Club Meetings Resume This Thursday

Happy New Year everyone! I hope you all had a good Christmas break.

Our club meetings resume at 7:30pm this Thursday, 10th January in our usual room (G3) at Fisherrow. This Thursday we have a talk by photographer Neil Scott FRPS. Those of you who remember the “Keep It Simple Stupid” talk he gave us last year know we are in for a treat. Instead of the “A Silk Purse from a Sow’s Ear” talk listed in the syllabus, we are going to be one of the first clubs to hear a brand new talk from Neil:  “The Camera Never Lies”.

See you on Thursday.

 

Christmas Social Evening – Thursday 20th December

The club social evening takes place at the Ravelston House Hotel in Musselburgh. The hotel is on N. High Street, just up the road from the Fisherrow Centre, as shown below.

We will meet at the hotel bar from 7pm onwards, and the table is booked from 7:30pm.

A Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all Musselburgh Camera Club members!🎄

 

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.

13 December 2018 (Black and White Print Competition)

This week we had the privilege of entertaining Doug Berndt, president of the Edinburgh Photographic Society, who judged our black and white print competition. Doug said he judges photographs by considering their impact, story, quality, creativity and composition, and the best images need to score well in all 5 categories.

There were 45 prints entered altogether. This gave Doug time to appraise each image in detail, point out good features or mistakes and try out different crops. Some good quality images lost out because they didn’t have an impact, so it pays to think about the story you are telling at the time an image is captured. Would a different angle or different location help? Are there distracting things in the background? There were also some highly creative and promising images which lost out on quality, primarily because they had blown highlights or lost detail in the shadows. Some prints had colour casts, and Doug suggested members with Epson printers could try using “advanced black and white mode” to remove the casts. A special mention goes to Colin Dempster, whose image entitled “The Moment Of Truth – Italian Explorers Selection” had everyone, including Doug, guessing what it meant.

The top scorers in the black and white print competition were (in reverse order):

  • 5th place (48 points)
    • Malcolm Roberts
  • 4th place (49 points)
    • Sean Connor
  • 3rd place (51 points)
    • Joe Fowler
  • 2nd place (55 points)
    • Jim Tod
  • 1st place (57 points)
    • George Todd

Well done to George Todd, who retains his black and white title. George’s image “Swayambunath Temple Lady” was the top image of the competition.

The top images were:

  • Swayambunath Temple Lady (George Todd) – 20 points
  • Sunflower Mono (Jim Tod) – 20 points
  • Dirt and Dust  (Joe Fowler) – 19 points
  • Moscow Metro (George Todd) – 19 points
  • Low Tide (Joe Fowler) – 18 points
  • The Lost Pay Packet (Jim Tod) – 18 points
  • Chitwan Girl (George Todd) – 18 points
  • My Brother (Sean Connor) – 18 points

Photographers Wanted for MAMA Revue Dress Rehearsal

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  jane.renton@btinternet.com  and I can confirm details nearer the time.

Kind Regards

Jane Renton

Dean Bricknell talk at Beeslack Penicuik Camera Club

This coming Thursday, 6th December 2018, there will no meeting at Fisherrow. Instead we will be travelling to Beeslack Penuick Camera club to see a presentation by wildlife photographer Dean Bricknell. This is a shared meeting between Beeslack and Musselburgh. No tickets are needed, and all members are invited to attend. The presentation starts at 7:30pm.

Those who travelled to the 4-way competition on 1st November will remember the directions, but here they are again. Beeslack Penicuik Camera Club meets at

Beeslack Community High School
Edinburgh Road
Penicuik
EH26 0QF

Click the above address for a map and directions to the school. The image below shows where we are meeting. If you are approaching from the Edinburgh direction on the A701, turn left when you see the small sign to Beeslack High School on the right hand side of the road. Follow the yellow route shown to the car park around the back of the school, then follow the dotted path to the school entrance. The meeting will be taking place somewhere within the building marked with the “X”.

As before, George Todd is willing to pick up members who would like a lift from Western Musselburgh. Please email George (address on the front of the syllabus) and give him your contact phone number if you would like a lift. I will be glad to give a lift to anyone who lives on the Eastern side of Musselburgh, near Wallyford. Please email me (Steven Beard, address also on the front of the syllabus) if you would like a lift. We both have limited space, so it will be first come first served.

I look forward to seeing you all in Penicuik again.

29 November 2018 (Digital Knockout Competition – Transparency)

The club’s annual digital knockout competition took place this week. Members had spent the summer collecting images on the challenging theme of “transparency” and had interpreted the theme in creative ways. Many of the subjects were still life arrangements of transparent glasses and bottles, although there was one ghost! Some images were taken through a rainy window, through water and even through wet rice paper, and some images used a veil or curtain to give a feeling of transparency.  About 36 images were entered altogether, and after 3 knockout rounds there were 5 images remaining in the final round. Members voted for their favourites, and the final result was:

  • In 5th place, “Liquid Gold”, a still life of a golden drink being poured into a glass, by Jennifer Davidson.
  • In 4th place, “Through The Window”, an intriguing image of a room viewed through a window, by Simon Wilkinson.
  • In 3rd place, “Bubbles In A Glass”, a still life of a glass with large bubbles at the top, by Jennifer Davidson.
  • In 2nd place, “Through The Curtain”, a portrait of a model looking through a net curtain, by Jennifer Davidson.
  • In 1st place, “Face At The Window”, a portrait of a monk looking through a rainy window, by Joe Fowler.

Well done to Jennifer Davidson, who got all 3 of her images into the top 5, and congratulations to the winner, Joe Fowler, who won a box of transparent fake diamonds!

22 November 2018 (Introduction to Audio-Visual Presentations)

On Thursday, 22nd November I gave club members an introduction to making audio-visual presentations. Audio-Visual presentations are another way to show your work, in addition to prints and digital projected images. Click on the following link to download the notes from my presentation.

MCCIntroductionToAudioVisualsNotes

You can create a slide show with captions, animation and basic sound effects using PowerPoint. Clive Davies showed us how PowerPoint can be used to present a large number of images within a surprisingly small file size. The image compression is sufficiently good that the image quality on screen looks just as good as the original.

To make a full audio-visual presentation you will need extra software. The club recommends Photodex ProShow for Windows PC users. You can download a trial copy from http://www.photodex.com/proshow. Mac users can try Boniten Photo Theatre Pro, which is a similar product.

The evening finished with some example audio-visual presentations. Gus Langlands showed us one of the first presentations he and John Knox had put together, taking the viewer on a tour of the sites around East Lothian. The images for that presentation were scanned from slides. Gus and John create their sound track using Magix Sound Forge audio editing software, which can edit a sound track in the same way that Photoshop can edit an image. Unwanted clicks and pops can be “healed” out.

This coming Thursday, 29th November we have a knockout competition on the theme of “transparency” (i.e. subjects which are transparent or evoke the theme of transparency, not slides). Please bring along 1, 2 or 3 JPEG images on the night. If you can’t be present please email your images to George Todd. Members will vote for their favourite images on the night, and the best image will win a prize!

 

19 November 2018 (4-Way Inter-club Competition at Kirkcaldy)

On Monday, 19th November 2018, half a dozen of us travelled to Kirkcaldy to see the second 4-way interclub competition of the season. The competition was host by Kirkcaldy Photographic Society and included  Edinburgh Photographic Society and Stirling and District Camera Club.  It was Kirkcaldy’s 120th anniversary. They entertained us with a spread of sandwiches, cakes and savouries, and had thoughtfully included some alcohol-free wine for those who needed to drive back across the Forth Bridge.

Clubs entered 15 digital projected images each, making a total of 60 images on the night. There was a mixture of wildlife images, landscapes, portraits and several images from kayaking events. The images were judged by Libby Smith of Carluke Camera Club.  Libby commented on the fact that several of the images looked like they had been prepared for print: the contrast was too high, and some were too light. This is something to remember the next time we prepare digital versions of print images: the lightening and contrast enhancements added to make a good print need to be removed before saving the images as DPIs.

By the halfway stage of the competition, things were not looking good for Musselburgh. We were trailing in last place, with Edinburgh and Kirkcaldy leading the field. Then the competition finished with an astonishing turn of events. Our last 3 images received 19, 19 and 20 points, jumping us into second place. Those images were:

  • Sunset over Newborough – 19 points
  • Licking My Wounds – 19 points
  • Hare Raiding Barley Field – 20 points

The final result was:

  • Kirkcaldy Photographic Society – 242 points
  • Musselburgh Camera Club – 238 points
  • Edinburgh Photographic Society – 236 points
  • Stirling and District Camera Club – 234 points

Congratulations to Kirkcaldy for winning on their 120th anniversary. In the end, it was the middle-ranking images that made the difference. Kirkcaldy had many more images scoring 17 and 16, whereas we had more images scoring 14 or 15.

Thank you to everyone who submitted images for the competition.

Venue info for Big Picture Scotland at Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh

Here is some information for MCC members intending to visit the Big Picture Scotland Event at the Royal College of Physicians on Saturday 24th November 2018. For information of those attending I have added a link below to the Big Picture website and the RCPE website showing the layout of the venue which is at EH2 1JQ in Queen Street. It’s between Hanover Street and North St David’s Street.

The lecture theatre is very steep but, if you’re late, access can be had to the top row by stairs outside the doors of the lecture theatre, as well as stairs inside.
There are a few tickets left at £12 contact gemma@bigpicturescotland.com
See you Thursday
Liz Sowler