Appeal for photographs of Preston Tower

Prestonpans community council are looking for photographs of Preston Tower to help with its restoration. If you have any photographs of Preston Tower in your collection please email them to prestonpanscommunitycouncil@gmail.com, together with dates when they were taken. You can also click this sentence to add photos to their original Facebook post.

28 April 2022 (AGM and Presentation of Trophies)

The 2020/22 Musselburgh Camera Club season ended on 28th April 2022 with the AGM and the presentation of trophies. This season we have been presenting our meetings in a hybrid format where they are hosted at the Fisherrow Centre but broadcast live by Zoom, which has given members a choice of how to attend. Zoom has again allowed us to reach out to judges, speakers and clubs who would normally have been too far away to visit us. For example, we had another live meeting with Mölnlycke Fotoclubb in Sweden. Zoom also gave us the added bonus of being able to share some speakers with Beeslack Pencuick Camera Club. The hybrid format and remote judging meant that most competitions were still in a digital format, although this year’s Human Portrait Print Competition gave members an opportunity to practice printing and mounting. We hope club meetings will return to a more normal meeting format next season, although we will be keeping the Zoom option because of the opportunities it brings.

Members had an opportunity during the evening to suggest and vote for the topics for next year’s set subject competitions. The top results were:

  1. Castles
  2. Wildlife
  3. Landscape
  4. Black & White

The AGM finished with a presentation of trophies and medals to those present in the room and with trophies delivered to those who attended by Zoom. The full list of winners can be found on the following page:

Trophy Winners – 2021/2022

Although the AGM brings the formal 2021/22 season to an end, there will be informal meetings by Zoom every Thursday evening throughout the summer. We have also restarted our summer print exhibition in local libraries, with a schedule on the following page:

2022 Library Exhibitions

Our first meeting of the 2022/23 season will be on Thursday, 1st September 2022. We have another programme packed with local and remote speakers to look forward to. I hope to see you then.

Steven Beard

Club Photoshoot at Figgate Park, Portobello

Next week’s Musselburgh Camera Club photoshoot will be taking place at Figgate Park (Figgy Park) in Portobello. We will meet there on Thursday, 14th April from 7pm onwards and stay as long as the light allows. I understand there are some lovely walks and opportunities for photographing water birds. I don’t know the area as well as some members, but it looks like Hamilton Drive has the best parking opportunities, so I will aim to be at this entrance by 7pm:

Map of Hamilton Drive entrance

Click here for a map, courtesy of the Edinburgh Southern Orienteering Club.

Figgate is quite a small park, so if you arrive after 7pm or use a different entrance I’m sure you’ll bump into other members while wandering around.

I look forward to seeing you there, Steven.

The 158th Edinburgh International Exhibition of Photography 2022

Doug Berndt would like to let Musselburgh Camera Club members know that the Edinburgh International is open for entries. There’s a 10% discount for group entries of 10 or more. Doug says being local, to save postage, prints could either be dropped off at Mailboxes Etc at 96 Rose Street or contact him for a time when EPS is open. If prints are marked for collection, all could be retrieved after the exhibition from EPS. Entrants also get free entry to the exhibition and can collect a copy of the printed catalogue. Visiting the exhibition is all the sweeter when you have one or more of your own prints selected!

Click this link for more information: https://www.edinburghphotosalon.com/

07 April 2022 (Doug Berndt: My photography journey, distinctions and some of my favourite images)

This week we were delighted to welcome Doug Berndt ARPS EFIAP to Musselburgh Camera Club. Doug is the “Immediate Past President” of Edinburgh Photographic Society. Doug is our last speaker of the season, and because of a technical issue, is also the first speaker to visit the club both in person and speak to us by Zoom within the same session. You can see more of Doug’s work on his web site:

https://edinburghdoug.com/

Doug spoke about his photography journey and explained how he achieved his ARPS with the Royal Photographic Society and his EFIAP with the International Federation of Photographic Art. Doug began by showing us the old film cameras he used when just getting into photography. He then showed is the 10 images he had used for his LRPS qualification. The aim for LRPS is to show a wide range of photographic techniques using 10 images combined into a panel. The RPS provide advice and feedback to help a photographer to put together a panel, and Doug explained how he was helped to decide which images to include. Doug then showed us the 15 images he had used for his ARPS panel. An ARPS panel needs to show a distinct body of work described by a 250 word statement of intent. Doug chose to describe a trip on the Waverley paddle steamer, and the sites visited on its journey along the Clyde. Doug finished his RPS journey by showing us his current FRPS panel, which is a work in progress at the moment.

We were also treated to a display of some of Doug’s outstanding photographs that were accepted for photographic salons, and those that won different medals and awards. This record of achievement lead to his EFIAP distinction. Doug finished the evening by showing us some of his favourite images; featuring scenes from the Edinburgh Festival, shots made on journeys through Kenya and India, and beautiful wildlife images. Doug’s experience revealed the fickle nature of photography: A highly praised photograph of a puffin that was included in an RSPB book became “just another puffin photo” a few months later; and a sharp, colourful rural scene with highland cows received a better mark when deliberately blurred and converted to black and white.

Thank you Doug for sharing your experience and providing advice about putting together panels of photographs. We are sorry the technical issue meant we couldn’t chat face to face over tea as originally intended. The club wishes you the best of luck with your FRPS assessment when it comes.

Volunteers needed for the 2022 MCC Library Exhibition

I am delighted to tell members that the Musselburgh Camera Club library exhibition will be starting again this year. The club is looking for volunteers on the following dates to help with the exhibition change-overs:

  • 7th May 2022:
    • Pick up from Fisherrow and set up at Port Seton library
  • 21st May 2022:
    • Transfer from Port Seton library to Prestonpans library
  • 4th June 2022:
    • Transfer from Prestonpans library to Gullane library
  • 18th June 2022:
    • Transfer from Gullane library to Longniddry library
  • 2nd July 2022:
    • Transfer from Longniddry library to Musselburgh library
  • 16th July 2022:
    • Take down from Musselburgh library and return to Fisherrow.

We need at least 2 volunteers to help with each transfer, and I would be happy to volunteer for the Port Seton setup and Prestonpans change-overs. I have a volunteer sheet which we can pass around at Fisherrow. If you are planning to come to Fisherrow this week please sign the sheet if you would like to volunteer. Otherwise, please email me at StevenMBeard@aol.com .

31 March 2022 (Joint Evening With Musselburgh Art Club)

This week it was a delight to revive our relationship with Musselburgh Art Club and restart our joint meetings after a 3 year hiatus. Our last joint meeting had been on 28th March 2019. We met in the larger room (G6) at the Fisherrow Centre, with some Musselburgh members joining by Zoom.

The evening began with a presentation from Joe Fowler, who showed a selection of our recent prints. Most of the prints were landscapes, showing how photographers use lighting and composition to set the mood. Joe invited art club members to guess where the photographs had been taken. Joe also showed how photographers could use post-processing to change a scene. A mountain landscape image had been created by combining a wide angle image of the mountains with a telephoto image of some buildings. This gave the buildings a more comparable size and helped balance the scene. The art club were surprised by this technique, since they usually painted scenes from life, but were interested in trying it themselves. Joe also showed harbour scenes, some still life images, and John West’s self-portrait of an artist at work.

The art club showed us a selection of their paintings. There was a discussion of the relative merits of different paint media. Most of the paintings had been made using acrylic paint, which could be built up in layers and modified as needed, but there were also some beautiful watercolours. We learned that watercolour is an unforgiving medium which is difficult to modify once painted, so it was a bold choice. There were some very impressive works by beginners. There was an interesting discussion about how cropping is judged differently for photographic works and paintings. Photographic judges tend to be more critical of parts of objects being cropped out (especially if the cropping looks accidental).

It was great to be able to meet and chat with art club members again after such a long wait. We finished the evening with some tea and biscuits and a closer view of the works presented. We were limited by the early closing time at Fisherrow, but a big “thank you” to our janitor for his help and understanding at the end.

24 March 2022 (Set Subject Competition – Street Photography)

The 3rd and final part of our 2021-22 set subject competition took place on 24th March 2022 on the subject of “Street Photography”.  Elaine Gilroy had won last year’s competition and gained the right to judge this year.  After the second competition, the leader board was being lead by Joe Fowler, Mike Clark, Steven Beard and Carol Edmond.

39 images had been entered by 13 members. Elaine had researched the definition of street photography before judging.  Wikipedia defines is at “Photography conducted for art or enquiry that features unmediated chance encounters and random incidents within public places”.  Elaine noted that the genre has quite a wide definition. It doesn’t have to feature people as long as there is evidence of a story, although it is normally made outdoors in an urban environment.  There were some really interesting stories told by the photographs entered. A couple chatting on a bench. Someone lying on the sea wall next to the beach. A skateboarder caught in mid air. A man taking his dog for a walk. One striking image submitted by Kevin Johnston showed a moving car only just missing a group of people! Elaine suggested some images could be improved by cropping them to home in on one part of the story (e.g. an image with two couples who were not interacting could be improved by concentrating on one of them). Some of the images needed straightening and others contained cloning faults or dust spots that could be removed. Coloured distractions could be avoided by converting to black and white. Elaine also suggested removing some distractions, such as a bollard in the foregound.  Elaine suggested giving some of the images a clarity boost to improve their overall sharpness.    The top scorers were (in reverse order):

  • 5th place (50 points)
    • Carol Edmond
    • Ross Robertson
  • 4th place (51 points)
    • Jennifer Davidson
    • Joe Fowler
    • Mike Clark
  • 3rd place (54 points)
    • Steven Beard
  • 2nd place (55 points)
    • Gavin Marshall
  • 1st place (57 points)
    • George Todd

The top images were:

  • Niqab Lady (George Todd) – 20 points
  • Guitar Man (Steven Beard) – 19 points
  • Home Delivery (George Todd) – 19 points
  • Stranger Danger (Mike Clark) – 19 points
  • Like My Outfit (Gavin Marshall) – 19 points
  • The Shore (Jennifer Davidson) – 18 points
  • Penny for your Thoughts (Joe Fowler) – 18 points
  • Castle Combe (Steven Beard) – 18 points
  • Business is Slow (George Todd) – 18 points
  • Look He’s Reading (Carol Edmund) – 18 points
  • Oops (Gavin Marshall) – 18 points
  • Saxaphonist (Gavin Marshall) – 18 points

Well done to George Todd, who wins the right to judge next year’s competition! Special congratulations should also go to Gavin Marshall for his best competition result so far, and to new member, Ross Robertson, for being well placed in his very first competition.    When combined with the scores from the previous two competitions, the final result is:

  • 1st place
    • Steven Beard (51 + 54 = 105)
  • 2nd place
    • George Todd (47 + 57 = 104)
  • 3rd place
    • Joe Fowler (52 + 51 = 103)
  • 4th place
    • Mike Clark (51 + 51 = 102)
  • 5th place
    • Malcolm Roberts (49 + 51 = 100)
  • 6th place
    • Carol Edmond (49 + 50 = 99)
    • Jennifer Davidson (48 + 51 = 99)
    • Elaine Gilroy (47 + 56 = 103)

I was astonished to win the trophy! Well done everyone else, and thank you Elaine for judging the competition. Some members missed the beginning of this competition because of the change of hours at Fisherrow, but Elaine was kind enough to give a replay of the first 15 minutes.

See you next Thursday when we have our joint meeting with Musselburgh Art Club. We are meeting in the larger room, G6, at 7:15pm

17 March 2022 (Charles Everitt: Water of Leith: Nature’s Course)

This week we were delighted to welcome Charles Everitt to the Fisherrow Centre to give us a face-to-face talk on one of his passions: exploring and photographing nature along the Water of Leith in Edinburgh. Charles is a retired police officer who has been a photographer for 30 years and now sits as a trustee on the Water of Leith Conservation Trust. The talk is based on Charles’ book “Water of Leith: Nature’s Course”, published in 2011. Charles was named Scottish Nature Photographer of the Year in 2020 and has contributed to the Wild Nature Diary & Calendar. You can find more of Charles’ work on his web site:

https://www.charleseveritt.com/

Charles began by introducing us to the Water of Leith, from its source in the Pentland Hills, through Colinton Dell, Longstone, Saughton Park, Murrayfield, Dean Village, Stockbridge, and finally Leith docks. He showed us images of the landmarks, wildlife and wildflowers he photographed along the way. Then he introduced us to some more abstract works: special effects created by the light reflected from the water, patterns created by frost and frozen leaves, jumbles of shapes created by the leaf litter. Street lighting, flowers or foliage reflected in the water can create some strong colours. Next he showed us tranquil photographs of the river, with the movement in the water emphasised by a long exposure. Charles finds a 1/8th second exposure shot is usually the best compromise, but he also uses 0.6s and 1.6s for a more blurry effect. He looks like places where the white water can form a line which helps create a lead-in for the viewer. A popular combination is “leaf, stone and water”, where a coloured leaf is placed on a stone in the middle of a stream of running water.

Charles explained how modern equipment has changed the nature of photography. In the past it took a lot of skill to capture a sharp and focussed image of, say, a bird in flight. But now a good camera will tend to do this for you, and everyone can take sharp photographs of birds in flight. To stand out, your photographs need to provide something extra. The emphasis is now on what the picture shows and what story it tells. When he is in a new situation, or is running out of ideas, Charles challenges himself to tell the story of his situation in 6 pictures. One example is “Winter’s Toll”, his series of 6 pictures showing dying vegetation. Another example is the 6 images he took while sheltering under the bridge at Murrayfield, showing the texture of the brickwork, the reflections in the water and the soot revealing evidence of a past railway.

Charles ended his presentation with his photographs of the Gormley statues. He showed how the statues could be made to look very different using different photographic techniques. Tranquil shots of the statues gazing up the water (with the background foliage cleverly blurred using a long exposure shot on a windy day). Close-up portraits of the statues. Night shots of the statues lit by a coloured torch. Finally, there were some low-key black and white photographs which looked like scenes from a horror or science fiction movie.

Thank you, Charles, for visiting and entertaining us with a fascinating talk.

10 March 2022 (Swedish Interclub)

Another year has gone by very quickly, and this week we were delighted to be once again joined by members from Mölnlycke Fotoclubb, in Gothenburg, Sweden for our annual interclub meeting. This time Musselburgh Camera Club members met at the Fisherrow Centre, or by Zoom, and joined Mölnlycke Fotoclubb members by Zoom.

The evening began with Musselburgh members reviewing the 17 images submitted by Mölnlycke Fotoclubb. Members commented on the images and then voted for their top 3 favourites. The most popular images were:

  • 1st place (9 votes)
    • A beautiful long exposure image of a woodland stream. We really liked the contrast between the sharp display of leaves in the foreground and the milky water leading your eye to the background.
  • 2nd place (8 votes)
    • A beautiful, misty and artistic image of a group of reflected trees. We liked the minimalist nature of this well-composed image.
  • 3rd equal (7 votes)
    • A well captured image of a child on a swing surrounded by a deserted beach.
  • 3th equal (7 votes)
    • A street photography image of a musician playing in front of some window dummies. We liked the “footwear and accessories” theme and the almost perfect exposure.
  • 4th place (6 votes)
    • A striking image of frost patterns on a window which looked like the side view of a woman’s head and shoulders. The colours and textures on this image looked like abstract art.
  • 5th place (5 votes)
    • A colourful, misty panorama of trees blending into a glorious orange sky.

Mölnlycke Fotoclubb members then commented on our 19 images, classifying them into “winners” and “almost winners”.

  • Winners:
    • Stylish (Carol Edmund).
    • Misty Morning Loch Ard (Mike Clark).
    • Chaffinch Affection (Malcolm Roberts).
  • Almost winners:
    • Candlemakers (George Todd).
    • Trees (Kevin Johnson).
    • Flooded Park (Joe Fowler).

Well done to Carol, Mike, Malcolm, George, Kevin and Joe for impressing the Mölnlycke Fotoclubb members It was good to catch up everyone again. Roll on next year…