competition from a digital projected image competition if both competitions are judged digitally? Well, one of the differences in a print competition is choice of mount: its colour and size relative to the print. For a digital competition you won’t be able to physically mount your prints, but you can make it look like they have been mounted. The following presentation shows you how to do it using Photoshop.

HowToPrepareADigitalPrint

Here is a mount-board swatch I created by scanning samples of my own mount-board. If you have a different selection of favourite mount-board colours, you can scan or photograph samples of your own to make a similar swatch.

Of course, with “digital” printing you can create a mount-board in any colour you like!

I look forward to see you all at this Thursday’s extra meeting and welcoming you to the start of the new season.

Coming Soon: Set Subject Competition C (Old Faces)

In one week’s time we will be trying something completely new and having a club meeting by Zoom teleconference! George Todd will present the results of our final set subject competition of the 2019/2020 season. Click the following links for a reminder of what happened in the previous two competitions:

09 January 2020 (Set Subject Competition – Travel)

13 February 2020 (Set Subject Competition – Wildlife)

George Todd,  Joe Fowler,  Anne Yeomans and Malcolm Roberts are all in a strong position. Join the competition to find out who will be picking up the trophy, and who will be judging next year.

In a few days I will send a meeting invitation directly to all members (it won’t be posted on the web site). If you would like to join and have not heard anything by Wednesday please email StevenMBeard @ aol.com and I will send you the invitation. In the meantime, you can prepare for the meeting by downloading the Zoom client from

https://www.zoom.us/download#client_4meeting

You can install a client on a computer or mobile device (but a computer with a large screen will give you the best view of the images). You will need sound to hear George, but a camera is optional. You don’t need to sign up with Zoom to join the club meeting. You can test that your computer can connect to a meeting (and check your sound is working) by clicking on this link:

https://www.zoom.us/test

I look forward to seeing you all again and trying out this new “meeting from home” format. This time everybody will be responsible for making tea!

 

Date for the final set subject competition of 2019/2020

The votes are in, and it looks like Thursday, 25th June is the most popular date by just one vote (10 votes for that date and 9 for the others). So our final set subject competition (Old Faces) will take place by Zoom on Thursday, 25th June 2020 at 19:30.

I will send you all a meeting invitation nearer the time. In the meantime, I hope you are all continuing to stay safe.

 

Choosing a date for our final set subject competition.

George has agreed to present the results of our final set subject competition of 2019/2020 (“Old Faces”) by Zoom. We have 3 possible dates in June when George is able to present the competition (assuming we do it on a Thursday evening like any other MCC meeting).

Please use the following poll to vote for each of the date(s) you would prefer (multiple choices are allowed). If you can’t make any of the dates, please click the last option and suggest another date between 8th and 26th June (we can switch to another day of the week if nobody can make a Thursday). We’ll choose the earliest date with the most votes.

Result of the vote for the Set Subjects for 2020/21

The votes are in, and the final result of the online voting is:

  • Nature and Wildlife: 7 votes
  • Landscapes: 4 votes
  • Flowers and Horticulture: 3 votes
  • Abstract: 3 votes

Some recent votes for Landscapes have moved it into second place. There is a tie for third place between Flowers/Horticulture and Abstract. These two subjects were also suggested by 3 members each, so that doesn’t break the tie, so third place goes to the first suggestion I received. Looking back at the dates when I received the suggestions:

  • Flowers and Horticulture was first suggested on 3rd May 2020.
  • Abstract was first suggested on 4th May 2020.

Flowers and Horticulture was suggested first. So the set subjects for 2020/21 will be:

  • A: Nature and Wildlife, on 7th January 2021, judged by George Todd.
  • B: Landscapes, on 11th February 2021, judged by Jennifer Davidson
  • C: Flowers and Horticulture, on 25th March 2021, judged by the winner of the “Old Faces” competition (to be announced).

The 4th subject (Abstract) will be the theme of the Digital Knockout Competition on 25th March 2021.

Some members have asked for advance guidance on what the subjects include. While each judge has the final say in how closely each image matches the subject, here are some suggestions:

Nature and Wildlife: This is a wider category than the “Wildlife” subject we had this year. This category includes any image of the natural world. Like “Wildlife”, the image must not be altered from its natural state, but unlike “Wildlife” any natural scene is allowed, including farmyard scenes, wild plants, aquariums and zoo scenes. Click here to see the full SPF definition.

Landscapes: This category should be self-explanatory. Wikipedia says: “Landscape photography shows spaces within the world, sometimes vast and unending, but other times microscopic. Landscape photographs typically capture the presence of nature but can also focus on man-made features or disturbances of landscapes“. So, unlike the nature photography, a landscape image can include an artificial element, such as the Forth Bridges.

Flowers and Horticulture: The covers all images of flowers and plants, either arranged in a vase or still life or growing in a garden. It also covers images of gardens. Wild flowers and plants are not allowed unless they have been cultivated as part of a garden display.

Abstract: Wikipedia describes abstract photography as “a means of depicting a visual image that does not have an immediate association with the object world and that has been created through the use of photographic equipment, processes or materials“. In other words, it is an image where the shapes, textures and colours in an image are the dominant factor, rather than any specific subject. A close-up of the texture on a wall or a rusted bucket, or an out of focus image of Christmas tree lights are examples of abstract images. This is a subject you can really experiment with.

I hope these subjects will inspire you to be creative over the summer. Best of luck!

 

Last chance to vote for next season’s set subjects

After 27 votes the set subjects for next season the top 4 subjects look like this:

  • Nature and Wildlife: 6 votes
  • Flowers and horticulture: 3 votes
  • Abstract: 3 votes
  • Landscapes: 2 votes

If you emailed me your vote or commented on the previous post I have already counted your vote. If you haven’t voted yet, this is your last chance. We are still experimenting with online polling, and I discovered the voting link didn’t appear in the previous message when viewed from my phone. If that happened to you, try this link instead (https://poll.fm/10550218):

 

The final result will be announced tomorrow (Sunday, 16th May).