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

18 March 2021 (Documentary and Street Photography)

Derek Clark was originally scheduled to speak to us on 26th March 2020, but his talk had to be cancelled at the last minute because of the first lockdown. This week, after almost a year of waiting, we were at last able to see his presentation on Documentary and Street Photography.  Derek’s impressive portfolio can be found on his web site:


Derek shows us many examples of his photographs documenting life events, news stories, sports and music. One example is Derek’s portfolio “Death By 74 CUTS” documenting urban decay in Glasgow: https://www.kagecollective.com/kage-stories/2021/3/18/death-by-74-cuts. Derek had also captured portraits of musicians for Jazz Life magazine and CD covers.  A common theme running through Derek’s portfolio is his liking for black and white photography. Derek uses custom presets in Silver Efex Pro 2 to achieve his high contrast black and white style.

Derek also showed us his street photography and gave us tips for capturing natural candid images. Derek uses small Fuji cameras for street photography and normally shoots from the hip to avoid attracting attention. One exception is when Derek sets his camera on a tripod and uses a long exposure to capture movement. He uses wide angle lenses, such as a Fuji 28mm or 35mm lens. Wide angle lenses require you to get close to your subject, but they don’t need to be pointed right at the subjects. Derek uses zone focussing: manually setting the focus to a certain distance, noting the depth of field, and just waiting for subjects to come into the focus zone.

Derek’s presentation was fascinating, and he has given us some inspiration to go out and capture candid images once the present lockdown has ended.