Edinburgh Photographic Society Exhibition This Saturday

The club has received the following message from Doug Berndt, predident of the Edinburgh Photographic Society. It’s short notice but worth a look if you are in Edinburgh today.


EPS is currently displaying the Royal Photographic Society’s Nature Group and Digital Imaging Group’s annual Print Exhibitions.

  1. RPS Nature Group Exhibition – EPS is exhibiting the whole of the Nature Group exhibition consisting of around 130 prints.
  2. RPS Digital Imaging Group Print Exhibition – EPS is exhibiting a selection of the DIG exhibition consisting of 36 prints.

To give non-EPS members the opportunity to view both exhibitions, EPS will open on Saturday Feb 15th between 10:00 am and 4:00 pm (last entry 3:30).
Parking in the immediate vicinity “peripheral zone area” is unrestricted at weekends.

Entrance by £2:00 donation to EPS funds.

Scotland Photographic Roadshow

The club has receive the following message from Colin Jones of The Societies of Photographers, advertising the Scottish Photographic Roadshow in Falkirk on 3rd March 2020.


The Societies of Photographers would like to invite members of Musselburgh Camera Club to attend our next roadshow in Falkirk on Tuesday 3rd March.

These roadshows are the perfect opportunity to catch up with the latest products and services from the trade and gain education from a series of talks.

You can attend these days free of charge and they are open to members and non-members alike.

Register today – https://thesocieties.net/events/stirlingshire/

Trade Show Opening Times: 09:30-15:30

 

Free Masterclass Schedule

10:00-11:00 – Scott Johnson FSWPP Master Photographer – Making MORE money from wedding albums

Have you ever struggled in selling after the wedding has been photographed? Scott will explain his selling strategy has seen his turnover increase by over 40%! Scott will explain how he starts to sell long before the wedding day, and how he gets an average of £500 per wedding AFTER the is over. Strap in, you’re in for a wild ride!

12:00-13:00 – Luke Massey – A Spanish Winter

Join award-winning wildlife photographer & cameraman Luke Massey for a Masterclass on photographing the Spanish landscape. Luke will showcase his imagery from a winter in & around the Picos de Europa national park. An almost unknown area, yet one of Spain’s most stunning destinations.
Sponsored by Sony.

14:00-15:00 – Magdalena Sienicka ASWPP– Inspirations and ideas for Creative children portraits 

What do you think about when you are creating a Child Portrait? Is it only as a photograph to sell to your client or do you think of it as Art for your client to display proudly in their home? For Magdalena, Child Portraits are a piece of Artwork. Like a painter uses their imagination to spread paint on a canvas, a photographer needs to create and prepare for each photo shoot using their imagination, putting little pieces together to create a uniquely beautiful final picture. She will guide you through her unique style in portraiture and share with you how she sees things differently, using her imagination and things she finds around her to create the timeless light airy portraits she is becoming recognised for. Magdalena will show you her images featuring the children and the stories behind these images. You will discover how she works with children and how she poses them. Magdalena will also talk about how she styles each session using simple tricks without spending a fortune on props and dresses.

 

Mentor Me Live At The Roadshow

Have your images critiqued by Christina Lauder FSWPP Master Photographer one of our judges and mentoring specialists – you will get instant feedback and advice on your work from one of our experts.

Each session will give you 30 minutes of individual one-to-one advice.

Please bring with you 20 Images in JPEG format on a USB stick/CD or bring your own laptop.

These sessions will be of particular benefit if you are considering submitting for a qualification, though of course they can be used just to get feedback on your work.

Each session is strictly by appointment only.

Get 30 minutes of one-to-one advice for just £30. To book your mentoring session please email colin@thesocieties.net

 

Exhibitors

Aaduki Multimedia Insurance, Colorworld, Digitalab, Loxley Colour, One Vision Imaging Ltd, Sim Imaging, Sony UK, The Flash Centre, The Societies of Photographers and Wex Photo Videomore exhibitors to be confirmed soon, check our website for the full up to date list.

REGISTER FOR YOUR FREE TICKETS TODAY!

Macdonald Inchyra Hotel, Falkirk, Stirlingshire, FK2 0YB
https://thesocieties.net/events/stirlingshire/

 

30 January 2020 (Human Portrait Print Competition)

This week we had the last print competition of the season. Roger Stewart, vice president of Stirling and District Camera Club, visited Musselburgh to judge our human portrait print competition. Roger specialises in wildlife and landscape photography. Click here to see his gallery.

Ten members had entered 30 prints, which was a smaller entry than usual, but this gave Roger more time to critique each print. Most of the entries this year were portraits of individuals, but there were a few group photos, and it was a group photo of three people having fun in the water which won the evening. Some of the portraits were a little too tightly cropped, and Roger recommended allowing a little more space so that a piece of hair, or the very top of a hat, is not cut off by the frame. The depth of field was an issue in some images. In a portrait the eyes must be sharp, but there were cases where the camera had focused on a nearer part of the face, leaving the eyes soft. Portraits that were not face-on posed a particular problem. If your subject is sitting at an angle you’ll need a larger depth of field to keep everything of interest in focus. The title of the print can also suggest what needed to be in focus. For example, if the title suggests the subject is writing a letter, both the eyes and writing hand need to be in focus. Likewise, a portrait entitled “Wink” leads to a dilemma over whether the open eye or the closed eye should be in focus. Settle the dilemma by keeping them both sharp. Brightening the eyes and face can also help improve a portrait. Distracting backgrounds were a common problem, and Roger suggested whether a different angle of view could have helped.

The top scorers in the human portrait print competition were (in reverse order):

  • 4th place (46 points)
    • Jennifer Davidson
    • Malcolm Roberts
    • Sean Conner
  • 3rd place (48 points)
    • Joe Fowler
  • 2nd place (49 points)
    • Steven Beard
    • John West
  • 1st place (53 points)
    • George Todd
    • Mike Clark

and the top images were:

  • Bursting With Happiness (Mike Clark) – 20 points
  • Brahman Priest  (George Todd) – 19 points
  • Fortune Teller (John West) – 19 points
  • Tanahun Priest (George Todd) – 18 points

Well done to George Todd and Mike Clark, who now need to decide how to share the trophy. Congratulations also to relative newcomer John West for a great result.

 

Astrophotography: How do you find out what’s up there?

I was asked if there are resources that will tell you what is coming up in the sky, so you can make plans for astrophotography. The answer is sufficiently useful that I thought I would post it to everyone. I think the very best web site for planning astrophotography is this one:

https://www.heavens-above.com/

Click on the link and you have a large number of options. I have programmed the above link to select “Musselburgh” as the default location. Click on “location” in the top right corner to see what the sky is doing where you live. The site is used by amateur astronomers, satellite and space enthusiasts, but the pages I think would be most useful for astrophotography are:

  • Interactive Sky Chart: This tells you what the sky looks like on any date. The zenith (looking straight up) is in the middle of the graph and the horizon is around the edge. Change the date to see how the sky will change in the future. You can, for example, see where the Milky Way crosses the horizon on each date. You can follow the planets and see if there are dates when they clump together and make a show at sunset or sunrise.
  • The Moon: This page lets you follow what happens to the Moon on future dates. You can check its phase and check when it might pass close to a planet and make a good show. For example, dial up 28th January 2020 and press “update” and you’ll see the crescent Moon passes close to Venus. If the sky is clear this would  be a good time to photograph the Moon as it sets.

Another very useful site is this one:

https://www.timeanddate.com/

The first thing you’ll need to do is click the “set home location” link under “Set time” and set your home location to Edinburgh, Scotland (it doesn’t know about Musselburgh). This site doesn’t have as many features as heavens-above, but it is is best site for predicting eclipses. Click here to bring up the eclipse planning page. The site is not as good at remembering your location, so make sure you type “Edinburgh, Scotland” in the “Place or country” box to get the correct information. You’ll find the next eclipse visible from here is a rather boring penumbral lunar eclipse on 5th June 2020. Keep tracking forwards and you’ll see there is a good solar eclipse on 10th June 2021. Put that date in your diary.

Finally, another site I find useful is this one:

https://spaceweather.com/

The site is dedicated to monitoring solar activity, so it is a good place to get sunspot and aurora predictions. The site doesn’t plan ahead but tells you what’s in the sky right now. It’s a good place to see alerts about aurorae or unusual clouds that could make interesting landscape images. Best of luck!

I hope all this will be useful to some members.

 

23 January 2020 ( Plant and Flower Photography)

This week we had the pleasure of a visit from Liz Cole, a plant and garden photographer. Liz runs a Japanese Garden Photography course at the Royal Botanical Gardens in Edinburgh. Her images are regularly used by gardening magazines, books, newspapers and horticultural labels. It had been 9 years since Liz had previously given a presentation to Musselburgh Camera Club, so this one was long overdue.

Liz began by describing the equipment she uses for plant and flower photography. She uses Fuji X-Pro 2 mirrorless camera. The advantage of a mirrorless camera is that it is small and light, doesn’t attract attention, and yet still gives good quality photos. The camera has a very quiet shutter, which helps if you are photographing plants in a Japanese temple, and a good autofocus. Two types of lens can be used for flower photography. A macro lens lets you get up close and capture small details, but a medium telephoto lens will let you capture a larger plant or flower and blur out the background. A lens which gives a good out-of-focus bokeh gives the best results.  Liz recommends photographing plants and flowers by natural light. Using a flash can upset the colour balance (which is not good if you are aiming to use your image on a plant label).  A silver reflector can be used to brighten the shadows. It is possible to attach a circular reflector to the front of your lens to help with macro shots.  Adding a UV filter can help to improve the colours in sunlight and a polarizer filter can create a richer sky background.  Liz doesn’t use any other kinds of filter for plant photography.

Liz began by showing us the images of plants and flowers in their natural setting which she uses for horticultural magazines and plant labels. There were several beautiful images of Japanese gardens, common and exotic garden plants, trees and wild flowers captured in the Aberlady nature reserve. She used a lot of upward-pointing shots of trees which kept tourists and distractions out of the shot and captured the blossom against the sky or background plants or buildings. Liz then showed us a collection of studio portraits of plants and flowers which she had captured indoors or at flower shows. Unlike the outdoor shots, these images have a plain background. Liz uses a white, an 18% grey or a black background, as appropriate for each image. During her presentation, Liz gave us some hints, tips and great ideas for improving our photography:

  • Make sure you control the exposure so that flowers with white petals are not blown out in the highlights. Always underexpose a white flower.
  • If you don’t have a silver reflector handy, you can use the silver lid from a curry carton.
  • Check your plants carefully for ugly defects, pieces of dirt or lurking insects. Also (if you are allowed to) remove bits of rubbish from the surroundings. It is much better to get the shot right in camera than to try to fix it afterwards.
  • Don’t forget that seed heads and shoots can be just as beautiful as flowers.
  • If you want to ensure you have a plain background at a flower show, take along a print of an out-of-focus image of your own lawn. This kind of background can also be used for insect shots.
  • If you are using an artificial background make sure it is far enough away that your subject doesn’t cast a shadow on it.
  • If you are composing your images for a magazine cover, leave enough space for the wording at the top.

All in all this was a fascinating and enlightening talk.

 

16 January 2020 (Members Evening)

On 16th January, Mike Clark introduced club members to trail cameras. These are small, weather-proof cameras which can be left out in the wild for weeks and be programmed to record a video or take a still photograph whenever something triggers the camera’s motion sensor. Mike was surprised at how cheaply you can buy these cameras, and had bought himself a TOGUARD trail camera. Trail cameras are very good at capturing moments you could have spent hours trying and failing to capture with a conventional camera. The camera lies in wait and, if something interesting happens at (say) 4am while you are asleep, the camera will capture it. Every image is time-stamped. Mike’s camera could record images at night using an infra-red light. Mike recommended buying a camera with a good battery life and decent-sized memory card, because the longer you can leave the camera running unattended the better the results.

Mike showed us a collection of images his camera had captured during 2019, from a fox which visited his garden at night, a deer and several birds, to a family of badgers frolicking around their set. The motion sensor was even sensitive enough to pick up a spider walking in front of it! Mike had learned not to be tempted to leave food for the wildlife because you get a lot of similar shots of chewing animals. His best and most natural shots were made by placing the camera in a thoroughfare and waiting for the animals to pass by.

We finished the evening by showing images from the latest Dingwall competition CD.

 

09 January 2020 (Set Subject Competition – Travel)

We opened the second half of our 2019-2020 season with the first of our 3 set subject competitions. The competition opens with the subject of “Travel”.  Jim Tod had won last year’s “Seascapes” competition and earned the right to judge this year’s competition.  Jim began the evening by drawing our attention to the commonly-accepted definition of travel photography:

Photography that may involve the documentation of an area’s landscape, people, cultures, customs and history. The Photographic Society of America defines a travel photo as an image that expresses the feeling of a time and place, portrays a land, its people, or a culture in its natural state, and has no geographical limitations.

42 images had been entered in total from locations near and far, including Scotland, England, Czech Republic, Latvia, Estonia, Iceland, Vietnam, India, China, the Galápagos islands, South Africa and New Zealand! There were landscape images showing the beauty of these locations, portraits of people going about their business, shots of interesting things and photographs of various forms of transport. The best images were the ones which combined these aspects, showing people in the context of their culture or landscapes connected with iconic local landmarks. The transport images had more impact if they showed people using the transport and included a clue to the destination in the frame (for example an image of a ferryboat approaching a jetty had more impact than a shot of a boat isolated in the middle of a lake). Blown highlights were a common fault. Many shots had been taken in bright sunlight and the use of a polarizer filter and better control of the exposure would have helped those shots.  Jim explained how some of the shots could be improved by a better viewpoint or better camera angle. The adventures of Sven Martin Bullwinkle (a series of images showing a cuddly toy journeying through Scotland) raised some laughs with the audience!

The top-scoring images were

  • A Long Way from London (Malcolm Roberts) – 20 points
  • Lake Cruiser (Mike Clark) – 20 points
  • No Room For A Passenger (George Todd) – 19 points
  • River Crossing (George Todd) – 19 points
  • Morning Commute (Joe Fowler) – 18 points
  • Mainline Steam (Mike Clark) – 18 points
  • Line (Kevin Johnston) – 18 points
  • The Beagle At Dawn (Anne Yeomans) – 18 points

The deciding factor in this competition was consistency,  and the top places went to members who had consistently good scores across all three images. The highest scorers were:

  • 5th place (47 points)
    • Anne Yeomans
  • 4th = place (49 points)
    • Joe Fowler
    • Lorraine Roberts
    • Gordon Davidson
  • 3rd place (50 points)
    • Malcolm Roberts
  • 2nd place (51 points)
    • Mike Clark
  • 1st place (55 points)
    • George Todd

Thank you very much to Jim Tod for judging this competition over his Christmas holiday. Congratulations to George Todd, who wins the right to judge next year’s competition.

This is the first in a 3-part competition, with George, Mike and Malcolm now standing at the top of the league table. The next two parts will be the “Wildlife” competition (hand-in date 23rd January 2020) and the “Old Faces” competition (hand-in date 5th March 2020). If your images didn’t do well in this competition don’t despair.  The final result depends on the total score from your best 2 competitions, so there is still everything to play for.

MAMA Revue 2020 Dress Rehearsal

The club has received the following message from Jane Renton, Musselburgh Amateur Musical Association president.


Happy New Year! I hope you are well.
The dress rehearsal for our upcoming Revue is next Wednesday (15th) in the Brunton theatre and once again I was wondering if any of the members of Musselburgh Camera Club would like to come along and take some photographs. The rehearsal will probably start about 7pm – 7:30 ish and we have to be out of the theatre by 10pm. If anyone is interested in coming along could they maybe drop me an email at jane.renton@btinternet.com, just so I know how many people to expect and so I can let them know if there are any changes in timing.
Many thanks
Best wishes
Jane

Set Subject “Travel” Competition This Week

Happy New Year to members!

A reminder that our club evenings restart this week. On Thursday, 9th January 2020 at 7:30pm, Jim Tod will reveal the result of our first set subject competition on the theme of “Travel”.

This Thursday is also the hand-in date for prints submitted to the Human Portrait Print Competition. In this competition colour or black and white prints are accepted, as long as the main subject is a person or group of people. Please bring 3 mounted prints and send JPEG copies of your 3 images to George Todd at georgetodd1957@me.com.

Please ensure that competition prints are attached to mounts no larger that 40cm x 50cm in size, as larger mounts will not fit into the carrying folder. The club mount cutter will be available this Thursday if you need help cutting a mount to size.

Pecha Kucha Evening

Tomorrow we are having our Pecha Kucha evening. Here’s how it works for members who are unfamiliar with the evening:

  • Choose 10 digital images you would like to show to other members. These can be images on any subject, and they don’t need to be your images. Examples can include holiday pictures, a new experimental technique you are trying, images from a photographer you admire or from a magazine you like, images seen on an “image of the day” web site, etc… New and interesting images which are completely different from what we normally see during competitions are encouraged!
  • Save JPEG copies of your images onto a data stick and bring them along tomorrow evening. Make sure you name your files so they will display in the order you want (for example 1_first.jpg, 2_second.jpg, etc…). To make things easier on the night, it would help if you put all your images into a folder with your name.
  • At the beginning of the night we will load all the images onto the club laptop and store them in separate folders. (Creating your own folder on the data stick will help.)
  • When all the images are loaded and ready to go, we all take turns presenting our 10 images, spending no more than 20 seconds on each image so we can present as many as possible on the night. Images are shown in the order received.

I look forward to seeing what you bring along. Have fun choosing your images!